And no, I’m not talking about Dr. Pepper — I’m talking about Stuffed Bell Peppers. 😉
Hubby and I both enjoy stuffed bell peppers, but I generally only make them when bell peppers are at an affordable price, because I need at least 6 good-sized peppers to make up a batch of peppers.
As Wikipedia tells us:
Bell pepper, also known as sweet pepper or capsicum, is a cultivar group of the species Capsicum annuum (chili pepper). Cultivars of the plant produce fruits in different colors, including red, yellow, and orange. The fruit is also frequently consumed in its unripe form, when the fruit is still green. Bell peppers are sometimes grouped with less pungent pepper varieties as “sweet peppers.”
Any variety of bell pepper — green, red, or yellow — is mild (no heat to it at all), and the varieties can pretty much be used interchangeably in recipes. I usually get green bell peppers because 1) they’re more affordable than their brighter-colored counterparts and 2) the yellow and red peppers, which are riper, have a sweeter flavor that I seldom desire.
Here in the U.S., Stuffed Bell Peppers are usually filled with a ground meat and rice mixture simmered in tomato sauce. Myself, I prefer to use yellow corn instead of rice.
I always save the tops I remove from the peppers. You can dice them and use them in salads, sauces, soups, omelets, casseroles, meatloaves, and the like. If you won’t be using them in the near future, you can wrap them individually in cling wrap, seal them in a freezer bag, and freeze them until ready to cook.
Vegetarians, there’s absolutely no reason for you to feel left out, though, as you have a cornucopia of options for stuffing the peppers! In place of the ground beef, you could use a vegetarian meat substitute. You could also use rice or quinoa (which would be more protein-rich). You could use beans. You could add in some more veggies. Or tofu. Or a combo of any of these. 🙂
But however you make them, they smell so yummy that I bet you’ll be more than tempted at one point to start singing the “Dr. Pepper: I’m a Pepper” song 😉 (Go on, take 61 seconds out of your life to enjoy this commercial — you know you want you!)
Stuffed Bell Peppers (Makes 6 servings)
- 6 good-sized bell peppers (green, yellow, red, or a mix)
- 1 pound lean (93/7 or greater) ground beef or lean (93/7 or greater) ground turkey (Vegetarians: Note substitutions suggested above)
- 1 (15-ounce) can or 2 (8-ounce) cans tomato sauce
- 1 can (15-16 ounces) yellow corn, drained OR 1 1/2 to 2 cups frozen yellow corn
- 1/4 or so of an onion (red, white, yellow), chopped/diced
- Garlic (minced cloves and/or powder), to taste
- Chili powder to taste
- Splash of Worcestershire sauce (Vegetarians: Leave out or use a vegetarian substitute)
- Coarse ground black pepper to taste
- Grated cheese (I usually use Parmesan or mozzarella)
- Cut off tops from peppers. Remove seeds. Parboil peppers in boiling salted water for 3 to 5 minutes, or microwave peppers for 3 to 5 minutes.
- Brown ground meat in a non-stick skillet. Add in diced onion. Stir in tomato sauce, splash of Worcestershire, coarse ground black pepper, garlic (if using), chili powder, and corn. Simmer until slightly thickened, about 10 minutes or so.
- Place peppers, upright in a single layer, in a 2 1/2 to 3 quart dish. (Lightly spray dish with cooking spray beforehand, if desired.) Distribute seasoned meat/corn mixture evenly among peppers. Lightly sprinkle each pepper with cheese.
- Cover and bake at 350F for 45 – 50 minutes. Uncover and bake for another 15 minutes.
- Let rest 5 to 15 minutes before serving.
- Refrigerate leftovers. Will freeze when wrapped well in cling wrap and placed in a freezer bag.