Break out your cutting board! This stuffed peppers recipe features a ton of healthy vegetables. You could certainly make this with other types of meat, but I love this stuffed peppers with ground beef recipe. Plus, it's gluten-free and can be dairy-free if you skip the shredded cheese.
Why stuffed peppers?
Some may say that I have a fascination with stuffing vegetables into other vegetables. My vegetable stuffing escapades were almost over after a tragic eggplant recipe a few years back but I'm glad I decided to give it another try with this stuffed peppers recipe.
Why do I love this recipe? For multiple reasons! First, this meal is fairly healthy. It's packed with vegetables and you can add even more if you'd like. I like to stick with onion, zucchini, yellow squash, garlic, tomatoes, and peas. Second, it's very filling. All those vegetables add a lot of fiber to the meal, which naturally makes you feel full. With the protein of the ground beef and the starch from the rice, you're definitely not going to be hungry after this meal. Lastly, you can make this meal stretch. Add more rice and less protein if you're on a budget.
Ingredients for stuffed peppers
Along with the myriad of vegetables in this stuffed peppers recipe, you'll find a few familiar faces. I like to use a can of fire-roasted tomatoes for that yummy flavor. You'll also want a can of tomato soup. It adds such a great flavor. I don't have it pictured here, but I also add about a cup of our favorite marina sauce for even more tomato flavor and added seasoning.
As I mentioned before, you can switch up the ingredients as you see fit. Want to use ground turkey instead? Or, a crumbled meat substitute? Go for it! Want to use flavored rice instead of plain? Do it.
Tips for making stuffed peppers with ground meat
One thing that I'd recommend before making your stuffed peppers is par-boiling the peppers. I cut the tops off the bell peppers and set them aside. Clean out the seeds of the bell peppers and then place them in a pot of boiling water for about 5 minutes. This makes the peppers just slightly softer and speeds up the cooking process.
Don't get rid of those pepper tops! Go ahead and discard the green stem from the middle and then chop the tops into bite-size pieces. You can add them to your stuffing.
I'm not sure how other people make stuffed peppers, but I cook a good portion of this recipe on the stove. I brown the meat, then add most of the vegetables and seasoning.
While this mixture is cooking on the stovetop, make your rice. You can make traditional rice or use a boil-in-bag or microwavable bag. I prefer the microwavable bag and choose the garlic and butter flavor, but you can pick whatever you like.
Once it's done, add all of your ingredients (minus the hollowed peppers and tomatoe soup) to a bowl and mix.
Once you stuff your peppers, here is where that delicious can of soup comes into play. I wasn't really a fan of tomato soup in the past, but it's so perfect in this stuffed pepper recipe.
Gluten-Free and Dairy-Free Stuffed Peppers
Follow the directions below and you're going to have a hearty, comforting gluten-free meal that won't bust your waistline. You'll notice that only one of my peppers has cheese on it. I try to be dairy-free so I usually only add it when someone is eating with me. Go ahead and add it if you'd like. It makes it taste great, but I just can't tolerate it.
Stuffed Peppers with Ground Beef
This dish is so colorful and packed with vegetables!
- 1 pound lean ground beef Use any meat you'd like
- 6 bell peppers You'll have enough filling for more peppers if you ar fedding 8-10e
- 2 yellow squash chopped
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 1 sweet onion chopped
- ½ to 1 cup frozen peas
- 1 bag of Ready Rice 2+ cups of rice total
- 1 can of tomato soup
- 1 can of diced tomoatoes 14-15 oz. can, I like fire roasted
- 1 cup marinara sauce or use more diced tomatoes
- 2 tbsp Olive oil
- 1 tsp thyme
- 1 tsp rosemary
- 1 tsp sage
- Salt & pepper to taste
- 1 cup cheddar cheese optional
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
Prepare your rice (either microwavable bag or tradtionally, then set asie)
Cut the tops off of your peppers. Seed them and reserve the tops (pull out that green stem).
Chop up the tops of the peppers and the squash and set aside. Dice your onions and mince your garlic.
After your veggies are prepped, boil your peppers in a stockpot for about 5 minutes.
In a skillet with olive oil, brown your meat with onion and garlic. Season with the thyme, rosemary, sage, salt & pepper.
Your peppers are likely done. Remove them from the boiling water and place them in a baking dish. I do this with tongs - just be careful not to rip your peppers or douce yourself with hot water when you are draining them.
Once your meat is browned and your onions are softened, add in the chopped pepper tops, squash and zucchini. Cook for 4 or 5 minutes.
Pour the mixture into a large bow along with your rice. Add in the peas, diced tomatoes, and tomato sauce and stir.
Grab your casserole dish full of peppers.
Stuff the meat and rice mixture into each pepper. Overstuff really. If you've still got extra filling, just pour it in the casserole dish.
Thin out the tomato soup with a little water, then pour that over the tops of the peppers.
Cover and bake them at 350 degrees for 30 minutes Optional: Remove the cover and top them with cheddar cheese and cook another few minutes until the cheese has melted.
Spoon that extra filling onto a plate with each pepper and enjoy!