Stuffed Bell Peppers

The secret to making your most delicious Stuffed Bell Peppers ever!

The secret to making your most delicious Stuffed Bell Peppers ever!

There isn’t much not to love about Stuffed Bell Peppers. Make a filling of whatever you like, be it spicy Mexican, loaded entirely with veggies or something like these Ground Beef Stuffed Bell Peppers. Then simply fill up your peppers, top ’em with cheese if you like (and I definitely like!) and toss in the oven until their bubbling hot. They’re your main course and side dishes all in one which means simple prep and only one pan to clean!

I make a homemade sauce to top my Stuffed Bell Peppers with. It’s one of my go-to Italian sauce recipes that I use for all kind of things (even just to top mashed potatoes). You could easily sub your favorite jarred pasta sauce in its place to keep things even simpler. I also choose to grind my own beef, which might seem extravagant but it only takes a couple of minutes with my KitchenAid attachment and cleanup is a breeze. I like knowing that my ground beef is just that – ground beef – without fillers. I just buy whatever quality beef is on sale and take it from there. It definitely helps take my Stuffed Bell Peppers up a couple of delicious notches.

I also like to double the filling whenever I make this dish. It’s simple to freeze the extras so I can make it when I’m in one of those “I don’t feel like cooking” moods. The sauce freezes well, too, so go for them both to make it super simple on yourself. Then all you’ll have to do is fill your bell peppers.

HOW TO MAKE STUFFED BELL PEPPERS?

Making stuffed bell peppers is really quite simple. For this recipe, you’ll make your own filling AND sauce, but you could use a jarred sauce in a pinch. It doesn’t take much time to make both, and you can either use the same pan and make them consecutively or use two and do both at once. Once those are made, you’ll stuff your peppers with the filling:

The secret to making your most delicious Stuffed Bell Peppers ever!

Top with your sauce:

The secret to making your most delicious Stuffed Bell Peppers ever!

Add some cheese and bake!

The secret to making your most delicious Stuffed Bell Peppers ever!

HOW LONG TO COOK STUFFED BELL PEPPERS?

Stuffed Bell Peppers are going to take about 45 minutes in the oven to get the peppers nice and soft. The longer cooking time also helps the flavors to meld, which means your peppers will be delicious straight from the oven. Keep in mind that this doesn’t include the time it takes to make the filling and sauce, but oven time is hands-off time, so it’s really pretty easy!

WHAT TO SERVE WITH STUFFED BELL PEPPERS?

These peppers are really their own complete meal: vegetable, starch and meat all in one pan. If you still want to serve them with something, I’d suggest a simple green salad. Another vegetable would be a good compliment as well, such as cooked whole carrots or asparagus.

HOW DO YOU FREEZE STUFFED BELL PEPPERS?

If you’d like to freeze your peppers, my suggestion would be to freeze the filling and sauce separately. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator then simply fill your peppers and bake. Stuffed peppers can be frozen whole, too. Just be sure to wrap each pepper tightly before freezing.

 

I like to use a pretty baking dish that will go straight from oven-to-table and several colors of peppers to turn this delicious dish into something gorgeous. I have a few variations of this recipe that I’ll be posting for you, including a spicy Mexican version that is knock-your-socks-off good (and easy)!

Stuffed Bell Peppers

Stuffed Bell Peppers

Yield: 6 large peppers

This recipe is easily adaptable. Double the sauce if you prefer more sauce with your peppers or simply use marinara or jarred spaghetti sauce to make it quicker and easier. Double the filling ingredients and freeze half to make these anytime!
Note: this dish is on the "sweeter" side - not spicy at all - so feel free to add some crushed red pepper to the sauce or filling ingredients if you prefer.

Ingredients

For the filling

  • 1 t extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 large onion, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 1/2 pounds ground beef, try grinding your own!
  • 3/4 cup rice, cooked to package directions
  • 1 10 oz can tomato sauce
  • 1-2 T worcestershire sauce
  • kosher salt & freshly ground black pepper, to taste

For the sauce

  • 1 T extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 t dried oregano
  • 1 t dried basil
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 6 oz can tomato paste
  • 1 28 oz can petite-diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 t kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Assembly

  • 6 large bell peppers, any color
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1/4 chopped parsley

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. Preheat a large skillet over medium heat; add oil. Add onions and cook about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until soft. Add garlic and cook for one minute more. Add ground beef, cook until browned and no pink remains. Drain off any fat, then add cooked rice, tomato sauce and worcestershire sauce. Cook a few more minutes until mixture is hot, then taste and add seasonings.
  3. Preheat a skillet over medium heat; add olive oil. Add onion and saute about 5 minutes or until soft, stirring occasionally. Add basil, oregano and minced garlic, cook 1-2 minutes more. Stir in tomato paste and cook an additional 2-3 minutes. Add petite-diced tomatoes, stir well and bring to a simmer. Allow to simmer, stirring occasionally, for another 10 minutes.
  4. Cut off tops of peppers and remove seeds and membranes. Slice a small amount off the bottom of each pepper, if necessary, to make each stand upright. Place peppers in a baking dish just large enough to fit them all. Spoon filling into peppers, mounding it over the top. Spoon sauce over the top of each pepper, allowing excess to fall over the sides. Cover and bake for 45 minutes.
  5. Remove cover from peppers and top each pepper with shredded cheese. Place back in oven and cook another 15 minutes, until cheese is melted and gooey and peppers are soft and cooked through. Sprinkle with chopped parsley and serve.

Things You’ll Want  (Or Need!)

KitchenAid Meat Grinder
Meat Grinder Attachment for Kitchen Aid Any meat grinder will do, but this is the only one I’ve used personally and can put my stamp of approval on. It’s simple to use and cleans up easily (that was my one fear before purchase) which means I can serve freshly ground meat in all of my dishes! Works for other ingredients, too, although I’ve only used it for meat so far.
Stuffed Veggie Baking Pan
Stuffed Veggie Baking Pan I don’t own this (yet) but I want to! It’s on my “Things I Want” list, mostly because it’s gotten great reviews and I make Stuffed Bell Peppers often enough that it might make it that much more simple and fun! (There’s also this one that looks great, too!)
Bell Pepper Corer
Bell Pepper Corer Tell me I’m not the only one who doesn’t enjoy coring and seeding my bell peppers! This tool looks GREAT and has some great reviews.
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