Stuffed bell peppers are one of my favorite weeknight dinners to make. They are a simple, flavorful, all-in-one meal that includes hearty protein and healthy vegetables all baked in one adorable shell.
This recipe was inspired by my ongoing love for Mexican food and also my desire to create healthier alternatives without sacrificing flavor. Load up each pepper with a Southwestern blend of beef, yellow rice, black bean, tomato, green chili and corn, then top with a pinch a cheddar cheese and bake to perfection.
The crushed tomatoes and tomato paste gives the stuffing an added sweetness while the cumin, chili powder and fresh cilantro add a nice little kick. I used long-grain yellow rice in this version but feel free to add another grain of choice. Brown rice or even quinoa would be a delicious and healthy alternative.
I cut the tops off of the peppers to stuff the whole thing with beefy goodness, but if you prefer smaller portions, cut the peppers in half and serve open faced. Before stuffing the peppers, I’d recommend sprinkling the insides with salt and microwaving for 5 minutes. It helps to slightly pre-cook the peppers and cuts your baking time in half. Enjoy!
- 1 pound lean ground beef
- ½ medium onion, diced
- 2 ribs celery, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 32oz can crushed tomatoes
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 2 teaspoons cumin
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 15-ounce can black beans
- 1 7-ounce can roasted green chiles
- 1 cup cooked corn
- 1½ cups cooked long grain rice
- ¼ cup cilantro leaves, chopped plus more for garnish
- 6 rainbow bell peppers
- 1 cup cheddar cheese
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- Brown the ground beef in a large pan over medium high heat for 5 minutes or until cooked almost through. Add the chopped onion, celery, and garlic and cook until vegetables are softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in the diced tomato, tomato paste, cumin, chile powder and kosher salt and cook for another 4-5 minutes. Stir in the black beans, green chiles, corn, cooked rice and chopped cilantro.
- Meanwhile, cut off the tops of the peppers and spoon out the ribs and seeds, then rinse. Lightly sprinkle the inside of the peppers with kosher salt and place in a microwave safe dish with ¼ cup water. Cover with plastic wrap and microwave for 5 minutes or until they start to soften.
- Transfer to a 3 quart baking dish and fill the peppers with the hot meat and rice mixture. Sprinkle the tops with cheese and bake for 20 minutes or until peppers are tender and cheese is browned. Garnish with chopped cilantro. Serve hot.