Stuffed Pepper Recipes
February 8, 2015 1:33 PM   Subscribe

Do you have a favorite stuffed pepper recipe to share with me? Extra points for a variety of cooking cultures and flavor profiles.

In our weekly produce box we got some huge beautiful yellow bell peppers. I've never made stuffed peppers but I like to eat them when available and I'd like to learn how to make them at home.

We are:

- Omnivores
- Don't like cheese very much
- No raisins or squash
- Love tomato sauces but would like to have non-tomatoey options
- All grains are okay
- All meats and seafoods are okay
- Love "international" flavor profiles and have access to lots of hard to find ingredients
- Only two people
- Pretty capable cooks but abhor cleanup, so only a few bowls and cooking vessels, please.

We love peppers and I would like to eat them more than I already do. What is your basic order of steps for making stuffed peppers? What is your favorite combination of stuffing ingredients? Do I need a sauce? How do I get them to cook through without being burned on the outside?

Dinner awaits your suggestions!
posted by Mizu to Food & Drink (15 answers total) 26 users marked this as a favorite
There's a Russian recipe that's dead easy to do.

Get some ground beef and ground pork (or anything else, really). Cook the meat up with onions and dill and anything else that you like. Mushrooms, for example. Stuff the peppers, and if you haven't tomatoed-out yet, pour a bunch of tomato sauce over it.

Pop them in the oven and bake until soft.
posted by colin_l at 1:51 PM on February 8, 2015 [3 favorites]

Response by poster: Okay I need more detail than that, because I have really never cooked stuffed peppers (or something of a similar form) so please fill me in on:

-What amount of fat should the meat have to make the stuffing's texture the right way?
-Am I cooking the meat completely? Am I cooking the vegetables etc completely? Or should any of the cooking finish in the oven? How much liquid should be in this stuffing once I'm ready to put it in the peppers?
-What is meant by "tomato sauce", are there any suggested spices or herbs that make it particularly Russian? Also how much tomato sauce? Do I cover the outside of the peppers in sauce, too? Should they be sitting in it?
-What temperature should the oven be?
-Salt? Places to add it, places to avoid adding it?
-When "soft" means lots of different things. Peppers are watery and tomato sauce is watery and the stuffing you described sounds pretty watery so should the dish be cooked until a lot of that has evaporated? What will make for a good texture in the end? Are there any indicators of "doneness" that are visual or scent based instead of just poking it and seeing if it squishes?

Come on, be specific, please. Okay, no more thread sitting for me. But that's the kind of detail I'm looking for, in addition to the actual ingredients. Thanks.
posted by Mizu at 2:18 PM on February 8, 2015

Guatemalan stuffed peppers would fit the bill — they're like Mexican chiles rellenos, but with a filling of meat, herbs and veggies instead of cheese. I managed to find an English recipe here, which looks reasonably close to what I'm used to, though I haven't tried it. I'd add some mint in addition to the thyme, and maybe go heavier on the carrots and lighter on the other veggies than that recipe calls for (so like maybe closer to this if you read Spanish).

Normally they're made using fresh green chiles — that recipe calls for pasillas, I'd actually be tempted to use poblanos if I was making it here — but bell peppers would work fine too if you're not worried about being "authentic". You grill/roast the pepper until it deflates before you stuff it, so the shape doesn't matter a whole lot. That also means there's no need to worry about cooking everything through: the pepper is precooked, the filling is precooked, you batter the whole thing and fry it until the batter is pleasantly brown and then you're done. Easy.

You can serve these with a tomato sauce (which in the part of Guatemala where I lived literally just means "peel some small tomatoes, mash them up, cook them in a pan for a little while, add salt to taste" — it tends to be pretty thin, not thick like Italian tomato sauce), or they're actually rich enough that you can eat them on a roll or tucked in a tortilla as if they were meat patties.
posted by nebulawindphone at 2:24 PM on February 8, 2015 [1 favorite]

I make this all the time, it's good but not "foodie" spectacular. Just very very easy to make and pretty tasty.

- 4 sweet bell peppers, whichever is your favorite color.
- 1 can black beans
- 1 can diced tomatoes
- 1 cup rice (I use pre-cooked frozen brown rice from Costco or Trader Joe's)
- 1/2 cup cheese is optional, this should be delicious without it

Start a large pot of water filled halfway, get it to a rolling boil. I think about 6 cups of water in there.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Trim the tops of the bell peppers and clean out the seeds.
Place the cleaned out bell peppers in the boiling water for about 5 mins or so to get them to soften up. You can start putting together the filling while this is happening (see below). After 5 mins or so, remove the bell peppers and drain on a paper towel, then place them in a baking dish.
In a large mixing bowl, put the following together and mix: 1 drained and rinsed can of black beans, 1 can drained diced tomatoes, 1 cup cooked rice, and 1/2 cup cheese (which you can leave out).
Mix together and then spoon the mixture into the bell peppers. You can top with a little ketchup if you love ketchup. It's still good without it though.
Bake for 30 minutes at 350 degrees.

I never bother with salt, pepper, seasonings, anything extra really and this still tastes great. Easy to adapt the recipe, too. Original version is from the America's Test Kitchen Family cookbook.
posted by belau at 2:31 PM on February 8, 2015

I'm all about the chile relleno.

First, roast Poblano chilles until the skin is charred. Put them in a plastic baggie for about 15 minutes, then rub the black parts off. You can buy cans of whole chiles, but they're small. Saves time though.

I make a mixture of cooked chicken (Left over rotisserie is good,) sour cream, and cheese (mild cheddar.) Not too creamy, firm. You can substitute sour cream for Greek yogurt if you want. If you want it spicy add some salsa. The predominant ingredient should be chicken.

