Bell peppers are one of the true delights of summer! Green, yellow, and red bell peppers come from the same plant – they’re just picked at different stages in the growing process. You can use a medley of all three colors for this stuffed peppers recipe, or choose the one you like the best!
Mexican Style Stuffed Peppers
Adapted from Taste of Home
2 cups water
1 cup uncooked rice
6 medium bell peppers, any color
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 small onion, peeled and chopped
1 celery stalk, chopped
2 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
1 pound ground beef
1 ¼ cups salsa
2 teaspoons chili powder
Salt, to taste
1 cup shredded cheese (cheddar, Monterey Jack, or Mexican blend)
Sour cream (optional)
Add water and uncooked rice to a medium saucepan. Cover and bring to a boil on medium-high heat. Once it boils, lower the heat and simmer until all the water evaporates and the rice is thoroughly cooked. Transfer to a medium bowl and let it cool down until the rice is at room temperature (about an hour).
Cut off the tops of the bell peppers and discard. Scoop out the seeds with a spoon and wash the peppers thoroughly, inside and out. Fill a large pot or Dutch oven half way with water. Bring to a boil and add peppers. Cook the peppers in the boiling water for about 5 minutes. Remove peppers from the pot and rinse with cold water.
Preheat oven to 350 Degrees Fahrenheit. Add oil to a large skillet. Turn the heat to medium and warm the oil for about 1 minute. Add onion, celery, and garlic. Sauté the vegetables for about 3 minutes, or until the onions start to look glassy. Add the ground beef and cook over medium-high heat until the beef is cooked all the way through. Stir in the rice, 1 cup salsa, chili powder, and salt. Spoon the mixture in equal portions into the peppers.
Spray a 9 x 14 inch rimmed baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray. Add ¼ cup water to the baking sheet and arrange stuffed peppers in a single layer. Place the baking sheet in the center of the oven and bake for about 45 minutes.
Remove the baking sheet from the oven. Top each pepper with a teaspoon of the remaining salsa and shredded cheese. Return to the oven and bake for an additional 3 minutes, or until the cheese is completely melted. Remove from oven and let sit for about ten minutes before serving. Garnish with sour cream, if desired.
If you like your stuffed peppers extra spicy, feel free to add more chili powder. You can also chop up a jalapeño pepper and add it to the rice mixture that goes into the bell peppers. For those who like it even hotter, serve it with plenty of hot sauce – people can add as much as they want!