Lentil Stuffed Peppers | Kitchen Confidante | Baked

Lentil Stuffed Peppers

We were heading back to my daughter’s dance studio when my son stopped to tell me he had three reasons why he was lucky: 1. I have the food I need. 2. My family. 3. A happy heart. Three simple things. Three very profound things.…

Lentil Stuffed Peppers | Kitchen Confidante | Baked
Lentil Stuffed Peppers

Lentil Stuffed Peppers | Kitchen Confidante

We were heading back to my daughter’s dance studio when my son stopped to tell me he had three reasons why he was lucky:

1. I have the food I need.
2. My family.
3. A happy heart.

Three simple things. Three very profound things. I didn’t want to forget, so I asked him to repeat it for me, and I recorded his little voice so I could always remember. I wanted to share it with you:

3 Reasons I Am Lucky

You can hear him for yourself…and if you listen through to the end, you will also hear me trying to figure out how to work Evernote.

Lentil Stuffed Peppers | Kitchen Confidante | Bell Peppers
Lentil Stuffed Peppers | Kitchen Confidante | Black Beluga Lentils
Lentil Stuffed Peppers | Kitchen Confidante | Leeks

What’s most important is a happy heart, mama. So true, I nodded. You’re so wise, where did you learn that? I asked.

Kermit the Frog.


The same frog who brought us rainbow connections has taught my children a valuable lesson that many adults overlook.

Lentil Stuffed Peppers | Kitchen Confidante | Stuffing
Lentil Stuffed Peppers | Kitchen Confidante | With Yellow Squash

I thought of rainbows as I sautéed vegetables to create the filling for these Lentil Stuffed Peppers. Green leeks, yellow squash, red tomatoes, mixed with inky beluga lentils in the orange bell peppers. The bright hues and my son’s happy heart brought a smile to my face. I filled the peppers with the colors of the rainbow, healthy vegetables that I know I am lucky to have. I can thank my little guy…and Kermit…for reminding me.

Lentil Stuffed Peppers | Kitchen Confidante | Baked

Lentil Stuffed Peppers

Serves 4. | Prep: 20 minutes | Cook: 30 minutes

The term "eat the rainbow" comes to mind when I made these Lentil Stuffed Peppers: it's chock full of colorful vegetables, plus nutrient rich lentils, it can be a side dish or a meatless meal on its own. Of course, if you prefer, you can also add meat to this - crumble in some chicken sausage if you like something even heartier!


2 large bell peppers
1/2 cup black Beluga lentils
2 tablespoons olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
1 leek, quartered, sliced and washed
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 medium yellow squash, finely diced
1 cup grape tomatoes, halved
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon coriander
1/2 teaspoon marjoram
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
1 cup crumbled/grated cheese, such as feta, Gorgonzola, mozzarella
Fresh parsley, chopped, for garnish


Bring a medium pot filled partially with water (about 3 inches deep) to a boil. Halve the bell peppers, removing the pith and the seeds. Place the peppers in the boiling water, and let it cook for about 5 minutes. Remove and drain cavity side down on a paper towel or kitchen towel.

Cook the lentils in 1 1/2 cups water (for more flavor, use vegetable or chicken stock). Bring to a boil, then simmer for about 15 minutes. Drain and set aside.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Heat the olive oil in a deep sided sauté pan over medium heat. Add the leeks and the garlic, and cook until the leeks begin to wilt. Add the yellow squash and tomatoes, season to taste with salt and pepper, as well as the cumin, coriander, marjoram, and paprika. Cook for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Adjust seasoning if necessary, then stir in the balsamic vinegar, cooked lentils and 3/4 cup of the cheese.

Place the peppers in an ovenproof dish and fill with the lentil stuffing. Top with remaining cheese and drizzle lightly with a tiny bit of olive oil. Bake for about 15 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and the peppers are tender. Garnish with parsley and serve.

Adapted from Couscous & Feta Stuffed Peppers, SELF (September, 2000), via Epicurious.


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  1. Cindy

    LOVED this. Such a wonderful blend of flavors. Thanks for sharing!!!!

  2. Holly

    This looks so fabulous. I love lentils and I’m always looking for new flavors to cook with them. I’m bookmarking this to make ASAP.

    • Liren

      Hi, I used straightneck yellow squash, but either crookneck or straightneck will work in this recipe. Good luck!

  3. Liz Barbo

    Heart warming. And good food too!

    From the mouths of babes…

    • Liren

      We’ve got to remember those little nuggets, right Liz? They grow up so fast, I can just imagine all that A says to you!

    • Liren

      Thanks, Laura! I can’t wait for all the colorful produce to start hitting the markets., that’s for sure!

  4. Gina

    He sure is lucky. Lucky you cook for him and that you prepare such tasty and healthy meals for him. I like how your peppers held their shape too because they didn’t have to bake too much. I miss the Muppets. Hope you are having a great week. Last week for me, then we are on break.

    • Liren

      Gina, you’re too kind! I do my best, it’s all I can do for him. This was the first time I tried parboiling the peppers, and I have to say, I really liked it! It wasn’t cooked to mush, and I appreciated that. Hang in there, the weekend is upon us, hope you go through the week! xo

  5. Brian

    Your son is incredibly wise… and I doubt that he just learned that from the Muppets (though, there are lots of life lessons one can pull from them), but from you, his wonderful mama.

  6. Laura

    This was such a sweet reminder to take in. Kermit the frog… he just knows. Also it’s amazing that the lesson got through to your little guy. So many adults forget this over time. Also, loving this recipe Liren. Nice colourful goodness to get us through the last bit of winter.

    • Liren

      Right? Kermit is awesome. And it is sad how the messages get lost on us sometimes. I’m glad kids do listen :)

      Happy you liked the post, Laura, it was just what I needed this week – spring is teasing us!

  7. Cookin Canuck

    That is so sweet! I love how he says “lucky” in the recording. :)

    And now I’m feeling lucky that I ran across this recipe. What a great mix of veggies and lean protein.!

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