Spiced pepper pilafs

This colourful vegetarian supper is superhealthy and freezable in individual portions, so you can defrost as many as you need

  • Prep:10 mins
    Cook:50 mins
  • Serves 8
  • Easy

Nutrition per serving

  • kcal 209
  • fat 2g
  • saturates 1g
  • carbs 39g
  • sugars 8g
  • fibre 4g
  • protein 8g
  • salt 0.38g


  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1cm piece ginger, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp tomato purée
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 200g basmati rice
  • 850ml vegetable stock
  • 140g red lentils, washed and drained
  • 200g bag spinach leaves, chopped
  • handful mint leaves, chopped
  • 8 peppers


Freezing rice
To safely freeze rice, make sure you cool the cooked rice as quickly as possible – spread it out on a tray and leave for no longer than 1 hr. Then fill the peppers and freeze straight away. You should only reheat the rice once after defrosting.


  1. Heat the oil in a large saucepan with a lid. Add the onion, garlic and ginger, then gently cook for 5 mins until softened. Stir in the tomato purée and spices, and cook for 1 min more. Add the rice, stir to coat, then pour in the stock. Bring to the boil, tip in the lentils, cover with the lid and leave to cook over a low heat for 15 mins, until the lentils and rice are cooked. Stir through the spinach and mint (see tip below, if freezing).

  2. Use a sharp knife to slice the top off each pepper. Cut out the middle stalk and scoop out any seeds. Carefully trim the bottoms slightly so they stand upright, but the filling won't fall out. Fill each pepper with the rice mix and place the lid on top. Bake or wrap tightly in cling film or freezer bags and freeze.

  3. To cook, defrost peppers completely if frozen. Heat oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6. Place the peppers on a lightly greased baking tray and cook for 25-30 mins or until the peppers have softened. Serve with a green salad tossed with cucumber, herbs and a dollop of yogurt.

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