Caprese Stuffed Peppers

published Jul 5, 2021
Mediterranean Monday
Caprese Stuffed Peppers

Fill roasted bell pepper halves with a mix of colorful tomatoes, basil, and burrata or fresh mozzarella for the ultimate mid-summer meal.

Serves4 to 6

Prep20 minutes

Cook35 minutes to 45 minutes

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caprese stuffed peppers on a plate
Credit: Photo: Kristin Teig; Food Styling: Catrine Kelty

Warm roasted bell peppers piled high with juicy tomatoes, fresh basil, and cool, creamy burrata is summer eating at its very best. It’s a barely-cook dinner that’s bursting with the flavors and colors of early July. Serve it al fresco, with crusty bread and a bottle of your favorite rosé, and toast to your new go-to dinner.

Credit: Photo: Kristin Teig; Food Styling: Catrine Kelty

A New Way to Eat Caprese for Dinner

Caprese salad is a beloved Italian summer dish. When it’s peak tomato season, it’s hard to improve on the classic combination of tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, and basil. But while we wait for those juicy summer tomatoes to appear, I like to make these caprese-inspired stuffed peppers.

You’ll start by scattering red bell pepper halves with garlic. Roast the peppers until tender but not yet falling apart. Then, fill the pepper halves with sweet cherry tomatoes that are dressed in a quick homemade basil dressing. Finish with torn burrata, toasted pine nuts, and basil leaves for an intentionally rustic and totally delicious affair.

What’s great about this recipe is that cherry tomatoes are sweet even now, before late-summer tomatoes arrive, so you can and should start making this dish right this minute. If you can’t get ahold of ultra-luxe burrata cheese, don’t hesitate to reach for a ball of fresh mozzarella instead. I also left the toasted pine nuts as an optional finish. I love the toasty, (albeit untraditional) crunch they add, but if you don’t have them on hand, there’s no need to run out to buy them.

Caprese Stuffed Peppers

Fill roasted bell pepper halves with a mix of colorful tomatoes, basil, and burrata or fresh mozzarella for the ultimate mid-summer meal.

Prep time 20 minutes

Cook time 35 minutes to 45 minutes

Serves 4 to 6

Nutritional Info

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup

    plus 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided

  • 4

    medium red bell peppers

  • 2 cloves

    garlic

  • 1/2 teaspoon

    kosher salt, plus more for seasoning

  • 1/4 teaspoon

    freshly ground black pepper, plus more for seasoning

  • 2 pints

    cherry or grape tomatoes, preferably multi-colored (about 4 cups total)

  • 1 cup

    packed fresh basil leaves

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons

    red wine vinegar

  • 2 tablespoons

    pine nuts (optional)

  • 1 (8-ounce) ball

    burrata or fresh mozzarella cheese

  • Flaky salt, for serving (optional)

Instructions

  1. Arrange 2 racks to divide the oven in thirds and heat the oven to 375ºF. Drizzle 1 tablespoon of the olive oil into a 9x13-inch baking dish and tilt the dish to coat.

  2. Halve 4 medium red bell peppers lengthwise. Pull out the stem, ribs, and seeds. Arrange the peppers cut-side up in a single layer in the baking dish. Thinly slice 2 garlic cloves and scatter into the peppers. Drizzle the peppers with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil, then season with 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper.

  3. Roast on the lower rack until tender and slightly charred at the edges, but still holding their shape, 35 to 40 minutes. Meanwhile, prepare the tomatoes and toast the pine nuts if desired.

  4. Halve 2 pints cherry or grape tomatoes and place in a medium bowl. Pick 1 cup packed basil leaves, then set aside 4 of the largest leaves for garnish. Place the remaining basil leaves, remaining 1/4 cup olive oil, 1 1/2 tablespoons red wine vinegar, a generous pinch of kosher salt, and a few grinds of black pepper in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the blade attachment. Process until mostly smooth, about 10 seconds. Pour over the tomatoes and toss to coat.

  5. About 10 minutes before the peppers are done, spread 2 tablespoons pine nuts out in a small rimmed baking pan, such as a quarter sheet pan or pie plate. Bake on the upper rack until golden-brown and toasted, tossing halfway through, 5 to 7 minutes total.

  6. When the peppers are ready, let cool for a few minutes. Transfer cut-side up to a serving platter. Divide the tomatoes and any vinaigrette or juices that remain in the bowl among the peppers, letting some spill over onto the platter. Tear 1 (8-ounce) fresh burrata or mozzarella cheese ball into bite-sized pieces and scatter over the peppers. Tear the reserved basil leaves and scatter over the cheese. Sprinkle with the pine nuts, several grinds of black pepper, and a generous pinch of flaky salt, if using.

Recipe Notes

Storage: Leftovers can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 3 days.