Stuffing Vegetables

Stuffing vegetables is a great way to present special side dishes for holiday dinners. Side dishes are always the most requested recipes for holidays and special occasions. Many cooks end up serving the same old simple vegetables which they have always served. There are so many “exciting” ways to present vegetables to your family and friends. One of these ways is accomplished by filling your favorite veggies with great tasting mixtures. 

Stuffing VegetablesStuffing Vegetables

The following list will give you some great ideas for stuffing vegetables; miniature pumpkins, all kinds of peppers, eggplant, zucchini, all kinds of squash, cucumbers, artichokes, kohlrabi, beets, turnips, tomatoes, white potatoes and sweet potatoes will give you some great ideas. When stuffing vegetables for the holidays fillings can include most of your favorite ingredients from all types of vegetables, bread pudding or any type of grain and bread stuffing. Sometimes the recipe will instruct you to precook and sometimes fresh vegetables will be used.


STUFFING PEPPERS

NOTE: If you are stuffing vegetables and using hot peppers, always wear plastic gloves.

Monster Pepper PeopleMonster Pepper People
Monster Pepper People Stuffed with Potato SaladMonster Pepper People Stuffed with Potato Salad

These MONSTER PEPPER PEOPLE are great when stuffing vegetables, especially for the kids. Select large shapely bell peppers; green, red, orange, yellow or purple. Wash the pepper in fresh cold water and dry. Cut the pepper around the stem end; remove core and seeds. At the opposite end cut out the mouth. The shape of each pepper will suggest where to place the eyes, nose, chin, cheeks or other facial features. Cut pieces of vegetables like carrots for eyes, red pepper for a tongue, broccoli and cauliflower for the hair and teeth from radishes. (Use imagination).

NOTE: If your kids do not like to eat the peppers only the filling, wash them, chop and use in soups or stews. My kids always liked potato, macaroni and tuna salads as stuffing.

SPANISH RICE STUFFED BELL PEPPERS

When stuffing vegetables as a side dish, I try not to add a lot of meat in them.

  • 2 Large green bell peppers (Cut in half and seeded)
  • ¼ Teaspoon salt
  • 1 Tablespoon butter
  • 1 Can (3 Ounces) sliced mushrooms (Drain)
  • 1 Can (10 ½ Ounces) condensed tomato soup (NOT diluted)
  • 1 Can (15 Ounces) Spanish rice
  • ¼ Cup sour cream

Preheat oven to 350F degrees.

Bring 2 cups water to boil in medium saucepan; add peppers and salt.

Cover and simmer peppers for 10 minutes; drain.

In skillet sauté mushroom in hot butter for 3 minutes.

Gradually add to skillet tomato soup stirring until boiling.

Fill pepper halves with the Spanish rice; place in baking dish.

Pour soup mixture around peppers; bake 15 minutes.

Top each half with spoonful of sour cream; serves 4.


SPANISH STUFFED PEPPERS (Using jalapenos, banana or other small peppers)

Sometimes when stuffing vegetables, I do add some bacon for flavor.

  • 1 Pound tomatoes (Blanch, peel, chop)
  • 1 Onion (Chop)
  • 1 Clove minced garlic 
  • ½ Cup olive oil (Divided)
  • ½ Teaspoon oregano
  • Salt/ pepper
  • 8 Green peppers (Jalapeno, banana or favorite; allow 2 per serving)
  • 1 Pound slab bacon
  • 2 Cups soft breadcrumbs

Preheat oven to 400F degrees.

Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in skillet; add tomatoes, onion, garlic and oregano.

Season with salt and pepper; simmer until reduced by half; set aside.

Cut off stem end of peppers and remove seeds; set aside.

Blanch peppers in boiling salt water 5 minutes; drain and set aside.

For stuffing grind the bacon and mix with bread crumbs; season to taste. 

Pour 1 teaspoon olive oil in each pepper; fill with stuffing.

Place peppers in baking dish; spoon tomato mixture around peppers.

Cover peppers with foil; bake for 45 minutes.


STUFFED POTATO RECIPES

NOTE: When making stuffed vegetables for the holidays like potatoes, it is easier to scoop the flesh out while they are still hot. Use a clean towel or mitts to hold the potatoes. Just be careful not to get burned.

STUFFED BAKED POTATOES

Stuffed Baked PotatoesStuffed Baked Potatoes

Potatoes are always great to use when stuffing vegetables for the holidays.

  • 3 Large baking potatoes
  • 1 ½ Teaspoons vegetable oil
  • ½ Cup sliced green onion
  • 1/2 Cup melted butter (Divided)
  • ½ Cup light cream
  • 1 Package (3 Ounces) softened cream cheese
  • 1 Teaspoon salt
  • ½ Teaspoon white pepper
  • 1 Cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 2 Ounces diced pimientos OPTIONAL
  • 1 Cup chopped cooked ham or turkey OPTIONAL
  • Paprika

Preheat oven to 400F degrees.

