~ A new twist on a classic! Everything you love about stuffed green peppers, but so fast and easy! Tender, crisp green peppers highlight the comforting flavors of ground beef, rice and tomatoes … a quick skillet dinner for busy nights! Satisfying and really delicious … and totally kid-approved, too! ~
This Recipe Is: • Ready in 30 Minutes or Less • Gluten Free •
My dad loves stuffed peppers. And when I was growing up, my mom used to make them all the time.
As a kiddo, I was always stumped when that large bell pepper appeared on my plate, shoved full of tomatoey rice and meat. I would sit there and think to my seven-year-old self, “What’s the best way to eat this? What’s my plan of attack?”
Honestly, I’d scoop out the inside goodness and eat that first. Then I’d take my two or three obligatory bites of the green pepper, and give the rest to my dad. He’s always loved ’em, and was more than happy to get the bonus pepper from me. And at the time, I didn’t particularly love peppers – especially cooked ones. (I know, I know … but I love love love them now, so you’ll forgive me, right? And I guess my mom was right – those “no-thank-you-bites” really did the trick!)
It’d been years (YEARS, I tell you!) since I’d had stuffed peppers. My hubby mentioned once, early in our married life, that he liked them, too. Maybe I ignored that?? Not sure what happened, but they never made an appearance on our dinner table.
Now we eat stuffed peppers all the time. Sort of.
Ya see, on those hectic nights when I have to get a hot meal on the table rightthissecond before we dash out the door to the next activity, I need a speedy-quick dinner solution.
Enter … the UN-Stuffed Pepper Skillet! (Aaaaaaaaaahhhhh – that’s a little choir of angels, my friends. And they are singing just for you.)
It’s so super quick and easy!
Brown your meat with the garlic and onions (in a nonstick skillet like this one)! SHAZAM!
While that’s cooking, heat up the rice! BAM!
Dice up the pepper! KAPOW!
Mix it all together with your favorite tomato sauce and a little splash of hot sauce to keep things interesting! KA-CHING … and … YIPEE it’s ready to eat!!
And that’s what my family says when I make this … YIPPPEEEEE!!! (There may or may not be cartwheels that occur. I can’t tell with all the celebration!)
I was a little nervous about this the first time I made it. What if my kids didn’t care for cooked peppers like me, when I was kid? They are made up of half of my DNA, and what if they inherited the “I-don’t-like-cooked-peppers” portion??? As I approached the table with great trepidation, my littlest said, “Are those peppers?“
“Yes, and I would just like you to …”
“YAY! I love peppers!!” (I love how kids’ tastebuds change from one day to the next! Pretty sure peppers were on the bottom of the list over the summer when I had an abundance of them! Love peppers, too? Be sure to check out our Rainbow Pepper Salsa!)
Whew. Even my oldest who has been known to be ever-so-slightly picky (ok … fine … quite picky) was really happy with this dish and asked for seconds.
When Shelley’s family tried it, her husband exclaimed, “This is AWESOME!” (I wasn’t there, but she texted me that’s what he said. I believe her. Because … this is awesome, after all.)
In typical THK fashion, we like to bring you family-friendly and quick-to-prepare meals. This one, my friends, totally fits the bill.
It tastes like childhood, when times were easy. When the only drama in life was who got the best swing at recess. (And if you didn’t get the best swing, you had to stand in line and count to 100, then it was your turn. What? You didn’t “count on” people? Hmmm … interesting!)
This classic dish has a whole new lease on life, now that it’s so quick and easy! And if our kids are any indication, this generation loves it!
- 1 pound extra-lean ground beef
- 1 1/2 cups chopped onion (from about half of a large onion)
- 3 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 24-ounce jar of your favorite spaghetti sauce
- 1/4 cup water
- 1 tablespoon hot sauce (such as Frank's Red Hot) (see note)
- 4 cups cooked brown rice (see note)
- 1 1/2 - 2 cups green pepper, chopped into 1-inch pieces (from 1 large or two small green peppers)
- additional hot sauce for serving
- Preheat a large, nonstick skillet over medium heat and add beef, onion, garlic, salt and black pepper. Cook until beef is browned and cooked through, stirring to crumble. Drain if needed (although if using very lean beef, you likely won't need to.)
- Add spaghetti sauce, using water to swish the residual sauce out of the jar. Add hot sauce. Cook for 10 minutes to allow flavors to meld.
- Add rice and green peppers, cooking just until peppers are hot and crisp-tender.
- Serve immediately, passing additional hot sauce as desired.
This recipe is extremely flexible for families with little kiddos or families in which some people like their food spicier than others. Our younger taste testers love this dish with just one tablespoon of hot sauce – it adds a hint of pepper-y-ness without being spicy. The rest of us prefer to add extra hot sauce at the table for a delicious kick that further heightens the pepper-y flavor. So you decide how much hot sauce to add and when – but we recommend just passing additional hot sauce at the table so each person can enjoy this their own way.
This dish actually comes together much more quickly when you cook the rice separately. Use whatever cooking method is easiest for you. We've used instant brown rice, instant boil-in-bag, and even the pre-cooked microwave packages of brown rice. If you have rice leftover from another meal, that works just fine, too!