So the holiday season got the best of me--as did a few days of being under the weather, a mid-week family wedding and my mom's annual holiday visit. Sorry for the silence around here but I've been busy cooking up a few things in between and hand-making most of Christmas around here.
These stuffed peppers capture the colors of the season and all the delicious, comforting flavors of a rich, heavy Italian feast. They're low (and can easily be made "no") carb and come together in just 30 minutes. A personalized serving always packs an impressive punch and can easily be made for lunch or a simple weeknight dinner after a day of shopping and wrapping.
Italian Style Stuffed Peppers ("Pizza Peppers")
(makes 4 medium peppers)
- 4 red or green bell peppers, tops, ribs and seeds removed.
- ~1/4 cup finely chopped bell pepper (use top pieces)
- 1/2 onion, chopped
- 1/2 lb ground beef (or chicken, or even italian sausage would be delicious)
- 1 cup cooked white rice, or orzo
- ~1 cup shredded mozzerella cheese
- 1/4 cup grated parmesan
- ~3/4 cup marinara
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp Italian seasoning
- ~1 tbsp fresh minced basil
- 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add the ground meat, onion and bell pepper and cook until meat is browned, about 7 minutes. Turn heat to medium and season with salt and pepper, garlic and Italian seasoning. Stir in the rice and 1/2 c marinara. Stir to combine well. Stir in the parmesan and basil.
Sprinkle the inside of each pepper with mozzarella. Then stuff the peppers with the filling. Top with a generous amount of mozzarella.
Place the peppers in a deep baking dish (if only making 2 peppers, a loaf pan works great!) and loosely cover with aluminum foil. Bake for 10 minutes, remove the foil, and bake an additional 10 minutes. Top with more marinara before serving.
*These could easily be topped with pepperoni or any other pizza toppings as well, (black olives, mushrooms, you name it).