Classic Oven-baked Stuffed Peppers

Tender sweet peppers stuffed with a delicious mixture of beef, rice, cheese and tomatoes makes a healthy, simple meal the whole family will love!

MAKES 6 Servings - PREP TIME 30 min - COOK TIME 45 min - TOTAL TIME 1 hr 15 min

 

Ingredients

  • 6 large sweet peppers, any colour

  • 1 lb (500 g) Lean Ground Beef

  • 1 medium onion, diced finely

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced

  • 1 can (796 mL) diced tomatoes

  • 2 tbsp (30 mL) tomato paste

  • 2 tbsp (30 mL) dried basil leaves

  • 1 tbsp (15 mL) dried oregano leaves

  • 1 tbsp (15 mL) granulated sugar (optional)

  • 1 tsp (15 mL) salt

  • ¼ tsp (1 mL) pepper

  • 1 cup (250 mL) cooked long-grain or Jasmine rice (½ cup/125 mL uncooked)

  • ¾ cup (175 mL) shredded mozzarella or Cheddar cheese

  • ¼ cup (60 mL) fresh parsley, chopped


1. Cut the tops off peppers (reserve tops). Remove seeds and membranes; discard. Slice a small portion off the bottom of peppers, making sure not to cut through to the inside, so peppers will stand up straight. Stand peppers upright in 13 x 9-inch (33 x 23 cm) glass baking dish; set aside. Discard stems and dice pepper tops; set aside.

2. Brown beef, onion, garlic and diced pepper tops over medium-high heat in large skillet, stirring and stirring and using back of spoon to break up beef into chunks, for 8 to 10 minutes until meat is thoroughly cooked and vegetables are softened. Drain, if needed.

3. Stir in tomatoes, tomato paste, basil, oregano, sugar (if using), salt and pepper; bring to boil. Cover, reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 15 to 20 minutes or until sauce is thickened. Stir in cooked rice and heat through. Remove from heat. Season with salt and pepper to taste.


4. Fill each pepper with the ground beef mixture. Cover with foil and bake in preheated 350ºF oven for 30 minutes. Remove foil, sprinkle each pepper with cheese and bake for 10 minutes or until peppers are tender and cheese is melted. Serve sprinkled with parsley, if desired.


Tips

TIME SAVER: Cut the tops off peppers (reserve tops). Remove seeds and membranes; discard. Place them in a microwave-safe dish with ¼ cup (60 mL) water in bottom. Cover with paper towel and microwave on HIGH for 5 minutes. Drain. Reduce first baking time by 10 minutes.

Replace rice with another cooked grain. Try quinoa, bulgur wheat, pearl couscous or even small pasta, such as orzo.


For the original recipe, click here.