Rub potatoes with oil and pierce the skin with fork.

Bake about 80 minutes or until tender; cool to handle.

Cut potato in half lengthwise; scoop out pulp into a mixing bowl.

Sauté onions in ¼ CUP butter in skillet until tender.

Add onions to the pulp in bowl with potato pulp.

Add cream, cream cheese, salt and pepper to potato pulp.

Beat mixture until creamy and smooth; fold in the cheese.

Fold in OPTIONAL ingredients if desired.

Fill the potato shells with mixture; place in baking pan.

Drizzle stuffed potatoes with remaining ¼ cup melted butter.

Sprinkle with paprika; bake for 20 to 30 minutes.

NOTE: Potatoes can be stuffed ahead, refrigerated and heated before serving.

6 Servings.


TWICE BAKED POTATOES with horseradish

  • 4 Medium russet potatoes (About 7 ounces each)
  • 5 Tablespoons softened butter
  • ½ Cup PLUS 2 tablespoons grated Romano cheese
  • ½ Cup sour cream (At room temperature)
  • ¼ cup light cream (At room temperature)
  • 2 Tablespoons PLUS 2 teaspoons finely grated horseradish
  • 1 Tablespoons finely chopped chives PLUS for garnish
  • Salt/ pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 400F degrees; place rack in center of oven.

Pierce potatoes with fork; place potatoes directly on rack in oven.

Bake 50 to 60 minutes until tender.

While still hot hold with a towel; cut off ¼ of potato lengthwise.

With spoon scoop out flesh into bowl leaving enough flesh for shell.

Add 4 tablespoons of the butter to the potato flesh.

Mash with potato mashes to mash but not smooth.

Stir in the ½ cup of Romano cheese, sour cream and light cream.

Add 2 tablespoons of the horseradish, chives, 1 teaspoon salt and a little pepper.

Stir mixture until blended; spoon mixture into the potato shells.

Cut the remaining butter into 4 parts; place 1 part on each potato.

Place potatoes in a baking pan or dish.

Combine remaining 2 Tablespoons Romano cheese, and 2 teaspoons horseradish.

Blend mixture with fingers; sprinkle over the stuffed potatoes.

Bake about 20 minutes until heated through and tops are golden brown.

Top with chives; serves 4.


STUFFED BAKED SWEET POTATOES

When stuffing vegetables, especially for Thanksgiving, I love sweet potatoes.

4 Medium sweet potatoes (Washed)

Preheat oven to 375F degrees;

Bake potatoes 45 minutes to 1 hour until tender.

Cut slice off top of each potato lengthwise; scoop pulp out into bowl.

Reserve shells leaving in enough potato to hold shape.

Make preferred filling and stuff potatoes; serves 4. 

Return filled potatoes to the oven until heated about 12 to 15 minutes.


Stuffing vegetables using FILLING OPTION 1 for sweet potatoes:

  • Pulp from baked sweet potatoes
  • 1 Small ripe banana (Peeled)
  • 2 Tablespoons butter
  • 1/3 Cup fresh orange juice
  • 1 Tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 ½ Teaspoons salt
  • ¼ Cup chopped pecans 

TO MAKE FILLING 1: mash banana with the sweet potatoes.

Add the butter, orange juice, brown sugar and salt.

Beat mixture thoroughly; spoon mixture into shells.

Sprinkle with the pecans; place on baking sheet.

Return to oven 12 to 15 minutes.


Stuffing vegetables using FILLING OPTION 2 for sweet potatoes:

  • Pulp from baked sweet potatoes
  • ½ Cup hot milk
  • 3 Tablespoons butter
  • ½ Cup brown sugar
  • ¼ Teaspoon salt
  • ½ Cup chopped black walnuts
  • 2 Tablespoons melted butter

TO MAKE FILLING 2: mash the potatoes with the hot milk.

Beat in the sugar, butter and salt; fold in ¼ CUP of the nuts.

Fill shells with the mashed sweet potatoes.

Sprinkle tops with melted butter and remaining ¼ CUP nuts.

Return to oven about 15 minutes.


STUFFED TOMATOES

Stuffed Tomatoes Cheese Stuffed Filling Option 2Stuffed Tomatoes Cheese Stuffed Filling Option 2

 Use TOMATOES when stuffing vegetables for taste and beauty.

Start with 4 LARGE FIRM TOMATOES. Cut the lids off the top of each tomato and set aside. Scoop out the pulp (RESERVE PULP; some fillings use it) and discard the seeds. Season inside the tomato shells. Turn tomatoes upside down on paper towels to drain.


VEGETABLE FILLING OPTION 1 for tomatoes:

When stuffing vegetables mixed vegetables always work.

