Sunday, April 5, 2009

Stuffed Bell Peppers - Old Fashioned Favorite

Garden fresh bell peppers stuffed with a seasoned meat and rice mixture and topped with cheese and a tomato gravy.
Stuffed Bell Peppers is a meal I remember so well growing up. Mother use to make them quite often. The only difference in moms recipe compared to mine is that she made a homemade tomato gravy by preparing a roux with flour, butter and tomato sauce to make a homemade gravy. I don't know what else she added and I did not have a chance to get the recipe before she passed away. 

This version is a bit more simplified using tomato soup, but taste the same as my moms. Now don't get me wrong moms homemade gravy is always the best, but until I can hunt down the recipe I will be cooking this version. 

I got this recipe a years back from my mother in law at the time. She was an awesome cook, so it was no surprise that these stuffed peppers would be anything but delicious. The first step in making a great stuffed bell pepper recipe is picking out  your peppers.

When buying peppers at the grocery store or farmers market, always remember to look for firm and brightly colored peppers-they shouldn't feel soft or have that slightly wrinkled look. I am lucky enough to have a garden full of bell peppers in the summer so I can use homegrown peppers. 

Some people stuff their bell peppers with just a meat mixture, but mother always stuffed hers with meat and seasoned white rice. I add one can of tomato soup to the rice, but mother did plain rice and meat.

I think the addition of the tomato soup gives it a nice flavor. These peppers are so delicious that it's hard to eat just one, but trust me one pepper is plenty filling. These peppers make wonderful  leftovers the next day. Let's get started!!! 

Cut the bell peppers in half lengthwise and remove the membrane and seeds. Rinse peppers under cold water and place on a paper towel. You will need to steam the peppers a bit before stuffing and baking them. To steam the peppers place the peppers in a large sauce pot and cover with cold water.

While the peppers steam, prepare and cook the rice and set aside. Bring the water to a simmer and cover the pot and steam the peppers for about 5  minutes. You want the peppers to be slightly soft. 

Remove peppers and rinse under cold water; set aside on a paper towel to drain and then add the peppers to a 13 x 9 inch baking dish that has been sprayed with non-stick spray. 

In a large skillet, cook the ground beef and onion until the meat is no longer pink. Add the garlic and cook for an additional 2 minutes. Remove the skillet from the heat and drain off any grease. Add the salt, pepper, onion powder, garlic powder and cooked rice. Add (1) can of tomato soup (do not add any water) and gently mix together into the meat and rice mixture.

Spoon the meat and rice mixture into each pepper and top with a bit of shredded cheese. 

Place the filled peppers back into the baking dish.  

Cover the peppers with foil and bake in a 350 degree oven until the peppers are tender and heated through about 20 - 25 minutes. Remove the foil the last 10 minutes of baking. 

To make the tomato gravy, add the second can of soup to a small pot. Add 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce, mix and simmer on low until heated through.

Pour the sauce over the cooked peppers when ready to serve.  


Stuffed Bell Peppers

4 - 5 large green bell peppers
1 - pound ground beef or turkey
1  1/2 cups uncooked rice (cooked in 3 cups water)
1/2 - of medium size onion, chopped
1 - clove garlic, minced
salt and pepper to taste
onion powder (to taste)
garlic powder (to taste)
1 - 10 ounce cans condensed tomato soup, undiluted 
2/3 - cup shredded pepper jack or mozzarella cheese 

Tomato Gravy:  
1 - 10 ounce can Tomato Soup, undiluted 
1 - teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
shredded cheddar cheese, optional

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 


Cut the bell peppers in half lengthwise and remove the membrane and seeds. Rinse peppers under cold water and place on a paper towel. 

You will need to steam the peppers a bit before stuffing and baking them. To steam the peppers place the peppers in a large sauce pot and cover with cold water. 

While the peppers steam, prepare and cook the rice and set aside.

Bring the water to a simmer and cover the pot and steam the peppers for about 5 minutes. You want the peppers to be slightly soft. 

Remove peppers and rinse under cold water; set aside on a paper towel to drain and then add the peppers to a baking dish that has been sprayed with non-stick spray.  

In a large skillet, cook the ground beef and onion until the meat is no longer pink. Add the garlic and cook for an additional 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and drain off any grease. 

Add the salt, pepper, onion powder, garlic powder and cooked rice. Add (1) can of tomato soup (do not add any water) and gently mix together into the meat and rice mixture.

Spoon the meat and rice mixture into each pepper and top with a bit of shredded cheese. Place the peppers back into the baking dish. 

Cover the peppers with foil and bake in a 350 degree oven until the peppers are tender and heated through about 20 - 25 minutes. Remove the foil the last 10 minutes of baking.  

To make the tomato gravy, add the second can of soup to a small pot. Add 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce and mix and simmer on low until heated through. 

