For special meals, bell peppers are my secret ingredient, especially between July and November when they’re the sweetest. You can add bell peppers to casseroles, Asian-inspired stir-fries, Mexican fajitas and hearty bean stews; they can do it all! They’re even lovely in salads.
My favorite way of cooking bell peppers is making fair use of that hollow inside and stuffing them with all sorts of goodies, especially with ground meat and cheese. Here’s an easy recipe for stuffed bell peppers. A lively heavy lunch and a delightful dinner you and your loved ones will adore.
Eat Your Veggies
I always have a hard time adding veggies to my meals, but when the vegetables are the core of the recipe, they’re not only unavoidable but delicious. When oven roasted, the crunchy bell peppers get soft and sweet, with the nicest burnt bits that liven the whole thing up. Bell peppers are so meaty!
The filling, though, that’s the very definition of hearty meatiness. Ground beef seasoned with garlic and caramelized onions, enhanced by salt and pepper and covered with as much shredded cheese as you can fit in the pepper.
If you’re not a big fan of veggies, start stuffing them with meat and cheese. That’s the answer to all your problems.
Here’s a PRO tip, you can use zucchini instead of bell peppers.
The Secret is in the Filling
Once you have a few ripe bell peppers, they’re ready to be stuffed and broiled. Most bell peppers will just taste the same. Some will be more vegetal, and others will be sweeter, but the most important thing is the filling, and it all starts with ground meat.
I know supermarket ground meat is convenient, but since the meat is this recipe’s star, you might want to go all-in and find premium quality ground beef. That means paying a visit to your local craft butcher. Butcheries are in vogue, and they’re now quite fancy — they also know their meat, so ask for a custom ground meat, made to order with at least a lean-to-fat ratio between 80/20 and 95/5.
Fat in the meat is what gives it flavor, and that means more energy for you. Since this dish is zero-carb, you want it a bit fattier. Also, remember that today, we know saturated fat in meat is not the enemy; our bodies need it, so enjoy a little fat — just don’t over-do it!
The other critical ingredient is cheese, and you also want to use a nice cheese. The store-bought stuff might have little taste and a plastic texture, so find a real cheddar, it costs a bit more, but it’s utterly delicious.
Now we’re ready to bake ourselves a few lovely stuffed bell peppers, the new meal you never knew you always wanted. Play around with your toppings, from spicy chorizo to fresh parsley leaves, the sky’s the limit!
- • 4 large bell peppers
- • 1/2 cup bacon, chopped in bits
- • 1 pound ground beef
- • 1 small onion, diced
- • 2 cloves garlic, minced
- • 2 cups cheddar cheese, grated
- • Salt and pepper
- • Olive oil as needed
- Cut the bell peppers in half, remove the seeds. Coat inside and outside with olive oil and reserve.
- Preheat the oven at 350°F.
- In a skillet, add a drizzle of olive oil and sauté the chopped garlic and onion until translucent.
- Add the bacon to the skillet until golden and add the ground beef. Brown the meat while stirring.
- Season the meat with salt and pepper.
- With a spoon, stuff the bell peppers and top with grated cheddar cheese.
- Place the bell peppers in a baking pan, drizzle with olive oil and bake for 20 minutes or until the cheese is golden brown.
- Carefully remove from oven and serve.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 654Total Fat: 46gSaturated Fat: 20gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 20gCholesterol: 167mgSodium: 717mgCarbohydrates: 11gFiber: 2gSugar: 4gProtein: 48g