Biber dolmasi: Turkish stuffed peppers recipe (vegetarian)

Turkish stuffed peppers recipe

We recently introduced you to our stuffed peppers with minced meat. Today we are making vegetarian stuffed peppers. The German version of stuffed peppers is usually prepared with minced meat. In Turkish cuisine, however, there are so-called "Zeytinyağlılar". This translates as "(dishes) with olive oil". These Turkish stuffed peppers are just such a dish.


You wouldn't think how much flavor comes together with so few ingredients. But the combination of rice, bulgur, onions and lots of good olive oil is so incredibly tasty. You certainly won't miss the minced meat. (on our German blog this is one of the all-time favorites!)


And we don't know about you, but for us, vegetarian stuffed peppers are a very quick and easy dish. Prepare the filling, clean the peppers, stuff, cook - and the end result looks like so much more!


How are the Turkish stuffed peppers prepared?

Our Turkish stuffed peppers are quick and easy to prepare. Pre-cooking the peppers, transferring them from the stove to the oven and frying the filling - there's none of that in our Turkish stuffed peppers recipe.

We keep it short and sweet.


First, cut out the stem of the bell pepper and clean the inside. To do this, scoop out the seeds with a small spoon or your fingers. Then prepare the filling and spoon it into the peppers. Close the peppers with tomato slices and cook everything in the pot. If you like, you can add one or two potatoes to the pot.


Maybe it's a quirk, but potatoes always go well - even with Turkish stuffed peppers.

Turkish stuffed vegetarian peppers

Which peppers are ideal for Turkish stuffed peppers?

The original Turkish recipe for vegetarian stuffed peppers calls for green peppers. Dolmalik peppers, as they are called, are slightly smaller than normal bell peppers. You can usually find them in Turkish supermarkets. However, you can also use other peppers of your choice. Green not only tastes good, but also looks pretty with the tomatoes. As we all know, you eat with your eyes.


What is the filling for Turkish stuffed peppers?

There was a time when we used to pile our stuffed peppers, stuffed vine leaves and the like with spices and other ingredients. It tasted good - no question about it. In the original Turkish recipes for vegetarian stuffed peppers, however, much less is used. At some point we wanted to try it too and lo and behold: un-be-liev-able.

Rice, (lots of) onion, salt, pepper - that's important. However, we always use a mixture of rice and bulgur in dolma recipes. This is not unusual and simply gives the vegetarian-style stuffed peppers more flavor. Alternatively, you can add parsley to the stuffed peppers.


However, what is most important for the delicious flavor of the stuffed peppers is the olive oil. The decisive factors here are quality, taste and...um...quantity. It has to be a lot of olive oil. Add a little tomato and tomato salca - that's all this vegetarian stuffed bell pepper recipe needs.

Turkish stuffed vegetarian peppers

To fry or not to fry the filling: that is the question here

In many Turkish recipes, perhaps also in English ones (?), the filling for Turkish stuffed peppers is fried. Basically, we also think that stir-fried rice tastes great. However, we have never tried it for the stuffed peppers recipe. And because the taste of our Turkish stuffed peppers is really convincing across the board, we won't be trying it for the time being.

Why do more work when everything fits? Right?


Turkish stuffed peppers: how to cut the tomatoes

For Turkish stuffed peppers, the peppers are closed with tomato slices. The side with the skin always peeks out - like a little red hat on the stuffed peppers.


But how does it work if only the first slice looks like this? We've often wondered the same thing. The trick is to cut a slice off each side of the tomato. At the bottom, all four sides and at the top by the stem - this creates tomato lids for six stuffed peppers. 


Turkish stuffed peppers recipe: Zeytinyagli Biber Dolmasi

Ingredients (for 7 stuffed peppers)

  • green peppers (preferably "Dolmalik peppers" from the Turkish supermarket)
  • 1 tbsp rice + 0.5 tbsp bulgur* per bell pepper
  • 1 large onion 
  • 1 tsp paprika paste (salca*)
  • 1 tsp paprika powder
  • 0.5 tsp dried mint*
  • Pul Biber* (if you like it spicier)
  • salt and pepper

For cooking

  • 1 tomato 
  • 1.5 tbsp tomato paste (domates salçası*)
  • 80 ml or 1/3 cup olive oil
  • water
  • optionally one potato
Turkish stuffed peppers


Step 1: Cut the stalks off the peppers and clean them.

Step 2: Prepare the filling. To do this, chop an onion and mix it with the rice, bulgur, paprika paste and spices.

Step 3: Use a small spoon to fill the peppers 3/4 full. Press the filling down firmly.

Step 4: Cut a tomato into slices on all sides so that each slice has an area of tomato skin on it. Cover each bell pepper with a tomato slice and press the slice into the bell pepper.

Step 5: Place the peppers upright in a pot. Add optional peeled and halved potatoes.

Step 6: Pour half of the olive oil over the peppers. Mix the tomato paste with a little water and pour it over the Turkish stuffed peppers. Add about 500 milliliters/2 cups of water and salt.

Step 7: Bring the stuffed peppers to boil. When everything is boiling, switch to a low heat and close the lid. Cook until the Turkish stuffed peppers and filling are done. Towards the end, pour the remaining olive oil over the Turkish stuffed peppers.

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