Last updated on December 6th, 2018 at 11:21 am
I grew up with these Romanian Stuffed Peppers (Ardei Umpluti) and to this day it’s one of my favorite dishes ever. Using sweet yellow Hungarian peppers, stuffed with a mixture of ground pork, rice and herbs and slowly cooked in a simple tomato sauce with sour cream. To die for!
People always ask me what are some of the authentic Romanian dishes and I have a few recipes here on the blog. But to this day, one of my favorite has to be these stuffed peppers. This is my mom’s recipe that she’s been making ever since I can remember and passed it down to me and now I make these at least once a year.
I remember as a kid I used to hate eating the pepper and would only eat the meat and the sauce, but now I love the pepper, it’s almost my favorite part of this dish. Almost, because to me these peppers are all about that sauce.
HOW TO MAKE STUFFED PEPPERS
These stuffed peppers have such a simple sauce made only with tomato puree, water and sour cream. As everything slowly cooks, it develops a nice rich flavor from all the herbs and the deliciousness of the peppers. Which is why a nice crusty bread is a must for this sauce.
We usually make these with Hungarian yellow sweet pepper which is why this time is perfect for making these because this is when these peppers are in abundance at the markets. I love these peppers because I find they are not quite as thick skinned but regular yellow bell peppers would work just as well.
Just like with cabbage rolls and meatballs, these stuffed peppers seem to taste better with pork, probably because pork is fattier so when you cook them they don’t come out dry and are nice and juicy. I have personally tried to stuff these with turkey, chicken, beef but my favorite is with pork.
HOW LONG TO BAKE STUFFED PEPPERS
My mom always bakes these stuffed peppers and so do I. While some people love to make them on the stove, I prefer the taste they get from slowly cooking in the oven.
You have to cook them covered for about 1 1/2 hours then uncovered for another 45 minutes at 375 F degrees.
HOW TO SERVE THESE STUFFED PEPPERS
Stuffed peppers are usually served with sour cream and some good crusty bread, but they can also be served over mashed potatoes or rice. I really hope you give these peppers a try, they are such a treat.
LOOKING FOR MORE ROMANIAN RECIPES? TRY THESE
Romanian Stuffed Peppers (Ardei Umpluti)
- 10 medium peppers
- 1 1/2 lb ground pork
- 1/2 cup rice uncooked
- 1 onion chopped
- 1 egg
- 1/4 cup fresh dill chopped
- 1/4 cup fresh parsley chopped
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp pepper
- 2 cups tomato puree or passata
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 2 cups water
- 1/2 tsp salt or to taste
- 1/4 tsp pepper or to taste
- Arrange a rack in the middle of your oven and preheat to 375 F degrees.
- Prepare the peppers by cutting off the tops of the peppers. Remove and discard any seeds and membranes from the insides of the peppers. To keep the peppers from falling over while cooking, cut a small flat piece off the bottom of the pepper so that it has a more even bottom.
- In a large bowl combine the ground pork, rice, onion, egg, dill, parsley, salt and pepper. Mix well. Stuff each pepper really well and arrange them in a big pot standing up. I used a large 5 quart oval Dutch Oven with a lid.
- To make the sauce whisk together the tomato puree with the sour cream, water, salt and pepper. Pour this over the peppers. Add more water if needed, there should be enough water to come about half way up the peppers.
- Cover the pot with a lid or aluminum foil and bake for 1 1/2 hours covered. Remove the lid and continue baking for another 45 minutes to an hour uncovered. The peppers are ready when you insert a fork in a pepper and it goes easy through the skin of the pepper and meat, and the rice is cooked.
- Serve these hot with lots of sauce and a dollop of sour cream on top, along side some crusty bread for dipping in the sauce.
- These stuffed peppers are best when made with sweet yellow Hungarian peppers or sweet yellow dove bell peppers.
- If you do not have tomato puree or passata you can also use tomato paste instead, about 3 or 4 tbsp and just whisk it with enough water to cover the peppers about half way through.
- Please keep in mind that nutritional information is a rough estimate and can vary greatly based on products used.