|Edible bowl on its little edible pillow of rice|
We’ve been making stuffed bell peppers for years and I don’t think we’ve ever made them the exact same twice. Red peppers, green peppers, yellow peppers. Ground beef, ground turkey, ground chicken. An assortment of different spaghetti sauce flavors. Rice in the mixture or rice on the plate? And the vegetable combos are endless. No matter what ingredients join the pepper party, it always ends up delicious.
Despite the experimenting, this recipe is one I keep coming back to. These are pretty close to the ones my dad would always make, and I clean my plate every time I make ‘em. A clean plate truly is the undeniable evidence of a good dish. The presentation is pretty at first, but once you cut into that little edible bowl, the filling pours out and it’s go time.
- 4 bell peppers
- 1/2 white onion, chopped
- 2 C mushrooms, chopped
- 1 lb. ground beef
- 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 1 jar spaghetti sauce
- 1 ½ C white cheese (mozzarella, parmesan, or Italian cheese mix)
- 4 servings white rice
- 1 bunch of flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Cut off the tops of bell peppers, and remove the seeds.
- Fill a deep baking dish with about an inch of water, and place the bell peppers in the dish, then cover with foil. Steam the peppers in the oven for about 20-30 minutes. Meanwhile, cook the rice according to package.
- While the peppers are steaming and the rice is cooking, heat up a large saucepan over medium heat. Cook the onions, garlic, mushrooms, and meat in the saucepan until the vegetables are soft and the meat is almost all the way cooked through.
- Reserve about a cup of spaghetti sauce for later, and pour the rest of the sauce in the pan and bring it to a simmer, then reduce the heat to low. Stir in ½ cup of the cheese. Salt and pepper the mixture to taste.
- Once the peppers are steamed (they should be a little soft, but still have some crunch), remove them from the pan and pour out the remaining water.
- Spread the cup of spaghetti sauce on the bottom of the pan and place the peppers back into the baking dish. Fill each one to the top with the meat mixture.
- Place the dish back into the oven and cook uncovered for 25 minutes.
- Take out the dish and sprinkle the top of each pepper with the remaining cheese, lightly drizzle the tops with olive oil.
- Cook the peppers for 5-7 more minutes, or until the cheese is melted and golden.
- Serve each bell pepper on a bed of rice, and garnish with the parsley.