Middle Eastern Stuffed Peppers

I think at some point during the pregnancy, every set of expectant parents realizes what my husband and I are just starting to realize: 

Babies need a lot of stuff.

A lot of stuff.

Stuff for sleeping, stuff for eating, stuff for playing, stuff for cleaning, stuff for fussiness, stuff to make life easier for the parents. Stuff.

Our first trip to a baby store to look at car seats ended with us walking around in a daze looking at all kinds of things we'd never thought of before. Why are there so many different kinds of bottles? Do we need a portable crib? What about a baby carrier? What makes one swing better than another? Will our baby even want a swing? Are we horrible parents-to-be because we don't even have a swing? Who in their right mind would entrust us with a baby?!?!

Thank goodness we still have just over 10 weeks to go. And that we have Amazon Prime. I have a feeling my husband might be ordering our infant seat while I'm in labor.

We also have friends and family that know way more than us and don't seemed to be freaked out by the amount of stuff babies need. Several packages have already arrived from my sister in Vermont, a friend has donated some things her kids have outgrown, and my mother-in-law and sister-in-law brought me to a baby store this weekend and bought a bassinet and baby lounger for us. We're getting there on the stuff.

Being that our lives are so full of "stuff" lately, I thought these stuffed peppers would be an appropriate recipe to post today. This is the kind of "stuff" I'm better at dealing with. Probably because you can eat it. And because it's easy to put together, tastes delicious, and doesn't require difficult decisions.

All things that make it different from baby stuff.

I love bell peppers and have a baked Southwestern recipe that I really enjoy, but I like that this one isn't served warm. The cool flavors of the chickpeas, couscous and feta cheese topped with a simple olive oil dressing make it a refreshing dish and good for this warm spring that we've been having. Like almost everything I've been making lately, these stuffed peppers are fast to make and work well for a light lunch. They also make a pretty side dish.

Thank goodness there is some "stuff" I can handle.

Middle Eastern Stuffed Peppers


  • 6 medium-size red bell peppers
  • 1 cup pearl couscous, cooked following package directions. (Can substitute acini di pepi pasta if you can't find pearl couscous. I also add some whole wheat orzo sometimes, too.)
  • 1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 small cucumber, peeled, seeded and chopped
  • 1 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 2 large scallions, trimmed and chopped
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper


  1. Trim about 1/2 inch off tops of peppers, remove seeds and core. Place cut side down in a microwave safe dish. Pour in 1/2 cup water and cover, venting at one corner. Microwave on high for 5 to 8 minutes or until tender. Remove peppers from dish and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, combine couscous, chickpeas, cucumber, scallions and parsley.
  3. In a small bowl, combine lemon juice, olive oil, salt and black pepper. Whisk together and add to couscous mixture to taste. (There may be excess dressing depending on your tastes, so don't add it all at once.)
  4. Stuff peppers with an equal amount of couscous mixture, about a scant cup in each. Serve room temperature or chilled.
Prep Time: 5 min Cook Time: 5-8 min Serves: 6

Recipe Source: adapted slightly from Family Circle

19 Click For Comments:

I really thought I would be the 1000th person to chime in and say that it is quite okay to only have a crib, diapers, a few outfits, and a car seat until after the birth of your baby.  One thing that I learned quickly is that you really don't need all the things you think you are going to need when you are pregnant with your first baby.  It's so fun to look though! and then you get all sucked in to the consumerism of it all.  :)  My best piece of advice would be to never step foot into another Babies R Us.  :D 

As for these peppers, they look amazing!  Nice twist on a traditional recipe. 

That is such a relief to know, Heidi. You're right, some of those big baby stores make it seem like you need everything they sell. I think my husband might be running quite a few errands once the baby comes and we see what we need, but at least it's less intimidating that way. :)

ha I laughed reading this because I JUST thought to myself yesterday HOW did I become the responsible parent?!  And I have four year old lol...

