Quick and Simple Stuffed Pepper Casserole Recipe

Welcome to the world of cozy and satisfying meals with this Hearty Stuffed Pepper Casserole. Imagine the classic flavors of stuffed peppers deconstructed into a casserole form, offering all the comforting taste without the hassle of stuffing. This dish layers rice, bell peppers, ground meat, and a savory tomato sauce, all topped with melty cheese, creating a wholesome dinner option that’s perfect for busy weeknights or a comforting weekend meal. It’s a versatile recipe that warms you from the inside out, making it a must-try for anyone in search of a filling and flavorful comfort food classic.

There’s always that one dish that becomes a tradition in every family, and in ours, it’s this Stuffed Pepper Casserole. It started on a chilly autumn evening when we craved something hearty but didn’t have the energy for elaborate cooking. Remembering the stuffed peppers my grandmother used to make, I decided to recreate the flavors in a less time-consuming way. The result was an instant hit!

Even my partner, who’s notoriously picky, went back for seconds, and the kids declared it a new favorite, asking when we could have it again. It’s become our go-to meal for gatherings, and friends often request the recipe, saying it reminds them of home. It’s not just a casserole; it’s a vessel of family memories, laughter, and the simple joy of sharing a meal.

Why You’ll Love Hearty Stuffed Pepper Casserole:

  • All the Flavors, Less Work: Enjoy the classic taste of stuffed peppers without the effort of stuffing them.
  • Customizable: Easily adapt the recipe to your dietary preferences with different meats, grains, or additional vegetables.
  • Meal Prep Friendly: Prepare ahead for a quick reheat on busy nights, ensuring a delicious meal is always at hand.
  • Crowd-Pleaser: A hit with both adults and children, making it perfect for family dinners or casual entertaining.
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Ingredients Notes For Hearty Stuffed Pepper Casserole:

  • Bell Peppers: A mix of colors adds visual appeal and a variety of flavors.
  • Ground Meat: Beef, turkey, or chicken offer versatility. Choose based on your preference or dietary needs.
  • Rice: The base of the casserole. Use long-grain white rice, brown rice, or even quinoa for a twist.
  • Tomato Sauce: Provides moisture and richness. Consider a homemade sauce or your favorite jarred version for convenience.
  • Cheese: A generous topping of cheese brings everything together with a gooey, golden finish.

Recipe Steps:

  1. Prep Ingredients: Preheat your oven, cook the rice, and brown the meat with onions and garlic.
  2. Layer the Casserole: In a baking dish, layer the cooked rice, sautéed bell peppers, browned meat mixture, and tomato sauce. Repeat the layers if desired.
  3. Bake: Top with shredded cheese and bake until bubbly and golden.
  4. Serve: Let the casserole cool slightly before serving to allow the flavors to meld together perfectly.

Storage Options:

  • Refrigerate: Keep leftovers in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
  • Freeze: Suitable for freezing. Thaw overnight in the fridge and reheat in the oven or microwave.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 pound ground beef (or ground turkey for a lighter option)
  • 3 bell peppers (any color), diced
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup rice (white, brown, or a mix; see note below on cooking)
  • 1 can (14.5 ounces) diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 can (8 ounces) tomato sauce
  • 2 cups beef broth (or chicken broth)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika (optional for added flavor)
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese (or a blend of your favorite cheeses)
  • Chopped parsley for garnish (optional)
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INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Pre-Cook Rice: (Skip if using leftover or pre-cooked rice.)
    • Cook 1 cup of rice according to the package instructions. Set aside. Note: The rice can be slightly undercooked since it will continue to cook in the oven.
  2. Preheat Oven and Prepare the Beef:
    • Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C). In a large skillet over medium heat, cook the ground beef until browned. Drain excess fat.
  3. Add Vegetables:
    • To the same skillet, add the diced bell peppers, onion, and garlic. Cook until the vegetables are just tender, about 5 minutes.
  4. Combine Ingredients:
    • Add the diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, beef broth, salt, pepper, oregano, and paprika to the skillet. Stir to combine. Bring to a simmer and then mix in the cooked rice. Simmer for a few more minutes until everything is well combined.
  5. Transfer to Baking Dish:
    • Transfer the mixture to a 9×13-inch baking dish. Spread evenly.
  6. Bake:
    • Cover with foil and bake in the preheated oven for 25 minutes. Remove the foil, sprinkle the shredded cheese on top, and bake for an additional 10 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and bubbly.
  7. Garnish and Serve:
    • Garnish with chopped parsley, if desired, before serving.

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