In all my years of growing up, I had stuffed peppers once. I don’t even remember whether I liked them or not! I do love peppers, so after a year or so of marriage, I finally decided to try out stuffed peppers. My husband had mentioned how much he liked them, so I had to give it a go. There are so many variations out there to stuffed peppers. I didn’t want to be kept in the kitchen for long, so I came up with my own recipe that has worked for me. You can basically throw whatever you can imagine in the filling, and they come out beautiful every time. Don’t have a certain ingredient? Improvise with another. It’s that easy.
Start off by washing your peppers. You can use green, orange or yellow peppers as well. Any kind will do. I happen to like the sweet red ones. Next, cut them in half lengthwise, keeping stems attached. Remove seeds.
Onto the filling. Here is where nothing is too technical. Chop up some onion and fresh tomato, keeping it all on the small side. Throw all your raw filling ingredients into a bowl and mix. Yes, including the rice pilaf seasonings packet! Stick to an 80% lean beef so that the fat and juices can help your rice to cook. I know a lot of recipes require you to precook your meat and rice, but trust me, it will all cook up in the oven just perfectly. Add some seasonings, like garlic powder, salt, pepper, chili powder and cumin. Don’t forget the star of the show: the BBQ sauce! Make sure everything is evenly incorporated. If the mixture does not look wet enough, add a bit more BBQ sauce.
Using a cookie scoop, fill peppers. Two scoops filled my pepper halves just perfectly. You want the filling packed down, but not overflowing the pepper.
*Note: I only used 4 peppers for this recipe, because they fit perfectly into a 13×9 pan. You will have leftover filling unless you add one more pepper to make 5 whole peppers total. I usually cook up the extra filling in a covered pan to use in a tortilla wrap or just to eat up for lunch.
Now the easy part. Cover the pan with aluminum foil and bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 1 hour. Your cooking time may vary from mine, but more than likely some extra cooking time will be required. Just bake until the rice is tender.
And there you have it:
Finish off with a dollop of sour cream for a bit of creamy goodness to go along with the bold flavors.
BBQ Stuffed Peppers
by The Happy Homemaker
4 red bell peppers
sour cream (optional, used as garnish)
1 lb. ground beef (80% lean 20% fat)
1 box rice pilaf
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1/4 cup diced onion
1/2 cup fresh diced tomatoes
1/3 – 1/2 cup BBQ sauce
1/2 tsp. each of: garlic powder, chili powder, salt & pepper
1/4 tsp. cumin
Preheat oven to 350 degrees, and assemble peppers as shown above. Cover with foil and bake for 1 hour, or until rice is tender. Top with sour cream if desired.
I hope you enjoy this meal as much as we do!
The Happy Homemaker