Italian Stuffed Peppers

I can seriously stress out over what to make for dinner fifty percent of the time.  I do have some old standbys that make the bi-weekly rotation which don’t require much thought.  Things like burgers, taco night and pasta.  Trying to satisfy 4 different preferences on a given night can be tricky.  I have one that is picky with vegetables, one that wants to eat healthy and one that doesn’t eat all day and is generally ravenous by dinner time. On the days that I work, I don’t get home until close to 5 and don’t want to spend a ton of time cooking.  These stuffed peppers work for everyone.  They are quick to prepare and depending on the type of meat you use in the filling can be very healthy.

There are lots of recipes out there for stuffed peppers, but I made these with my family’s tastes in mind.  The best part is, when the peppers are baking in the oven, you have 45-50 minutes to clean up the skillet and rice pot, whip up a quick salad to serve alongside and get two loads of laundry in.  A working mom win!

I used 94% fat free ground beef in mine.  You can really use whatever you want.  I bet a combination of turkey sausage and beef would be great too.  But, this is what I had on hand.  For the rice, you can use white or brown.  I wanted to get this on quick, so I used quick cooking white rice.

Add the whatever rice you choose to the meat you browned with onion and garlic.  Throw in some italian seasoning, parsley, salt, pepper and garlic powder.  Add some tomato sauce and chicken broth and mix well.  Throw in some parmesan cheese at the end and stir.

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While the beef is browning, prepare your peppers by washing them and  cutting them in half lengthwise.  Take out the ribs and the seeds and put in a 9×13 baking dish.

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Divide the mixture evenly amongst the peppers and top each pepper with about 2 tablespoons of mozzarella cheese.  Or provolone, or fontina…you get the idea. Pour some chicken broth (about 1/4-1/2 cup) in the dish around the peppers.

Put  some foil on them and put them in a 400 degree oven for about 45-50 minutes.  Take some time to get organized, put on your yoga pants and make a salad while they.  Dinner will be done and on the table in no time at all.

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INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 lb 94% lean ground beef
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 onion, minced
  • 3 tbsp chopped fresh  parsley
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tlb. of italian seasoning
  • 3 tlb. fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp. black pepper
  • 3 tlb. of parmesan cheese, grated
  • 4 large sweet bell peppers, washed
  • 1 cup reduced sodium chicken broth, divided
  • 1/2 cup tomato sauce
  • 1 1/2 cups cooked rice (white or brown)
  • 12 tbsp part skim shredded mozzarella cheese

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Heat oven to 400°F.
  2. Lightly spray olive oil spray in a medium nonstick skillet and heat on a medium heat.
  3. Add onion, garlic and and saute about 2 minutes, add meat, salt, pepper and garlic powder and cook meat for 4 to 5 minutes until meat is completely cooked through.
  4. Add 1/2 cup of tomato sauce and 1/2 cup of chicken broth, mix well and simmer on low for about 5 minutes.
  5. Combine cooked rice and meat together.  Stir in parmesan cheese.
  6. Cut the bell peppers in half lengthwise, and remove all seeds. Divide the meat mixture evenly  into each pepper half and place in a 9 x 13-inch baking dish. Top each with 2 tbsp cheese.
  7. Pour the remainder of the chicken broth on the bottom of the pan. Cover tightly with aluminum foil and bake for about 45 minutes.
  8. Carefully remove the foil and serve right away.

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