Turkish Stuffed Bell Peppers

We’re home from Portland and I miss it SO much already. It actually looked like Fall there!

On Saturday we woke up early to run over to my old high school. I did a timed mile and was 11 seconds faster than my last one (two weeks ago) with a 6:42. Yay!

I have so many great memories from that track.

After the run we met up with Kelsey and her husband for coffee! I’ve been internet-friends with her for about 3 years so it was awesome to finally meet in person.

We’ve never had much time in Portland to just get out and explore by ourselves, because our visits are usually short and there are so many people there to see. But this trip we made sure to leave some time open to check out some different neighborhoods.

Mike and I are pretty convinced that San Francisco has the best coffee of any city in America, but I know some people argue that Portland is better. We’d heard Stumptown was kind of overrated, so we went to Coffeehouse Northwest (19th and West Burnside) to see how it compared to our San Francisco favorites.

The lattes were amazing, and so was the ginger cookie.
Next we crossed the river and drove up to NE Alberta Street. There was pretty much nothing there when I was in high school, so it’s kind of crazy to see how much that neighborhood has changed.

I bought some yarn at Close Knit, an adorable yarn store with super friendly employees. My goal is to knit Mike a hat before I go back to work (a week from TODAY!)

I’ve professed my love for Bi-Rite Creamery a few times, but I think I have found my new favorite ice cream. Salt and Straw has so many great flavors. Mike got a scoop of pear with Rogue blue cheese (genius!) and I got a scoop of almond brittle with salted ganache.

As always, we ate way too much while we were in Portland, but it was a really fun trip that went by way too fast.

This week, I’m planning on cooking lots of healthy dinners like this. These are cute, flavorful, and not too heavy. I switched out white rice in favor of brown, which I soaked for a few hours so it would cook a little faster.

Turkish Stuffed Bell Peppers


  • 1 cup brown rice
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 3 tbsp pine nuts
  • 3 tbsp raisins
  • 1 large tomato, chopped
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp allspice
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh mint
  • 1 tsp dried dill
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 6 medium red bell peppers


  1. Soak the rice in plenty of water for 3-4 hours, then drain.
  2. Heat the oil in a large saucepan and add the onion. Fry for about 3 minutes, then stir in the rice and cook for another 3 minutes.
  3. Stir in 2 cups of water and a pinch of salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, for about 15 minutes or until the water is mostly absorbed. Add a pinch of salt and pepper, then add additional water about 1/4 of a cup at a time, until the rice is nearly done (it should still be a tiny bit chewy - it will soften as the peppers bake in the oven).
  4. Stir in the remaining ingredients (except for the peppers). Adjust seasonings to taste
  5. Preheat the oven to 375 F.
  6. Cut a circle around the stem end of the peppers and remove all the seeds (keep the caps). Fill each pepper with the rice mixture, then place the caps on top.
  7. Arrange the peppers in a baking dish and add about 1" of water. Bake for about 40 minutes, or until peppers are tender.

(adapted from Arabesque: A Taste of Morocco, Turkey, and Lebanon)

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10 comments to Turkish Stuffed Bell Peppers

  • Ahhhh Coffeehouse Northwest! That was my “home” coffee shop when I lived in Portland during the summer of 2010, and I still miss it. It looks like you had an awesome trip!

  • So jealous that you got to hang out with Kelsey! And you look like you didn’t even have a baby recently. Good luck with the hat-knitting!

  • Jen

    can’t believe you ran a 6:42. so awesome cate!

    portland is on my list of cities that i wish to visit at some point. really want to check out the pacific northwest.

  • You had me at Turkish. That’s my people :) (my dad was an immigrant)

    great job on your KICK ASS mile!

  • I didn’t know you knit! Knit date!

  • You found somewhere to out do Bi-Rite!? I am floored. Salted Caramel from Bi-Rite is my fav!

  • 6:42? so speedy :) your Portland trip looks amazing! the coffee, the ice cream, the knitting shop.. I’ve been seriously knitting since the beginning of the month, trying to knock out some Christmas presents. There’s also an adorable knitting shop in my neighborhood called “a verb for keeping warm.”

  • Hooray for Portland! It was SO fun to meet up with you. You and your family are adorable. I hope we get to meet up again sometime soon :-)

    Thanks for the coffee and ice cream recs. I’ve got one for you, as well. We went to dinner at Navarre, which is a French small plates place in Laurelhurst. We did the tasting menu with wine, which can be done vegetarian upon request. So tasty!

  • My knitting goal is a stocking and I NEED to get on that.

  • rachel

    It looks delicious “biber dolması” stuffed peppers in turkish They can be served 2-3 tablespoon plain turkish yogurt with 1 crushed garlic clove as usually Turks do.
    But do you know, the bell peppers they use are different american ones.They are small and delicate, with very fine skin.

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