**Have you voted for my cupcake yet? It’s the last day!** I think I was 25 before I made my first stuffed pepper. I know I’d eaten them before that point, but for some reason, I’d never made them. That first time was a complete and utter failure. The rice wasn’t cooked, neither was the beef, and I had definitely under-sauced the whole darn thing. After the first failure, I found a recipe thanks to my friend Heather for “unstuffed” green peppers. I made that recipe once, but someone I lived with and cooked for (*cough*Adam*cough*) didn’t like peppers at the time. I ended up eating far too much of the unstuffed peppers and got sick of it after just one time. I decided yesterday to break out the old recipe and adapt it a bit more to my current tastes. Adam still didn’t like the amount of peppers that was in the final dish, but I made the pieces big enough that they could be easily picked out. (not my best photo work, but whatever.)
Unstuffed Green Pepper Casserole
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Keywords: bake simmer entree low-fat gluten-free ground beef green pepper
Ingredients (Serves 6-8)
- 1 Tablespoon olive oil
- 3 large green bell peppers
- 1 pound lean ground beef or turkey
- 3 cloves garlic, crushed
- 1 large onion, diced
- 2 cups uncooked instant brown rice OR 3 cups cooked brown rice
- 2 cups canned tomato sauce
- 2 teaspoons dried basil
- 1 Tablespoon dried Italian seasoning
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 cups chicken stock or broth
- salt and pepper
- 1 1/2 cups Italian cheese blend shredded cheese (I used low-fat)
Pre-heat oven to 350*F.
Heat the olive oil over medium-high heat in a large pot.
Add the garlic and onions and cook until lightly browned, about 3 minutes.
Add the ground beef and brown thoroughly, stirring occasionally to crumble.
Meanwhile, slice the green peppers into thin strips, and add them to the pot.
Add all the spices, tomato sauce, and stock and bring to a simmer.
Add the rice.
Cook a few minutes until the peppers begin to soften and the rice begins to cook.
Transfer the entire mixture to a large casserole dish.
Sprinkle the cheese on top.
Bake until the cheese is browned and the casserole is bubbling, about 20 minutes.
Allow to sit 5-10 minutes before serving.
I truly apologize for the photos… there’s really no way to make a messy casserole of ground beef, rice, and peppers look pretty. It was, however, delicious. I’ve eaten it for lunch a couple times now, and the flavors just get better and better as the days go on. I’m sure that if you’d like to use the filling recipe without the peppers, and then stuff it into a hollowed-out pepper, it would work just as well. But, there’s something so comforting about a casserole.