Growing up, I remember eating these exact stuffed peppers with ground beef and rice at least once a month. Although back then, my mom only used green peppers. I assume that the cost of red, orange, and yellow peppers were too expensive for our families budget that or this is the way my mom’s mom aka my grandma made it and my mom never steered from the recipe. I don’t think my mom started making the tri-color variety until I was in high school.
This is one of those recipes that I make a few times each year. It’s a tried and true recipe that goes into my cooking rotation; although my cooking rotation is not like the average persons rotation since I practically cook a new recipe every night! That’s not a lie–even when I have company over I almost always try a new recipe. We do not get bored with dinner in our home!
On this particular evening that I cooked the stuffed peppers it was extra special. You see, the green peppers pictured were grown from our garden. I didn’t want to just dice them up and have them blended into another dish–I wanted them to be the star of our dish. So, I gave them the respect and attention that they deserved and stuffed them with lean ground beef, rice, zucchini, and tomato sauce and during the last few minutes of baking I topped them off with shredded mozzarella cheese.
Stuffed Peppers with Ground Beef and Rice
- Glass Baking Dish
- Frying Pan
- 6 Bell peppers
- 1 lb Lean ground beef
- ¼ cup Onion diced
- 2 Garlic cloves
- 1 teaspoon Kosher Salt
- ⅛ teaspoon Black Pepper
- ½ teaspoon Garlic Powder
- 2 cups Leftover white rice
- 1 *Zucchini shredded
- 4 cups Tomato sauce
- 1 tablespoon Italian Seasoning
- ½ cup Shredded mozzarella divided
- Fill a large stock pot with water and bring to a boil.
- While the water is heating begin cleaning and hollowing out the bell peppers. Once the water is to a boil carefully place each bell pepper in the boiling water and boil for 10 minutes. *You want your peppers to be firm not mushy. Remove the peppers from the boiling pot of water and rinse under cold water. Set aside.
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
- In a large skillet begin browning the lean ground beef on medium heat (for about 5 minutes). Half way through the browning process as your breaking up the bits of ground beef add the diced onion, garlic, salt, pepper, and garlic powder.
- Once the ground beef is cooked through turn off the heat. Add the rice, shredded zucchini (if using) and 3 cups of tomato sauce, and Italian seasoning. Mix well until incorporated.
- Carefully begin spooning the rice/beef mixture into each of the bell peppers until the pepper is packed full. *You may have filling leftover depending on how large your peppers are. Reserve for serving once peppers are done.
- Add 1 cup of water to the baking dish.
- Tent a piece of aluminum foil over the baking dish and bake for 20 minutes.
- Remove the peppers from the oven. Add more sauce on top and sprinkle on the shredded mozzarella cheese. Bake uncovered for 5 minutes or until cheese has melted.
- Remove from oven, garnish with fresh minced parsley and additional sauce if needed, and serve immediately.
- *Zucchini - I love to added shredded zucchini to my stuffed peppers. It blends into the peppers and a great way to add a hidden veggie in for the family (specifically kids who are picky eaters).
- Two methods to pre-cooking the bell peppers (I prefer the boiling method as listed in my recipe above). If you don't want to dirty another pot you can place the peppers cut-side face down in the same baking dish you will bake them in with 1 cup of water. Tightly cover with foil and bake for 20 minutes while you make the filling.