Until my 20’s, bell peppers and I were far, far, far from fast friends.
I viewed the crunchy, green orbital vegetables with a look of disdain whenever they appeared on pizzas or veggie platter plates and as a kid, wrinkled my nose and plotted how to ditch every single bite in a napkin when my mom served them up for dinner.
But just like taking leisurely car rides on a Sunday afternoon, reading novels with long words you finally understand but now need readers to see, and taking hot baths (give me a tub every night of the week!), eating the food you hated as a kid suddenly becomes not. that. bad. as an adult. And sometimes, even really, really good.
Bell peppers are now a vegetable I enjoy, and even crave and while I’m a fan of the good old standard green bell pepper, it’s the sweet reds, yellows, oranges and purples that really get my goat.
Today’s selection of peppers comes from a mix of big box Costco varieties (red, yellow and orange) and ultra local farmer’s market (more yellows and purple) for a rainbow of sweetness begging to be stuffed with nary a gnarly green pepper in site.
Ever since I was a starry eyed pre-teen, I’ve been a fan of drawing rainbows. Now I eat them.
So I went back to the memory of my mom’s recipe of stuffed bell peppers with ground beef and rice in a tomato based sauce, and my man embellished it with chunks of mushroom and fresh cut corn and a sprinkle of herbs and red pepper flakes.
When the talk of stuffed peppers comes up at our house, my husband and I usually go straight to our favorite pepper comfort food stand by of Chicken and Mushrooms Stuffed Peppers.
We must have both been feeling the twang of comfort food because when we did our daily exchange of, “what do you want for dinner?,” we both had the same craving for stuffed peppers, but this time a little more hearty, a little more basic but just as comforting.
How to Make Stuffed Bell Peppers
This is one of those throw what you have in the fridge type of recipes. Use my portions as guidelines but definitely put on your experimental hat when choosing ingredients:
- Red, yellow, orange or even green bell peppers
- Lean ground beef
- White rice (you can use brown rice, farro or quinoa, too)
- Tomato sauce
- Corn, celery and garlic
- Cheese, I added some grated fontina, but you could use monterey jack or mozzarella or whatever’s on hand.
- If you prefer green bell peppers, certainly use them instead of or in addition to this bevy of colorful beauties.
We cut the tops off of the peppers to stuff the whole thing with beefy goodness. If you prefer smaller portions, cut the peppers in half and serve open faced.
How Long Do You Cook Stuffed Bell Peppers
A common question is, how long do you cook stuffed peppers? I pre-cook my peppers with a simple sprinkle of kosher salt to the interior of the peppers and then a 5 minute blast in the microwave pre-cooks these peppers and cuts your baking time in half.
Then, they just need to cook in the oven for 20 minutes or until fork-tender and the cheese begins to bubble.
What Can Be Served With Stuffed Peppers?
Stuffed bell peppers are really a whole mean in one, so all you really need to complete your easy, healthy dinner, is a simple salad and an easy dessert.
If you make this recipe, please let me know! Bookmark this recipe and leave a comment below, or take a photo and tag me on Instagram with #foodiecrusheats.
Stuffed Bell Peppers Recipe
- 1 pound lean ground beef 90% lean
- 4 mushrooms chopped
- 3 ears of fresh corn kernals or 1 1/2 cups frozen corn
- 2 ribs of celery chopped thinly
- 1 medium onion chopped
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 2 14.5 ounce cans petite diced tomatoes with juice
- 2 tablespoons concentrated tomato paste
- 2 tablespoons basil
- 1 tablespoon oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 1 1/2 cups cooked long grain rice
- 1/4 cup chopped Italian parsley
- 6 bell peppers
- 1 cup shredded fontina cheese or monterey jack cheese
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Brown the ground beef in a large fry pan over medium high heat for 5 minutes or until cooked almost through. Add the mushrooms, corn kernals, chopped celery, onion and garlic and cook until vegetables are softened. Stir in the diced tomatoes, tomato paste, basil, oregano and red pepper flakes. Season with kosher salt and ground pepper to taste and cook for 15-20 minutes. Stir in cooked rice and chopped parsley and cook for another 5 minutes or until the rice is warmed through.
Meanwhile, cut off the tops of the peppers and spoon out the ribs and seeds, then rinse. Lightly sprinkle the inside of the peppers with kosher salt and place in a microwave safe dish with 1/4 cup water. Cover with plastic wrap and microwave for 5 minutes or until they start to soften.
Transfer to a 3 quart baking dish and fill the peppers with the hot meat and rice mixture. Sprinkle the tops with cheese and bake for 20 minutes or until peppers are tender and cheese is browned. Serve hot.
More Stuffed Bell Pepper Recipes
- Southwestern Stuffed Bell Peppers Recipe
- Spiralized Zucchini, Quinoa and Turkey Sausage Stuffed Peppers
- Baked Eggs in Stuffed Peppers
- Creamy Chicken and Mushroom Stuffed Peppers
- 27 Ways To Make Your Bell Peppers Less Boring
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