Uncover precious buried treasure. Dig down into a deep bowl filled with beef and rice stuffed green peppers smothered with a perfectly seasoned tomato-onion-basil gravy. Grab a couple slices of Italian bread slathered with butter to sop up all the gravy goodness. Heaven … really, Heaven in a bowl.
Beneath this lovely tomato gravy lay the most delicious stuffed peppers and porcupine meatballs. Dig deep. Ladle a pepper and a large spoonful of tomato gravy into your bowl.
Growing up, Mom’s Stuffed Green Peppers was a beloved family staple. At the end of summer, my dad would find gigantic green peppers at a Northwest Indiana farmers’ market that begged to be filled. He would bring them to my Greenfield, Indiana home, and there was only one application for the lovely peppers. These peppers were also served between Thanksgiving and Christmas in anticipation of family arrivals often at different times of the day or evening because they hold well.
Use whatever fresh peppers you wish. Green, red, orange, yellow or a combination of any. A variety lends itself to a festive presentation.
Or slice the peppers into thick slices, 2 inches or so, maybe using a colorful variety of fresh peppers. Stuff the resulting rounds with the beef/rice mixture. Saute the filled slices in a skillet and smother the finished delight with my savory tomato-onion-basil gravy. YUM!
Does it sound like I LOVE this recipe? Yes, I do. For me, Mom’s Stuffed Green Peppers is the quintessential comfort food. My brother especially loves them!
Shall we bring Mom’s bowl of deliciousness to your family? Absolutely!
Cut the peppers in half. Rinse and remove the stems, veins, and seeds. I usually put the peppers on a piece of paper towel, cut side down, to dry them out a bit before stuffing.
Dice one large onion, roughly chop 1-2 roasted peppers (I use any jarred roasted red peppers.) and mince 2 cloves of garlic. Set aside.
Heat 2-3 Tablespoons olive oil in a heavy bottomed dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add chopped onion and quickly brown until the onions are translucent, about 3-4 minutes. Add the chopped jarred peppers and minced garlic. Heat until you can smell the garlic, 1-2 minutes. Add 2 teaspoons dried basil and one bay leaf. (I love the flavor basil gives to anything tomato. If you’d rather, you can use dried oregano, marjoram, or parsley.)
Add a 15oz. can of petite diced tomatoes and one can of condensed cream of tomato soup. Add one cup of water or broth and stir until combined. Bring to a gentle simmer and continue to cook for 10-15 minutes. Set the tomato gravy aside while you prepare the meat mixture and stuff the peppers.
Meat Stuffing Mixture
You can use lean ground beef or ground turkey. For every pound of ground meat, add one cup of cooked rice. (This is an excellent way to use up leftover rice from Chinese take-out.) I used two pounds of ground beef and two cups of cooked rice for this recipe.
Put the rice and ground meat in a large bowl. Add two teaspoons kosher salt, two teaspoons seasoning salt (I use Lawry’s.), and two teaspoons ground black pepper. Lightly beat 2 eggs in a small bowl. Pour the eggs over the meat, rice, and seasonings in the bowl. Mix well with your hands (the best utensil) or use a wooden spoon or sturdy rubber spatula until everything is evenly distributed throughout.
Take one pepper half and gently mound a handful of the meat mixture into the cavity making sure the stuffing fills the entire pepper. Place into the tomato gravy. Continue with the rest of the peppers.
You’re going to have some leftover meat mixture. I roll it up forming meatballs, “porcupines,” into the size of a tennis ball, maybe smaller and drop them into the gravy around the stuffed pepper ones. You know, there’s always someone you’re serving who doesn’t like green peppers. I’ll withhold comment; however, that someone should not be denied.
Basically, you’re going to steam the peppers in the gravy until the meat is cooked through. Over medium heat, bring the pot to a gentle simmer. Cover the dutch oven with a lid, lower the temperature and simmer for 30-45 minutes. Remove the pot from the heat, and let everything rest for 10 minutes.
Spoon the peppers and porcupines to a large serving bowl. Pour the tomato gravy over them, and serve. Cut some big slices of Italian or French crusty bread for sopping up the tomato gravy. Fabulous!
- 2 green peppers, cut in half, stemmed, membranes and seeds removed
- 2 pounds lean ground beef or ground turkey
- 2 cups cooked white rice
- 2 eggs, lightly beaten
- 2 teaspoons Kosher salt
- 2 teaspoons seasoned salt, Lawry's
- 1½ teaspoons ground black pepper
- 2-3 Tablespoons olive oil
- 1 large onion, diced
- 1-2 jarred roasted peppers, roughly chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 teaspoons dried basil
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 15 oz can petite diced tomatoes
- 1 can condensed cream of tomato soup
- 1 cup water
- !Tomato Gravy
- In a heavy bottom dutch oven, heat 2-3 Tablespoons olive oil. Add onion and saute for 3-4 minutes until translucent. Add chopped peppers and garlic. Heat until you smell the garlic, 1-2 minutes. Add basil and bay leaf. Stir.
- Add diced tomatoes, tomato soup, water. Reduce heat and simmer for 10-15 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
- !Meat Mixture
- In a large mixing bowl, add rice, ground meat, salt, seasoned salt, and black pepper. Pour in beaten eggs. Using your hands, a wooden spoon, or a sturdy spatula, combine all ingredients until thoroughly combined and evenly distributed.
- !Stuff the Peppers
- Fill each pepper half with a handful of the meat mixture. The entire half should be filled and slightly mounded in the middle. Place stuffed pepper in tomato gravy. Continue with the rest of the peppers.
- If you have meat mixture leftover, divide equally and roll into meatballs, "porcupines." Place each meatball among the stuffed peppers.
- Bring to a gentle boil. Lower the heat. Cover with a lid, and cook for 30-45 minutes until the meatballs are cooked through. Remove from heat and let sit for 10 minutes.
- !To Serve
- Remove bay leaf. Spoon the stuffed peppers and porcupines into a large serving bowl. Pour the tomato gravy over everything. Scoop up a stuffed pepper or porcupine, spoon over tomato gravy from the bowl.