When I first started sharing recipes here, I wanted to make all of my reader knew that i am not a fancy cook. I am definitely not a foodie. Instead, I try to focus on creating delicious homestyle, southern meals that my family loves. I consider myself a family cook, not a fancy cook. Today, I’m sharing a recipe that is a pretty basic, common home meal for many families– Stuffed Bell Peppers. In fact, Mellow Man asked me in early May to add these into our weekly meal planning repertoire. I called my Mother-in-Law to get her recipe as a starting point, as I knew that she made Stuffed Bell Peppers. I took her recipe, along with my memories of making Stuffed Cabbage, and practiced until I got a recipe that I liked. Here is my version of Stuffed Bell Peppers in case other families are looking for some traditional homestyle dishes to add to their recipe bank.
- 4 Bell Peppers (I use 2 green and 2 red, but the choice is entirely up to you.)
- 3/4 Pound Ground Beef (I used 93% lean.)
- 1/2 Pound Ground Pork
- 1/2 Cup Uncooked Rice (I use basic Uncle Ben’s original rice)
- 1/2 Cup Finely Chopped Sweet Onion
- 1 Egg
- 1 teaspoon of Salt (do this to taste, so more or less as you and your family needs)
- 1/2 teaspoon of Black Pepper (Again to your own taste.)
- 1 Can Tomato Soup (a 10 3/4 ounce can)
- 1 Cup of Tomato Puree
- Mixture of Shredded Mozzarella and Cheddar Cheese
To start, wash the bell peppers, and cut the very tops of the peppers off, and remove the seeds and clean out the insides of the bell peppers. Place the bell peppers in a deep dish that can go into an oven. Set aside.
Mix the ground beef, ground pork, rice and egg together until they are well blended. Add the onion, salt and pepper. I also use the tops of the green and red bell peppers and chop them finely and add them to the mixture. (This is optional, and you can also keep the tops and bake them on the top of the peppers, the choice is yours!)
Mix the tomato soup and tomato puree in a large measuring cup or bowl, and then add a small amount to the meat mixture. The mixture needs to be soft and gooey. (See the photo above.) If it doesn’t have any liquid in it, the meat will get dried out. This is a much more runny consistency than you would use for a meat loaf if you need a point of comparison. I usually end up using 3/4 of a cup of the tomato mixture. Then stuff the mixture into the bell peppers.
Pour the remaining tomato mixture to the space between the bell peppers. In the dish I use, it comes about half way up the peppers. The last step is to top the stuffed peppers with the cheese mixture. I am heavy handed with the cheese, but I love cheese. I cover the dish, and cook it in a 350 degree oven for one hour. I pull back a bit of the cheese to check the meat color to make sure it’s done, but an hour seems like the perfect amount of time. Serve with a slice of corn bread, or a dinner roll for dipping in the sauce and enjoy!