Stuffed bell peppers is my ultimate comfort food and one of those recipes I knew I wanted to share when we canned a bunch of tomatoes a few weeks ago. It’s Mexican fare so that shouldn’t surprise you. But this was one of my favorite dishes growing up.
Stuffed Bell Peppers with Rice
At the time, I just thought it was delicious. Little did I realize that my mom so readily made it for us because of how good it was at using up leftovers (namely rice and meat) and was a good place to sneak a lot of veggies in us. There’s melted cheese on top. End of story. These stuffed bell peppers with rice are my take on the recipe with a few twists I’ve picked up over the years…
What do you put in a stuffed pepper?
Besides being great at using up leftovers (READ: How to Make Perfect Rice/Quinoa in Rice Cooker), this recipe is so flexible. Here I used wild rice, but I often use brown rice (or white rice or quinoa). I like the bite the wild rice added this time around.
This is oftentimes a vegetarian dinner in our house, but below the recipe, I included tips for adding in meat.
And for veggies… My favorites are onions, mushrooms, corn, and zucchini. I also have used bell peppers because sometimes I just have that many! And I’ve used refried beans instead of black beans and actually love the thicker consistency it offers. So really, whatever you have will do here!
I’m a big fan of cooking the filling on the stovetop and then broiling the stuffed bell peppers with the rice mixture and cheese. The flavors all merry together and I like having more control on the timing of cooking each of the ingredients (and avoiding raw meat).
STUFFED BELL PEPPERS w. WILD RICE
Feeding a bunch of hungry kids was no easy undertaking for my mom, I’m sure. Stuffed peppers were one of her go tos. It’s easy to make a big batch and you can hide all sorts of veggies inside the delicious filling! It’s a healthy and tasty win for everyone around the dinner table!
- 2 bell peppers halved vertically - stem to stern, seeded
- 2 medium onions chopped
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 teaspoons salt divided
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- ½ teaspoon chili flakes not too spicy but optional
- 2 teaspoons chili powder
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- ½ teaspoon paprika
- 3 cups cooked rice (wild, white, brown, or mixed) how to cook rice + quinoa
- 1 15oz. can black beans drained
- 1 quart homemade canned tomatoes or 2-15 oz cans
- ½ teaspoon worchestire sauce
- 1 ½ cups medium or sharp cheddar cheese shredded
- **protein option: This recipe originally included ground or shredded meat. If using raw meat cook in pot before cooking the onions. If using turkey meat, add olive oil to pan. You can also use leftover meat. Add to mixture when adding rice, beans, and tomatoes.
Preheat oven to broil.
To cook pepper halves in oven, place peppers in baking dish. Cover bottom with water. Cover with foil, let cook 15-20 minutes, or until slightly tender. Dish will be very hot when stuffing peppers, but there's only the one dish! Alternatively, you can soften the peppers in the microwave. Place peppers in microwave safe bowl with 1-inch water. Cover. Cook 7-8 minutes. Continue to cook in 1-2 minute intervals until slightly tender.
Heat large pot over medium heat. Add olive oil, onions, 1 teaspoon salt, and remaining seasonings. Saute 3-5 minutes until translucent. Add rice, beans, and tomatoes. Add remaining one teaspoon salt. Continue to cook, stirring frequently until warm throughout (5-8 minutes). Add salt and pepper to taste.
Place bell pepper halves cut side up in baking dish. Scoop rice mixture into peppers, mounding slightly. Sprinkle with desired amount of cheddar cheese.
Melt and brown cheese under broiler 5-7 minutes.