Stuffed Peppers

My friends and family in the northeast United States are getting hit hard with snow this week. As the pictures and snow day announcements roll in (lucky!) it’s a reminder that although it’s March, winter is hardly over.

Thankfully I’m far away from the bad weather. I’m spending this week in Fort Worth, TX replenishing my body’s nutritional need for tacos. Regardless, all this talk of snowy weather got me thinking about one of my favorite wintertime meals.

Growing up in Pennsylvania, there was no shortage of snowy days. As a kid, they were the happiest days knowing school was cancelled and I was only 20 minutes away from a fully inflated sled (remember blowing those up manually? whew!) to occupy my afternoon sledding. As I got older and had to actually be a fully functioning adult regardless of the weather (no more snow days … what?!) I became somewhat disillusioned with the winter season entirely. One thing never changed though, and that was my love for Stuffed Peppers on cold, wet, gross days.

In my Jambalaya post, I talked about fighting bad weather blues with cook-all-day meals to fill the house with comfortable smells and anticipation for dinner. Stuff Peppers is the epitome of this sensory experience; about 2 hours into baking the smell of these peppers begins to permeate the house in an ultra-cozy, mouth watering scent that will stick in your memory forever.

The core of this recipe comes from my grandma, was made of often by my mother, and adapted by me (just slightly!) to come together into this dish. The recipe itself is fairly easy but cooks beware – it bakes for 4-5 hours so set aside plenty of time, you won’t regret it.

Feel free to leave comments below to ask questions or let me know how this meal turned out for you!

Ingredients


  • 5 green bell peppers
  • ½ lb ground sausage (spicy or mild)
  • ½ lb ground beef
  • 1 box Uncle Ben’s Long Grain Wild Rice
  • ½ onion, chopped finely
  • 6 cans Campbell’s Tomato Soup
  • 2 cans water
  • ½  tbsp garlic powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp pepper

 

Instructions


Pepper Filling

  • Cut tops of peppers off (~ 1 in. thick) and clean out seeds from both pepper and lid
    • Keep tops and bottoms paired together!
  • In a large skillet, combine onion, sausage and ground beef, breaking the meat into smaller and smaller chunks until fully ground
  • As meats are cooking, sprinkle garlic powder, salt and pepper to the pan
  • Completely brown meats then drain off fat using a colander
  • In a medium-sized sauce pan, prepare the rice following instructions on the box
  • Once rice and meats are prepared, combine in a large mixing bowl and toss together.
  • Stuff into prepared peppers, packing tightly to the top of the pepper
  • Set aside leftover filling
  • Using toothpicks, pin the top of each pepper to the filled bottom (count the # of toothpicks used)

Pepper Prep Final

Baking the Peppers

  • Preheat oven to 350°
  • In an 8 qt – 10 qt stock pot, add 3 cans of tomato soup
  • Place stuffed peppers around the bottom of the pot – try not to stack them if possible
  • If you had leftover stuffing mix, add around the peppers (it will create a meaty sauce)
  • Empty remaining 3 cans of tomato soup to the pot
  • Using the empty tomato soup cans, add 2 cans-worth of water
  • Cover the pot and bake 4 hours

Serving the Peppers

  • Using a slotted spoon, scoop whole peppers out of pot and onto a platter
  • Remove all toothpicks (count the # of toothpicks removed to ensure they are all out of the peppers)
  • Spoon the remaining sauce into a separate bowl
  • Serve with mashed potatoes, using the sauce to cover the pepper(s) and potatoes … enjoy!

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