When I decided to make this stuffed bell pepper recipe I had a Mediterranean theme in mind. Mediterranean cuisine is rich in olive oil, whole grains and herbs like parsley, thyme and basil. I could have used brown rice for the stuffing but I wanted to try something different. So I turned to another whole grain that I’ve never cooked before. What do you know about farro?
What is Farro?
Farro is not just one grain but a group of ancient grains with an impressive nutritional profile. Farro is the term used to describe three species of wheat: farro piccolo (einkorn), farro medio (emmer), and farro grande (spelt). In the United States, it is usually farro medio (emmer) that is marketed as farro. Cooked farro has a slightly nutty flavor with a springy but tender texture.
Farro’s Nutritional Profile
Since farro is a type of wheat it does contain gluten. However, its gluten content is less than that of modern wheat and therefore, some people with wheat allergies are able to tolerate it. Uncooked farro doubles in volume when cooked. So 1/4 cup (52g) of uncooked farro yields about 1/2 cup of cooked farro.
Here’s what you get with 1/4 cup of uncooked farro (emmer):
- Calories: 200
- Fat: 1.5 g
- Carbohydrates: 37 g
Dietary Fiber: 7 g
- Protein: 7g
Now that we’ve learned a thing or two about farro, let’s get to the recipe. This Mediterranean-inspired stuffed bell pepper includes farro, ground turkey, olive oil, parsley, thyme and zucchini. You can replace the ground turkey with another meat or even a legume like lentils if you want to make it a vegan dish. Are you ready to try it?
Prep Time: 10 minutes . Cook Time: 40 minutes . Yield: Serves 6
6 Medium Bell Peppers
1 Cup Farro, cooked
1 Lb Zucchini, finely chopped
1 Lb Lean Ground Turkey (99/1)
1/2 Cup Fresh Parsley, chopped
1/4 Cup Grated Parmesan Cheese
1 1/2 Tbsp Olive Oil
3 Cloves Garlic, chopped
1 Cup Yellow Onion, chopped
Salt and Black Pepper to taste
4 (or more) Sprigs of Fresh Thyme
Cooking wine, stock, or water for deglazing pan
Optional: 1/4 Cup Shredded Cheddar Cheese
1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
2. Cut tops off bell peppers; discard stems and seeds. Chop tops and set aside. To ensure that the peppers can stand in a baking dish, you may need to cut a thin slice off the bottom of the peppers. Don’t worry too much if there’s a small hole after slicing.
3. Pre-cook bell peppers by boiling them in water for 5-7 minutes. Remove cooked peppers from water; invert peppers to let them drain.
4. In a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of oil over medium-high heat. Add ground turkey and season with salt and black pepper. Cook turkey until medium brown while breaking it up into smaller chunks with the spoon. Remove turkey from pan and set aside. Pour 1-2 tablespoons of cooking wine, stock or water into pan; scrape off any brown bits from the bottom of pan and add to cooked turkey.
5. Return pan to medium-high heat and add remainder of olive oil. Once oil is hot, add onions, garlic, chopped bell pepper tops and thyme. Cook until onions are translucent. Add zucchini and cook for another 3 minutes; stirring occasionally.
6. To the cooked vegetables add the cooked turkey, cooked farro and parsley. Cook for about 1-2 minutes then add Parmesan cheese. Lightly season with salt and pepper, if necessary. (Do not over-salt the stuffing. You’ll be adding salt to the bell peppers next). Once all ingredients are mixed well, remove pan from heat.
7. Lightly season inside each bell pepper with salt and pepper. Stuff each pepper with the meat mixture and then place upright in a baking dish; top with cheddar cheese if desired. Bake uncovered for 20 – 25 minutes. Serve warm.
Nutrition per 6-Oz Serving: 271 Cals; 25g Carb; 8g Fat; 27g Protein; 9g Dietary Fiber
Nutrition calculated using the MyFitnessPal Recipe Importer