This recipe for stuffed bell peppers is amazingly good. It is as easy and fancy as it looks. And the autumn colours of the peppers brighten this meal, undoubtedly pleasing the eye as well.
Oh, and what a delightful aroma they spread in the kitchen… Anyone who will pass by your window will want to stop by and ask for a bite. The recipe is perfect for a late weekend lunch or dinner.
To prepare this recipe, you will require the following ingredients: peppers of any colours you like, minced beef, white rice, onion, garlic, one big carrot, ground cumin, salt, black pepper, bay leaf and olive oil.
Note that cumin is la pièce de résistance. It is an earthy, aromatic spice that brings citrusy notes to my lovely recipe for stuffed bell peppers.
You can use alternative to some ingredients, for example, use quinoa, bulgur, or even couscous instead of rice. You may also cook with brown rice as it is more nutritive than the processed white one.
I’m going to assist you through every step, and you will be instantly convinced of how easy is to make stuffed peppers.
Begin by preparing the ingredients. First, clean the bell peppers: remove the top, cut the membranes and the seeds, then rinse.
I prefer keeping the tops because it’s less waste and more than that, they look more attractive, especially if you have guests at the table.
Second, prepare the rice by boiling it around 15 – 20 minutes until soft. In this particular recipe, I use white basmati rice, it is affordable and easy to find. To prevent the rice to get sticky or worse, transform it into a mush, double the amount of water it needs to cook. Then drain the excess water with the help of a fine mesh colander and rinse it with cold water.
In the meantime, chop the onion and grate one carrot.
The third step for a delicious filling for stuffed bell peppers is to prepare the minced beef.
In a large skillet, over high heat, warm a tablespoon of olive oil. Add the minced meat along with crushed garlic, salt, black pepper, cumin and bay leaves. Let it cook, stirring occasionally, around 10 minutes or until the excess juice evaporates.
Then reduce the heat to medium and add the chopped onion together with grated carrot and cook for 5 minutes more.
When the onion is translucent, add tomato sauce and cook for another 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. As an alternative for homemade tomato sauce, you can use passata or tomato puree which is widely available in supermarkets.
Combine the rice with the minced beef mixture represents to complete the filling.
The last step is the easiest one when you can have fun – stuffing the bell peppers. But before this, let the oven preheat at 200°C/400°F.
As you can see in the photo below, I decorated some of the peppers with the top of the stem. It is for a purely aesthetic reason.
Fill all the peppers with the mixture and place them, standing upright in a non-stick baking dish. At the end, mix water, tomato sauce, cumin and a bit of salt and pour it over.
Cook in the oven for around 55 minutes. When there are 5 minutes left, turn on the grill option of the oven and the peppers will obtain a nice roasted effect.
- 8 bell peppers
- 150 g rice (~ 300g cooked )
- 500g of minced beef
- 4 garlic cloves
- 1 tsp of salt
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 1 tbsp of ground cumin
- 2 bay leaves
- ½ onion
- 1 carrot
- 150 ml Tomato sauce
- Optional: fresh parsley, sour cream or greek yoghurt
Cut the top of the peppers to extract the seeds, then rinse. Keep the tops of the peppers to decorate (just cut the stem with the seeds). This way they will look more attractive on the table.
Fill a large pan with water and cook the rice for around 15-20 minutes or follow the instructions on the package. In the meantime, finely chop half of an onion, grate one carrot and clean the garlic cloves.
At this particular moment, the water and the rice will boil, lower the heat so it will not overflow and proceed to the minced beef. Heat one tablespoon of olive oil in a large skillet and add the minced beef along with crushed garlic, salt, pepper, cumin and bay leaves. Cook for around 10 minutes or until the excess juice evaporates, stirring occasionally.
When the meat has a slight shade of brown, add the onion and grated carrot. Cook for 5 minutes more, add tomato sauce and let it fold in for another 5 minutes.
At this moment the rice should be already cooked. Drain the excess water and rinse it with cold water. Then add it to the minced beef mixture and mix until well combined.
Preheat the oven at 200 °C / 400 °F. Then line a baking tray with non-grease baking foil. Stuff all the peppers with the beef mixture and place them in the tray, standing upright. Spray the stuffed peppers with olive oil and add one cup of water mixed with two tablespoons of tomato sauce and a pinch of ground cumin. Cook in the oven for around 55 min to 1 h. Serve immediately with parsley, greek yoghurt or soured cream.
Nutrition for Serving
Important: *Beware that the values of products may differ. All the nutrition values are based on McCance and Widdowson’s ‘composition of foods on the nutrient content of the UK food supply.
Funny story about the stuffed peppers recipe
Until a few weeks ago, stuffed peppers seemed an impossible deal for me. Plus, there was my overthinking taking over my mind and sounded something like that:
— “My mom must’ve spent many hours cooking when my brother and I asked for stuffed peppers!”
— “So many hours! No, I don’t have time. Not for the moment at least!”
— “Oh, such a difficult recipe it must be. I’m not going to cook it as good as Mom. I will better wait until visiting home!”
Those were such apocalyptic thoughts if you ask me, for such an easy recipe. But I did not know that until a few weeks ago.
Provided it will be a long time until I visit home to satisfy my craving, I was convinced to take the matter in my own hands.
So, I finally plucked up my courage and asked my Mom about her famous recipe for stuffed peppers. She was thrilled, however, to provide me with the directions. Although I don’t know which was it, either the happiness that her daughter has such keen interest in cooking or she was just happy to be a part of my daily business.
In either case, little she knew at the time that I will bring my touch to her stuffed peppers recipe and soon will share it with you, my dear foodie.
I’ll reveal a secret. I hope I’m not the only one cooking stuffed peppers for the first time at 25 years old, otherwise, I would be so utterly ashamed.
Last not least, do not overthink my dear reader, live in the present and don’t forget to be happy. Enjoy the recipe!
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