Easy Spicy Stuffed Peppers with Ground Beef
Here’s an easy recipe for ground beef stuffed bell peppers that will appeal to everyone in your family.
Bell peppers are usually parboiled before stuffing, which helps to soften more quickly during baking.
To simplify things, precook the peppers in the microwave, which will eliminate the need for a separate pot of boiling water.
- Bell pepper - 2 large, green
- Oil - 3 tbs, divided
- Ground beef - 1 lb, lean
- Onions - 1/2 lb yellow, chopped
- Mushrooms - 1/2 lb fresh, sliced
- Garlic - 2 minced cloves
- Red pepper flakes - 1 tsp
- Basil - 2 tsp dried leaves
- Spaghetti sauce - 1 26 oz jar
- Cheddar cheese - 8 oz shredded (or Colby Jack cheese)
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F
- Spray an 8″ x 8″ baking dish with cooking spray.
- Cut the bell peppers in half lengthwise and remove the seeds and membrane. Microwave the four pepper halves for 1 minute on High or longer, until they are just barely starting to soften. Place them inside up in the baking dish.
- Heat 2 Tb oil in a skillet to hot, and brown the ground beef. Remove the meat and return the pan to the burner. Add the remaining 1 Tb oil to the pan and after it begins to sizzle, add the sliced mushrooms and saute’ for a couple of minutes.
- Add the chopped onions, the minced garlic, the red pepper flakes, and the dried basil, and saute’ until the onions begin to soften. Return the meat to the skillet, combine with the vegetables, and continue cooking until a brown fond begins to form on the bottom of the pan.
- Add half of the spaghetti sauce, and stir it into the meat mixture. It will sizzle and help you deglaze the pan as you scrape the fond from the bottom and blend it into the meat mixture. Add the rest of the spaghetti sauce and blend it in and let it simmer for a few minutes until it begins to cook down and thicken.
- When the sauce is almost as thick as you like, ladle it into the pepper halves, and distribute the extra sauce around them in the baking dish. Cover the dish with aluminum foil and bake for 30-40 minutes.
- Remove the foil and sprinkle the peppers with the shredded cheese. Return to the oven and bake for 10-15 minutes more, or until the cheese is bubbly and just beginning to brown.
Have fun with the filling ingredients, and try adding cooked rice, corn kernels, canned black beans or kidney beans, use chili powder instead of basil, or stir the shredded cheese into the sauce and top the peppers with grated Parmesan after removing the foil.