This is a “Create Your Own Recipe” post. Follow the directions and pick the ingredients that you love (or that you have on hand).
Stuffed peppers are a great late summer and fall dinner. Peppers are currently in season and you can usually find some sales. Going directly to the farmers is a great way to save lots of money. I recently bought 40 peppers for $12.
I love making stuffed peppers because they provide vegetables in a delicious way. Honestly, I am not good at growing peppers myself. Every year I try and maybe only yield one or two peppers per plant, and they usually don’t turn up until late in the season. If you have any tips, let me know! However, I usually just give up and buy delicious peppers and other vegetables from local farmers.
Pick 6 sweet bell peppers of any color
Pick 4 tablespoons of fat
- left over fat from the brown meat
- olive oil
- grape seed oil
- avocado oil
Pick 1 pound of ground meat or substitute
- Italian sausage
- 2 cups of sautéed mushrooms, black beans, or tofu
- 1/2 lb of any two of these choices
Pick 1 cup of precooked grains
- brown rice
- long grain wild rice
Pick 2-5 finely diced vegetables
- 1 small sautéed onion
- 1 medium zucchini
- 3 cleaned roma tomatoes or 1 can diced tomatoes
- 1 cup of cooked butternut squash
- 1 jalapeno pepper
Pick one combination of seasonings
- 2 Tbs diced sautéed garlic, 1 tbs salt, 1 tsp pepper
- 2 Tbs pumpkin seeds, 1-1/2 tsp cayenne pepper, salt and pepper to taste
- 1-1/2 tsp cayenne pepper, 1 tsp cumin, 1 tbs of oregano, salt and pepper to taste
- 1 jar of tomato spaghetti sauce, 2 tbs diced sautéed garlic, 1 tbs of Italian seasoning, salt and pepper to taste
Optional 1 cup of shredded cheese for the mix, and/or on top of the peppers
- Sharp cheddar
- Colby Jack
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Cut the tops off the peppers about 1/4 of an inch from the stem. Discard the innards. You may want to chop up the tops and add them to your mixture later.
- In a baking pan, place the peppers upright. Make sure the pan is not so large that the peppers move around.
- Heat 2 tbs of fat in a large skillet. Add meat option into the skillet. Add salt and pepper and cook until browned (about 8-10 minutes). Remove meat and set in a large mixing bowl.
- Heat the other 2 tbs of fat in the same skillet (you may want to drain any fat from the meat). If you are using garlic or onions, sauté them first (about 5 minutes) and then add your vegetables. Cook until tender. Add your seasoning options onto vegetables until it is heated through.
- In the large mixing bowl, place all ingredients (including the grain and 1 cup of cheese) and mix well. Add the optional cheese on top.
- Fill the peppers full. Place about 1/4 of inch of water on the bottom, or extra tomato sauce if you are using that option.
- Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Uncover and cook until cheese is brown, or until the tops of the peppers are brown (about another 15 minutes).
The size of the peppers will greatly effect how much filling is left over. I had a lot of little peppers and had lots of left overs. Try to find large peppers for this recipe.
When making this, I forgot to put the water in the bottom of my baking pan… whoops! This means my peppers were not very soft. My grandmother mentioned that she typically boils her peppers for a few minutes first. I probably wouldn’t bother, but if you are serious about softness, try it out!
Also, I wanted to use up all the vegetables in my fridge, so I had a lot of extra filling. I ended up placing the extra on egg plant circles. These however should be sautéed before using. Mine were tough and not very flavorful to eat because I just cut them raw and put them under the filling. Placing some sauce on these wouldn’t be a bad idea either.
Make sure you take the time to make this recipe friendly for any diets in your house hold. There are enough varieties you could easily make this gluten free, paleo diet friendly, carb free, diary free, vegan, and vegetarian.
Comment with any questions you might have!