Bell peppers are a more diverse vegetable than a lot of people give them credit for. Chop them up raw in a salad and you get a sweet, crunchy sensation that is much easier on the teeth than say, carrots or celery. Cooking them on a pizza creates a nice bitter flavor that pairs well with savory tomato sauce. Add to this the fact that bell peppers are usually readily available in a variety of vibrant colors and you have one vegetable that can potentially serve many purposes.
As you’d expect, bell peppers are healthy. They are low in calories and a good source of vitamins A and C, potassium, folic acid, and fiber. Little-known fact: green bell peppers are actually harvested before they can mature by turning into warmer colors. This means that red peppers, the ones that stay on the pepper plant the longest, have quite a bit more beta-carotene and vitamin C than their green cousins.
Stuffed pepper recipes are a way to take advantage of the vegetable’s versatility. By cooking a hollowed out bell pepper stuffed with the right ingredients, you can enjoy the nice flavor swapping between the pepper and its tasty inhabitants. Common ingredients used in stuffed pepper recipes are onions, garlic, rice, and meats like chicken and beef. The possibilities are endless.
Here are some fantastic options for trying pepper in its most flavorful incarnations.
Healthy Stuffed Pepper Recipes
There are a good number of stuffed pepper recipes out there, and some of them are quite healthy. Here are a few tips to keep in mind when assembling your stuffed pepper masterpiece. First, to maximize the volume of filling per pepper it’s a good idea to cut the pepper near the top so that you’re left with the largest “bowl” available. It’s also a good idea to par-bake the pepper before stuffing it with your cooked ingredients. Last, if you are using rice as many stuffed pepper recipes call for, it can be helpful to use frozen pre-cooked rice for convenience.
Like with any culinary adventure, the time you have available to prepare your dish is a factor. If you have ninety minutes then you may want to try this recipe which tops the finished product with shredded pepper jack cheese. Creating the filling begins by cooking beef seasoned with salt and pepper. Next the vegetables are sauteed: first onions and sliced peppers for several minutes, then garlic, tomatoes and a couple touches of red pepper flakes. Some cheese is baked into the mixture, but some is saved for a crusty, mouth-watering topping. Yum!
More Mouth Watering Recipes
If you are less concerned with presentation and more interested in saving some time, a stuffed pepper casserole might be the way to go. One recipe calls for several of the same ingredients as the above recipe. But some exquisite elements are added in the form of soy sauce, beef broth, and Italian seasoning. The longest part of this recipe is simply cooking the rice. One nice thing about having rice in your casserole is that you can easily stretch the quantity of your output based on how much rice you choose to make.
Once you have some experience preparing bell peppers under your belt it may be time to kick it up a notch. This chicken alfredo stuffed pepper recipe is an eye-catching and tastebud-dazzling treat. Dairy ingredients such as milk, heavy cream, parmesan cheese, and butter all serve a role in turning the common bell pepper into a house of rich flavors. Of course, once you begin adding all that dairy (not to mention meats), the recipe ceases to lose some of its health potential. So feel free to serve it alongside a fresh salad. Speaking of greens, don’t forget to garnish the peppers with chopped parsley!
There is almost no end to the ways the basic stuffed pepper model can be expanded upon. For example, take this Mexican themed recipe. Incorporating enchilada sauce, chili powder and even some cumin, in turn, can lead to a terrific taco night experience. Add some lettuce, fresh chopped tomatoes or sour cream – basically all the things that check your taco boxes – and you have a wonderful meal on your hands.
So what will it be? Chicken alfredo, Mexican, casserole, or a more straightforward method with a medley of sauteed veggies? Maybe you’re like me and grew up on sliced bell peppers dipped in ranch dressing. But as much tasty fun as raw bell pepper can be, don’t think for a second that this is where their potential ends. Those colorful globes are waiting to be stuffed with your savoriest desires. Who are you to refuse?