Stuffed Bell Peppers
Words of wisdom from the family: “Satisfying. Delicious. Summery. Make it again!” I’ve made this a few times now and it’s a great easy summer dinner. Original recipe is from Betty Crocker, but we made a few minor changes that I think are worth noting.
- 4 large bell peppers, any color
- 1 lb. lean ground beef
- 2 tbsp. chopped onion
- 1 cup cooked brown rice
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tsp dried parsley
- 1/4 tsp onion powder
- Pepper to taste
- 1 cup tomato sauce
- 3 heaping tbsp. panko breadcrumbs
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- shredded mozzarella cheese
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Slice off the top of each pepper and set aside. Remove veins and seeds. Chop onion and garlic. After removing the stems, chop up the bell pepper tops as well.
- In medium skillet, heat olive oil, onion, and garlic until the onions begin to soften. Then add the beef and cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until brown. Drain out any excess fat.
- Stir in the chopped pepper tops, parsley, onion powder, salt, and pepper. Then add the rice and tomato sauce a bit at a time. Cook until the bell pepper pieces have softened and the sauce is bubbling. Remove from heat.
- Arrange the whole peppers in a baking dish. If you have trouble getting them to stand upright, slice just a little bit off the bottom to create a flat surface. Spoon the filling from the skillet into the peppers, packing it down as you go. There should be just enough for 4 peppers. Divide the bread crumbs evenly among the peppers- don’t press these down, just sprinkle them on top.
- Add about 1/2 inch of room-temperature water to the dish- this will help prevent the peppers from drying out. Cover each pepper tightly with a square of aluminum foil. Bake in 350 degree oven for ten minutes.
- Remove the foil and bake another ten, or until breadcrumbs are properly toasted. Then sprinkle a bit of mozzarella on top of each pepper- just enough to mostly cover the breadcrumbs. Bake another 5-7 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and golden brown, as shown. The peppers should be fairly tender, but not too soft.
NOTES: The cheese is really optional. It doesn’t add all that much flavor-wise, I just think it looks nice. The original recipe called for some pre-cooking of the peppers in a dutch-oven, which we don’t have, so I just threw those directions out the window. The overall flavor of this is very mild- no heat or spice to speak of. Not that that’s a bad thing, necessarily. I mean, it is still pretty delicious. There has been some speculation as to whether or not this could work with Bulgar wheat instead of beef, but we haven’t tested that out yet. If you give it a try, let us know!