Stuffed Bell Peppers

This recipe was taught to me by my mother, who was taught by her Sephardic Jewish grandmother. My great-grandma Bella was originally from what is now Turkey, but immigrated to the U.S. during WWII.

I’ve only had this meal a few times, but it’s delicious to make when you’re in the mood and you have the time. Baking it in the oven just lets all the flavors blend so well together.

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour and 30 minutes

Serves: 4-6 people

Cook To: 375° F

Ingredients:

  • 4 servings white rice
  • 4 bell peppers, your choice of colors (I used yellow, red and orange), cleaned, gutted and sliced in half horizontally
  • 2 lbs. of ground beef
  • onion
  • 1 Tbsp. garlic, minced
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • 1 Tbsp. parsley, fresh and torn
  • 2 c. tomato sauce (marinara)
  • shredded mozzarella
  • salt and pepper

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 375° F.

Boil water for white rice.

Take stem out of bell peppers, cut in half horizontally, and take all seeds out, then rinse.

Put olive oil in skillet with chopped onions and minced garlic. Let it sweat a bit then add the ground beef. Chop it with a wooden spoon into small pieces.

Partially cook the beef mixture.

Mix the fully cooked rice with freshly torn parsley and diced chunks of tomatoes into a bowl. Add salt and black pepper.

When the beef mixture is mostly brown (but slightly pink, like a medium rare), spoon it into the rice mixture. If there’s a lot of liquid, use a slotted spoon. Blend it all together.

Then take a little tomato sauce and pour it into a low baking dish. Just enough sauce to hold the peppers down.

Then spoon the mixture into the peppers. Really stuff them in good. Then pour the rest of the tomato sauce on top.

Make a tin foil tent and cover the peppers with enough air in between to steam them.

Put in oven for 45 minutes then take tin foil off.

Sprinkle shredded mozzarella on top and keep in the oven for 7-10 more minutes.

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