STUFFED PEPPERS

Stuffed Peppers

Ingredients:

  • 8 medium red, yellow, or orange bell peppers (about 4 pounds total)
  • 2 tablespoons olive or vegetable oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon dried Italian seasoning
  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more for seasoning
  • 1 1/2 cups cooked rice
  • 1 (15-ounce) can diced tomatoes, drained
  • 1 cup shredded Italian blend cheese (4 ounces)
  • Cooking spray
  • Thinly sliced scallions, for garnish (optional)

Instructions:

  • Equipment
  • 9×13-inch baking dish
  • Cutting board
  • Knife
  • Large saucepan
  • Wooden spoon or spatula
  • Canning funnel (optional)
  1. Heat the oven and prepare the baking dish. Arrange a rack in the middle of the oven and heat to 375°F. Meanwhile, prepare the peppers and filling.
  2. Prepare the peppers. Use a small knife to cut a wide circle around each bell pepper stem (like when carving a jack-o’-lantern) to remove the tops. Season the inside of each pepper generously with salt and pepper. Place the peppers into 9×13-inch baking dish, wedging them together as needed to fit in one layer; set aside.

Cut the stems from the tops and discard. Dice the tops and set aside for the filling.

  1. Cook the filling.Heat the oil in a large frying pan over medium heat until shimmering. Add the onion, season with salt, and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 8 minutes. Add the Italian seasoning and garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute more. Add the ground beef, diced pepper tops, and 1 teaspoon salt and cook on medium-high heat, breaking the meat up with a spatula as it cooks, until cooked through, about 6 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the rice and drained tomatoes. Taste and season with salt and pepper as needed.
  2. Stuff the peppers. Evenly divide the mixture among the peppers (use a canning funnel if you have one). Sprinkle the cheese over the peppers. Carefully pour 1 cup of water between the peppers into the baking dish.
  3. Cover and bake until tender. Spray one side of a large sheet with aluminum foil with cooking spray. Place it sprayed-side down over the peppers and cover the baking dish tightly. Bake until the peppers are softened but not mushy and the filling is heated through, about 1 hour. Sprinkle with scallions if desired before serving.

Make ahead: The peppers can be stuffed and refrigerated up to 1 day ahead. Add 10 minutes baking time.

Storage: Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.