Classic Stuffed Bell Peppers

Classic Stuffed Bell Peppers

Bell peppers are loaded with beta-carotene, fiber, and vitamins C and B6, and can reduce your risk of cancer. We stuff them with seasoned ground beef, cheese, garlic and rice for a satisfying main or side dish.

Serves 4 as a light main dish or side dish


Ingredients


Salt
4 medium red, yellow, or orange bell peppers (about 6 ounces each), 1/2 inch trimmed off tops, cores and seeds discarded
1/2 cup long-grain white rice
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped fine (about 1 cup)
12 ounces ground beef, preferably ground chuck
3 medium garlic cloves, minced
1 (14 1/2-ounce) can diced tomatoes, drained, 1/4 cup juice reserved
1 1/4 cups (about 5 ounces) shredded Monterey Jack cheese
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves
Ground black pepper
1/4 cup ketchup

1. Bring 4 quarts water to boil in large stockpot or Dutch oven over high heat. Add 1 tablespoon salt and bell peppers. Cook until peppers just begin to soften, about 3 minutes. Using slotted spoon, remove peppers from pot, drain off excess water, and place peppers cut-sides up on paper towels. Return water to boil; add rice and boil until tender, about 13 minutes. Drain rice and transfer to large bowl; set aside.

2. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees.

3. Meanwhile, heat 12-inch heavy-bottomed skillet over medium-high heat until hot, about 1 1/2 minutes; add oil and swirl to coat. Add onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened and beginning to brown, about 5 minutes. Add ground beef and cook, breaking beef into small pieces with spoon, until no longer pink, about 4 minutes. Stir in garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Transfer mixture to bowl with rice; stir in tomatoes, 1 cup cheese, parsley, and salt and pepper to taste.

4. Stir together ketchup and reserved tomato juice in small bowl.

5. Place peppers cut-side up in 9-inch square baking dish. Using soup spoon, divide filling evenly among peppers. Spoon 2 tablespoons ketchup mixture over each filled pepper and sprinkle each with 1 tablespoon of remaining cheese. Bake until cheese is browned and filling is heated through, 25 to 30 minutes. Serve immediately.


Spiced Bell Peppers with Spiced Lamb, Currants and Feta Cheese



Ingredients


Salt
4 medium red, yellow, or orange bell peppers (about 6 ounces each), 1/2 inch trimmed off tops, cores and seeds discarded
1/2 cup long-grain white rice
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped fine (about 1 cup)
12 ounces ground lamb
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
3 medium garlic cloves, minced
1 (1-inch) piece fresh ginger, minced (about 1 tablespoon)
1/4 cup currants
1 (14 1/2-ounce) can diced tomatoes, drained
1 cup (about 6 ounces) feta cheese, crumbled
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro leaves
Ground black pepper
1/3 cup roughly chopped salted, toasted cashews

1. Follow recipe for Classic Stuffed Bell Peppers through step 2.

2. Meanwhile, heat 12-inch heavy-bottomed skillet over medium-high heat until hot, about 1 1/2 minutes; add oil and swirl to coat. Add onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened and beginning to brown, about 5 minutes. Add ground lamb, cumin, cardamom, cinnamon, and red pepper flakes; cook, breaking lamb into small pieces with spoon, until no longer pink, about 4 minutes. Stir in garlic, ginger, and currants; cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Transfer mixture to bowl with rice; stir in tomatoes, cheese, cilantro, and salt and pepper to taste.

3. Continue with recipe for Classic Stuffed Bell Peppers from step 5, substituting chopped cashews for ketchup mixture and cheese topping.


Stuffed Bell Peppers with Chicken, Smoked Mozzarella and Basil

Serves 4 as a light main dish or side dish


Ingredients


Salt
4 medium red, yellow, or orange bell peppers (about 6 ounces each), 1/2 inch trimmed off tops, cores and seeds discarded
1/2 cup long-grain white rice
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped fine (about 1 cup)
12 ounces ground chicken
3 medium garlic cloves, minced
1 (14 1/2-ounce) can diced tomatoes, drained
1 cup (about 4 ounces) shredded smoked mozzarella
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil leaves
Ground black pepper
1/3 cup fresh bread crumbs

1. Follow recipe for Classic Stuffed Bell Peppers through step 2.

2. Meanwhile, heat 12-inch heavy-bottomed skillet over medium-high heat until hot, about 1 1/2 minutes; add oil and swirl to coat. Add onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened and beginning to brown, about 5 minutes. Add chicken and cook, breaking it into small pieces with spoon, until chicken becomes opaque, about 4 minutes. Stir in garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Transfer mixture to bowl with rice; stir in tomatoes, cheese, basil, and salt and pepper to taste.

3. Continue with recipe for Classic Stuffed Bell Peppers from step 5, substituting bread crumbs for ketchup mixture and cheese topping.