On days when I’m juggling multiple tasks, I find solace in the effortless yet rewarding nature of this dish. It’s what you’d call an “Unstuffed Pepper Casserole,” combining traditional stuffed pepper flavors into a straightforward, one-pot creation.
Pro Tips and Hacks
This recipe effortlessly amalgamates protein, grains, and vegetables, negating the need for extra sides. For the health-conscious, it’s a skinnytaste Weight Watchers staple. Different versions can cater to every lifestyle—from the meticulously planned to the spur-of-the-moment.
Although a complete meal on its own, the casserole pairs excellently with assorted vegetables or even a slice of savory cornbread.
- Ground Turkey: A lean protein choice.
- A medley of Peppers: Red and green for color and taste.
- A Dash of the Exotic: Italian seasonings and cumin add complexity.
- Rice and Tomatoes: The backbone of the casserole.
- Cheese Duo: A blend of cheddar and pepper jack offers a zesty finish.
- Preparation: In a large pan, brown the turkey and onions.
- Flavor Infusion: Stir in spices, followed by spinach and bell peppers.
- Assembly: Add liquids and rice, then simmer.
- Final Touch: Crown with cheese, allow to melt, garnish, and serve.
Make it Your Own
- For the Plant-Based: Swap turkey with white beans.
- Gluten-Free: The recipe is already free of gluten.
- Low-Carb: Opt for cauliflower rice.
What Pairs Well With This Casserole
- Veggies: Consider roasted butternut squash or sautéed Brussels sprouts.
- Breads: A slice of cheesy jalapeño cornbread adds depth.
- Salads: A crisp Caesar salad with chickpea croutons adds freshness.
Storage and Leftovers
- Keep: Store in a fridge for up to four days.
- Warm-Up: Reheat on the stovetop or in the microwave.
- Freeze: Suitable for freezing for up to 3 months.
So, what makes this my favorite stuffed pepper variation? It’s hard to say; it often depends on my day and my culinary aspirations. However, for an effortlessly tasty dish that’s also waistline-friendly, this easy stuffed green pepper casserole always hits the mark.
I welcome your reviews and comments. Your input is invaluable and serves as my creative catalyst.
Stuffed Pepper Casserole
- 1 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil
- 1 lb of ground turkey chicken, or lean ground beef
- 1 medium-sized yellow onion chopped
- 1 tbsp of Italian seasoning
- 2 tsp of ground cumin
- 1 tsp of kosher salt
- 1/2 tsp of black pepper
- 1 tbsp of minced garlic approximately 3 cloves
- 12 oz of frozen chopped spinach thawed and drained
- 1 red bell pepper diced
- 1 green bell pepper diced
- 2 cups of water
- 1 15-oz can of fire-roasted diced tomatoes, undrained
- 1 8-oz can of no-salt-added tomato sauce
- 1 tbsp of Worcestershire sauce
- 1 cup of uncooked brown rice rinsed
- 1/2 cup of shredded cheddar cheese
- 1/2 cup of shredded pepper jack cheese or opt for Monterey Jack or mozzarella for a milder kick
- For garnish
- Fresh cilantro or parsley and a dollop of Greek yogurt
- Preparation: Take a Dutch oven or any large, deep pot and heat olive oil over a medium-high flame.
- Meat & Onion Sauté: Add in the ground meat and chopped onion. Employing a wooden spoon, fragment the meat into small crumbles. Sauté until the meat browns and the onions become tender—this usually takes about 7 minutes.
- Seasoning: Sprinkle in Italian seasoning, cumin, salt, black pepper, and minced garlic. Stir for about a minute until the mixture releases an aromatic allure.
- Spinach Incorporation: Introduce the drained spinach to the pot. Use a fork to disperse the spinach evenly among the meat.
- The Grand Mix: Add diced bell peppers, water, fire-roasted tomatoes, tomato sauce, Worcestershire sauce, and rinsed brown rice. Give it a good stir to combine all the ingredients.
- Simmer & Cook: Bring the pot to a boil, then lower the heat and cover. Simmer for 30 minutes. Take off the lid, stir to prevent sticking, and cook for another 10-15 minutes until the rice is tender.
- Cheesy Finish: Remove from heat, taste for seasoning adjustments, and sprinkle a generous layer of cheddar and pepper jack cheese on top. Cover and let it sit for 10 minutes to allow the cheese to melt and flavors to marry.
- Refrigerate: Store any leftovers in an airtight container for up to 4 days.
- Reheat: Warm it up in a Dutch oven on medium-low or use a microwave.
- Freeze: For longer storage, freeze the casserole in a freezer-safe container for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight before reheating.