Cinco de Mayo is an important day in my life. Not only is it the day that I met my husband (see post here), but growing up in a little West Texas town allowed me to have a lifetime of Mexican-American influence in my life (see post here). So today we’re celebrating alongside everyone else with our queso blanco, these Stuffed Mexican Bell Peppers, and our (virgin for me) margaritas!!
Stuffed bell peppers have been always a well-received dish in our house. They’re nutritious and filling and versatile, plus they heat up well the next day. And with this dish, anything goes! Use wild rice, white rice, brown rice, or quinoa (I’ve even seen cous cous!), and any sort of protein and/or veggies you prefer.
This recipe seasons cooked ground beef, onions, and bell peppers with chili powder, oregano, basil, salt and pepper, then gets mixed in with cooked brown rice, rotel, tomato sauce, and seasoned bread crumbs. Stuff bell peppers with the meat/rice mixture, sprinkle with cheese, cover with aluminum foil, and bake for 25-30 minutes.
- 6 large bell peppers
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp oregano
- 1 tsp basil
- 1/2 tsp chili powder
- 2 tsp coarse kosher salt
- freshly ground black pepper
- 1 small onion, diced
- 3-4 garlic cloves, diced
- 1 lb. ground beef
- 1 1/2 cup cooked brown rice (cold, leftover rice works great)
- 1 14 oz can Rotel
- 1 8 oz can tomato sauce
- 1/2 cup Italian breadcrumbs
- 1 cup shredded Mexican cheese
- splash of chicken broth (optional)
- Preheat oven to 375.
- Remove tops from bell peppers. Remove all stems, seeds, and membranes, then dice the bell pepper tops and set aside.
- In a large pot, bring water to a boil, then add the 6 bell peppers to the pot and let boil for 5 minutes. Drain and set aside.
- In a large pan, heat olive oil over medium heat. When hot, add onions and bell peppers. Saute for 4-5 minutes, until onions and peppers are tender, then add garlic. Cook for an additional 1-2 minutes, stirring often, then add in the ground beef. Cook until no longer pink. Drain. Add the salt, black pepper, chili powder, oregano, and basil, stir, then add in the brown rice, rotel, tomato sauce, and bread crumbs. Taste and adjust seasonings. (Optional: If dry, add a splash of chicken broth.)
- Place the bell peppers in a baking pan. Fill with meat mixture, top with cheese, cover with aluminum foil (spraying the bottom of the aluminum foil with a little bit of nonstick spray helps the cheese not stick to the foil1).
- Bake covered for 25-30 minutes.