They are pretty much the perfect meal on their own, so what are the best sides for stuffed peppers? You need to find something that will go with the lightly spicy flavor of the pepper, the heartiness of the meat, and the texture of the rice.
It isn’t easy to figure out something that will balance out the nutritional value of the pepper and not overpower the part of the meal that you probably put the most work into.
What Goes With Stuffed Peppers? Our 10 Choices
So what some good side dishes for stuffed peppers? There are a few different ways you can go. You can try to find a healthier side dish for the peppers, if you are going to use a lot of cheese. You can pick something heartier if you make your peppers a bit smaller. Maybe you want to take some of the traditional toppings and move them to the side. It’s up to you, we are just here to give you some ideas:
1 – Potatoes To Your Liking
There are a few different ways to make stuffed peppers, so if you don’t stuff them with rice, you can choose to serve them with something that is heartier, like potatoes.
No matter how you make your potatoes, they will help to round out the meal. If your peppers are spicy, you will be able to cool down some of the heat.
Some of the best ways to add potatoes to your stuffed pepper meal include:
- Seasoned potato wedges
- Roasted baby potatoes
- Tater tots
- Potato pancakes
These are just a few options. Of course, you can’t go wrong with a good french fry either. Whatever you choose, make sure to use spices that will go along with the pepper and, if you want to use a dipping sauce, think about what it would taste like if some of it got onto the pepper.
2 – Salads Of Any Kind
If you are the type of person who uses heavy starches in your stuffed peppers, adding another starch on the side probably isn’t going to be a good idea. Even though the pepper will add some nice crunch and fresh taste, it’s a meal that could go for something light.
Adding a salad on the side is a fantastic way to get in some extra nutrients. Just like with potatoes, there are so many different types of salads that will go extremely well with the flavors in your main dish. You might want to consider:
- A beautiful Greek salad with tomatoes, basil, cucumbers, and a light vinaigrette
- An avocado salad to add some creaminess into the meal
- A good mixed salad with fresh greens, onions, and a bit of creamy dressing
- A cabbage mix that adds crunch with every bite (and you can even pick some up with your pepper)
- A tomato and mozzarella salad if you don’t add cheese
You can really control the health content of your salad, so you can balance out your meal.
3 – Bread
Bread is a great side dish for just about anything, and as a side dish for stuffed peppers, it serves a few different purposes. You can cool down some of the heat if you have a spicy pepper. The sweetness of bread and butter can help to balance out some of the richness, and you can even use the bread to soup up some of the sauce that comes out of the pepper.
Bake your favorite bread or pick up a crusty loaf at your local bakery. If you do want to spice it up, you can make your own garlic bread or even a piece of warm, puffy pita bread.
4 – Zucchini and Yellow Squash
If you have stuffed peppers, you might not immediately go toward using vegetables as your side dish, but why not? Zucchini and yellow squash are light and easy to cook. You won’t have to do too much after you’ve spent all your time making the peppers.
Zucchini and yellow squash will also add to the colors on your plate, which is a good indication of how healthy a meal is. You can saute them, fry them, or just steam them in your microwave if you want to be really quick. For a different texture, slice them into chips and lightly free them!
5 – Creamy Polenta or Corn Grits
If you want to start with something really basic and add your own flavors, start with corn-based grits. You can add anything you want to it, from the sweetness of fruits to something savory like cheese. You can form a base with the grits and then put your pepper right on it if you don’t want to add anything.
Sweet grits can be a little difficult to comprehend at first, but they are great for this type of meal. Add in some butter and honey, sprinkle in some cinnamon, and you will have a perfect side dish or even a dessert. This isn’t the healthiest option, but it certainly tastes like it has more calories than it does.
6 – Quinoa Salad
If you have a mostly-meat stuffed pepper, you might think of rice as a great side dish – and it is. However, quinoa is a great option for people who want something a little healthier. You can cook your quinoa and serve it warm, like you would normally. Just cook in some vegetable or chicken stock.
Or, you can make a light and refreshing quinoa salad. You make quinoa, allow it to cool, and then throw in some fresh veggies. It will help to cool down the pepper and won’t compete with the other flavors.
7 – Some High Quality Wine
If you want something that won’t compete with the pepper, and you already have rice or some sort of starch in your pepper, you don’t really need a side dish. Instead, add a good glass of wine that will complement the flavors of the pepper.
The right choice will be something that doesn’t overpower your meal. It really depends on what you stuff your peppers with and the type of sauce that you use. Even so, wine is a great friend to any meal.
8 – Veggie Fries
Veggie fries are the perfect healthy choice for this meal. You can cut up your favorite root veggies, like carrots or parsnips, or take green beans and mix them with your favorite seasonings. Consider more than just garlic and salt.
Add pepper, cumin, Italian seasonings, or even cinnamon to make a great flavor that will accompany your meal. Baked zucchini fries are another great option that will combine two of the side dishes for stuffed pepper.
If you don’t want to fry them, you can always just make veggie fries raw and eat them that way. You will get a really good crunch from that.
No matter which form you choose, remember that any dipping sauce you choose will need to go with the peppers as well.
9 – Roasted Veggies
You might notice a trend here, and that is vegetables. Veggies are a great side dish option for any meal, especially stuffed peppers because they are nice and light. They won’t overpower your meal, they add some necessary nutrients, and they help you to feel full.
Roasting veggies helps to bring out the full flavor of the vegetable without zapping out the nutrients. You can add some oil and carmelize them or sprinkle on some balsamic vinegar. Some of the best vegetables to try roasted include:
- Brussel Sprouts
- Celery Root
- Butternut Squash
If you can’t roast veggies, it is a really easy skill to learn. Just make sure you give them enough room to really roast. That is a mistake far too many people make!
10 – Cheese Platter
Many people will put cheese right into their peppers, but some recipes are eliminating it. If you don’t put cheese in, maybe you want to add a cheese platter onto the side. This will allow people to mix in their favorite cheeses. Go for natural, lighter cheese that will pair perfectly with the stuffed peppers.
The one thing you want to be sure of is that you keep your cheeses at room temperature. Far too many people serve cold cheese and that doesn’t allow the cheese to be at its best.
Stuffed peppers are really a dish all on their own. You don’t even really need a side dish, depending on what you put in them.
However, if you want some options, the dishes listed above can be personalized to your meal, which is good because everyone has different pepper recipes.