Vegan Stuffed Peppers (Posne Punjene Paprike)

This vegan stuffed peppers recipe (aka Posne Punjene Paprike in Serbia) uses simple ingredients that together create a beautiful and nourishing meal.

It’s a gluten-free, soy-free, sugar-free, and plant-based flavourful meal that will leave you wanting more with every bite.

Traditional recipes of stuffed peppers normally have some form of ground meat, sausage and cheese.

Even though you won’t find any of those ingredients in these stuffed peppers, you’ll certainly not miss out on flavour; it has bucket loads of it!

close up of three stuffed peppers

In Serbia, and some other countries like Croatia, the word “posna” in cooking indicates that the recipe will be free from animal products. This means that you’re fasting for spiritual reasons. It’s a great way to filter out other recipes that use animal products.

Stuffing is my favourite way to prepare peppers unless they’re roasted with other vegetables and tossed through a salad like in this Vegan Mediterranean Couscous Salad

Growing up in a vegetarian household, we ate a lot of vegetables, and peppers were my dad’s favourite. He would eat them raw on top of a beautiful thick slice of Italian bread, with some butter and fresh garlic.

Every time I smell roasted peppers, it takes me straight back to living in Slovenia as a kid.

image of stuffing in pot on the left and stuffed pepper putting in the tomato to seal the pepper on the right.

Variations of these vegan stuffed capsicums

This dish has so many different variations. I’ll share some of them in future posts; however, this recipe is a great starting point. You can add different veggies inside, herbs and spices. 

You can even swap out the rice for legumes, quinoa, buckwheat or couscous.

These peppers are the closest whole foods version that I’ve made that resembles the traditional varieties. 

What is a good side dish for stuffed peppers?

There is a large range of things you can have with vegan stuffed peppers. Some of my favourite ways to enjoy it is with:

  • Mashed potatoes
  • A simple garden salad
  • A thick slice of good-quality bread

This recipe has the wonderful addition of roasted potatoes that pairs perfectly; however, you can leave them out. The dish will still be just as delicious.

stuffed pepper on the plate being eaten shot from above

How it really looks to eat something with a rich tomato sauce! Messy but delicious.

Can you freeze stuffed peppers?

You certainly can! They freeze really well. Let them cool completely before freezing.

They will hold their flavour and shape. Just thaw them out and pop in the oven to heat up and enjoy!

What do I do if I have stuffing left over?

This recipe was designed to fill 5 medium-sized peppers. If you, however, have some left over, here are a few ideas of how to use it!

You can turn it into a wonderful soup! Just add some veggie broth to it and simmer for 15-20 minutes.

Stuff some other veggies with it! Fermented cabbage leaves to make a dish like sarma (stuffed cabbage rolls), tomatoes, eggplants or zucchinis. The options are endless.

If you don’t want to make other meals with it, you can also just spread it around the baking dish with the peppers and potatoes.

stuffed peppers that have just been baked, in baking dish shot from above.

I got the inspiration for this recipe from a wonderful Serbian grandma on YouTube. She makes some amazing dishes! Thank you for the inspiration, Jela.

These vegan stuffed peppers are baked to perfection. The slight char on the outside and the beautiful sauce that’s created with 2 simple ingredients will make your mouth water.

Some tips for making these plant-based stuffed peppers

Make sure that you slightly undercook the rice as it will continue to cook in the oven. You don’t want to be left with overcooked rice. So please follow the instructions carefully for preparing the rice.

