I made Princess Diana's stuffed bell peppers recipe with rice, crispy bacon, and mozzarella. It's a healthy and easy meal for folks on the go.

  • Former royal chef Darren McGrady shared his recipe for stuffed bell peppers.

  • Princess Diana asked McGrady to prepare the recipe as part of her fat-free diet.

  • The recipe is prep-heavy, but it's a healthy and tasty meal that's easy to make after work or school.

In a 2014 interview with HuffPost's Rebecca Adams, former royal chef Darren McGrady said Princess Diana focused on a healthy lifestyle after overcoming bulimia. McGrady told the outlet that Princess Diana began shifting toward a fat-free diet while living at Kensington Palace.

"I want you to take care of all of the fat. I'll take care of the carbs at the gym," Princess Diana said.

After I enjoyed Princess Diana's favorite dessert — bread and butter pudding by McGrady — I decided to try the stuffed bell pepper recipe! While the recipe requires a bit of prep work for the filling, the actual cooking process took almost no time, and it was simple to make as a home cook. The recipe is available in McGrady's book, "Eating Royally: Recipes and Remembrances from the Palace Kitchen." 

Former royal chef Darren McGrady said he used to make stuffed bell peppers for Princess Diana while she lived at Kensington Palace.

Princess Diana Stuffed Bell Pepper Taste Test
You'll need 16 items for this recipe, including smoked bacon and mozzarella cheese.Lauren Edmonds/Insider

To make, you'll need:

  • 4 medium red bell peppers

  • ¼ cup olive oil

  • ½ cup roughly chopped onion

  • 1 cup finely sliced button mushrooms

  • 1 zucchini, diced

  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano

  • ½ salt and freshly ground pepper

  • 2 tomatoes, roughly chopped

  • 1 cup rice, cooked until al dente and cooled

  • ½ cup water

  • ½ chicken or vegetable bouillon cube

  • 4 slices smoked bacon, broiled crispy and chopped

  • 1 teaspoon fresh basil, shredded

  • 4 ounces mozzarella cheese, diced

  • 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and prepare the bell peppers.

Princess Diana Stuffed Bell Pepper Taste Test
This photo shows the reporter's four bell peppers after they cooked in the oven.Lauren Edmonds/Insider

To start, cut the tops off of each bell pepper before cleaning out the seeds and membranes inside. McGrady wrote in his cookbook that if the bell peppers don't stand up correctly, cut small pieces off the bottom until they do.

Next, place the peppers on a baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil, making sure to coat it thoroughly. Don't be afraid to get olive oil inside the peppers because you'll need to use that same oil later in a frying pan.

Bake the peppers in the oven for about 25 minutes (or until they've begun to soften), and then remove them from the oven to cool.

Begin prepping the vegetables, rice, bacon, and cheese bits for the stuffed bell peppers filling.

Princess Diana Stuffed Bell Pepper Taste Test
Preparing these ingredients before baking the peppers will help you save time.Lauren Edmonds/Insider

Since this will take up the bulk of your time, I suggest beginning this process before baking the bell peppers or while they're in the oven.

Broil four slices of smoked bacon in the oven, shred one tablespoon of basil, cook one cup of rice, dice four ounces of mozzarella cheese, and dice one cup of zucchini.

Princess Diana Stuffed Bell Peppers
The ingredients pictured (from left to right) include bacon, basil, rice, mozzarella cheese, and zucchini.Lauren Edmonds/Insider

The recipe said to chop the bacon into smaller pieces once they're broiled. It also said to cook the rice until al dente and let it cool by setting it to the side. The term "al dente" in this recipe refers to boiling the rice so it's firm to the bite and not too soft in texture.

Roughly chop two tomatoes, slice one cup of button mushrooms, and roughly chop ½ cup of onion.

Princess Diana Stuffed Bell Pepper Taste Test
Ingredients pictured include (from left to right) tomatoes, mushrooms, and onions.Lauren Edmonds/Insider

Don't be worried if your knife skills aren't up to par! All these ingredients will be stuffed inside a baked pepper anyway, so don't think about it too much.

Pour the oil from the bell peppers into a frying pan.

Princess Diana Stuffed Bell Pepper Taste Test
Chef Darren McGrady's recipe says home cooks should pour the olive oil from the bell peppers into a frying pan.Lauren Edmonds/Insider

As previously mentioned, McGrady's recipe said to use the olive oil from the bell peppers to sauté the vegetables.




Now, it's time to add everything to the frying pan.

Princess Diana Stuffed Bell Pepper Taste Test
These photos show the sauteéd vegetables (left) and the frying pan after the tomatoes, rice, water, and bouillon cube was added (right).Lauren Edmonds/Insider

I felt like I was making a simple one-pot meal instead of a royal recipe, but I guess that's part of its charm. At this point, add the onions, mushrooms, zucchini, and oregano into the pan to sauté over high heat until the vegetables begin to soften. Use the salt and pepper to season, but feel free to add more or less depending on your taste.

Then, add the tomatoes, rice, water, bouillon cube — I chose the chicken flavor — and let the mixture simmer for five minutes.

Around this point, a delicious smell began to waft across my kitchen, and there are very few smells I love more than sauteéd onions.

Mix the remaining ingredients into the frying pan with the rice.

Princess Diana Stuffed Bell Pepper Taste Test
Add the bacon, basil, and mozzarella cheese into the rice mixture.Lauren Edmonds/Insider

McGrady said to take the final ingredients — bacon, basil, and mozzarella cheese — and fold them into the rice mixture.


Once everything is evenly distributed, take a spoon and divide the filling among the four peppers.

Princess Diana Stuffed Bell Pepper Taste Test
This photo shows the reporter's stuffed bell peppers.Lauren Edmonds/Insider

Sprinkle the grated Parmesan cheese on top of the peppers and place them back in the oven for 15 minutes to let the cheese melt.

I'd like to give my compliments to the chef for this delicious meal!

Princess Diana Stuffed Bell Pepper Taste Test
This meal is great for busy folks who want a filling meal after work or school.Lauren Edmonds/Insider

Although I did the heavy lifting on these stuffed bell peppers, McGrady's recipe does a wonderful job of staying reasonably healthy while mixing in tons of flavors.

The rice with the added chicken bouillon may have been one of my favorite combinations. Still, I will use granulated chicken bouillon instead of cubed next time so it distributes more evenly.

The melted mozzarella cheese was another standout in the dish, which added a light but gooey aspect to the recipe that I enjoyed.

I'd recommend this recipe to anyone who loves a good stuffed bell pepper recipe or busy folks who need a simple meal to make after a long day at work.


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