Old School Stuffed Peppers

Circle B Kitchen

The beauty of these peppers is that everything goes into them raw, which is how I learned to make stuffed peppers from the Armenian Grandmas. If you happen to have 2 cups of cooked rice on hand, you can use that instead of the raw rice - it works great. And feel free to mix up the ingredients however you like... you can use Italian sausage for half of the ground meat, you can use white rice, jasmine rice or brown rice, although you will have to cook the brown rice first before adding it to the stuffing mix. You can add crushed red pepper to the mix if you'd like some spice. This stuffing is great with zucchini too. If you’d like to stuff zucchini, I’ve added a note at the end of the recipe for that. As a special bonus, I’ve also added a recipe for stuffing Anaheim and poblano peppers. Enjoy! Oh, and one final note... ground turkey has a little more moisture to it than ground beef, so if you use ground beef to stuff your peppers, you might want to add a little extra sauce or water to the stuffing mix to ensure that the rice has enough moisture to cook through.

Serves 4

4 medium-sized bell peppers, any color(s)

1 egg

1 medium onion, chopped fine

½ cup marinara sauce or tomato sauce

1/2 cup grated parmesan or pecorino romano cheese (I use a combination of the two)

¼ cup chopped parsley

½ cup jasmine rice (see headnote)

1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt

½ teaspoon pepper

1 lb ground meat (I use ground turkey)

1 1/2 cups tomato or marinara sauce

1 ½ cups grated cheese (jack, fontina, provolone, or a blend of Italian cheeses)

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and spray a large baking pan with nonstick cooking spray.

Slice the peppers in half lengthwise (so you will have 8 halves to fill) and clean them of seeds and ribs and trim the stems.

Beat the egg in a medium bowl and then add the rest of the stuffing ingredients, except for the meat. Mix well and then use your hands to thoroughly mix in the meat until it's well combined. Fill each pepper with the meat mixture (I use my hands) and place the peppers in the prepared baking dish. Pour the marinara or tomato sauce over the top of the peppers and then drizzle them with a little olive oil.

Cover the baking dish with foil and seal tightly. Bake in the preheated oven for 45 minutes and then remove the foil and top each pepper with grated cheese. Return the pan to the oven, uncovered, for another 5-10 minutes or until the cheese is melted and bubbly. I like to run them under the broiler for a couple of minutes after that to give them a little color, but that's optional.

Let cool briefly before serving.

Stuffed Anaheim and Poblano Peppers

Serves 4

2 large poblano peppers

4-6 Anaheim peppers

2-3 cups of Mexican rice (here’s my recipe)

½ cup salsa (here’s my recipe), plus extra for topping

1 cup of diced jack cheese

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and spray an 8x10 baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.

Slice the poblano peppers in half lengthwise (so you will have 4 halves to fill) and clean them of seeds and ribs and trim the stems. You can do this with the Anaheims as well or you can cut the stem end off of the Anaheim and use a paring knife to clean the cavity of seeds and ribs.

Mix together the rice, salsa and diced jack cheese.

Fill the poblano and Anaheim halves with the rice mixture and place in the baking dish. (If using whole Anaheims, use a small spoon or your finger to stuff the rice mixture down into the cavity.)

Top the open pepper halves with a little more salsa and then cover the pan with foil. Seal tightly and bake for 30 minutes.

Cool slightly before serving.

Stuffed zucchini

Slice the zucchini in half lengthwise. Use a knife to cut out the center of the zucchini, leaving a ¼ border on the edges. Use a melon baller or grapefruit spoon to remove the center part of the zucchini, leaving a boat-like cavity in the center for stuffing.

Place a good amount of stuffing into each zucchini half and place them into the prepared baking dish. Top them with a little marinara or tomato sauce and a good drizzle of olive oil and then proceed as directed in the stuffed pepper recipe.