  • 3 Large waxy potatoes (Peeled and diced)
  • 3 Carrots (Scrape and dice)
  • ¼ Pound green beans (Trim and dice)
  • 2 Stalks celery (Wash, trim and dice)
  • Salt/pepper
  • 1 Cup frozen peas
  • 6 Tablespoons mayonnaise
  • Lemon juice
  • Basil leaves
  • Hard cooked eggs

TO MAKE FILLING OPTION 1: place all diced vegetables in boiling salted water.

Cook vegetables for 5 minutes; add peas and cook another 5 minutes until tender.

Drain vegetables well and cool.

Add mayonnaise and few drops of lemon juice to the cooled vegetables.

Season with salt and pepper and mix well.

Fill tomato shells with the vegetable mixture; arrange on the serving plate.

Garnish with basil leaves and sliced hard cooked egg.



CHEESE STUFFED FILLING OPTION 2: for tomatoes

When stuffing vegetables you will often find cheese in the recipes.

  • ¾ Cup RESERVED tomato pulp (Chopped)
  • 1 ½ Cups grated Swiss cheese
  • 1 Beaten egg
  • 5 Tablespoons chopped onion
  • ½ Teaspoon marjoram
  • 1 Teaspoon prepared mustard
  • 2 Tablespoons melted butter
  • 1/3 cup herb stuffing mix PLUS for topping

TO MAKE OPTION 3: Preheat oven to 350F degrees.

Combine pulp with remaining ingredients.

Spoon into tomato shells; sprinkle with a few stuffing crumbs.

Place tomatoes in buttered baking dish; bake 25 minutes.



Stuffing vegetables using AU GRATIN FILLING OPTION 3 for tomatoes:

  • Reserved chopped tomato pulp (Chop)
  • 1 ½ Pounds fresh peas
  • 1 Onion (Finely chopped
  • 2 Tablespoons cooking oil
  • Salt/ pepper
  • ¼ cup butter
  • 2 Tablespoons flour
  • 1 Cup milk
  • 1 Cup grated cheddar cheese (Divided)
  • 1 Tablespoons soft bread crumbs

TO MAKE FILLING 3: heat oil in skillet; cook onion until transparent.

Add the peas, cover and cook for 5 minutes; stir in chopped tomato pulp.

Season with salt and pepper; cover and cook 10 minutes.

Melt butter in a saucepan; stir in the flour and cook 1 minutes.

Gradually stir in the milk; bring to a simmer stirring until thickened.

Mix ¾ cup of the cheese into the milk mixture.

Mix cheese sauce into pea mixture; fill prepared tomatoes.

Arrange filled tomatoes in buttered ovenproof baking dish.

Mix remaining ¼ cup of cheese with the bread crumbs; sprinkle over tomatoes.

Bake for 20 minutes and serve hot.



Stuffing vegetables using SWEET PUDDING OPTION 4:

  • 1 ½ to 2 Cups (Varies with size of tomatoes) dry bread cubes (Crusts removed)
  • 1 Cup brown sugar
  • ½ Cup tomato puree
  • ¼ Cup water 
  • ½ Cup melted butter

TO MAKE FILLING OPTION 4: preheat oven to 350F degrees.

Place tomato shells in a buttered casserole dish.

Place bread cubes in tomato shells.

Pour melted butter over the bread crumbs.

Combine brown sugar, tomato puree and water in a saucepan.

Bring mixture to a slow boil and cook 5 minutes.

Pour hot mixture over the bread crumbs (Do NOT stir).

Bake 20 to 25 minutes; serve immediately.


STUFFED EGGPLANT

Removing Pulp from SquashRemoving Pulp from Squash

TO PREPARE EGGPLANT (or SQUASH) FOR STUFFING: Cut each eggplant in half lengthwise. Make several slits into flesh but DO NOT cut through the skin. Sprinkle inside flesh with salt and let stand 30 minutes. PREHEAT OVEN to 375F degrees. Drain eggplants and pat dry with paper towels. Place cut side down in baking pan. Pour into the pan about 1 cup boiling water. Bake about 15 minutes or just until tender. Cool on rack. Scoop out pulp leaving ¼ inch shell. Chop pulp coarsely and set aside.

TIP: For a milder flavor of eggplant, I soak it in salted water several hours to overnight.

STUFFED EGGPLANT RECIPE

When stuffing vegetables remember these recipes can compliment any simple meal.

  • 3 to 4 Small eggplant (Precooked; see above)
  • ¼ Cup olive oil
  • 2 Large minced onions
  • 1 Cup minced celery
  • 1 Carrot (Thinly sliced)
  • 2 Tablespoons white rice
  • 1 Clove minced garlic
  • ½ Cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 Teaspoon mint
  • ½ Teaspoon oregano
  • ½ Teaspoon thyme
  • 1 Can (8 Ounces) whole tomatoes (Drain)
  • Salt/ Pepper to taste
  • Chopped pulp from eggplant

Sauté onion in hot oil; add celery and next 8 ingredients.

