We adapted About.com’s Stuffed Peppers with Ground Beef recipe, to make a scrumptious, heart-warming meal. In the words of my 6-year-old nephew “deee licious, man!” This is just the kind of meal a girl needs as the fall weather settles in with tell-tale signs that the snow is not so far off. Here in Minnesota we’ve been having beautiful 60-70 degree days, with perfect sleeping weather (mid-40 degree) nights. It’s a wonderful, crisp time of year that just begs for a hot, soul-soothing type meal, and this is it. Besides, what’s not to love when the veggies, meat, grains, and dairy are all packed into an edible holder??? Now, if only that meant no dishes.
These stuffed peppers took some time to prep, probably not the most convenient week-night meal, although you could do some prep-work the night before. We, of course, did not plan ahead very well and ended up eating dinner rather late as a result. Good thing there was football on to keep us distracted.
Per usual, I adjusted the recipe compared to the one we found on About.com.
4 green bell peppers
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
4 stalks of celery, chopped
1 can (14.5 ounces) diced tomatoes
1 can (8 ounces) tomato sauce
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 teaspoon dried leaf oregano
1/2 teaspoon dried leaf basil
2 teaspoons salt, divided
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper, divided
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 1/2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce (double-check that it’s gluten free)
1 1/2 pounds lean ground beef
1 1/2 cups cooked long-grain rice (I cooked up one cup of dry rice, so however much that ends up being)
shredded mild Cheddar cheese, about 1/2 to 3/4 cup, optional
Steps: Cut the tops off the peppers and clean out the insides. Chop up the tops from the peppers and add to the chopped onion and celery. Place peppers in a large pot of salted water, bring to a boil and reduce the heat, simmer for 5 minutes. Drain peppers and set aside.
Brown the meat in a large skillet, drain meat and set aside. Using same skillet, heat the olive oil until hot, saute onions, peppers, and celery until soft, about 5 minutes. Add tomatoes, tomato sauce, crushed garlic, oregano, basil, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon of pepper. Simmer for about 10 minutes.
In a large bowl, whisk egg with remaining 1 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper, and Worcestershire sauce. Add the ground beef, cooked rice and 1 cup of tomato mixture (in hindsight, I would have added all of the tomato mixture here – *see the note below). Mix well.
Stuff peppers with meat mixture and place into a 3 quart dish (I used our large Dutch Oven). Pour remaining tomato sauce over the stuffed peppers. Bake at 350 degrees for 55-65 minutes, adding cheese on top for the last 5 minutes, if desired. Bon Appetite.
*The peppers were delicious made with just a cup of sauce mixed into the meat and the rest of the sauce poured over the top. However, the sauce was thick, and not super saucy, both Ryan and I thought the sauce would be better mixed into the meat, then stuff the peppers and pour any remaining meat/sauce over the top, spilling into the dish. I thought the meat mixture could have used a little more sauce too it. I also highly recommend topping these with cheese, it added a gooey level of comfort to this amazing dish.