Try these Italian Stuffed Peppers for a warm and comforting, healthy meal option to bring some variety to your fall meals!
After trying some recipes for similar dishes, we were left wishing for more flavor and a healthier option. Many other stuffed pepper recipes give you overcooked peppers and leave you feeling weighed down by heavy additions. No one wants that!
This recipe is the answer. It’s got the heartiness of ground beef with flavorful and healthy additions like brown rice, seasoned so well that even your kids will love it.
Choose peppers that are bright in color with no brown or soft spots. Green peppers are a little more savory, with a sharper bite that goes well with the filling. Colored peppers are even better, with a hint of sweetness and contrast of colors in your baking dish and on your plate. The red, yellow, or orange colors are often more appealing for kids of all ages, too, so it’s worth a try!
If your family will hesitate when they see whole peppers, cut them up after removing them from the oven and serve it all together like a casserole. It will have all the same wonderful flavor but won’t seem as daunting to taste or eat.
These are so pretty in a nice stone baking dish, but I also really love using a simple glass dish like this one so that all the colors really stand out. If you have any leftover filling, you can place it into a small baking dish like this one and bake it alongside the peppers.
Shake up your normal routine and give these a try! If you’re already a fan of stuffed peppers, this will be your new favorite recipe!
Don’t forget dessert! We’ve said it before but it bears repeating: you should always have a batch of cookies on hand for dessert or snacks. You will love our Dark Chocolate Pecan Cookies. Or try our quick and easy, Decadent Dark Chocolate Mug Cake. It is so, so good!
Italian Stuffed Peppers
- 6-7 bell peppers any color
- 4 teaspoons olive oil divided
- 1 pound ground beef
- 1/2 medium yellow onion diced
- 1 medium zucchini diced
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 cup crushed tomatoes
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1-1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- 2 cups cooked brown rice cooked with water and 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup shredded parmesan cheese
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
- Prepare the peppers by cutting off the tops and scooping out the seeds and membranes as much as possible with a large spoon. Set the tops aside and place the bottoms side by side in a baking dish. The peppers should sit close to each other without a lot of extra room, so they won’t tip over while baking.
- Heat 2 teaspoons of the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add ground beef and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cook until no longer pink, about 5 minutes, breaking it up with a wooden spoon as it cooks. Move the beef to a plate and wipe out the skillet with a paper towel.
- Heat the remaining 2 teaspoons of olive oil in the skillet over low heat. Add the onion and cook until soft, 3-5 minutes. Add the zucchini and the garlic, then cook for another minute. Throw in the tomato paste,crushed tomatoes, salt, pepper, and Italian seasoning. Cook until heated through. Remove from the heat and stir in the cooked ground beef and the rice.
- Evenly fill the pepper bottoms with the beef mixture, sprinkle with parmesan, and put the tops back on. Bake in the preheated oven for 25 minutes or until the peppers are tender.