Recipe by Susannah Felts
These stuffed peppers are a surefire pleaser because all the various flavors – the mild but snappy pepper, the garlic and onions, the tangy sweetness of the tomatoes, the potent dash of cinnamon – all meld beautifully into a complex, perfectly spiced dish. These stuffed peppers are delicious both as the main attraction or as a side dish. Feel free to improvise on this recipe, too. Throw in chorizo, ground turkey, or ground venison instead of ground beef, or do a veggie-bean medley instead. Try quinoa or barley instead of couscous or rice. Add more cheese, or less, or different cheeses. It’s hard to go wrong!
- 4-5 large bell peppers (tops cut off, seeds and insides removed)
- 1 lb or so ground beef
- ¾ cup dry rice or Israeli couscous, cooked
- 1 small-medium yellow onion, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped or pressed
- Equal amounts (about 1 tsp or so) cinnamon and chili powder
- Salt and pepper
- 1½ cup grated cheddar cheese, divided
- ¼ cup grated Parmesan
- Pint or more of cherry tomatoes or diced tomatoes
InstructionsPreheat oven to 450 degrees F. Brown the meat with the garlic and onions (add chopped up pepper tops if you’d like) and season with the cinnamon, chili powder, and salt and pepper to taste. When meat is cooked through, add cherry tomatoes and let simmer for 10-15 minutes, stirring frequently. Meanwhile, cook couscous or rice according to instructions.
Combine couscous and meat mixture, adding in one cup of cheddar cheese and all of the Parmesan. Spoon mixture into peppers and place in a casserole dish, topping each pepper with what’s left of the cheddar. Cook uncovered in oven for about a half hour. Let cool a bit, and enjoy!