It’s easy for me to get excited about anything stuffed, especially when it involves lots of garlic and cheese! Because of how thick and tough their skin and flesh is, bell peppers make for the perfect little edible bowls.
You really don’t even have to be a bell pepper fan to love this recipe, and you can experiment with it however you would like.
The stuffing mixture alone is absolutely delicious! I could eat it by the spoonful. The pepper jack cheese adds a ton of flavor to the mix. If you decide to use another type of cheese, I would flavor it some with red pepper and additional seasoning.
Here’s a close up of the cheesy filling. It’s soooo good!
A family favorite…
The entire family will enjoy this quick, easy and healthy dinner recipe! The bell peppers are stuffed full of ground beef or turkey, rice, zucchini, garlic, corn, tomatoes and lots of pepper jack cheese.
- 6 bell peppers (I prefer red or orange)
- 8 ounces lean ground beef or turkey
- 6-8 garlic cloves (finely minced)
- 1 large zucchini (finely diced)
- 3 roma tomatoes (seeded and finely diced)
- 1/2 cup cooked corn
- 1 large cup cooked brown rice (or rice of your choice)
- 2.5 cups grated pepper jack cheese
- 5 tbsp olive oil
- salt and pepper to taste
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees, and line a baking dish with foil for easier clean up. Dice, chop and prep your zucchini, tomatoes, corn, garlic, rice and cheese so that you have everything ready to throw in the pan.
Cut the tops off of the peppers. Remove the stems, and finely chop the tops; set aside. Scoop the seeds and guts out of the peppers and place them cut-side up in your baking dish.
Heat 2 tbsp of olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Sauté 3-4 finely minced garlic cloves in the oil for about 30 seconds, and then add the ground meat. Season with salt and pepper, and breakup and cook the meat until brown (about 7-10 minutes). Remove to a paper towel lined plate to get rid of the fat.
Once the meat has been removed, add 2 more tbsp of olive oil to the pan along with the diced bell pepper tops. Cook the peppers for a few minutes or until they soften. Add the zucchini, corn and remaining garlic, and cook for another minute. Add the tomatoes, ground meat and rice, and then cook until heated through. Stir in about 1.5 cups of your cheese into the mixture.
Fill the peppers half way up with your stuffing mixture, and place a layer of cheese inside (about half of what's left). Top with another layer of your mixture until filled to the rim. Finally, top with more cheese.
Pour about 1/4 cup of water into the bottom of your pan, and drizzle the peppers with olive oil. Cover the baking dish with foil and bake for 25 minutes. Uncover and bake another 10-15 minutes or until the cheese starts to brown.
- If you like your peppers super tender (I prefer a little crunch), par boil or pre bake them for a few minutes.
- A sautéed chopped onion is also a nice addition (I leave them out because my family is not a fan).
- For added moisture, feel free to add a little tomato sauce or mild salsa to the stuffing mixture if you like things "saucy".
- The pepper jack cheese adds a ton of flavor to this recipe, so if you opt for a milder cheese, add extra seasoning and/or red pepper to the mixture.
- Any type of rice can be used (even quinoa or cauliflower rice!). I buy the frozen brown rice that cooks in the microwave in just a few minutes.
Recipe adapted from: Food Network
I hope this close-up photo is making you drool.