Stuffed Green Peppers are one of the most basic recipes from my kitchen. I probably should have made this one of the first posts of the blog since it is truly a beginner’s recipe. Perhaps that’s why I never thought about it, it’s one of those things I just whip up when I have spare peppers hanging out that need to be used.
Sometimes, when I am looking at recipes my inside voice (you know, the one that gets me in trouble when it bypasses my better judgment filter) asks “what is wrong with good old fashioned basic recipes? Does everything need some twist or added feature to be worthy of eating?”
I am not opposed to experimenting in the kitchen, some of my best tasting recipes were devised doing just that. It’s just that at what point have we fooled with recipes and cooking techniques so much that recipes become intimidating?
I know my way around a kitchen pretty well. I consider myself a decent cook. I can use most new-fangled kitchen gadgets but can also make dinner with not much more than a cooking vessel and something to stir with.
However, I look at some recipes and know that I would have to adjust it so much to make it simple home cooking that I just move on. If I were a new cook, I would be afraid of cooking. 7,000 ingredients, 10 of them impossible to find, and at least 2 of them someone in the house refuses to eat. It’s no wonder so few people choose to cook at home these days.
For beginner cooks, if there are extra steps in a recipe that seem like they are over the top, there is a good chance they probably are. I skip steps all the time. If I can get from A to Z in 3 easy steps, you can bet I leave the other 23 steps behind.
This is just a base recipe for stuffed peppers, for beginner cooks. You can use any color of bell pepper you like. Swap out the ground beef for any protein you like. Don’t like rice? Skip it, or use another grain like barley. Did your mom (or dad) use corn or black beans? Add them. We are plain Jane at my house, no offense to anyone named Jane out there.
Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray a baking pan large enough to hold all the peppers with baking spray.
Cut tops off bell peppers and clean out seeds and membrane. Level off the bottom of the bell peppers so they sit upright in a baking pan. Place in the prepared baking sheet.
Add ground beef and onion to a skillet.
Cook over medium high heat until ground beef is browned.
Remove from heat.
Set aside 1 cup of tomato sauce in a small bowl.
Add remaining tomato sauce and rice to pan and mix to combine.
Use a spoon to fill bell peppers.
Surround bell peppers with any remaining meat and rice mixture.
Add frac14; cup water to remaining tomato sauce and stir to combine.
Spoon tomato sauce over peppers and any remaining meat and rice mixture in the pan.
Place in preheated 350°F oven.
Bake until peppers are cooked to desired degree of doneness. At approximately 45 minutes the peppers will be cooked, but still slightly crunchy.
*To reduce baking time you can boil the peppers in a pot of water for 3 minutes, then immediately submerge them into a bowl of ice water prior to filling with meat and rice mixture.