ESSENTIAL STUFFED PEPPERS

by Debra Wysopal

These were my father in law’s favorite. He used to complain about the lack of meat, overabundance of rice and mushy shells every time he would order stuffed peppers out at a restaurant. Needless to say, this recipe addresses all those issues and the result yields a simple and delicious weeknight dinner for even the most discerning of father in laws..

Essential Stuffed Peppers

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Serves: 4
Nutrition facts: 200 calories 20 grams fat
Rating: 3,247,629.4/5
( 345 voted )

Ingredients

  • 4 good sized bell peppers (red, yellow, orange, green or a mix)
  • 1/2 cup cooked white or brown rice
  • 2 TBS oil
  • 1 onion, diced or run through a food processor
  • 3/4lb lean beef
  • 4 garlic cloves (or more)
  • 1 (14.5 oz)can diced tomatoes, drained, with 1/4 cup juice, reserved
  • 2 cups shreddedMonterey Jack or Pepper Jack Cheese
  • 2 TBS chopped parsley
  • 1/4 cup Ketchup

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. 

Cut off the tops of the peppers, about 1/2 inch down and scoop out insides. 

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil, lower heat to a soft boil and add all the peppers.  Cook until the peppers begin to soften, about 3 minutes. Remove peppers and arrange cut-side up  in a 9x9 or other snug fitting baking dish. Set aside.

Heat olive oil over medium high heat in a large skillet or dutch oven.  Add the onion and cook until soft, about 5 minutes.  Add the garlic and cook until just fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the beef, breaking it up into smaller chunks as you go, until just browned, about 5 minutes. Transfer mixture to a large bowl.   Add the rice, tomatoes, parsley and 1 cup of the cheese and mix well to incorporate.  Season liberally with salt and pepper. 

In  a small bowl, combine the reserved tomato juice with the ketchup. 

Divide the filling evenly and stuff inside the peppers. Spoon the ketchup mixture on top of each pepper to coat and finish by  sprinkling the remaining cup of shredded cheese on top of each.  Bake for 30-40 minutes, until the cheese is warm, browned and bubbly.  

Notes

Frozen rice or even leftover Chinese rice work great here. At the end of baking, if the cheese is not adequately browned, keep under the broiler for a minute or so, monitoring carefully so not to burn.

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