Saturday, November 6, 2010

Spicy Stuffed Peppers

I used to think I didn't like stuffed peppers. I don't know why that is. Maybe I just never had a really good stuffed pepper, the kind that you want to shout about from the mountaintops and make for everybody you know, so that they can also experience the deliciousness that you've discovered. Well, I am happy to tell you that I have found such a pepper, and I can't wait to share it with you right now!

They're filled with a deceptively simple ground meat mixture, topped with an even more deceptively simple tomato sauce, and then baked for close to an hour. The preparation is so simple; the hardest part is waiting for them to finish cooking. I love the fact that everything goes into the peppers as is. You don't need to saute anything beforehand, or make sure the meat is already cooked. Everything cooks together, in the oven, including the pepper itself. That's something I did differently than the recipe I was following. The original instructs you to blanch the peppers briefly before stuffing them. I read somewhere that it's just fine to stuff the peppers while they are raw, so I wanted to try it that way because I think I always disliked the sogginess of stuffed peppers when I've had them in the past.

This worked amazingly well. The peppers were soft, but they still had structure and texture. The meat mixture inside was moist, flavorful, and packed a slight punch thanks to the chopped jalapeno I added to it. The quick, simple tomato sauce was surprisingly yummy, and of course you could use any tomato sauce recipe on these peppers if you have a favorite. I'm so glad I decided to try my hand at stuffed peppers instead of just basing my opinion of them on what I've had in the past. These have quickly become one of my reliable standbys, and now I want to experiment with different fillings and make stuffed peppers often. When it's this easy and delicious, I have no excuses not to!

Spicy Stuffed Peppers
adapted from
makes 6-10 peppers

For the peppers:
Nonstick cooking spray
6-10 green bell peppers, tops and seeds removed
1 lb. ground turkey
1/2 cup onion, chopped
1 jalapeno peppers, seeded and finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/2 cup breadcrumbs
1 Tbsp. parmesan cheese
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. ground black pepper
1/2 tsp. dried oregano
1/4 tsp. dried basil

For the tomato sauce:
1 cup tomato sauce (I used a plain can of tomato sauce)
1/4 cup water
1 Tbsp. brown sugar
1 Tbsp. vinegar
1 tsp. dry mustard
1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1/4 tsp. dried oregano
1/4 tsp. dried basil
1/4 tsp. dried parsley
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly spray a baking dish with cooking spray. Combine all ingredients, from ground meat to dried basil; mix well, without overmixing. Using a spoon or a small cookie scoop, fill each bell pepper with the meat mixture.

2. In a medium bowl, combine all the tomato sauce ingredients. Spread about 2 Tbsp. of the sauce across the bottom of the baking dish. Add the stuffed peppers to the dish. Drizzle all but about 1/4 cup of the sauce over the tops of the peppers.

3. Bake peppers for about 50-60 minutes, until the meat is cooked through and the peppers are tender. Serve with the remaining sauce on top of each.


  1. My husband and son would LOVE these...they sound very easy, so I think this would be a nice surprise for them during a ballgame day, don't you? Thanks!

  2. This looks like a great recipe! Even though the vegetarian version I made recently was well-received here, I'm pretty sure the addition of beef will make it even more exciting :)