Roasted Stuffed Peppers

Favorite family recipes can whisk you away in a heartbeat.

In my case, stuffed bell peppers take me back.

Back to a tiny little kitchen full of spices and spattering sauce and love and undoubtedly several cans too many of tomatoes {although my dad will argue that you can never have too many tomatoes}, to chilly foggy days and fuzzy socks to warm our feet on the cold tile floor, and my mom taking over the kitchen for once to make this family favorite.

Her mother and grandmother made a version of the recipe that she inherited and put her own spin on {and why yes, my whole family blogs and most of us write at one point or another about food!}. I, in turn, have modified it myself.

Because that’s what happens when you cook.

No matter how long you’ve been making things, they eventually evolve into what works best for you.

I can never get my peppers to stand up when they’re cooked whole, and they actually are a little too filling for me, so I chop them in half and then pack them with as much filling as I can possibly get in there.

Instead of just using straight ground beef, I mix my ground beef with Italian sausage. And I throw a little goat cheese into the mix. Because cheese.

Even with the cheese, these guys are pretty calorie friendly, clocking in at about 300 calories each. Serve up with some steamed veggies or a salad, they make a nice light meal!

Or if you’re my hungry husband, they’re a nice appetizer.


Roasted Stuffed Peppers

Makes 6 half peppers.

What You’ll Need:

  • 3 large bell peppers
  • 4 cups boiling water
  • 1/3 lb ground beef
  • 1/3 lb Italian sausage
  • 4 strips bacon, chopped
  • 1/2 yellow onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 cup cooked rice
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 1 cup tomato sauce
  • 1/2 tsp basil, finely chopped
  • 1/4 tsp rosemary, finely chopped
  • 1/4 tsp oregano, finely chopped
  • 6 tbsp goat cheese, crumbled

How to Make Them:

1. Preheat your oven to 350F. Place a large stock pot with 4 cups water on the stove and bring to a boil.

2. Core your peppers and remove the seeds and fibers from inside. Slice the peppers in half. Place the peppers into the boiling water for about 5 minutes, and then remove to drain.

3. In a stock pot, cook the rice with the chicken stock until the rice is tender and cooked. Add additional water to cook the rice if it absorbs all the stock and still needs cooking.

4. In a large skillet, mix the beef, sausage, and chopped bacon together with a wooden spoon, and saute over medium heat until the meat is thoroughly browned, about 7-10 minutes. Remove to a large bowl. Add the onions and garlic to the pan and cook until the onions are translucent, about 4 minutes.

5. Return the beef, sausage, and bacon to the skillet and stir to mix with the onion and garlic. Add about 1/2 cup of the tomato sauce and sprinkle in the herbs. Let simmer about 5 minutes.

6. Return the mixture to the large bowl and add the cooked rice. Mix until combined.

7. Place the peppers on a pan. Fill the bell peppers with the mixture, using a spoon to pack the mixture into every nook and cranny. You want those peppers stuffed! Cover each pepper with a spoonful of tomato sauce and season to taste.

Note: If you have extra mix, save it – it makes great filling for Dolmathes {Greek stuffed grape leaves – another family favorite} or even burritos.

8. Bake for 30 minutes. Crumble the goat cheese over each pepper and bake an additional 5 minutes.

9. Serve and enjoy!

Subtly different, but still a delicious taste of home – and a delicious taste regardless!

What recipes take you home?

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