What I love about stuffed peppers, beside the terrific vitamin C health benefit, is the amazing possibilities of stuffing combinations. Our mother always made them with a mixture of ground beef, Minute Rice, and Locatelli cheese then cooked them in marinara sauce for a simple, no-fuss, one-pot meal. Barbara made them sweet & sour. We used to make them for our families, but our children weren’t fans. I tried serving them over linguini, which is absolutely delicious; however, their battle cry became “not again”. It’s funny how their recollection is so different from mine! Putting all that aside I like to mix things up by combining new flavors and using pantry items already on hand. Some of our best recipes come from whatever we find in the pantry and throw them together! 😋 😋
- 2 (8.8 oz) pouches ‘TastyBite Organic Brown Rice with Quinoa & Lentils Seasoned with Herbs & Spices’
- 1lb ground beef
- 4 oz Uncured Pancetta, diced
- 1 x-large sweet onion (or 2 medium), diced
- 2 Tablespoons EVOO
- 6 Bell peppers, assorted colors, cut in half lengthwise, seeded & ribs removed
- 5 large cloves garlic, minced
- 1½ -2 Tablespoons Za’atar spice (may substitute with Oregano)
- 12 oz Gruyere cheese, shredded
- salt & pepper to taste
- 1/2-1 cup chicken broth (enough to fill the bottom of the pan by 1 inch)
- In a large skillet saute onions until soft, then add pancetta and saute for 2 minutes.
- Add garlic, salt & pepper and saute for 1 minute.
- Add ground beef and cook over medium heat stirring often to break up meat until thoroughly cooked (no pink). Remove from heat & set Bake 25-35 minutes, d aside.
- Tear pouches of brown rice, quinoa & lentils 2 inches to vent. Place each pouch separately in the microwave on high for 90 seconds each.
- Empty contents of the cooked pouches into the skillet filled with the meat mixture & let cool.
- Once the meat mixture is cooled add half the shredded cheese. Combine well.
- In a large 9 x 13 x 2-inch roasting pan drizzle a small amount of EVOO.
- Pour chicken broth into the bottom of the roasting pan to about 1-inch depth.
- Place each pepper half in the pan, then spoon meat mixture into each pepper making a nice mound. Do not pack down.
- Top each pepper with the remaining shredded cheese and place in a pre-heated 375º oven.
- Bake 25-35 minutes until cheese is melted. ( Every oven is different so timing may vary)
- Serve hot with a side salad and enjoy!
Notes: Any soft, melting cheese can be used in place of Gruyere. For strictly vegetarian stuffed peppers use drained black beans in place of ground meat.