Food

Beef Stuffed Peppers…It’s What’s For Dinner

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I tried this recipe that I adapted from allrecipes.com tonight and it was a hit! Lately, I feel like whenever I try a new item on the dinner menu I strike out with one out of my three diners. I have never been a fan of preparing more than one dish per meal, so when everyone cleared their plates I already started daydreaming of this dish in my regular rotation. Let me rave for a minute about how easy it was. The hardest part was picking up 6 bell peppers, I can’t recall ever buying more than 2 in a single trip. I new we had a busy evening so after school drop of I cooked up the stuffing, filled up the peppers and set them in the fridge. At 4pm I popped them in the oven while we finished up m’s playdate and dressed a simple salad.

I had to cook up the rice and beef, but this would be a great meal if you have leftovers of either and need a way to reinvent them. Also, I cooked them in the oven, but this would also work as a crockpot meal if you want/need to be even more hands free. Without further adieu:

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Beef Stuffed Bell Peppers

Ingredients:

6 bell peppers

1 jar of tomato sauce (I HIGHLY recommend Thrive Market Pasta Sauce – and a lot of their other products, get a membership)

1/4 tsp red pepper flakes

1 pound lean ground beef

1 1/2 cups cooked rice (I prepare mine with chicken stock rather than water for more flavor)

4 tbs dried parsley

1/2 cup chunky tomato sauce, divided

1 tsp garlic powder

1 tsp onion powder

1/2 cup frozen corn

1/2 cup frozen peas

1 tsp salt

1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper

1  1/2 tbs chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

1 tbs Italian seasonings

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Directions:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).

Wash, cut the top off of the peppers and trim the stems from the tops. Clear out the core from the inside of the peppers and scoop out any seeds. If you need to balance out the pepper so that they will stand, cut away a very thin slice of pepper from the bottom and throw the cuts back in with the stuffing. Poke some holes in the bottoms to let juices drain out into the sauce in the roasting pan. A couple of knife pokes will do.

Pour the tomato sauce into a 9×13 inch baking dish reserving 1/4 cup to mix into the stuffing.

Cook the ground beef.

Combine ground beef, cooked rice, pasta sauce, parsley, italian seasoning, red pepper flakes, garlic powder, onion powder, peas, corn, salt and pepper.

Stuff your peppers with meat mixture, top with a dollop of pasta sauce, replace the cap and set into the baking dish.  Lay a piece of parchment paper loosely on top of peppers and cover dish tightly with foil. (I have no idea if this matters, but I made my peppers a great little tent and they seemed to love it in there.)

Bake in preheated oven for 45 minutes. Remove the tent of  foil and parchment paper and continue to bake for 20-30 more minutes. Serve with a spoon of the pan sauce for extra flavor. Thank me later.

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NOTES:

  • No need to stick to beef, turkey, chicken, tofu…whatever floats your boat (or fills your tummy)
  • Feel free to use fresh onion, garlic, and/or parsley. I had only dried stuff on hand, so I went with it.
  • I threw in the peas and corn for color, and because the kids like them. You can omit them, or play with other veggies: zucchini, squash, carrots…whatever your family likes.
  • You can kick it up a notch by adding hot sauce into the stuffing, or skip the heat and omit the red pepper flakes
  • Lastly, I love the idea of doing this in a crockpot to save myself from even having to put them in the oven. I would probably cook them on low 4 hours, or high for 1 1/2 hours – WARNING: MY CROCKPOT IS CRAZY, SO THESE ARE ESTIMATES. Crockpots can vary quite a bit. I will make them in the crockpot next time and will post an update.

I hope that you give this a try, and I would love to hear any “remixes” you do to personalize it.