Do you ever take short cuts with high maintenance recipes? I did that today.
My mom used to make stuffed peppers when I was a kid. If you’re not familiar with what a stuffed peppers meal is, it’s a hollowed out bell pepper stuffed with a rice and meat mixture. It’s quite good, except I always felt like there was too much pepper and not enough filling. In fact, when I told my mom that I was making this version she told me that my dad used to only eat the filling and give her the pepper. I’m genuinely laughing about that because it sounds exactly like something my dad would do.
My deconstructed version of stuffed peppers gives you more rice and meat, so if you’re like my dad then this recipe is the way to go. In fact, I prefer it this way too because I prefer more filling, too. And so does my husband. Maybe everyone does and wasn’t previously willing to admit it?
I also love this recipe better because you don’t have to painstakingly fill each pepper. Instead, you just chop the bell peppers and throw them in with the rest of the meat mixture. Easy peezy.
So without further ado, here is my first comfort food recipe of the season. Mmm, comfort food is my favorite. (Also probably everyone’s, maybe?)
Deconstructed Stuffed Peppers Recipe
(Makes 4 to 6 servings)
- 1/2 cup uncooked rice (I used brown rice.)
- 1 to 2 bell peppers (You can use any color. The amount depends on how big your bell pepper is and how much you want to put in. I used 1 green bell pepper because it was huge. You can’t go wrong with how much or little you use.)
- 1/3 cup onion, chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 pound ground beef (I use a 15% or lower fat content so that I don’t have to drain the liquid.)
- 1 can (14.5 ounce) diced tomatoes (I used the Basil, Garlic, Oregano flavor.)
- 1 can (8 ounce) tomato sauce (I used the Basil, Garlic, Oregano flavor.)
- 1 tablespoon dried parsley
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- 1/2 tablespoon white sugar
- 1/2 tablespoon salt
- 1/ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 to 2 cups mozzarella cheese, shredded (I used about 1 and 1/2 cups. Again, use however much you like because you really can’t go wrong.)
- (Optional) Sprinkle of fresh basil on top
- Cook the rice according to the directions on the package and then set it aside.
- Remove the seeds and membranes from the bell pepper(s) and roughly chop them. Set them aside.
- In a skillet, over Medium heat, cook the chopped onion, minced garlic, and ground beef.
- When the ground beef is about half way cooked, add the chopped bell peppers and cook until the beef is browned and cooked all the way through.
- Stir in the diced tomatoes and tomato sauce. (Any flavor will do, but you should probably try to make them the same flavor as each other.)
- Season with parsley, basil, Italian seasoning, sugar, salt, and pepper.
- Simmer, covered, for about 30 minutes.
- Add the cooked rice to the meat mixture and stir everything together.
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
- In a 9 x 13 inch baking pan, add the meat and rice mixture and spread it out into an even layer.
- Sprinkle the shredded mozzarella cheese on top.
- Cook in the preheated oven for about 20 to 30 minutes. (I cooked mine for 25 minutes, just watch your cheese mostly.)
- (Optional) Sprinkle fresh basil on top, just prior to serving.
Source: Tina’s Chic Corner