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Classic stuffed peppers are a perennial favorite comfort food.
Classic Stuffed Peppers–All-Time Favorite
When you think of favorite family meals, classic stuffed peppers come to mind.
There’s so many iterations on this recipe, it’s hard to keep up with them! I’ve even done a vegetarian version of quinoa stuffed peppers (it’s one of my favorites btw). However there comes a time you want a traditional version, and this more or less is it.
Each traditional version has slight variations, but the main ingredients are ground beef, rice and, of course, bell peppers. I use a combination of green and red bell peppers. Visually, the colors give eye appeal and I do find the red variety tastes a bit sweeter.
Prepping The Peppers
Whole or half? That’s pretty much up to you on how you like your stuffed peppers. I’ve stuffed them whole and half. My mom used to slice each pepper in half lengthwise and to be honest, I’m partial to that method for a number of reasons.
The first reason is that they are more stable in the pan and don’t fall over. The second reason is that they are easier to seed and remove the filaments. Doing this with whole peppers can sometimes destroy the pepper. I’ve had that happen a few times and I hate having to try to put it back together again.
Last but not least is that it plates up better and is much easier to eat. On the heels of that is that sometimes a humungous whole pepper with tons of filling is just too much for some people to get through. If anyone wants more, they can take another half. Less waste in my opinion.
Yes, breadcrumbs. And eggs too.
I remember my mother’s stuffed peppers and that was just ground beef, cooked rice and seasonings. To my taste, the ground beef filling was a little dry and mealy. Adding breadcrumbs and eggs to hold the meat together gives a much better texture–for my taste.
And yes, the sauce is based on good old condensed tomato soup. I find that it has a sweet-ish quality that goes very well with these stuffed peppers. Not to mention that it’s very convenient and has a creamy texture. That way, the sauce doesn’t have to be reduced if you prefer it thicker and less watery.
Classic Stuffed Peppers
- 2 lbs ground beef
- 2 tbs finely chopped onion
- 1 cup cooked rice
- 1 cup soft breadcrumbs
- 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
- 2 eggs
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp pepper
- 4 medium bell peppers sliced in half lengthwise seeds and veins removed
- 1 can tomato soup
- 1/2 can milk or water
- 1/4 tsp garlic powder
- 1/4 tsp basil
- 1/8 tsp oregano
- Mix the ground beef, onion, cooked rice, breadcrumbs, cheese, eggs, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Divide mixture equally between the 8 bell pepper halves.
- Add the sauce ingredients to a large deep skillet or dutch oven; stir to combine.
- Place peppers in pan with the sauce. Heat over medium heat until the sauce begins to bubble. Reduce heat tp lpw, cover and simmer for 40 minutes or until the center of the meat reaches 160F/80C/
- Nice served with noodles or over mashed potatoes.