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Stuffed peppers is my signature dish! I’ve been making this dish for as long as I can remember, and I’ve developed the recipe over many years of practice. I have yet to meet someone who doesn’t like these. I wanted to make this dish for my husband when we first started dating. You know, show off my skills kind of thing. It was the very first dish I made for him.
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He wrinkled up his nose and claimed he didn’t like them. But, he was willing to try it for me. I actually went in prepared, I bought a steak and had it as a backup in case he really didn’t like my peppers. I even cut the recipe in half so I didn’t have leftovers. Well, I didn’t have leftovers because he ate it all! Now he absolutely loves them and asks for them about once a month, for almost ten years. Another person described them as being better than grandma’s stuffed peppers. That is high praise!
Stuffed Peppers Ingredients
1 pound of ground beef (7% fat)
1 pound of sausage (mild italian is my favorite)
3-4 cloves of garlic, chopped
3 tablespoons Herbs De Provence
3 mushrooms chopped
½ an onion, chopped
2 teaspoons garlic salt
2 cans tomato sauce
1 can stewed tomatoes
1 cup of minute rice
4-6 bell peppers (I prefer red and yellow ones, but it’s a matter of preference)
Cheddar cheese, shredded
Stuffed Peppers Directions
Mix the steak seasoning into the ground beef. It basically seasons it from the inside out. Tip: this is a great method for homemade burgers too, before forming the patties.
In a large (I use the biggest one I have in the kitchen) frying pan, combine everything except the tomato sauce, stewed tomatoes, and rice. Brown everything in the frying pan. No oil is needed because there is plenty of grease in the sausage.
It is time to drain the grease from the pan. I use paper towels and do it a couple of times, making sure to tip the pan and get the most out that I can. At this point, I put in the stewed tomatoes and kind of break them up a bit, but still leave fairly good chunks in it. Add the sauce and keep stirring it all together. Tip: You can add more garlic salt or Herbs De Provence if needed at this point.
Do not pre-cook the rice!
Next I add in the rice. I do not pre-cook the rice. It is dry when I put it in the pan. I like to cook the rice in the tomato sauce. The sauce flavors the rice. Most of the tomato sauce is absorbed by the rice. Once the rice is cooked, more sauce may need to be added if the mixture looks dry. Sometimes I have to add maybe half a can of tomato sauce to it to give it more moisture. Nothing is worse that dry stuffed peppers.
I turn the heat down to let the mixture simmer with the rice in it, 7-10 minutes. Stirring when the sauce starts to bubble around the edges of the pan. This not only causes a huge mess, but it can burn you as well if you happen to be standing at the stove. If using a numbered dial on the stove, go with 3.
Pick a colorful variety of peppers, not just green
For the peppers themselves, I prefer orange, red, or yellow peppers. Some people prefer green, but for me, they cause heartburn. You know that feeling when you eat cucumbers and you burp it up the rest of the night? Yeah, that’s why I don’t use green peppers. But it’s totally up to you. Customize it to your preference. When you are looking for peppers at the store, look for the ones with 4 bumps on the bottom, and make sure they are fairly tall and well shaped. This will help them stand upright in the baking dish, and give you the best looking peppers, plus have more room for stuffing.
Cut peppers like you carve a pumpkin!
When I cut mine, I basically carve them, much the same way I would a pumpkin. I would not just lay it down and chop the top off. It’s a waste of pepper and it shortens them significantly, which isn’t good for stuffing them. Another tip is to carve them up first, and chop the part you cut up into the meat and veggies and cook them there. It’s more flavor and keeps waste down. Use as much as possible, right? Clean out the peppers of seeds and rinse them. I always turn them upside down on a paper towel while my meat is cooking so they are dry and ready to be stuffed.
I use a square baking dish, that way I can put peppers in all four corners and a couple in the middle, with room around them all. Every time I make this, I have more of the stuffing mixture than I do peppers, so I put it in the baking dish around the peppers, and it kind of becomes a binder to keep the peppers from falling over.
Time to bake!
Once it is all ready, bake in a 350 degree oven for 45 minutes. From there, sprinkle however much shredded cheddar cheese on top of the peppers and turn the oven setting to broil. Leave in the oven long enough to melt the cheese so it is nice and ooey-gooey. You’re done! I serve this with a simple salad and that’s it. My husband likes to cut his open on the plate and sprinkle some more cheese onto the stuffing mixture when I serve it to him.
I hope you enjoy these stuffed peppers as much as I do! It is always a favorite in my household. My husband and I still get a great laugh out of him not wanting to try them when we first started dating. Now he frequently requests this dish. Easily his absolute favorite, as well as mine.
I’ve made stuffed peppers for many occasions and many people. It is such a fun dish that I just really enjoy making for other people. If you are looking to impress someone, this is the recipe for you!
Check out my other beef recipes!
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