  • You can use any variety of pepper for stuffing; however, I love the sweeter varieties as they add an extra flavour that balances out the rich filling.
  • It’s important to cover your baking dish with either a lid that fits or aluminium foil. This will help the rice, potatoes and peppers cook to perfection. This will only be on for part of the baking process, as we still want that beautiful char on the veggies.
  • You can serve this dish both hot or cold. I find that they’re even nicer the next day as the flavours have had an opportunity to marinate even more.
  • As I mentioned earlier, they freeze really well. So if you have some leftover, just pop them in the freezer for later!
  • The reason I use the tomatoes at the top of each pepper is to seal the filling. This way, as they bake the stuffing stays inside. If you don’t want to use tomato slices, you can use a thin slice of potato, zucchini or any other larger vegetable. 

vegan stuffed pepper on plate with potatoes, being eaten

Some other recipes you’ll love:

  1. Vegan Moussaka
  2. Serbian Baked Beans (Prebranac)
  3. Vegan Gibanica Recipe (Serbian Cheese Pie)
  4. Sauerkraut and Bean Stew (Slovenian Jota)
  5. Quick and Easy Sauerkraut Pasta

If you try this recipe, let me know! I would love for you to leave a comment and rating below. If you want to go that extra mile, tag us on Instagram, or share your photo of the recipe on Pinterest

Vegan Stuffed Peppers (Posne Punjene Paprike)

Vegan Stuffed Peppers (Posne Punjene Paprike)

Yield: 5 peppers
Prep Time: 40 minutes
Bake Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 40 minutes

Hearty, gluten-free and vegan stuffed peppers that are packed with flavours of Eastern Europe. This dish is great served hot or cold.

Ingredients

  • ½ cup (115g/4.06oz) medium-grain white rice, uncooked
  • 2 tbsp (+ extra for drizzling) extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 large red onion, finely diced
  • 1 medium-sized carrot, finely diced
  • 3 large (120g/4.23oz) button mushrooms, finely diced
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 small handful of fresh parsley, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • ½ tsp dried oregano (or any other Italian herbs)
  • ¼ tsp chilli powder (or to taste)
  • 1 tsp sweet paprika
  • 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1 tsp good-quality salt
  • 5 medium-sized red bell peppers
  • 1 small tomato, sliced
  • 4-6 potatoes, cut into wedges
  • ½ cup passata (or crushed tomatoes)
  • ¾ cup vegetable broth

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 180C (355F) fan-forced.
  2. Wash the rice and place in a small saucepan along with ¾ cup of water. Bring the rice to a boil and then reduce and cook until all the water evaporates, You'll only be partially cooking the rice as it will continue to cook in the oven. This should take around 15 minutes.
  3. While the rice cooks, in a medium-sized skillet or saucepan on medium-high heat, add the olive oil and onion, sauteing for a few minutes until it starts to brown a little on the edges.
  4. Add in the carrot and cook for a further 3-4 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  5. Now add in the mushrooms and garlic and saute for a few more minutes. The veggies should be nice and soft. Take off heat.
  6. Add in the parsley, tomato paste, oregano, chilli, sweet paprika, nutritional yeast, and salt. Stir well. Your stuffing is now ready.
  7. Cut the tops of the peppers and give them a good wash.
  8. Using a spoon, stuff the peppers with the mix, leaving about 1cm space at the top. Press in the tomato slice (I normally cut mine to roughly the size of the opening, but a little bigger, so it's a tight fit) and place in the baking tray. Repeat the process for the rest of the peppers.
  9. Once the peppers are done, add your sliced potato wedges around. You can add more or fewer wedges depending on the size of your baking dish.
  10. In a cup, mix the passata and vegetable broth. If the vegetable broth doesn't have much seasoning, add a good pinch of salt. Pour this over the peppers and potatoes and drizzle with some olive oil.
  11. Wrap the baking dish with aluminium foil, leaving a small gap at one end to let some steam escape. Alternatively, if the baking dish has a lid, place that on top and put in the oven. Bake for 30 minutes with lid/foil and then remove it.
  12. Bake for a further 20-30 minutes until the potatoes are baked and the peppers have browned a little.
  13. Serve hot or cold.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 5 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 341Total Fat: 7gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 513mgCarbohydrates: 66gFiber: 9gSugar: 11gProtein: 10g

Nutrition information is a rough estimate calculated automatically. The accuracy of this information is not guaranteed.

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