7 Veggies That Taste So Much Better Stuffed
Certain veggies are delicious on their own, but others are just better stuffed. Packing your vegetables with savory ingredients is the best way to turn your side dish into the main event. Stuffing your vegetables is also an easy way to add healthier food to your diet — all you need is an oven and a scooper. So the next time you’re in your kitchen, consider loading up these seven veggies with extra goodies.
If you’re looking for an appetizer to make for the holidays, try stuffed onions. Onions on their own are cheap, so you’ll just need to come up with the filling. Here’s a recipe for roasted stuffed onions with spinach, bacon, celery, country-style bread and cashews. All you need to do is chop off the tops, roast your onions, cook your filling, stuff them and bake the combination.
2. Red Peppers
The great thing about stuffed red peppers is how much space you’ll have inside once you cut them open. Here’s a recipe for stuffed red peppers with cherry tomatoes, feta and thyme. You can either cut them in half or cut the tops off. If you want something a little meatier, here’s a recipe for spicy Italian stuffed Bell peppers with ground beef (although you could use any meat you want), onion, rice, mushrooms, tomato sauce and seasonings.
The mildly nutty flavor of an artichoke can be compared to asparagus. Here’s a recipe for Italian-style stuffed artichokes that’ll make for a fun appetizer. Once you trim up the artichokes, you’ll stuff the leaves with a mixture of breadcrumbs, Pecorino Romano cheese, garlic, parsley and freshly ground black pepper. The artichokes are then steamed until tender.
When you’re stuffing an eggplant, you have a lot of surface area to work with. Once you hollow out the eggplants, check out this recipe for Lebanese-style stuffed eggplant with a cooked mixture of jasmine rice, pine nuts, onion, garlic, lamb, allspice, lemon and parsley topped with tomato sauce.
You can’t get more colorful than stuffed tomatoes. Plus, they’re perfect for a quick lunch. Stuffed tomatoes are often filled with meat, rice, onion, parsley, olive oil, mint and spices. Find a bunch of juicy stuffed tomato recipes here.
6. Squash Blossoms
The edible vibrant orange and yellow flowers from a zucchini are usually available from late spring through the warmer days of fall. These delicate blossoms have a mild squash taste and they’re best when stuffed. Here’s a recipe for ricotta-stuffed squash blossoms. All you do is make your cheese mixture and put it in a large Ziploc bag. Then, cut a hole a the bottom so you can pipe out your cheese. Fill each blossom with the cheese, dip the blossom in egg and breadcrumbs and then bake or fry them.
Pretty bitter on its own, kale is one of those vegetables you probably didn’t know you could stuff. Similar to stuffed grape leaves, you blanch and shock your kale (which just means you dump your kale leaves in boiling water for about 3 minutes and then throw them in a bowl of ice water). This process helps the kale to keep its vibrant green color. Here’s a recipe where kale leaves are stuffed with tabbouleh made of bulgur, cucumber and mint with a lime yogurt dipping sauce.