Growing up, stuffed peppers were one of my favorite meals. Green bell peppers stuffed with ground beef, rice, and topped with tomato sauce and cheesy goodness. Doesn’t get much better than that!
Plus, you can make them any way you like. Feel free to stuff your peppers with whatever combinations you like best. There’s no end to the variety of meats, cheeses, beans, veggies, herbs, and spices you can add to this classic comfort food.
And while the idea of stuffed peppers for dinner always makes me happy, you can’t call it a meal without at least one companion. But what do you serve with a timeless classic that’s already packed with tasty goodness? Fear not! I have an entire list of scrumptious ideas that will pair perfectly with your main dish.
Here are 17 side dishes that will transform your stuffed peppers into an unforgettable meal.
Especially if you’re stuffing your peppers with heavy starches like rice or potatoes, you’ll want to go for a lighter side dish. And what’s lighter than a crunchy refreshing salad? Apart from being nutritious and delicious, there is also a wide variety of salads to choose from! Here’s some of them:
- Make a Greek salad with chickpeas, cucumbers, basil, and tomatoes in a balsamic vinaigrette.
- A salad that combines rich and buttery avocados with crispy cucumbers? Sounds fantastic! Made even better with some tomatoes and cilantro.
- How about a nice bowl of lettuce mixed with tomatoes, cucumbers, and cheese, smothered in a creamy ranch dressing?
- Or a vibrant and tangy coleslaw?
- Or perhaps a plate of arugula leaves and feta cheese coated in a lemon dressing? Yum!
All these choices make for a wonderful healthy side that will complement your main dish.
A platter full of natural cheeses makes for an exceptional and elegant side to your bell peppers. Natural cheeses have a mild sweetness to them, making them a perfect pair with your savory peppers. Plus, it looks phenomenal! Have fun building your platter with your choice of cheeses and crackers! Just be sure to use room temperature cheese, please!
Now, if your peppers aren’t stuffed with starches, you may want to serve it with something hearty, like potatoes! Potatoes, regardless of how you prepare them, are delectable, and will surely fill your and your guests’ bellies. Here are some fantastic ways to serve them:
- Season potato wedges with rosemary and garlic, drizzle them with olive oil, and bake until brown and crisp.
- Roast baby potatoes in paprika for a crisp on the outside, creamy on the inside goodness.
- Fry thin (or fat) strips of potato in basil and butter.
- Bake them whole and slather it with lots of butter!
If you’re looking for something sweet and salty, sweet potato fries are the perfect solution! Minus the guilt of regular fries.
Cut your sweet potato into 1/4-inch slices. Toss with olive oil, sprinkle with sea salt and bake at 425 degrees F for 18 to 24 minutes. Turn occasionally.
It’s important that you cut your slices fairly thin. Thick fries never get nice and crunchy.
Since you’re already serving veggie as your main, why not go all out and serve veggies on the side as well? Bell peppers, zucchini, and yellow squash form a trifecta of flavors that even non-veggie fans would love. So, go ahead and saute that beautiful zucchini and yellow squash for a good old fashioned side.
When it comes to cooking veggies, roasting is the way to go. It brings out all their beautiful flavors and aromas and caramelizes them to perfection. Here are some roasted veggies that taste fantastic with stuffed bell peppers
Artichoke is another veggie that tastes great with stuffed bell peppers, especially when flavored with lemon and garlic. Then roast those bad boys to enhance the flavor even further. Delicious.
Bring out the natural sweetness of cauliflower by roasting it and then topping it with some creamy Parmesan cheese and flavorful garlic. Or if you’d like a little spice, top with curry. Ooh, la la!
Carrots are great no matter how you cook them. But, if you flavor them with cinnamon, red pepper flakes, cumin, paprika, turmeric, and then roast them? You’ll get a side dish that’s so good you might just forget about the bell peppers!
Picture this: Mushroom poppers, seasoned with a bit of salt, pepper, and garlic, and then roasted to perfection. Talk about a party of perfection.
Bread tastes great with everything and stuffed bell peppers are no exception. Its crisp and tender texture and mild sweetness give a wonderful balance with the richness of your peppers. Not only do the flavors complement one another, but the bread also works as a perfect palate cleanser.
A simple toasted garlic bread is more than enough to round out your dinner, but a warm puffed pita bread is also a fantastic option!
12. Green Beans
Not just your ordinary sauteed green beans, though. Give the crunchy veggie a nice Asian flair by seasoning it with soy sauce, mirin, and toasted sesame seeds!
13. Veggie Fries
We can’t talk about French fries without bringing up its sweet alternative, the delectable sweet potato fries. They’re tasty, filling, and easy to make! Just season with ground cumin, salt, and pepper, and pop in the oven.
And while we’re on the subject of French fries alternatives, how about some baked zucchini fries? They’re a lot healthier and taste irresistible! Oh, and they make for a great companion to stuffed bell peppers, too.
14. Corn Grits
Also known as creamy polenta, this dish is easily customizable. You can either turn it into a sweet or savory side to match the flavors of your stuffed bell peppers. Top it with some cheese and bell peppers for a sweet and creamy polenta. You can also add a bit of honey and butter and get a mushy cornbread-ish treat!
15. Corn Fritters
Speaking of corn, here’s another idea: corn fritters. Fry them until golden brown and you’ll get soft, creamy, and cheesy delights perfect with your stuffed peppers. These cakes are to die for!
Want to give your stuffed bell pepper meal a Cuban flair? Easy! Boil some yuca and you’re done!
And last, I don’t want to end this list without a beverage. When it comes to drinks, a cold glass of beer is perfect to round out your stuffed bell pepper meal. The bitterness in the ale pairs very well with the natural sweetness of the bell pepper.