Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Stuffed Peppers ala Svetlana (Serbian= Punjene paprike/ Пуњене паприке)

Stuffed peppers is one of those Serbian dishes that your mother starts cooking on a Saturday morning and the smell of sauteed onions wakes you up. Making stuffed peppers is not necessarily hard, but it requires time. So, don't try to make this dish after work when you are already hungry! Take the example of the Serbian mothers and use your Saturday for cooking this. But don't worry, it doesn't take that long. The reason why we start cooking it in the morning is because our main meal is lunch, so it has to be done around 2-3PM.


1 lb 9% fat ground beef
1/2 cup paella rice (or any other white rice)
1 onion, minced
1 cup tomato sauce
1 1/2 cup water
4-6 bell peppers (depending on their size)
1 tomato, sliced in 4-6 slices (1 slice per pepper)
1 egg
salt and pepper to taste
1 tbsp flour
1 tsp paprika

Cut the tops of the peppers and remove the insides. Place the peppers in the baking dish upright. Choose a good size dish so that the peppers would fill it and not fall over. Svetlana uses cast iron baking dish here, as it holds heat very well, and cooks evenly.

Heat the oil in a frying pan, and add onions. Fry them for a couple of minutes. Add ground beef and stir. As soon as the meat changes color, add one egg, rice, salt and pepper. Stir all together over medium heat for a couple of minutes. It doesn't have to be completely cooked at this stage.

Fill the peppers with meat.

Add 2 tbsp of water in each pepper and close them with tomato slices.

Mix 1 cup of tomato sauce with 1 1/2 cups of water. Add this sauce to the baking dish and cover it. Bake at 450F for 1.5 hours. Then, take the dish out of the oven and add some sauce in each peppers. Bake for another 30 minutes, uncovered.

In a frying pan add oil enough to cover the bottom and heat it. Add flour and paprika. Stir over medium to low heat until you get a uniform mixture. This should only take a minute or two. Add the sauce from the baking dish and mix all together.

Then transfer the sauce back to the baking dish where the peppers are.

Serve with yogurt or sour cream and fresh bread.

Here is an alternate, but a very similar recipe that:

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You need a nice heavy dish for long baking. Cast iron makes great baking dishes, and it lasts forever.


  1. That looks so good. I've seen so many versions of stuffed peppers but have never made them yet. Your directions look easy enough!

    Thanks for sharing!