Bell peppers make a perfect vehicle for this hearty weeknight meal. The recipe calls for ground beef, but you could also use ground chicken or ground turkey.
4 large bell peppers (about 8 oz. each)
4 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, chopped
1 pound lean ground beef
1 14-oz. can diced tomatoes, with juice
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1 cup cooked white rice
Salt and pepper
1/4 cup dried bread crumbs
How to Make It
Preheat oven to 425°F; line a large, rimmed baking sheet with foil. Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat. Cut off stem end of each pepper, about 1/2 inch down, and use a tablespoon to scoop out seeds and membrane. If peppers don't sit upright, slice a sliver from bottom, being careful not to cut into the peppers, so they sit level while they bake.
Add peppers to pot and bring water back to a rapid boil. Cook until slightly softened, 8 to 10 minutes.
While peppers are cooking, warm 2 Tbsp. oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and sauté until softened, about 3 minutes. Add beef and cook, stirring, until crumbled and no longer pink, about 3 minutes. Add tomatoes, cinnamon, cloves and rice. Stir until almost all liquid is absorbed, about 3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. You should have about 4 cups filling.
Using tongs, remove peppers from water and drain, inverted, on paper towels. Pack each pepper with about 1 cup filling. Arrange peppers on baking sheet, sprinkle with bread crumbs and drizzle with remaining 2 Tbsp. oil. Bake until browned, about 15 minutes.
Loved it! My husband and I have a flare for the spicy so I used Fire Roasted Diced Tomatoes and added some crushed red pepper which was a really nice flavor with the cinnamon and clove. My husband is also diabetic so I used brown rice and omitted the bread crumbs and added a sprinkle of cheese on top. Will be making this again!
This was a wonderfully good and easy weeknight meal. Especially because I had white rice leftover from the dinner the night before. I followed the directions for the most part. The only change was that I used minced garlic instead of the cinnamon and cloves. I served the peppers with garlic bread and a side of veges, only because I knew my kids would not want to eat all of the pepper. It was perfect. I will definitely be putting this on my list of easy weeknight meals.
This recipe, with high-quality ground beef, is sooo much better than stuffed peppers that use NO meat but only rice.
I've used a similar recipe (from Meta Givens Encyclopedia of Cooking, from the 1950's or 60's) for 40+ years.
I suggest that, rather than cinnamon and cloves, you use the old stand-by garlic (minced or crushed, 1 clove garlic per pepper used) and fresh herbs from your garden or supermarket...or dried herbs such as basil and oregano.
Be sure also to dice up and include all the pieces of peppers you're not using as holders for the filling.
Good as main dish. Serve with any vegetables cooked in any way. In fact, as long as you're baking the peppers, why not prepare a shallow panful of chunked redskin potatoes that you've doused in a mixture of olive oil, minced garlic, and chopped fresh Rosemary (or dried; just use 1/3 as much if using dried). Let the potatoes bake right along with the peppers; same length of time is OK. Could toss in some whole green beans as well, with the potatoes.
I made the stuffed peppers regularly for my growing family; everybody would eat these.
Finally, this recipe is a good one to use for Stuffed Japanese Eggplant!
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