Stuffed capsicums

Stuffed capsicums

Punjene paprike


This is a classic recipe and one of the most popular dishes in Croatia. Traditionally we use Hungarian yellow peppers to make it, but these are hard to find in Australia. Instead, I recommend you use long capsicums (bell peppers) or banana chillies as they work really well in this recipe. This dish is usually prepared during the hot summer months when peppers are in season. It’s braised and light on the stomach. I just love the flavour of tomato, capsicum and braised meat together. This dish is almost always served with mashed potatoes. It keeps well in the refrigerator for a few days and tastes even better the day after you have cooked it. Croatians usually cook a huge pot of stuffed capsicums, ready to be reheated and eaten a few times in the same week. Once you have cooked punjene paprike, it’s very likely to become one of your favourite dishes.


Quantity Ingredient
100 grams white bread, no crusts
500 grams beef, minced
500 grams lamb, minced
4 tablespoons short-grain white rice
1 small brown onion, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
1 tablespoon paprika
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
12 long capsicums
or banana chillies
or 6 yellow hungarian peppers
1 litre Dalmatian tomato sauce
500ml vegetable stock
50 grams pancetta or prosciutto, cut into 1 cm thick slices
mashed potato, to serve


  1. Soak the bread in a little water, then squeeze out any excess.
  2. In another bowl, combine the minced beef and lamb, along with the bread, rice, onion, garlic, paprika, salt and pepper. Mix vigorously for a few minutes until well combined.
  3. Cut a hole in the top of each capsicum and use a sharp knife to cut out the ribs and seeds. Be sure not to break the sides of the capsicum. Gently stuff the capsicum with the mince mixture.
  4. Combine the tomato sauce with the vegetable stock in a large saucepan. If you are using capsicums or Hungarian peppers, arrange them upright and add the pancetta, otherwise place them in sideways if using banana chillies. Bring to the boil and simmer for 20–25 minutes on low heat. Serve with mashed potatoes, if desired.
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