I previously wrote up my Mother in Law Christy’s meatloaf recipe, the one that opened my eyes to the power of a meatloaf sandwich. When we were on Long Island for Easter she taught me to make another easy weeknight entree (and one of Ben’s favorite meals ever), stuffed peppers, and I tried them out myself a week or two later. I’d never had a stuffed pepper before, so I don’t know if this is a typical recipe, but it is incredibly easy and SO tasty. I don’t even like peppers that much, but cooking the filling in them actually adds nice flavor, and I even ate most of the pepper with the filling! Ben likes the green ones; I prefer red or orange or yellow.
Christy’s Stuffed Peppers
(the recipe is pretty rough–just adjust everything to taste!)
For each pound of ground beef:
3 big or 4 small bell peppers
1 onion, chopped
1.5-2 cups cooked rice (I bought it for a fortune from the hot bar at Whole Foods but next time I’ll suck it up and cook it myself first… It would be a nice time saver to cook extra next time you’re making rice and use leftovers the next night!)
1 16 oz. can of tomato sauce (I used Muir Glen, and made sure it was not the kind with basil in it)
Grated cheese (Cheddar is good; I used a grated “mexican” blend from Trader Joe’s that I need to use up!)
Preheat the oven to 350.
Clean and core the peppers (I cut mine lengthwise but you can also just cut the top off and fill them like cups. I will do it that way next time. I overfilled one small and two big peppers and ate the bit of extra filling while they baked, because I was starving.)
Blanch the peppers in boiling salted water until they are tender but not soft. (A few minutes) Drain and set aside.
Sauté the onion until soft, then brown the beef.
When the beef is cooked, add in the tomato sauce and the rice and cook for 15 minutes or so, or until it tastes well blended.
Arrange the peppers on a baking sheet or in a casserole pan. Fill with the meat mixture, top with cheese, and bake for 15 or 20 minutes, until the cheese is melted.
The melted cheese looks so sad in these photos, I’m sorry!
Despite the simplicity of the recipe, these were incredibly flavorful and tasty. We ate leftovers for dinner a couple nights later and they were even better, though reheating was a bit tricky. I think if I knew I’d have leftovers I would leave the cheese off those when I was baking them, and then microwave them to heat the filling before adding the cheese and broiling them for a couple minutes.