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Easy Stuffed Bell Peppers

Updated on July 16, 2012

Looking for a recipe for stuffed bell peppers?

Stuffed bell peppers make a marvelous dish at summer gatherings! Choose any color of bell pepper to complement a theme or use red, yellow and green (or sny other combination of them). The bold colors add a nice festive touch to celebrations.

Stuffed Bell Peppers are a great main course for meat lovers orvegetarians! Stuffed bell peppers are traditionally prepared with ground beef but the meat products can easily be replaced with vegetarian substitutes- both recipes are available below.

Smaller peppers can be used to create a delicious appetizer or snack and the basic recipe is so versatile that it can be adapted and modified to fit just about anyone's diet!

In this article you will find recipes for both hearty beef stuffed bell peppers and vegetarian stuffed bell peppers, ingredient substitution suggestions and other tips to take these recipes and make them your own!

Bon Appetit!

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Have you ever made stuffed bell peppers?

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I waited far too long to try stuffed peppers!

I had always wanted to try making yummy stuffed bell peppers but was always intimidated by the thought. I wish I would have known sooner how easy they are to make! I have always loved cooking (and the soldiers who come over for meals seem to love my cooking) and usually try the more difficult recipes, but the stuffed peppers just was not a challenge I was up for- or so I thought until two months ago I found that my bell pepper plants had grown lots and lots of peppers and I needed to use them all!

I finally decided to try the recipes. When I do try something new like this I generally find five or so recipes and follow the temperature and cooking instructions to be sure I get the meat cooked thoroughly but I generally try to create my own blend of flavors. I found a few recipes for stuffed bell peppers that looked delicious and took my favorite elements of those different recipes, changed a few things and added a bit until I came up with a delicious and easy recipe for stuffed bell peppers!

Ingredients

  • Red Green or Yellow Bell Peppers (or some of each!)
  • 1 lb Ground Beef
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups cooked rice
  • 1/4 onion diced
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 tsp Worcestershire Sauce
  • 1/2 cup Ketchup
  • Italian Seasoning
  • Olive Oil
  • 1/2 of a14 oz can diced tomatoes OR 2 fresh tomatoes

Instructions

  1. If you haven't already cooked the rice, do so now! Whilen the rice is cooking, prepare the bell peppers (any colors will do) by cutting off the tops and removing the seeds. Consider holding onto those seeds to grow your own bell peppers later!
  2. Pre-heat the oven to 350*F and bring a pot of water at least 1 inch deeper than the height of your peppeers to a boil.
  3. Drop the peppers into the water and push them down with tongs until they fill with water- boil the ppers for 2-3 minutes. The peppers should be a little bit soft (flexible) but mot mushy. Remove the peppers, dry them and place them standing up, brush the inside of each pepper with olive oil.
  4. If you prefer less of an onion flavor (or to hide them from the kids), reduce the amount and sautee the onion until transparent before combining the ingredients- see below for onion substitutes).
  5. Brown the ground beef and drain the fat. In a large bowl combine the ground beef and the other ingredients except for the ketchup and 1/2 of the worchestershire sauce.
  6. Scoop the mixture into each pepper- fill to the top. Mix the ketchup and worchestershire sauce and drizzle over the top. Baking time will vary depending upon size of the peppers, but usually you bake for 50 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 160*F.
Cast your vote for Easy Stuffed Bell Pepper

Easy Meatless Stuffed Bell Peppers - Replace the ground beef and the eggs with vegetarian / vegan ingredients

  • Red Green or Yellow Bell Peppers (or some of each!)
  • 1 lb veggie burger (you can use the burger patties- just crumble them)
  • 2 tbsp gram chick pea or soya flour and 2 tbsp water
  • 1 1/2 cups cooked rice
  • 1/4 onion diced
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 tsp Vegan Worcestershire Sauce (see link for recipe)
  • 1/2 cup Ketchup
  • Italian Seasoning
  • Olive Oil
  • 1/2 of a14 oz can diced tomatoes OR 2 fresh tomatoes

