This is a great recipe for a busy weeknight dinner because it can be made in advance, then stuck in the oven just a little less than an hour before dinner time. If you’re feeling health-conscious, you can swap ground turkey for the beef, quinoa for the white rice, and use a low-fat cheese to lighten things up.
6 bell peppers (I like to use red, yellow, and orange, but green is fine, too)
1-2 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 medium yellow onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tbsp chili powder
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp kosher salt
1 lb lean ground beef (93-95% lean)
1/2 cup canned tomato sauce
1/2 cup chicken broth
1 tsp light brown sugar
2 tsp apple cider vinegar
2 cup cooked long-grain white rice
8 oz Monterrey Jack cheese, shredded and divided
Taco sauce for serving
1. Preheat the oven to 350-degrees. Line a 9×13” baking dish with foil (if desired, for easy cleanup).
2. Prepare your ingredients for the taco meat: Mix the chili powder, cumin, coriander, oregano, cayenne pepper, and salt together in a small bowl. Next, combine the tomato sauce, chicken broth, brown sugar, and cider vinegar in a measuring cup; stir until the sugar is dissolved.
3. Slice the stem-end off of each bell pepper and discard. Using your hands, remove the seeds and as much of the veins as possible from the interior of each pepper, leaving a hollow shell. Place the pepper shells in the prepared baking dish.
4. Heat the vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat until it is shimmering and easily covers the surface. Add the onion to the pan and sauté it until it begins to soften, about 5-7 minutes.
5. Add the garlic to the pan and sauté for another 30 seconds.
6. Add the spice mixture to the onion and garlic. Stir constantly for 1 minute, allowing the spices to toast.
7. Add the ground beef to the skillet. Using your spoon, crumble the meat as it browns. Cook until the meat is no longer pink, about 8-10 minutes.
8. Pour the tomato sauce-chicken broth mixture into the pan and stir to combine the ingredients. Bring the mixture to a boil, then lower the heat to medium-low. Allow the taco meat to simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, allowing the sauce to thicken.
9. Add the cooked rice to the skillet. Stir to combine it with the taco meat. Allow the mixture to cool slightly.
10. Mix 1 cup of the cheese into the taco meat mixture.
11. Spoon the taco meat mixture equally into the bell pepper shells. Top each filled pepper with the remaining cheese.
12. Pour 1/4 of cup water into the bottom of the baking dish. Using aluminum foil, make a dome shape over the baking dish (avoiding contact with the cheese). Place the baking dish in the oven and bake the peppers for 30 minutes.
13. Remove the foil dome from the over the peppers, then bake for another 15-20 minutes, until the cheese is melted and beginning to brown, and the peppers are soft.
14. Remove the baking dish from the oven and allow the peppers to cool for 5 minutes. Serve the stuffed peppers warm, drizzled with taco sauce, if desired.
Makes 6 servings
🌮 If you want to prepare the stuffed peppers in advance, follow steps 1-11 (omitting preheating the oven), cover the baking dish with plastic wrap, and keep them in the refrigerator until they are needed. Remove the baking dish from the refrigerator at least half and hour before you plan to bake the peppers. Preheat the oven to 350-degrees, remove the plastic wrap, and continue with steps 12-14.