On weeknights, when the days are long and busy, I often make one-pot meals for dinner, for their ease of cooking. I love it when a recipe, such as stir-fry or a hearty casserole, has everything you need in one dish. When the vegetables, meat and carbs are all included, there’s no need to dirty up several pots and pans, making side dishes to round out the meal. Along these lines, stuffed bell peppers are absolutely delicious and so easy to make. Give me a spoon and the pan, and I could literally eat the filling all by itself and be happy.
There are tons of variations of this recipe, and that’s the great thing about them. You can fill them with just about any meat-carb or even meatless combination you like. I make mine with well-seasoned ground beef, and depending on the season, I like to flavor the filling accordingly. In the fall, I add pecans and dried cranberries to the mixture for texture and sweetness. I enjoy using brown rice, but orzo pasta would also make for a tasty substitute. When filling your peppers with the meat mixture, don’t be shy. The filling should be heaping out of the top of the peppers.
Bell peppers from Georgia are in season through October, with green, yellow and red bell peppers widely available. When I began blogging more than eight years ago, stuffed peppers were one of the first recipes I ever shared. You don’t have to be a chef or expert cook to make these, but your friends and family are sure to be impressed.
Some Kinda Good Easy Stuffed Bell Peppers
• 1 pound lean ground beef
• 1 medium onion, chopped
• 2 cloves garlic, minced
• 2 fresh tomatoes, chopped or 1 (14 oz.) can diced fire roasted tomatoes
• 1 cup brown rice, cooked
• 4 bell peppers, any color
• Salt and pepper
• 2 tbsp. herbs de Provence
• 1 tsp. red pepper flakes
• 1/2 cup dried cranberries, optional
• 1/2 cup pecans, optional
• 1 cup shredded cheddar, divided
• Beef or chicken broth
• Olive oil for drizzling
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Cook rice according to package directions. Set aside. In a large skillet, brown onion and ground beef together until meat is no longer pink. Add garlic, stirring for about 30 seconds. Add fresh tomatoes and stir to combine. Season well with salt, pepper, herbs de Provence and red pepper flakes. Stir in a 1/2 cup of cheese and stir until melted. Add in pecans and cranberries and stir to combine. (This is a nice variation in the fall). Combine rice with meat mixture.
Slice the tops off each bell pepper carefully, leaving stem intact. Set lids aside. Remove seeds and insides, so that the pepper is cleaned out. If peppers are wobbly, trim the bottoms slightly by slicing off the rounded edges, creating a flat spot for the pepper to stand upright when placed in a casserole dish. In a medium casserole dish, place the bell peppers. Fill each pepper with a heaping amount of filling. Top each pepper with remaining cheese, then place each top on each bell pepper. Drizzle each pepper with olive oil. Add about 1/2 inch of beef broth to the bottom of the dish. Bake for 25 minutes, or until tops have browned slightly and peppers are tender.