One of the summer harvests I get most excited for is bell peppers. It’s difficult to choose a favorite vegetable, but I think bell peppers would be on the top of the list. They come in four beautiful colors, can range from sweet to slightly spicy and are so versatile you can use them cooked or raw in pretty much anything. They taste the best in summer and this is also when they’re most affordable.
As a kid, I grew up eating microwaveable stuffed peppers that my parents would buy by the dozen. They were one of my favorite easy meals, and I probably ate over 100 of them before I turned eighteen.
Okay, maybe more. I’m not counting.
I eventually moved away from processed foods and frozen dinners, but the love of stuffed peppers never left me. I wasn’t exactly sure how to make stuffed peppers but decided to start experimenting.
While the stuffed peppers I grew up on had rice in them, I found that the extra step of cooking rice just made the stuffed pepper recipe seem more complicated. Even if I used leftover rice, it meant I had to wait until I actually had leftover rice to make the peppers. I really wanted this to be an easy stuffed bell peppers recipe that I could make on the spur of the moment, so I decided to use whole wheat bread crumbs to bind things together instead.
Another big difference is that the microwave version was always stuffed green peppers. While I will choose to use just green peppers when they are a lot cheaper than the other colors, I do like to use multiple colors for visual impact, especially in the summer when they’re all on sale. Let your budget determine what colors you want to use.
Old Fashioned stuffed bell peppers
If you want a faster stuffed peppers meal, try these old fashioned stuffed bell peppers. Ground beef is quickly browned and tossed with minute rice, a premade spice mix, and tomato sauce, before stuffing into halved bell peppers and roasting in the oven.
Beef Stuffed Bell Peppers Serving Size
The serving size depends on how hungry you are and whether or not you have any side dishes. If I serve this with salad, Eric and I each eat half a stuffed pepper but our exchange students (teenage boys) will still eat a whole one. To make it easy, I’m calling a whole pepper a serving. But know that it’s a big serving! With half a pepper per person, it will of course be half the cost and cut the nutrition information in half.
Have you ever made stuffed peppers? Have you stuffed other kinds of food?
- 1 white onion, finely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 1 lb ground beef
- 3 tsp coarse salt
- 1/2 tsp cayenne powder
- 2 tsp chili powder
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1 tsp paprika
- 2 cups whole wheat bread crumbs
- 1 15 oz can tomato sauce, 6 TBS reserved
- 6 bell peppers
- 1/4 cup fresh grated parmesan
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Heat onion and garlic on medium high in a large pan and cook, stirring regularly, until softened.
- In a large bowl, mix cooked onion and garlic with beef, salt, cayenne, chili powder, oregano, paprika, bread crumbs, and all but 6 TBS of the tomato sauce.
- Cut the tops of the bell peppers and scoop out the seeds. Spoon beef filling into each peppers and replace the tops.
- Stand peppers up in a baking dish and cook for about 50 minutes, until pepper is wrinkled and softened.
- Remove pepper tops and spoon remaining tomato sauce on top of the meat. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese. Cook an additional 10 minutes (without pepper tops).
- Serve hot, with pepper tops if desired.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 305Total Fat: 15gSaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 71mgSodium: 1469mgCarbohydrates: 17gFiber: 3gSugar: 5gProtein: 25g
Nutrition information is an estimate only.