Stir in chopped pulp from cooked eggplant; PREHEAT OVEN TO 350 F degrees.

Season with salt and pepper; cover and simmer 20 to 30 minutes stirring occasionally.

Fill precooked eggplant halves and place on rack in baking pan.

Pour in 1 cup boiling water under rack; bake 25 to 30 minutes until thoroughly heated.


STUFFED EGGPLANT RECIPE

Stuffing vegetables like eggplant make great side dishes.

  • 3 Medium eggplants (About 1 lb each; PRECOOKED see above)

Filling

  • ¼ Cup butter
  • 1 Cup chopped onion
  • 2 Cups peeled chopped fresh tomatoes 
  • 1 to 2 Teaspoons salt
  • ¼ Teaspoon pepper
  • 1 Teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/2 Teaspoon oregano
  • 2 Cups chopped cooked ham
  • ½ Cup fine bread crumbs
  • Chopped eggplant pulp

Topping

  • ½ Cup breadcrumbs
  • ¼ Teaspoon oregano
  • ¼ Cup melted butter
  • 6 Slices mozzarella cheese (Cut in half)
  • 12 Anchovy fillets
  • 2 Tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

PREHEAT OVEN TO 375F degrees.

TO MAKE FILLING melt butter in skillet; add onions and sauté until golden 5 minutes.

Stir in tomatoes and remaining filling ingredients; cover and simmer 5 minutes.

Fill eggplant shells with mixture mounding slightly; place in shallow pan.

TO MAKE TOPPING combine crumbs, oregano and melted butter; sprinkle over tops.

Top each half with 2 pieces of cheese; place 2 anchovy fillets on each.

Bake until cheese melts about 15 minutes; garnish each with 1 teaspoon chopped parsley.


BAKED STUFFED ONIONS

I love using onions when stuffing vegetables.

  • 6 Yellow onions (About 4 pounds; peeled)
  • 1 ½ Teaspoons salt
  • 1 Can (3 Ounces) chopped mushrooms (Drain)
  • ½ Cup fresh white breadcrumbs (Fine)
  • ¼ Cup crisp crumbled bacon
  • 1/8 Teaspoon pepper
  • 2 Teaspoons dried thyme
  • 2 Tablespoons melted butter
  • 1 Cup grated Cheddar cheese (Divided)
  • 3 Tablespoons chopped parsley (Divided)

Place onions in large pan; add ½ teaspoon salt and cover with water.

Bring to a boil, cover and simmer 30 minutes; drain and cool.

Spoon out center of onions leaving several layers for a shell.

TO MAKE FILLING chop scooped out onion very fine; measure 2 cups.

PREHEAT OVEN to 400F degrees.

Combine chopped onion, breadcrumbs and next 4 ingredients.

Add ½ cup of the cheese and 2 tablespoons of parsley.

Mix well mounding high in onion shells; place in shallow baking pan.

Pour ½ cup of water around them; bake 20 minutes.

Sprinkle tops with remaining cheese; bake 10 minutes longer.

To serve sprinkle tops with remaining parsley.


SPINACH STUFFED MUSHROOMS

Spinach Stuffed MushroomsSpinach Stuffed Mushrooms

I love this recipe when stuffing vegetables.

  • 24 Large fresh mushrooms
  • ¼ Cup butter
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped green pepper
  • 3 Tablespoons finely chopped celery
  • 4 Finely chopped green onions
  • 1 Clove minced garlic
  • 1 Package (12 Ounces) frozen spinach soufflé (Thaw)

Preheat oven to 350F degrees.

Clean mushrooms with a clean damp towel remove stems for other use.

Melt butter in skillet; coat mushroom caps with butter and place in casserole dish.

Sauté green pepper and next 3 ingredients in the skillet with butter.

Stir the spinach soufflé into the veggies in the skillet; cook until thoroughly heated.

Spoon mixture into mushroom caps; cover and bake 15 minutes.


STUFFING VEGETABLES ZUCCHINI 

  • 3 Medium zucchini (Precooked)
  • 1 Pound smoked sausage (Cook and chop)
  • 1 Large chopped onion
  • 6 Tablespoons butter
  • ¼ Pound mild cheese (Cheddar or white; grated)
  • Salt/pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350F degrees.

Cut squash in half lengthwise; scoop out centers leaving a shell.

Chop scooped out squash into a bowl; add sausage and onion.

Cut 2 small slits in bottom of shells; fill with sausage mixture.

Place a tablespoon of butter on each half; place in baking pan.

Bake about 30 minutes; top with cheese and bake until cheese melts.

Serve hot; serves 6.

› Stuffed Vegetables

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