Recipe: Italian-Style Stuffed Bell Peppers

Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • 4 medium red bell peppers, tops cores and seeds removed
  • ½ cup jasmine rice
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 yellow onion, finely diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 2 medium tomatoes, diced
  • 5 ounces cheddar jack cheese, grated (a little over 1 cup)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh basil, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon fresh oregano, minced
  • Salt and ground black pepper to taste

Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Bring a pot of water to a boil and blanch the bell peppers for 2-3 minutes, until they just begin to soften.  Remove the peppers from the water and drain.
  3. Add salt to the water and add the rice.  Boil until tender, 10-12 minutes.  Drain and set aside.
  4. Heat the butter to medium-high in a large pan.  Add the onion and cook until soft and starting to brown, about 3 minutes.  Add the garlic and cook for another minute.  Add the ground beef and cook, stirring to break the beef apart, until it is no longer pink, about 5 minutes.
  5. Mix together the rice and ground beef.  Add the tomatoes, 1 cup of the cheese, herbs, and salt and pepper.
  6. Place the bell peppers cut side up in an oven-safe baking dish.  If they threaten to fall over, use aluminum foil to create rings to keep them upright.  Fill the peppers with the rice and beef mixture and top with the remaining cheese.
  7. Bake the peppers until the cheese is bubbly and getting brown spots, 25-30 minutes.