What is it about the smell of classic stuffed peppers that gets me right in the feels? It’s the best of simple ingredients–fresh beef, onions, tomatoes, and seasonings that come together in their own little portable, edible bowls.
But here’s my secret:
While these classic stuffed peppers are really tasty, I’ve been ruined on them.
I blame my mother.
And her Texas Hash. Good heavens.
As a kid my mom forced me to eat it. It’s basically a deconstructed stuffed pepper made with all the same ingredients–and the first time I made these peppers for Jeremy, we sat down, took a bite and looked at each other–” Texas Hash,” we said.
Even my husband has been subjected to a big plate of it. He’s scarred too.
I was digging deep for you on this recipe.
Now if I’m being totally honest, these peppers are great. They have the basic ingredients, no fuss and no frills, and they really are the best slate for you to experiment with. And I actually like every single ingredient that’s in them, just as long as my mom doesn’t make them.
I know you will enjoy them–if your mom didn’t ruin you with years of Texas Hash.
How to make these classic stuffed peppers
- Make these stuffed peppers with any rice you like. I prefer brown but I only had white on hand so I went with it. It does need to be cooked before you put it in the peppers.
- Ground turkey would also work well in place of the beef if you want a healthier stuffed pepper recipe. They are already fairly healthy, but you can lighten them further by changing the meat you use.
- Remember that if your peppers won’t stand up in the dish, just cut a little bit off the bottom. Try not to cut into the pepper though. You don’t want to lose your filling. I used three very large peppers in this recipe. If your peppers are smaller you can probably fill 5-6 easily.
- Swap the tomato sauce for pasta sauce and some fancy parmesan cheese for an Italian flare.
- If you’re in to Mexican flavors, use salsa and pepper jack cheese mixed in. So many options!
To make these stuffed peppers ahead:
Cook the filling, stuff the peppers and wrap them in plastic wrap. Place them in the fridge till ready to bake, up to 2 days ahead.
You may need to cover them loosely with some foil for the first half of their bake time to keep them from drying out, then uncover them for the last half or until they are hot all the way through.
You could also deconstruct this (aka Texas Hash) and brown the beef, drain and add the remaining ingredients. Dice the peppers and add them to the skillet then bake it up in in the oven. Easy stuff! And it would make ahead like a dream. Even better for busy nights.
Serve yours with a batch of crispy southern cornbread and you’ll have dinner heaven. If you want to learn how to make cornbread, I’ll show you!.
Classic Stuffed Peppers
- 4 very large green bell peppers or about 5 small ones
- 15 ounce can tomato sauce
- 1/2 pound ground beef or turkey
- 1/3 cup chopped onion
- 1 cup cooked brown or white rice
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
- Cut the tops off the peppers and remove the seeds. Place the peppers in a large saucepan and cover with water. Bring to a simmer and cook 3 minutes, just until the peppers are slightly soft. Drain, rinse with cool water and set aside on paper towels to drain.
- In a skillet, heat the ground beef and onion and cook until no pink remains. Drain.
- Add the salt, pepper, rice, garlic powder and half of the tomato sauce.
- Stir well and spoon into the peppers.
- Top with the other half of the tomato sauce.
- Bake in an ungreased dish at 350 for 25-30 minutes. Serve warm.