I first made this recipe for Stuffed Peppers a few months ago and they were really good. I originally found the recipe in the book “Cook Smart, Eat Well” by Cooking Light. It’s a collection of easy and healthy recipes, and with each recipe, the book creates a simple menu so that you have a complete meal. The book recommends serving these peppers with sugar snap peas and sautéed cabbage. I didn’t feel like cabbage, so I just served steamed sugar snap peas on the side. The peppers were just as good the second time around, and the snap peas were a great side dish.
The nice thing about this recipe is that it doesn’t require a lot of ingredients, and it is super easy to make. You can use any color pepper (I used a mixture of red & green peppers). The filling is a combination of ground sirloin, rice, sautéed onions, a few spices, and Parmesan cheese. The second time making these, I omitted the wine and it didn’t affect the flavor at all. The filling also requires jarred pasta sauce, so this is the perfect recipe to make if you have leftover sauce in the fridge that you need to use. And, like all Cooking Light recipes, it is fairly low-calorie – only 347 calories per bell pepper!
Adapted from: Cooking Light, January 2003
- 1 (3 ½ -ounce) bag boil-in-bag long-grain rice
- 4 medium red bell peppers
- ¾ pound ground sirloin
- 1 cup chopped onion
- ½ cup chopped fresh parsley
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
- 2 cups bottled tomato-and-basil pasta sauce, divided
- ½ cup grated fresh Parmesan cheese
- ½ cup dry red wine
- Cooking spray
- Preheat oven to 450°.
- Cook rice according to package directions, omitting salt and fat. Set aside.
- While rice cooks, cut tops off bell peppers; reserve tops. Discard seeds and membranes. Place peppers, cut sides down, in an 8-inch square baking dish; cover with plastic wrap. Microwave at high 2 minutes or until peppers are crisp-tender. Cool.
- Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add beef, onion, parsley, paprika, salt, and allspice; cook 4 minutes or until beef is lightly browned, stirring to crumble. Remove from heat. Add rice, 1 cup pasta sauce, and cheese to beef mixture, stirring to combine.
- While beef cooks, combine 1 cup pasta sauce and wine in a small saucepan; bring to a boil.
- Spoon about ¾ cup beef mixture into each pepper. Place peppers in a 2-quart baking dish coated with cooking spray; add wine mixture to pan. Cover with foil.
- Bake at 450° for 20 minutes. Uncover; bake an additional 5 minutes or until lightly browned. Serve peppers with sauce. Garnish with pepper tops, if desired.