Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Stuffed Peppers

I feel like I'm 13 again.

When I think of dishes my mom made during my childhood, I envision two beefy stuffed entities: stuffed cabbage and stuffed peppers. Since I was a kid, I could have done without the cabbage and peppers (and often did), as I scooped out the savory insides of beef, rice, and spices from these Balkan delights.

This past week Matt and I found ourselves with an abundance of bell peppers, so we thought it was the perfect opportunity to make this comfort meal. And double win for me: I wasn't feeling well so Matt whipped it up. (He'll make anything if it includes beef.)
I don't know how my mom made them (care to pipe in, mom!), but we found this recipe quick and easy. Actually, we make it a rule to avoid anything complicated, and this fit the bill. They were juicy and delicious.

Note: Due to my sensitivity to red meat from Crohn's, we buy the the leanest beef possible - usually 94% lean and organic, which really helps.

Stuffed Peppers
  • 6 green bell peppers (We used 9, as ours were small.)
  • salt to taste
  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • 2/3 cup chopped onion
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 15 oz. can diced tomatoes
  • 3 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 cup uncooked rice
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
  • 1 (10.75 ounce) can condensed tomato soup
  • water as needed
  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cut the tops off the peppers, and remove the seeds. Cook peppers in boiling water for 5 minutes; drain. Sprinkle salt inside each pepper, and set aside.
  2. In a large skillet, saute beef and onions for 5 minutes, or until beef is browned. Drain off excess fat, and season with salt and pepper. Stir in the tomatoes, rice, 1/2 cup water and Worcestershire sauce. Cover, and simmer for 15 minutes, or until rice is tender. Remove from heat, and stir in the cheese.
  3. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. (175 degrees C). Stuff each pepper halfway with the beef and rice mixture. Combine the soup with a bit of water until it's a gravy consistency, and put a few Tb. of this in each pepper, and then fill the peppers to the top and add more tomato sauce. Place peppers open side up in a baking dish.
  4. Bake covered for 25 to 35 minutes, until heated through and bubbly.
Matt stuffing the peppers with the precision of an Olympic athlete (or something).

Fresh from the oven.

And there you have it.


  1. You were never that fond of these, my, how your tastes have changed! This recipe is very similar to how I make them, but I can simplify it even more. I don't precook the peppers, I just cut 'em in half and fill. For the last several years I've been buying red peppers, which are not bitter like the green (the red are just the ripe green ones, and since they're on the vine longer, they're more expensive). You can omit the onion and add a packet of dry soup, I like Lipton's "Beefy Onion and Mushroom" but don't add any more salt to the recipe. Also, I mix the tomato soup with water and pour most of it OVER the peppers before baking, so there is a pool of sauce in which they cook, and they have to bake a bit longer, since the peppers were raw to begin with. I sprinkle cheese on at the end. Bon Appetit! Mom

  2. But aren't the peppers sort of crunchy, then? I don't like the crunch!

  3. Not if you cook them about an hour, covered. Also, I've also made them using uncooked beef (very lean) with the cooked rice mixed in. This saves even more prep time, especially if you plan ahead and use extra rice from a previous meal. I'll make them the next time you come up. Mom