I have a bottle warmer for my newborn that no one uses they just go the old fashion route of the pan on the stove.  That's 30 bucks we could've saved, lol. 

I have never tried stuffed peppers, I should give it a whirl!

Nicole - I could not agree more. Bambina has already amassed an entire nursery of STUFF. We are on the tail end of a huge baby boom at our church, so other families are eager to dump their stuff on us so that they don't have to figure out what else to do with it. We already have a crib, changing table, pack and play, two bouncy swings, and SEVEN BOXES OF CLOTHES. My gosh... we are swimming in pink. That said, I'm stoked because it means I'm not buying any of it. I'm hoping that at our shower, people will "gift" us with their gently used stuff so that we don't have to buy much. I'm all about reducing consumerism and recycling stuff. And I'm also all about stuffed peppers, but I'm not all about feta. Can you recommend a substitution? 

word from the wise(er at least!). If you get a swing, get one that swings side to side AND front to back.  You never know which way they will prefer.  Our baby was born with reflux, so she slept in the swing for the first 4 months of her life because it was on an incline.  Don't look away from the power of a good swaddle blanket.  We LIVED swaddled: ).  Visit consignment shops for bouncy chairs (a must for when you want to shower, walk away, cook, etc).  They do collect a lot of stuff and we swore we'd be minimalists.  If I could go back I wouldn't worry so much about the room looking perfect or the clothes, but rather having those things that distract and calm ready! Best of luck!

I think that's wonderful to be able to get so many things second hand from people. I can hardly believe how many baby clothes it would take just to FILL seven boxes. A lot! :)

Sometimes I've used queso fresco as a substitute for feta because I have it in my fridge more often and it has a milder flavor than feta. Cotija also works. The feta is in the recipe for saltiness and flavor, so even adding a few kalamat olives would work. Or Parmesan would probably taste good in it, too.

Oh good, I'm so glad I'm not the only one surprised that a kid would be entrusted to me. :)

Note to self: skip bottle warmer. Thanks!

 PREGNANT?! I'm so sorry I am just realizing this. Congratulations!!! :)

That's all great advice, Kristy. I think distracting and calming things are going to be my favorites by far. Hopefully we'll be able to sort out which things will work for her before we have to try every thing in the store. :)

How gorgeous are these stuffed peppers!!?  LOVE!

Wow do those look fantastic!  My husband would love them.  Come visit us today.  We are having a great giveaway.  3 wonderful charm bracelets from Cutey.  We love them!

LOL...really, you will need the swing for YOU more than for the baby!  haha  It really is a huge sea of baby stuff out there!  The problem is, it takes having a baby to know what you really want and you get a shower BEFORE the first one is born...by the second one, you know what you like and want...but too late to go back and pick out better stuff!  haha  But that's the way it goes!  Peppers look fantastic! 

Thanks, Jenna! I can imagine you've had a few things on your plate in the past couple months so don't worry about not hearing until now. :)

These peppers look great!  I only discovered couscous recently but I really like it. This recipe sounds so simple and healthy, I can't wait to try it!

Haha! This was a funny insight into what it's like to be preparing for a family. Sometimes I wonder how some parents seem to have it all figured out, and wonder if I'll even come close whenever we start a family (answer: no). Ah, well! Thanks for the wonderful stuffed peppers recipe. They look delicious!

Hehe, I never thought about how much stuff such a little person needs! I'm sure all the decisions you've made on baby purchases have been the right ones. So excited for you :)

These peppers look totally delicious. I always forget to make stuffed peppers...such an easy, filling meal!

Oh yeah...a ton of stuff is right!  It's amazing.  Love these peppers!

We don't have kids yet, but I'm always amazed by how much stuff my friends have to pack for a simple trip to Target :) 

Your peppers are stunning!  I don't like green bell peppers, but I've been buying red ones every so often and working to convince myself they taste as good as they look!

That's all great advice, Kristy. I think distracting and calming things are going to be my favorites by far. Hopefully we'll be able to sort out which things will work for her before we have to try every thing in the store. :)

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