In the middle of winter, when I need a classic comfort food recipe to help me get through the day, Stuffed Peppers always comes to mind.
Although I love a good pasta dish like my favorite Chicken Parmesan Skillet Dinner, sometimes, a hearty, oven-baked meal sounds better.
And what is more delicious than a soft and tender bell pepper filled with a flavored ground beef and rice mixture and then topped with cheese?
However, it is always difficult to find a recipe that makes just two servings. Therefore, because I have received several emails asking for dinner recipes that are perfect for two people, I decided to share one of my favorite recipes.
However, if you are are only cooking for one, or if you and your partner are light eaters, you can always refrigerate or freeze the other pepper for already prepared meal some other day.
Stuffed Peppers For Two Recipe
Long grain white rice, cooked
Salt and fresh ground black pepper
Lean ground beef
Petite diced tomatoes
Dried Italian seasoning
Shredded mozzarella cheese
More About The Ingredients
Rice – Because the rice is cooked before it is added to the meat filling mixture, you can substitute any type of rice that you prefer.
Bell Peppers – Although classic stuffed peppers are typically made with green bell peppers, feel free to substitute sweet bell peppers instead. Yellow, red, and orange bell peppers add a slight sweetness that compliments the filling perfectly.
Ground Beef – To make things a little healthier, substitute ground turkey or chicken. To keep things vegetarian, you could also use plant based crumbles as well. However, if you do use ground beef, be sure to get a lean mixture to prevent too much grease from accumulating in the peppers.
Diced Tomatoes – Use standard petite diced tomatoes or use tomatoes that have been flavored with Italian seasonings. And if you are looking for a delicious, but unique twist, substitute chunky salsa in place of the diced tomatoes.
Cheese – Although I prefer to use fresh shredded Mozzarella cheese, you could also use an Italian blend as well. Fresh grated cheese will melt more uniformly and be less stringy when cooked.
The first step in making stuffed peppers is to preheat the oven. Then find a baking dish that is just large enough to fit the two peppers snuggly, without the risk of falling over.
I find that a 1 quart rectangular baking dish works well for this recipe. It is just big enough that the peppers sit upright, but still have enough room to cook evenly.
Now that you have the right dish, it is time to prepare the peppers. Begin by washing and drying the peppers. Then cut the tops off the peppers and remove the ribs and seeds.
Fill the dish with 1/2-inch of water. Then place the hollowed out peppers upside down in the water and cover the dish with aluminum foil.
Soften The Peppers
Place the covered peppers in the preheated oven and bake for 20 minutes to soften the peppers. This is a much easier, and better alternative than boiling the peppers in hot water to soften.
While the peppers are in the hot oven, it is time to prepare the filling. Start by heating a non-stick skillet over-medium high heat.
Prepare The Filling
Add the ground beef to the pan and cook until half of the meat is no longer pink. *Note – if you are using ground turkey or chicken you will need to add a little oil to the pan to prevent the meat from sticking.
Once the meat is half cooked, add the diced onion to the pan and continue to cook until the meat is fully cooked and no longer pink.
Then add the minced garlic and cook until garlic becomes fragrant. This will take approximately 1 minute. Be sure to not overcook the garlic as it will become bitter.
Remove the meat mixture from the heat and drain off excess fat if needed. Then return the meat to the pan and stir in the drained tomatoes, half of the tomato sauce, Worcestershire sauce, cooked rice, parsley, and dried Italian seasoning.
Then season with salt and pepper to taste. I always add in a few hot pepper flakes here as well for a little extra kick to our stuffed peppers.
Once the peppers are done softening, remove the baking dish from the oven. Carefully remove the foil, saving it for later, and reduce the oven temperature.
Using tongs remove the peppers from the dish and place them on a plate. Discard the water in the bottom of the baking dish.
Then pour half of the remaining tomato sauce in the bottom of the dish. Place the peppers back into the dish, open side facing upward.
Fill each pepper with the beef and rice mixture. Pour the remaining tomato sauce over the top of the peppers.
Using oven mitts, carefully cover the baking dish with the stuffed peppers with the foil that you used earlier. Then place the dish back in the oven to bake for 20 minutes.
Once the bake time is up, take the dish out of the oven and remove the foil. Then sprinkle the top of the filling with the shredded cheese and place the baking dish back into the oven, uncovered.
Continue to bake for 20-30 minutes or until the peppers are tender and the cheese begins to turn light brown in some areas.
Remove the peppers from the oven and serve warm with a garnish of chopped parsley on top.
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- 1/4 cup long grain white rice, cooked
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2 large bell peppers
- 1/2 lb. lean ground beef
- 1/4 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
- 1 garlic cloves, minced
- 7 ounces petite diced tomatoes, drained
- 2/3 cup tomato sauce
- 1/2 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 1/2 Tbsp minced fresh parsley, divided
- 3/4 tsp dried Italian seasoning
- 1/3 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
- Preheat oven to 400°F (204°C).
- Cut the tops off the bell peppers and then remove ribs and seeds. In a baking dish just large enough to fit the peppers snuggly fill with 1/2-inch of water.
- Place peppers upside down in the dish with the water and cover with foil. Bake for 20 minutes to soften the peppers.
- While the peppers are cooking heat a medium, non-stick skillet over-medium-high heat. Add the ground beef to the skillet and cook until half of the meat is no longer pink. Add the diced onion to the pan and continue to cook until the beef is cooked through.
- Add the minced garlic and cook until garlic is fragrant, approximately 1 minute. Remove the meat mixture from the heat and drain off excess fat.
- Place the drained meat back into the skillet away from the heat and stir in the drained tomatoes, 1/2 of the tomato sauce, Worcestershire sauce, cooked rice, parsley, and dried Italian seasoning. Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Reduce the oven temperature to 350°F (177°F). Using tongs remove the peppers from the dish and discard the water. Pour half the remaining tomato sauce in the bottom of the baking dish. Then place the peppers back into the pan, cut side facing upward and fill each one with the beef and rice mixture. Pour the remaining tomato sauce over the top of the peppers. Cover with foil and bake for 20 minutes.
- Remove the peppers from the oven and uncover. Sprinkle the tops with cheese and place the baking dish back into the oven, uncovered. Bake for 20-30 minutes or until the peppers are tender and the cheese begins to turn light brown in spots.
- Serve warm with a garnish of chopped parsley on top.
Recipe provided by icookfortwo.com
Nutrition InformationYield 2
Amount Per Serving Calories 410Total Fat 17gSaturated Fat 7gTrans Fat 1gUnsaturated Fat 7gCholesterol 110mgSodium 893mgCarbohydrates 25gFiber 5gSugar 10gProtein 39g
Nutritional Information is to be used as a general guideline only . Nutritional calculations will vary from the types and brands of the products used.