The classic stuffed bell pepper. I grew up eating stuffed bell peppers and I always remember liking them. I’m not sure if I was a kid who was slicing and dicing into the whole pepper or simply eating whatever stuffing was inside of that bell pepper, but I sure do remember enjoying it, and now I’m that slicer and dicer and devouring the whole thing, especially when you come across some good bell peppers.
We typically make an area in our garden/planting areas for some bell peppers, but for the past few years I will be honest and admit that our bell pepper game was pretty darn weak. The peppers would be small, not yield many peppers and I was questioning if we should even bother planting them this year only due to the frustration we experienced over the past few years. There was a new batch of seeds from another distributor that I thought we could try, and so we did. That was the trick (I think). We were most likely dealing with old seeds and the seeds we planted this year produced perfect peppers, and I’m not joking about that. I was actually excited talking about these peppers with my family, and neighbors. They were perfect in every way, and the taste was just great. They were not bitter, and I know they say this, but they were probably the best peppers I have had in a very long time. That made them perfect for stuffing, and that is exactly what I did.
Let’s get started on this classic, and comforting stuffed bell pepper recipe.
- 1/2 lb of ground beef
- 2 whole, large green bell peppers
- 1 tsp salt, to taste
- 1/2 tsp black pepper, to taste
- 2 tbsp cooking oil
- 2 cups of cooked rice, cooled (leftover rice works well)
- 1 cup of cooked rice
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 red onion, diced (about 1 cup)
- 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
- 1 cup of your favorite tomato sauce, or chili sauce
- pickled red onions, optional
You have a couple of options when it comes to the peppers. You can trim the tops and remove the core (seeds and ribs) and begin stuffing, or you can trim the tops and remove the core, and then steam the peppers before baking (recommended).
To steam the peppers, add water to a pot of water. Put on your steaming top, add the peppers, then cover the steam basket with a lid. Steam for about 7 minutes. This will break down the somewhat tough exterior of the pepper, allowing for a super tender stuffed pepper. If you decided to not go this route, you could be cooking your stuffed bell pepper longer in the oven, or simply eating a pepper that is a little more al dente. Your call, but you will want to ensure the beef is cooked inside, which it will after cooking in the oven for nearly a hour.
During the steam time, prepare your filling and preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
Bring a skillet to medium heat. Add in your oil and let that come to temperature for a few minutes. Add in your shallots, and garlic, reduce the heat slightly, and cook the onions and garlic for about 5 minutes.
Add the ground meat to a mixing bowl, along with the rice. Season with salt and pepper, and add the worchestershire sauce. Now add in the cooked shallots and garlic. Give this all a really good mix, making sure you mix all of the beef and rice.
Carefully remove the peppers from steaming. The inside of the peppers will have some water build up. Very hot water that is, so be careful. I use tongs and grab them out, tipping them upside down to remove that excess water. Place the peppers on a plate to let cool slightly.
Take the meat mixture and begin stuffing each pepper. You can fit quiet a bit of mixture into the cavity of each pepper. It’s amazing. Once the peppers are stuffed, place them onto a baking tray. Pour whatever sauce you want on top. Some folks use ketchup, but I use a sweet chili sauce. Just make sure you try to cover the top. The sauce will crust up a bit, but feel free to brush any more sauce on top when they come out of the oven.
Bake in the oven for roughly 50 minutes.
After 50 minutes, remove them from the oven, and serve.
The end result is not only an awesome vehicle to have a bell pepper contain your meal, but everything about this stuffed bell pepper is pretty amazing, and amazingly hot at that (so be careful!).
Slicing into the pepper yields the treasure inside. It’s simple. Meat, and rice. BUT meat and rice seasoned with onion and garlic, and that umami from the worchestershire, and that spicy sweetness from the chili sauce really makes for an addictive bite. Enjoy!