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Baked Stuffed Peppers
Below is the basic recipe for this classic dish and then, below that, check out some of the modern adaptations you might want to try.
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- 6 Medium Size Bell Peppers, Any Color
- 2 Tbsp. Olive Oil
- 1 Medium Sweet Onion, Chopped
- 2 Stalks Celery, Chopped
- 2 tsp. Garlic, Chopped
- 1 Cup Roma Tomato, Diced
- 1 – 24 oz. Jar Salvaggio's Marinara Sauce
- 1 tsp. Oregano, Dry, Crushed
- 2 tsp. Kosher Salt
- 1/2 tsp. Ground Black Pepper
- 1 Ex. Large Egg, Beaten
- 1 ½ Lbs. Ground Beef
- 1 ½ Cups Cooked Rice
- Optional: 1 Cup Shredded Cheese (Cheddar, Mozzarella or other)
- Heat the oven to 350° F.
- Cut tops off of the bell peppers then remove the seeds and membranes.
- Chop edible part of tops and set aside.
- Rinse peppers under cold water. Place peppers in a large pot; cover with salted water. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Drain and set aside. (NOTE: for a stronger pepper flavor, this step can be omitted and you can stuff the peppers while still raw.)
- Heat olive oil in skillet over medium heat until hot. Sauté chopped bell pepper (from tops), chopped onion, celery and garlic for about 5 minutes, or until vegetables are tender.
- Add the Roma tomatoes, Marinara, oregano, salt, and pepper. Simmer for about 10 minutes.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the egg with the ground beef, cooked rice, and 1 cup of the Marinara mixture. Mix well.
- Stuff peppers with meat mixture and place in a 3-quart baking dish. Pour remaining tomato mixture over the stuffed peppers.
- Cover the baking dish lightly with tin foil. Bake for approximately 1 hour or until peppers are tender and the meat mixture is fully cooked and firm.
- Optional: Top stuffed peppers with a little shredded Cheddar cheese just before they are done; bake or broil until cheese is melted.
- If you’d like to try your hand at some NEW Stuffed Pepper ideas, here are some to try. Without going into individual, lengthy recipes for each one, I think you can quickly see the possibilities.
- Cajun Style - Instead of ground beef, substitute: Shrimp, Andouille Sausage, Chicken and add a bit of hot chili powder to both the rice and Marinara sauce.
- Mexican Style - Use cooked chicken, or Taco Seasoned Beef, then use Crushed Tortilla Chips instead of the rice and use canned Enchilada Sauce instead of Marinara. Lastly, smother the finished stuffed peppers with a Monterey Jack Cheddar Cheese blend.
- Greek Style - Use ½ Ground Beef ½ Ground Lamb and to the rice mixture add chopped Kalamata Olives, roasted Garlic, Oregano, Rosemary, Feta Cheese and use Vodka Sauce instead of Marinara.
- Turkey or Chicken - Substitute ground turkey or chicken for the beef.
- Stroganoff Style - Use pre-seared, thin strips of beef with sautéed mushrooms in place of the ground beef and wide egg noodles instead of the rice. Cook the stuffed peppers in beef gravy instead of the Marinara then afterwards, stir in a dollop or two of sour cream to the gravy to make it Stroganoff style.
Nino Salvaggio http://www.ninosalvaggio.com/