OK, are you ready? Here we go....
Read on for Stuffed Peppers Recipe instructions...
You will need two frying pans for this recipe. You will see in the photos that I used a frying pan and a pot. It's just what I had on hand and it worked out fine.
You will need to cook 3 cups of long grain white rice. I use a rice cooker because it makes perfect rice every time and is very easy to use. If you don't have a rice cooker, then I suggest cooking the rice with the method shown on this page. Also see How to Cook Rice in a Rice Cooker. While your rice is cooking, you can start with cleaning and preparing your peppers.
You need to clean and prepare your green bell peppers. First you need to wash them well. Then you want to carefully cut off the tops in a way where you can put them back on like little hats. After you have cut off the tops you will need to remove all the guts from the peppers. Be careful not to cut too much out of the bottom, you don't want to have a hole in the bottom of your peppers. Think of these peppers as little bowls for the yummy meat and rice filling you are going to stuff them with. After you have cleaned out the insides of the peppers, wash them again. Now your peppers are ready to stuff, so let's work on making the stuffing. Your rice should be cooking now and your peppers ready to stuff. Note: Make sure you cut off the underside of the pepper top as close as you can to the top so you will have room for more stuff. This top has to go back on the pepper after you have filled it up.
Pan 1... (We will call this the sauce pan)
In this pan you will put in 2 Tbs. of olive oil, about 3/4 of a 6 oz. tomato paste can, about 3/4 of a 14.5 oz. petite diced tomato can, 1/2 cup finely chopped onions, 1/4 cup finely chopped red bell peppers, salt, pepper, sweet basil (about 1 tsp.), and 2 cloves of finely chopped garlic.
Pan 2... (We will call this the meat pan)
In this pan you will put in 2 Tbs. of olive oil, 1/2 lb. ground chuck, 1/2 cup finely chopped onions, 1/4 cup finely chopped red bell peppers, salt, pepper, and 2 cloves of finely chopped garlic.
Cook the contents of the 2 pans described above for about 10 minutes or so. Mix everything well and stir the contents while heating. The meat pan should be hotter then the sauce pan. You want to brown the meat pretty well. The sauce pan should be on a low to medium heat and you want to make sure the sauce is not watery. You will know when it's done when you have a nice thick sauce.
After 10 minutes or so (This time may vary, just make sure your meat is browned well, look at the photos to get an idea of what the sauce and meat pans should look like when they are ready to mix) of heating up the sauce and browning the meat you will add the sauce you made into the meat pan. Stir well and continue to heat. Heat for another few minutes.
Now it is time to add in the rice. Add 3 cups of cooked rice into your pan that now has the sauce and meat all mixed together. Add in one cup at a time, mixing well as you go. After you add the rice you will want to add another 2 Tbs. of diced tomatoes. Make sure you drain them well. I used two spoons to drain, see photos. Continue to cook and mix well for another 5 minutes or so. OK, now your filling is ready to go :-)
Now it is time to start stuffing the peppers. Make sure you make a note of which pepper top goes with which pepper. You want to make sure the peppers fit back on top of the peppers nicely. When you roast the peppers, they will be filled with the filling you made with the tops on.
You will need a large baking pan. Put about 3/4" of water in the bottom of the baking pan. Place your peppers standing up in the pan. Stuff each pepper with the filling you made up to the top, but make sure you have room to place the tops back on so the peppers are just about sealed tight. OK, place the tops on. Now these stuffed peppers are ready to cook!
Preheat your oven to 375 degrees F. Fill up a small baking pan with water and place it on the bottom rack of your oven. This will add more moisture to your oven and will help steam the peppers.
After the oven is preheated, place your stuffed peppers in the oven for 45 - 50 minutes. I cooked them for 48 minutes in my electric oven and they came out perfect! I like to serve these in a nice large flat bowl with the tops on. Great presentation :-) You eat these, peppers and all. Just dive in and eat the whole thing. So good! I remember when I was a kid, I would only eat the stuffing because I did not like the peppers. Oh, I like the peppers now! :-) YUM!
Note: These Stuffed Peppers freeze well. You can freeze these by placing the entire stuffed pepper, filling, hat and all into a ziplock. Then you can thaw them out in a microwave on defrost mode and then on high temp and serve! Be careful not to overheat, use small time segments at a time. You can double this recipe and freeze a bunch for later :-) EnJoY!
That's it! You're done..... Easy as Pie!