Pour the sauce over the cooked peppers when ready to serve. 

servings: 4

Cook's Note: 
You can swap out the tomato sauce for marinara sauce and top the stuffed peppers with an Italian cheese blend for Italian stuffed peppers. 




If you love stuffed peppers try my Hearty Bell Pepper Soup! This soup has all the ingredients and flavor of stuffed bell peppers in a soup form.   


For a vegetarian version of stuffed bell peppers try my recipe for Baked Bean Stuffed Peppers. This recipe is a meatless stuffed bell pepper, filled with Mexican corn, jalapenos, spices, baked beans and topped with pepper jack cheese!


16 comments:

Heidi said... #

I have several Stuffed Pepper recipes that I use, but this one sounds a lot like my favorite. I use tomato sauce in place of the soup though. I'm going to have to put peppers on my list so I can try this recipe out! My mom was not the best cook. She gets mad when my dad tells people how well he thinks I cook and adds in that I didn't learn from my mother! My grandma is an excellent cook though. She makes the worlds best rolls. I have her recipe and have watched her make them, but she must have magic fingers because mine don't come close!

Mommy's Kitchen said... #

Oh Goodness Heidi that is a funny story about your dad. I can eat stuffed peppers till I am stuffed LOL. Keep practicing at that roll recipe you will get it down perfect then you can post it on your blog, I would love to have that recipe. My weakness is rolls.

McBee said... #

Thanks so much!:) Yeah, PW is pretty awesome, I'm way jealous of her camera...Hope you had a fun weekend!

My New 30 said... #

I'm like you - I LOVE peppers. I wish I could get my hubs to eat the pepper - he'll eat green pepper that's chopped up in something but he'll only eat the stuffing out of a stuffed one and just waste the pepper!!

Keep practicin' that roux and you'll get it right!

My mom's lasagna was awesome but she was a great cook overall really. The meal I miss most though since she's passed on is Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner, which were pretty much the same meal. Sure miss all THAT good food!!!

Kathy said... #

Love stuffed peppers!!! You're photos are making me hungry!!! I saw a neat recipe the other day for "unstuffed" bell peppers! If only I could remember where I saw that!!! I can't believe I didn't bookmark it??! Man, I'm getting old!

My mom is a hilarous cook! She looks and talks just like Paula Deen, but unfortunately does not cook like Paula! She (like me) was always trying new recipes (maybe that's where I get it from) but they were usually always disasters... too much salt, not enough, etc... She always had an excuse!!;) lol... She did make some amazing Southern Fried Potatoes!!! No matter how great mine turn out - I always think hers are better. I told her the other day that I need her "specific" instructions for our blog of course!! I'll keep you posted on that one....

Joan said... #

Tina-this recipe strikes a chord with me! My mother made me stuffed bell peppers 3 time. The day I came home from the hospital with my three girls, she had them waiting for me. This is my all time FAVORITE meal!!
Yours looks great!!

Michelle said... #

Oh my....that looks great. It's similar to my moms recipe, but she'd half her peppers instead of cutting the tops off.

I was just out surfing blogs when I found you...I'm glad that I did!! Than

from my motorhome to yours said... #

the peppers look great, but what caught my eye was chicken fried chicken, there is a place by us that makes it too,

Live.Love.Eat said... #

Too bad I didn't grow up eating these a lot. I do love them though.

The Manintvelds said... #

I've always loved bell peppers but, never made them like this .. I know, shocking ..
I'm wanting to try these now .. thanks to you!!!!

Anonymous said... #

How long does it usually take to bake them?

Anonymous said... #

you all are awesome all about cooking and family happy cooking .

Anonymous said... #

Thanks for the great recipe! (I found it after googling "stuffed peppers tomato soup"). I had made them in the past but never cooked the meat first -- only cooked the rice first. And then the meat cooks inside the peppers while in the oven.
The only thing I would do differently with your recipe next time is to steam the peppers for a bit less than the recipe says to. I did it for 20 minutes and they became pretty soggy and hard to fill. But still taste great! You're right that the cheddar cheese adds a great flavor! Thanks again for a keeper recipe! :)

Robyn in Vermont said... #

Thanks for sharing your recipe. I'm trying it tonight using ground chicken (hormone-free) and brown rice. I will let you know how it comes out!! :) One thing you mentioned is that you didn't know why your mom used water at the bottom of the baking pan - it's to keep moisture around the peppers so that they don't crack and the meat doesn't dry. You have to put a pan of water in the oven when baking cheese cake from scratch... keeps everything pretty! ;)

Della Redmon said... #

How long do you bake them for

roblovesleo said... #

Making these tonight! Have been searching for a recipe similar to my moms...tomato soup is the key! Thanks!!!