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


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



✔️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.


(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

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.


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


 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!


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
Author: Hayley Dhanecha


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


  • 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
  • Instant pot


  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. 


Total cooking time - 20 minutes.
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  1. These stuffed peppers are great! The Instant Pot made it super convenient, and I loved the flavor the mint added.

  2. Yay, another Instant Pot recipe! Love how quickly this meal comes together. Thank you so much for the tips on drying mint. Mine is growing like crazy and would love to preserve some.

  3. wow, these look so vibrant, healthy and filling. Rice filled peppers. Such a great idea.Will try these for sure.

  4. A must try recipe. quick, easy and looks delicious. Love the Instant Pot option too.

  5. I'm really excited that these can be made in the Instant Pot. This year has been crazy and time is at a premium! Thank you for sharing!

  6. I haven't had stuffed peppers in the longest time, so this recipe is motivating me to change that. This weekend, for sure!

  7. YUM! Not only does my family love stuffed peppers, but we also try to eat vegetarian dishes as much as possible. Bonus? I get to use my instant pot! I've never tried stuffed peppers with these flavours before so am looking forward to trying them out.

  8. As a GreEk I have cooked stuffed bell peppers many times but never in the instant pot. Such a great idea! I love your recipe, very fresh and colorful, I am going to give it a try!

  9. These peppers are looking nothing less than a cine stars. Have seen many recipes of stuffed bell pepper but rice is like OMG.

  10. Nice combination of flavors really worked together. Especially the minty flavors into rice from the dried mints . Easy recipe and instructions to follow. Loved this recipe, Awesome!!

  11. Such a beautiful and colorful dish this is. Instant pot sure makes it so quick and easy. Thank you for sharing this with us.

  12. I had a bunch of peppers from my garden and this recipe worked so well. Everyone loved the stuffing. The dried mint was awesome with the rice. Everything was just delicious and we will make this again.

  13. I am so happy I came across this recipe! Definitely going to be trying it soon and I have already saved it. Thanks Hayley!

  14. Love the combination of flavors and the ease of cooking these in IP!
    Great share!

  15. Beautiful and colorful dish! Love the instant pot method and will try this recipe soon. Thank you!

  16. A perfect vegetarian meal that is beautiful blend of white rice, tomatoes, lemon, and mint stuffed inside bell peppers is a wholesome meal in itself.
    The pictures looks beautiful and inviting.

  17. Interesting flavours for the rice filling... typically Mediterranean one. As for the bell peppers I love to bake them. Had no idea that they are usually boiled.

  18. Such a gorgeous and colourful looking dish. Instant pot makes it so quick and easy to make. The pictures makes it even more inviting. Great combination of flavours....yummy share!!

  19. I can't take my eyes off your beautiful pictures and the recipe is even more tempting. I would have never thought of using IP to make this delicious stuffed pepper. Going to be making this very soon :)

  20. Instant pot surely is a life saver to make recipes quick and hassle free. Those stuffed peppers looks so colorful and delicious, I want to grab a few right from the screen.

  21. Such a refreshing recipes. Colourful peppers are a warm welcome anyday and the suffing just sounds delicious. yum.

  22. The stuffed peppers looks amazing and interesting. This is perfect to for any get together.


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