Instructions

  1. The steps for making the vegan stuffed bell peppers are exactly the same as the recipe above, here it is again if you want to print out the vegan version of the recipe. Most worchestershire sauce is not vegan but it is possible to find some in stores OR you can make your own using the recipe in the big link right below this recipe.
  2. Cook the rice according to package directions. While the rice is cooking, prepare the bell peppers (any colors will work) by cutting off the tops and removing the seeds. Consider holding onto those seeds to grow your own bell peppers later!
  3. Pre-heat the oven to 350*F and bring a pot of water at least 1 inch deeper than the height of your peppeers to a boil.
  4. Drop the peppers into the water and push them down with tongs until they fill with water- boil the ppers for 2-3 minutes. The peppers should be a little bit soft (flexible) but mot mushy. Remove and dry the peppers and place them standing up, brush the inside of each pepper with olive oil.
  5. Adjust amount of onion to suit your taste if needed- for less oniony flavor and to help it "disappear" while cooking, sautee the onion until transparent before combining the ingredients- see below for onion substitutes).
  6. Crumble and brown the veggie burger in a frying pan. In a large bowl combine the veggie "meat" with other ingredients except for the ketchup and 1/2 of the worchestershire sauce.
  7. Scoop the mixture into each pepper- fill to the top. Mix the ketchup and worchestershire sauce and drizzle over the top. Baking time will vary depending upon size of the peppers, but usually you bake for 50 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 160*F.

Some Variations for Restricted Diets - these variations also work if you don't want to go to the store!

My recipe strays a bit from the traditional because I like to think of the stuffed bell peppers as being like a little meatloaf shoved inside a pepper. I prefer the texture when it is a bit more packed together. You can make it less like a loaf by using less eggs or none at all! You can change the recipe if you don't like an ingredient, just be sure to find a substitute for the main ingredients!

For example, I have substituted instant mashed potato for the rice in a pinch, bread crumbs work as well! You can cut the rice in half and add half potatoes or bread crumbs... just use something starchy. If you are on a low glycemic index diet you can replace the rice with a little but of masked sweet potato (not too much though). Ground turkey or chicken can be a substitute for the ground beef.

For those who can't eat tomato, garlic, or any other ingredient in the recipe: There are ways to still eat the foods you love! Tomato is the trickiest one- while it is difficult to find a substitute that mimics the flavor, some popular substitutes do contain similar textures when incorporated into a recipe.

To substitute for tomato: Try replacing diced tomato with zuchinini, Umeboshi, tamarind concentrate, mango (under ripe) or even squash or pumpkin! You may need to add a few drops of lemon juice for flavor. When substituting these foods for tomato, use less than the amount that the recipe calls for if the tomato is more like an accessory than the base.

To substitute for garlic: You can get creative. Leave it out altogether- it won't hurt the recipe to do so or you can use chives, sweet onion or a bit more onion. You can use a little bit more seasoning,

To substitute for onion: Many onion substitutes are from the same family as onions, so if you have an allergy, do some homework first, when in doubt, leave it out! Shallots, leeks and scallions are popular substitutes for onion. In the stuffed bell pepper recipe you can replace the onions with a little bit of diced bell pepper or even celery.

Asafoetida is a popular substitute for onion and garlic in India (use caution if you have allergies- including allergies to things like latex). It is the dried latex of giant fennel and has been used in Indian cooking for a very, very long time! Just a teeny tiny bit of this stuff- it is incredibly potent. Also use read the label if you have wheat allergies as most packaged Asafoetida in the U.S. contains other ingredients- especially wheat.

Just think of the ingredient you can't eat. What is it's purpose in the recipe? Is it there for texture, sweetness, sourness, spiciness? Try to think of something similar.

***If you are allergic to onion, familiarize yourself with the list of commonly used onion substitutes from the same family so you know what to avoid.

Making Stuffed Bell Peppers is Even Easier - with a stuffed veggie baking pan

To make it even more affordable & healthier - Grow as much as you can!

Bell peppers are very popular and pretty easy to grow! All of mine were grown from the seeds that I took out of bell peppers that I had bought for recipes. Before we had a house with a back yard, I grew my peppers in large pots on the balcony of my apartment- this was actually easier because in the colder months I brought them inside and they survived for a long time. To learn how to grow your own bell peppers, click here.

But don't stop at the peppers! Garlic and onions can be grown at home too! I started growing them because I was just tired of running out of them when I needed them. They are pretty easy to grow as well. In depth info for growing your own garlic and onions can be found here.

I also love to grow fresh herbs. Herbs can get expensive at the store but some are very easy to grow and they taste so much better than dried herbs!

Some great stuffed bell pepper recipes

Any other tips for making stuffed peppers?

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