INSTANT POT CYPRIOT STUFFED PEPPERS | VEGAN


This Vegan Instant Pot Stuffed Peppers recipe is straight from the kitchens of Cyprus. A delicious medley of white rice, tomatoes, lemon, and mint is stuffed inside bell peppers and cooked directly in the Instant Pot or electric pressure cooker. Perfect for a vegetarian meal or side dish.


serving suggestion for stuffed peppers


INSTANT POT VEGETARIAN STUFFED PEPPERS


This stuffed recipe is hands down my favourite way to eat bell peppers! 

I first came across this recipe when my university friend made these for me. She is originally from Cyprus and her grandmother makes stuffed peppers in this style. 

We made these together (grandma on facetime throughout) using the traditional way by boiling the peppers stuffed with the mixture on the stovetop. 

I instantly fell in love with the recipe and as soon as I came home, I made it for my family and its been a regular since! 

It is:

✔️Suitable for vegans and vegetarians

✔️Gluten-free

✔️Healthy

✔️A perfect starter or side

✔️Quick and Easy - takes only 2 minutes in the Instant Pot


serving suggestion for stuffed peppers
Some other bell pepper recipes we love are: 

Why use the Instant Pot for stuffed peppers?


The original recipe requires us to boil the peppers in water for 40 minutes. With the use of the Instant Pot, I have reduced the cooking time to 2 minutes on Low Pressure! 

You still get the exact same wonderful taste and texture of the pepper and the fluffy rice inside.

We get very fresh and good produce here in the UK, so to cook peppers and the rice, 2 minutes for us is enough. You may find, depending on the ingredients you use that you will need more minutes. Unfortunately, it's only trial and error that will grant you the best recipe for you. 

If you do use a different time to us, start from 3 minutes on Low Pressure and then work your way. 

Check out our other Instant Pot Recipes.

INGREDIENTS FOR VEGETARIAN STUFFED PEPPERS

(exact measurements can be found in the printable recipe card below)




Bell peppers - you can use any colour peppers you like, I haven't noticed a difference in the cooking times. 

White rice - we have used basmati rice. You do not need to presoak the rice but do wash it thoroughly

Chopped tomatoes - we used tinned chopped tomatoes as they have extra juice. Fresh tomatoes may be too dry for this recipe

Tomato paste - we have used a small amount of tomato paste from a tube. If you do not have this, you can leave it out. 

White onion - finely chopped white onion goes really well. Do cut the onion fairly small as it will cook better

Dried Mint - this has to be the star of the recipe - the mint just transforms the flavour! But use dried mint and not fresh. I used fresh mint once and it went soggy inside and didn't taste as good. We have used homemade dried mint

Lemon Juice - use plenty of lemon juice - the measurement may seem a lot but a lot of the flavour will evaporate away so you do need to use a lot of it! I promise it won't turn your peppers sour. I used bottled but you can use fresh.

Olive Oil - I used extra virgin olive oil

Salt and Pepper - to season

Optional - serve with a few torn fresh mint leaves and a squeeze of lemon juice


serving suggestion for stuffed peppers

How to make Dried Mint at home

Making dried mint at home is so easy:

Pick plenty of mint leaves

Wash thoroughly in cold water

Pat dry

Leave out in the sun in a clean plate or napkin

If it is above 30C, the mint will be dry in 3/4 hours max

Rub the dried mint leaves in your hands

If you want a finer powder, then sieve.

HOW TO MAKE STUFFED PEPPERS IN INSTANT POT

Tips for the best stuffed peppers:

You do not need to soak or precook the rice - for this recipe, everything cooks inside the pepper at once

Do not throw away the lid once you cut it off the pepper, it will form a seal so the rice can cook in its own steam

Do not stuff the peppers all the way to the top - the rice needs space to cook and expand. 

When adding the rice filling into the peppers, do not drain away the liquid but add it to the peppers to give the rice some moisture

Use an appropriate sized container so that the peppers can stay upright. If they fall to the side, the filling may leak out and become mushy

Adding about 1 1/2 cups of water to the inner pot should be enough to cook the peppers

Use your judgement based on the type of rice you have - if it usually takes long to cook then you may need to increase the pressure cooking time.

10 min NPR (natural pressure release) is best as it gives the rice time to cook in the steam so do not quick release or you may have uncooked rice


Method:

 In a bowl, add the washed rice, chopped tomatoes, tomato paste, chopped onion and dried mint. Add olive oil and lemon juice then add salt and pepper and mix (pic 1)

Wash the peppers and carefully cut the top off the peppers. Scoop out the inside of the bell pepper (pic 2)

Add water to the inner pot and using the trivet, lower the container into the pot (pic 3)

Equally, divide the filling between the peppers (pic 4)

Place the peppers inside the container/tin you will use and replace the lids (pic 5)

Seal and Pressure Cook on Low for 2 minutes (pic 6)



step by step method


After 10 min NPR, open the IP lid (pic 7)

Rice is nicely cooked (pic 8)

Serve hot (pic 9)



serving suggestion for stuffed peppers

Stovetop Cypriot Stuffed Peppers


If you do not have an Instant Pot, this is the alternative method:

Stuff the peppers as per the IP recipe.

Place the peppers in a saucepan - use a pan that fits the peppers upright.

Pour water directly into the pan until the water reaches about 1/2 the way up the pepper (ensure the water is not close to where you have cut the pepper otherwise the water will seep in)

stovetop method for stuffed peppers


Turn on the heat and cook the peppers between 30-40 minutes. Keen an eye on the water level

Carefully remove from the pan

They are ready to serve!

Storage:


These peppers taste the best when eaten immediately however, you can store them. Once cooled, you can store in the fridge for up to 2 days. 

Reheat in the microwave for about 1 minute. Alternatively, place in the oven or grill to heat. 

Other Stuffed Recipes







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instant pot, vegan stuffed peppers, rice stuffed peppers, cypriot recipes
Mains, Side dish
Cypriot
Yield:
Author: Hayley Dhanecha
Print
INSTANT POT CYPRIOT STUFFED PEPPERS

INSTANT POT CYPRIOT STUFFED PEPPERS

These vegan and gluten-free Cypriot stuffed peppers are so easy to make. It takes only 2 minutes in Instant Pot.
Prep time: 3 MCook time: 2 MTotal time: 5 M

Ingredients:

  • 4 peppers
  • 1 cup white rice
  • 1/4 cup chopped tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp. tomato paste
  • 1 white onion finely chopped
  • 1/8 cup dried mint
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice 
  • 1/8 cup olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
Equipment/Tools
  • Instant pot

Instructions:

  1. Rinse the rice in clean water, no need to soak.
  2. In a big bowl combine all the ingredients and season with salt and pepper.
  3. Arrange the stainless steel pot in the instant pot.
  4. Add 1 1/2 cup water and arrange the trivet.
  5. Wash the peppers and cut the tops of the peppers.
  6. Fill the peppers and arrange them in a dish. 
  7. Cover the peppers with the pepper tops.
  8. Seal the pot and select LOW PRESSURE for 2 MINUTES.
  9. After 10 minutes NPR, remove the peppers and serve hot. 

Notes:

Total cooking time - 20 minutes.
Calories
160.36
Fat (grams)
6.96
Sat. Fat (grams)
0.99
Carbs (grams)
23.41
Fiber (grams)
2.36
Net carbs
21.05
Sugar (grams)
5.00
Protein (grams)
2.94
Sodium (milligrams)
157.95
Cholesterol (grams)
0.00
The nutritional information provided is an approximation calculated by an online calculator. Please consult a professional dietitian for nutritional advice.
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