Stuffed peppers were one of my favorite meals growing up- but these are not your typical stuffed peppers. Töltött paprika or Hungarian stuffed peppers are comprised of meatballs with onion and barley (0r rice) stuffed inside a pepper (my family uses green bell peppers) and slow-cooked in a rich tomato broth. When the meatballs are cooked through, the tomato broth is thickened and flavored with sour cream, and the whole thing is served over fluffy mashed potatoes. It’s the ultimate in Hungarian comfort food.
Unfortunately, I haven’t found a meat substitute that has the right flavor for this dish, so I opted to leave the “meatballs” out altogether. Instead, I just roughly chop the peppers, and cook them together with onion and barley in the tomato sauce. The flavors remain very similar, and the result is a delicious, tomatoey stew that is both rich and wonderfully warming on a cold winter night!
Vegetarian Töltött paprika – Hungarian “Stuffed Peppers” – Serves 3
- 3 C tomato juice
- 1 lg green bell pepper, roughly chopped
- 1/3 C pearl barley
- 1/4 C chopped onion
- 2 T all-purpose flour
- 3-4 T Sour cream
- Salt, to taste
Add all ingredients (except flour, salt, and sour cream) to a medium pot and simmer over medium-low heat until barley and peppers are cooked through and tender, 15-20 minutes.
Mix flour with water to make a paste, then whisk into tomato juice. Cook until thickened, 2-3 minutes. Stir in sour cream and season with salt to taste.
Serve hot over fluffy mashed potatoes.