Open the peppers lengthwise and put the stuffing in.

Separate 3 egg. Whip the whites, scramble the yolks. Keep separate until ready to cook.

Roll the stuffed peppers in corn meal.

Heat oil in a pan, this is not deep frying, but not saute either. About a 1/4 inch of oil in the pan.

Fold the egg yolks into the whites, it should still be VERY fluffy.

When the oil is hot, put a puff of egg into the oil and rest a pepper into it. Put more egg on top. Turn gently. Mine turn out to be slightly pyramid shaped.

When they're golden brown, drain on a paper towel. Put in oven to warm. About 200 degrees.

Warm enchilada sauce, canned is perfectly fine.

A lovely plate is a couple of chile rellenos, some refried beans, an ear of fresh corn, shredded lettuce, tomatoes. Guacamole if you're into that.

It's easy, but there are a lot of steps.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 2:34 PM on February 8, 2015 [1 favorite]

I love these Creole Stuffed Peppers.
posted by something something at 3:11 PM on February 8, 2015

Peppers stuffed with curried potato filling are delicious.
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 3:15 PM on February 8, 2015 [2 favorites]

Some like this one was one of my mother's go-to meals when I was growing up.
posted by Pater Aletheias at 3:29 PM on February 8, 2015

Here's a Persian one you might like, thought there may be too many prepping bowls involved.
posted by Blitz at 4:29 PM on February 8, 2015

These Lebanese stuffed peppers are delightful. I recommend using lamb rather than beef, and basil rather than parsley.
posted by Hot Pastrami! at 6:35 PM on February 8, 2015

Stuff with quinoa, add tomato sauce!
posted by glass origami robot at 7:52 PM on February 8, 2015

How do you feel about stuffed pepper soup? I've eaten a lot of this around Pittsburgh here; it's pretty tasty and looks like it'd be easy to make (not too many dishes dirtied!). This recipe looks similar to the kind I've had.
posted by DingoMutt at 8:00 PM on February 8, 2015

> Guatemalan stuffed peppers would fit the bill

I just wanted to vouch for this. It sounded so good I actually made the filling last night and turned whatever I didn't scarf down straight from the pot into a frittata/spanish tortilla thing.
posted by Room 641-A at 5:21 AM on February 9, 2015 [1 favorite]

Stuffed peppers are pretty forgiving – you can really put whatever you want in there, add a bit of liquid to the cooking pot, and bake at 350 for about 45 minutes. If you blanche the peppers before stuffing and baking, you won't need to cook them that long. Or you can cook them in a crock pot on low for 4-6 hours.

All of the meat should be cooked completely. Once mixed together, the mixture should be about the same consistency as meatballs or a hamburger before you cook them.

I usually brown a pound of ground meat – whatever I have on hand. Once that's done I brown an onion, and diced chorizo if I happen to have it on hand. If you wanted to add rice you could, but we don't eat rice. In a bowl, mix all of that with about ¾ of a cup of either tomato sauce and any spices you're using (I just use salt & pepper) and stuff the peppers. Pour any leftover sauce/meat mixture over the top. If there is no leftover sauce, add enough tomato sauce to cover the bottom of the pan.

To the above I have also added canned black beans & corn, and salsa instead of tomato sauce. No need to heat the beans or corn.

I have never considered the amount of fat in the meat. I think once you add everything, the consistency is okay no matter what the fat content is.
posted by lyssabee at 6:11 AM on February 9, 2015

Here's a recipe for vegetarian stuffed peppers. I've served this numerous times to both vegetarians and carnivores, and no one has missed the meat--it's its own thing. Another reason I like this is that it is easy--no need to par-boil the peppers, not a ton of different ingredients, not a lot to clean up (everything gets prepped in one pan, plus one baking dish).

There's diced tomato in here, but not a tomato sauce. There's shredded cheese, but the result isn't super cheesy--the cheese and breadcrumbs just work together to give the filling some texture that holds together. I've found that overall the recipe is very adaptable as well (see the flavor profile suggestions at the end).

Leftovers reheat well in the microwave, so I think this recipe works well for 2 people--2 pepper halves per person for dinner, with 1 pepper half for each person left over for lunch. Or, if you are making this for guests, it is very easy to double or triple the recipe too.

3 large bell peppers (any color)
olive oil for sauteeing
5 green onions, thinly sliced
2 stalks of celery, chopped
1 12oz can of corn, drained (or about 1 cup frozen corn)
1 14 oz. can diced tomatoes
3/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/3 cup dry bread crumbs
salt and pepper to taste
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese (optional)

Preheat oven to 375.  Spray baking dish.

Cut each pepper in half lengthwise, take out seeds and ribs.

In a large pan, warm up the olive oil (one turn around the pan).  Add the green onions, celery, corn and tomatoes.  Saute for 3 min, then turn off the heat.

Add the cheddar cheese, bread crumbs, salt and pepper.  Stir.

Place the pepper halves skin side down in the baking dish.  Spoon the veggie mixture into each half.  Sprinkle the top with parmesan cheese (if using).  Add 1/3 cup water to the baking dish to prevent burning. 

Bake for 25-30 minutes, until peppers have softened nicely.  Remove from baking dish and let cool for 5 min before serving.

Give it an Italian twist, by trying one or more of the following:  use Italian seasoned diced tomatoes, add in a few cloves of chopped garlic to the sauteeing step, add in oregano with the cheese and breadcrumbs

Give it a Mexican twist, by trying one or more of the following:  replace some or all of the plain diced tomatoes with Ro-Tel spicy diced tomatoes, use Trader Joe's roasted corn (in their freezer section), add in your favorite mexican seasonings with the cheese and breadcrumbs.
posted by msbubbaclees at 9:23 AM on February 12, 2015

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