Slovene Cuisine 10: Stuffed Peppers

The Italians and Hungarians have stuffed peppers; in the former Yugoslav countries both stuffed peppers and stuffed cabbage leaves are popular; and in Greece the recipe becomes stuffed vine leaves. This culinary heritage of filling whatever vegetable you have available with a simple meat stuffing is fascinatingly diverse but also shows the connection between these neighbouring nations.

This recipe is my husband’s adaptation of his family recipe for traditional Slovenian stuffed peppers or polnjene paprike. It takes a little time and effort, but it’s not technically difficult, so these stuffed peppers make for the perfect festive dish (a bit late for that I know – we ate them on New Year’s Day.)


The humble pepper!
  • 10 large red peppers
  • 1kg minced meat (a mixture of pork and beef works best)
  • 150g arborio rice
  • 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 50g chopped fresh parsley
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1l beef or chicken stock (we used goveja juha)
  • 2 cans chopped tomatoes
  • A little olive oil, for frying


Stuffed peppers prior to cooking
The stuffed peppers ready to cook
  • Mix the minced meat with the salt, pepper, half of the garlic and all of the parsley.
  • Parboil the rice (around 7 minutes), run under cold water, drain and mix with the seasoned mince.
  • Slice the tops off the peppers and remove the core and seeds. Stuff the peppers evenly with the minced meat mixture.
  • Add the peppers to a large pan. Slice the tops of the peppers and add these to the pan.
  • Pour in the beef or chicken stock and bring to the simmer. Cook over a moderate heat until the meat mixture is cooked and the peppers have released their moisture (approx. 1 hour).
  • In the meantime, lightly fry the remainder of the garlic in olive oil, and stir in the chopped tomatoes. Reduce this to the consistency of a thick pasta sauce.
  • Add the tomato sauce to the pan with the peppers and stock. Cook gently for around 20-30 minutes until the sauce has reduced.
  • Serve warm with mashed potato (as per featured image – the sauce should be thicker but we were too hungry to wait!)
  • These peppers keep well in the fridge for 3-4 days.

I hope you enjoyed this post. Stay tuned for more Slovene Cuisine…
Dober tek!

32 thoughts on “Slovene Cuisine 10: Stuffed Peppers

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  1. This sounds delicious Ingrid, and I would love to be able to try this. As my husband is the cook in this house I will have to persuade him to put the time and effort into it but I am sure it would be worth it. It sounds absolutely lovely

      1. Lol Ingrid. Mine has no choice, with me being blind, but he loves tobeat, so he likes to cook. Ga ga.

  2. They look very nice. We have stuffed peppers, stuffed pickled cabbage leaves / vine leaves In Romania as well, and the recipe is similar. ๐Ÿ™‚ I went with stuffed pickled cabbage leaves for Christmas.

      1. They’re called “sarma (sg), sarmale (pl)”. Someone told me that the word comes from Turkish and means “something rolled”, or something along those lines. I don’t know if that’s true, but the version I tried in Istanbul a few years ago was yummy. ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. In the 80s I lived in Turnpike Lane a Greek Cypriot community in London with a Greek boyfriend. I loved making and eating stuffed vines. I used a vegetarian recipe by Anna Thomas. Iโ€™ve not made them in years but might well try this recipe.

  4. Ingrid, this post is making me hungry for my mother’s stuffed peppers. Hers were filled with ground beef, rice, tomato sauce and walnuts. Also you’ve made me hungry for my late husband’s grandmother’s famous stuffed cabbage. When is your husband making stuffed peppers again? I’ll invite myself! Have a great day! <3

    1. That sounds like an amazing recipe too! My mother in law also makes stuffed cabbage leaves ๐Ÿฅฌ you are welcome next time ๐Ÿ˜Š โค๏ธ

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