Stuffed Peppers


  • 1 lb. lean ground beef
  • 1-1/4 teaspoons salt, divided
  • Heaping 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3 large red, yellow, or orange bell peppers, cut in half from the stem to the bottom and cored
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 (8-oz) can tomato sauce
  • 1 cup cooked rice, quinoa, or any grain
  • 1-1/2 cups shredded Monterey Jack or Cheddar Jack cheese


  1. Preheat the oven to 425°F and set an oven rack in the middle position.
  2. Tenderize the beef: In a medium bowl, using your hands, mash the beef with 1 teaspoon of the salt and the baking soda. Let sit for 20 minutes while you continue with the recipe.
  3. Line a 9×13-inch baking dish with aluminum foil for easy clean-up, if you like. Place the peppers, cut side up, in the baking dish; drizzle with 1 tablespoon of the oil and sprinkle with the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt.
  4. Roast the peppers for about 20 minutes, until slightly browned and tender-crisp.
  5. Meanwhile, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil over medium heat in a large nonstick skillet. Add the onion and cook, stirring frequently, until soft and translucent, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the garlic and cook 1 minute more; do not brown. Add the ground beef mixture, chili powder, cumin, and oregano and increase the heat to medium high. Cook, breaking the meat up with a wooden spoon, until the meat is browned and almost cooked through, 4 to 5 minutes. Add the tomato sauce and bring to a boil; reduce the heat to medium low and cook, uncovered, until the meat is cooked through, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the rice and 3/4 cup of the cheese, and stir until melted. Remove the skillet from the heat.
  6. Remove the peppers from the oven and spoon the meat filling evenly into the peppers. Sprinkle with the remaining 3/4 cup cheese and place back in the oven. Roast for 10 to 15 minutes, until the filling is hot and the cheese is melted and bubbling, and serve.
Source: Once Upon A Chef

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