Italian Seasoned Stuffed Peppers

These easy stuffed peppers can be made for dinner tonight, or prepped ahead and finished in the oven or crockpot.  With few ingredients, paired with a simple side of cut up fruit, this meal comes together easily. Bonus in my household: all 3 children eat at least the stuffing  – one refuses to eat the actual pepper….

Ingredients:

6 large bell peppers (or 7-8 if they are small), tops and seeds removed, with a small slice carved off the bottom so they stand up in the baking dish or crockpot – or if using the oven method, you can also cut them in half lengthwise (use the tops and slices in the filling after dicing, if desired)

1 lb of 90% lean ground beef

1 tsp minced garlic

1 TB italian herb seasoning blend (like this one from Penzey’s, which is my favorite spice/seasoning store)

1/4-1/2 tsp of dried red pepper flakes (optional)

2 c of cooked brown rice (I like to use the frozen rice that cooks in the microwave in 3 minutes!  You can also use white rice if you prefer)

1 15 oz can of tomato sauce

1 14.5 oz can of petite diced tomatoes (undrained)

Salt and pepper

4-6 oz Italian blend shredded cheese

Instructions:

  1. If preparing peppers to eat immediately, preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Brown ground beef, garlic, and if desired, diced tops and bottoms of peppers in a large pan until beef is cooked through, stirring and breaking up frequently with a wooden spoon.
  3. Add Italian seasoning blend and, if using, red pepper flakes, and stir to mix evenly.
  4. Add cooked rice, tomatoes and tomato sauce.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Check seasoning and adjust as necessary.  Adding salt and pepper if desired and/or more Italian blend.
  5. Fill peppers or pepper halves with beef mixture (packing tightly) and place in baking dish.
  6. If cooking immediately, top with cheese and bake for 20-30 minutes, or until peppers are tender and cheese is melted and slightly browned.
  7. If preparing ahead, cover tightly and refrigerate.  When ready to serve, allow to come to room temperature as oven is pre-heating.  Bake covered for 30-35 minutes or until peppers and mixture are heated through.  Top with cheese and bake an additional 15-20 minutes until it is melted and slightly browned.  You can also prepare through step 5 and use your slow cooker to finish the peppers (use whole peppers, not halved for this method).  Add peppers to slow cooker and cook on high for 2-3 hours.  30 minutes before serving, uncover and top with cheese.

 

 

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One Response to Italian Seasoned Stuffed Peppers

  1. Pingback: Weekly Meal Plan – January 23 through 29, 2017 | Plan Prep Pour

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