Deconstructed Stuffed Peppers with Pearl Barley

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In the mood for stuffed peppers but don’t want to put in the work? This deconstructed stuffed peppers with pearl barley recipe gives you all the great flavours of real stuffed peppers but in a fraction of the time and with the extra benefit of fibres. No oven required!

Photo of deconstructed stuffed pepper with pearl barley in a pan on the table

Stuffed peppers are a favourite recipe of many families, but if you’re like like me and the thought of cooking them makes you sigh, this recipe for deconstructed stuffed peppers should be right up you alley. 

Besides being much easier to make because you don’t have to spend time stuffing peppers and baking them in the oven, this recipe is also healthier because it’s made with pearl barley, which contains no less than 17.3 grams of fiber per 100 grams (uncooked). It’s also great if you’re following a low-cal diet, as it has under 300 calories per serving (if you make it with lean mince).

You can, of course, make the deconstructed stuffed peppers with rice instead, but make sure you adjust the cooking times. Pearl barley requires more simmering than rice, but the end result is so worth it. 

What type of barley should you use for stuffed peppers?

Pearl barley works best for this recipe because it cooks quicker than other common types, such as pot barley for example. You don’t need to soak pearl barley before using it, which is what I like best about it because most days I decide what I want to cook for dinner two hours before said dinner.

If you want to use pot barley in this recipe, you should soak it overnight in cold water. The main difference between pot barley and pearl barley is that pot barley has most of the barley bran intact.

Photo of deconstructed stuffed pepper with pearl barley in a pan on the table

How do you make the deconstructed stuffed peppers?

In a large pan, heat the oil over medium heat and add the onions. Fry for 5 minutes until they soften. Add the chopped garlic and cook for another minute. 

Add the mince, break it  and cook for 8-10 minutes until the meat is browned. Break it down as needed in the pan so you don’t have large lumps. 

Stir in the chopped peppers and cook for 2-3 minutes until they soften a bit. Mix in the tomato paste, Italian seasoning and bay leaves, and stir well. 

Continue to cook for another 2-3 minutes to allow the fragrances to go in.

Step by step photo instructions on how to make deconstructed stuffed pepper with pearl barley

Stir in the pearl barley and cook for 1 minute. Add the passata and stock and bring to a boil. Turn the heat to low and simmer with a lid on for 30 minutes or until the pearl barley is done to your liking. Stir occasionally and add more stock if it looks too dry. 

Stir in the chopped parsley and cook for another minute. Season to taste.

This dish is perfect on its own, but you can serve it with dome fresh crusty bread if you want.

Photo of a bowl of deconstructed stuffed pepper with pearl barley

Can you freeze this dish?

Yes, these deconstructed barley stuffed peppers can be easily frozen, so you can make the dish ahead and enjoy it on a busy weeknight. It will last in the freezer for up to thre months in an artight freezer-safe container. Just make sure you allow the food to cool completely before transferring it to the container.

To reheat the dish, leave it overnight to thaw in the fridge, then reheat it in a pan on the hob, stirring often and making sure it’s piping hot (best to bring it to a boil). If it looks too dry, you can add some water or vegetable stock.

If you liked this deconstructed stuffed pepper with pearl barley recipe, have a look at some of my other one-pot easy dinner recipes:

White Minestrone Soup with Barley and Beans

Easy Lemon Prawn Risotto

30-Minute Vegan Chickpea and Spinach Curry

Looking for more delicious inspiration? Follow Skinny Spatula on InstagramFacebook, and Pinterest! 

Yield: 6

Deconstructed Stuffed Peppers with Pearl Barley

Photo of a pan with deconstructed stuffed pepper with pearl barley

In the mood for stuffed peppers but don’t want to put in the work? This deconstructed stuffed peppers with pearl barley recipe gives you all the great flavours of real stuffed peppers but in a fraction of the time and with the extra benefit of fibres.

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Total Time 1 hour

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large onion
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 400 g (1 pound) lean beef mince
  • 2 peppers, chopped
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 2-3 bay leaves
  • 1 tbsp Italian seasoning
  • 250 g (1 1/4 cup) pearl barley
  • 500 ml (2 1/2 cups) beef stock
  • 300 ml (1 1/3 cup) passata
  • 1 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped

Instructions

    1. In a large pan, heat the oil over medium heat and add the onions. Fry for 5 minutes until they soften. Add the chopped garlic and cook for another minute.
    2. Add the mince, break it and cook for 8-10 minutes until the meat is browned. Break it down as needed in the pan so you don't have large lumps.
    3. Stir in the chopped peppers and cook for 2-3 minutes until they soften a bit. Mix in the tomato paste, Italian seasoning and bay leaves, and stir well. Continue to cook for another 2-3 minutes to allow the fragrances to go in.
    4. Stir in the pearl barley and cook for 1 minute. Add the passata and stock and bring to a boil. Turn the heat to low and simmer with a lid on for 30 minutes or until the pearl barley is done to your liking. Stir occasionally and add more stock if it looks too dry.
    5. Stir in the chopped parsley and cook for another minute. Season to taste.
    6. Serve on its own or with some crusty bread.

Nutrition Information

Yield

6

Serving Size

1

Amount Per Serving Calories 257Total Fat 10gSaturated Fat 3gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 6gCholesterol 59mgSodium 229mgCarbohydrates 19gFiber 3gSugar 3gProtein 23g

Nutritional information is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator.

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