Mini Stuffed Peppers

IMG_2358 (500x331) These cute little peppers are simply delightful. You can serve these for company and it’s a great option for a weeknight dinner, since they cook so quickly. The stuffing is moist, scumptious  and full of flavor. Each juicy mouthful is encased in a bright mini pepper, cooked just until tender. These dainty peppers are so elegant and pretty, you can serve them at parties and for family dinners. They are very healthy for you too, with almost no fat in the recipe and full of vitamins from all those veggies. You can prep the peppers ahead of time also and then simply cook

Yields: 4-6 servings

Ingredients:

2 lbs mini peppers

1/4 cup long grain rice (3/4-1 cup cooked)

1 lb ground pork

1 1 1/2 Tablespoons butter

2 onions, finely diced

1 carrot, shredded

1 teaspoon salt, plus a little bit more for carrots and onions

1/2 teaspoon pepper, plus a little bit more for carrots and onions

1 Tablespoon oil (canola, vegetable, olive, etc.)

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 can (28 oz) diced tomatoes, crushed in the food processor

Sour cream and fresh herbs, to serve with the finished dish

Cook the rice according to package instructions until ready.

Melt 1 – 1 1/2 Tablespoons butter in a skillet. Add the onions, season with salt and pepper, cover and cook on medium heat until tender and beginning to brown, about 5 minutes.

IMG_2325 (500x334)

Add the shredded carrots, season with salt and, cover and cook for another 3-5 minutes. Cool slightly. IMG_2326 (500x334) Combine the ground pork, rice, carrots, onions and 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. (Instead of ground pork you can use any other ground meat – chicken, turkey, beef, etc.)
IMG_2331 (500x334)

IMG_2334 (500x332) Cut off the tops of the peppers and take out the seeds.  IMG_2327 (500x329)
Fill the peppers with the meat mixture.  IMG_2335 (500x334)

In a large pot or a rimmed skillet, heat up 1 Tablespoon of oil on medium high heat. Add the peppers and sear for about 2 minutes per side. If all your peppers don’t fit in one layer on the bottom, switch the peppers that cooked to the top of the peppers and move the peppers on top to be seared. As the peppers cook, they will release some liquid.

IMG_2336 (500x334)

 

Searing the peppers will help them to cook faster and I think they give a great flavor to the finished dish. When the peppers are seared, make some room in the center and add the minced garlic. Cook for a mere 30 seconds or so and pour in the crushed tomatoes.

In the ingredients list, I specified that I used diced tomatoes that I crushed in the food processor. Why the extra step? Can you simply use a can of crushed tomatoes? Yes. However, the crushed tomatoes are thicker in consistency, since the diced tomatoes are packed in juice and when you process the tomatoes, it will thin them out a bit. Also, there are much more seeds, skin and pulp in the crushed tomatoes. It’s up to you.

IMG_2340 (500x314)

IMG_2342 (500x334) Cook the peppers at a simmer for about 15-20 minutes, depending how big the peppers are.

Serve with sour cream and garnish with fresh herbs.

You can also cook these in the oven, just cook them 10-15 minutes longer. Place the peppers on a greased baking sheet and cook at 350 degrees or place in a deep baking dish, top with crushed tomatoes , broth or vegetable juice.

If you have any meat stuffing left, make some lazy cabbage rolls or Cabbage Rolls. I double the recipe and get two different meals from the same cooking day. IMG_2349 (500x296)

IMG_2358 (500x331)

Mini Stuffed Peppers
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Recipe type: Entree
Serves: 4-6
Ingredients
  • 2 lbs mini peppers
  • ¼ cup long grain rice (3/4-1 cup cooked)
  • 1 lb ground pork
  • 1 1½ Tablespoons butter
  • 2 onions, finely diced
  • 1 carrot, shredded
  • 1 teaspoon salt, plus a little bit more for carrots and onions
  • ½ teaspoon pepper, plus a little bit more for carrots and onions
  • 1 Tablespoon oil (canola, vegetable, olive, etc.)
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 can (28 oz) diced tomatoes, crushed in the food processor
  • Sour cream and fresh herbs, to serve with the finished dish
Instructions
  1. Cook the rice according to package instructions until ready.
  2. Melt 1 - 1½ Tablespoons butter in a skillet. Add the onions, season with salt and pepper, cover and cook on medium heat until tender and beginning to brown, about 5 minutes.
  3. Add the shredded carrots, season with salt and, cover and cook for another 3-5 minutes. Cool slightly.
  4. Combine the ground pork, rice, carrots, onions and 1 teaspoon salt and ½ teaspoon pepper. (Instead of ground pork you can use any other ground meat - chicken, turkey, beef, etc.)
  5. Cut off the tops of the peppers and take out the seeds.
  6. Fill the peppers with the meat mixture.
  7. In a large pot or a rimmed skillet, heat up 1 Tablespoon of oil on medium high heat. Add the peppers and sear for about 2 minutes per side. If all your peppers don't fit in one layer on the bottom, switch the peppers that cooked to the top of the peppers and move the peppers on top to be seared. As the peppers cook, they will release some liquid.
  8. Searing the peppers will help them to cook faster and I think they give a great flavor to the finished dish. When the peppers are seared, make some room in the center and add the minced garlic. Cook for a mere 30 seconds or so and pour in the crushed tomatoes.
  9. In the ingredients list, I specified that I used diced tomatoes that I crushed in the food processor. Why the extra step? Can you simply use a can of crushed tomatoes? Yes. However, the crushed tomatoes are thicker in consistency, since the diced tomatoes are packed in juice and when you process the tomatoes, it will thin them out a bit. Also, there are much more seeds, skin and pulp in the crushed tomatoes. It's up to you.
  10. Cook the peppers at a simmer for about 15-20 minutes, depending how big the peppers are.
  11. Serve with sour cream and garnish with fresh herbs.
  12. You can also cook these in the oven, just cook them 10-15 minutes longer. Place the peppers on a greased baking sheet and cook at 350 degrees or place in a deep baking dish, top with crushed tomatoes , broth or vegetable juice.
  13. If you have any meat stuffing left, make some lazy cabbage rolls or Cabbage Rolls. I double the recipe and get two different meals from the same cooking day.

 
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Comments

  1. says

    Mmm, mini peppers sound nice. Thanks for yet another great post. We’ve tried several of your recipes and everything turns out great! I’ll have to try mini stuffed peppers; they always have bags of mini peppers at costco; this would be a good excuse to buy them!

    • says

      Thanks, Natasha! I love your recipes too:)
      My mom gave me one of those bags of peppers and since I’ve been meaning to make the stuffed peppers, it was perfect timing.

  2. Alla Sherstyukov says

    Hi Olga :) When you make these and have extra filling left and want to make some lazy cabbage rolls but not to eat the same day, do yu make the patties and freeze them or cook them and then freeze or what do you do? Thanks :)

  3. Nata says

    Hi Olga, I have a question. Do you think it will work if I make them ahead of time and freeze them and then cook them in sauce a different day? If yes, would there be any special considerations?

    • says

      How far ahead of time do you want to make it? You can simply store the stuffed, uncooked peppers in the refrigerator until you are ready to cook them. If you want to make them far in advance, you can store them in the tightly sealed container or ziptop bag, thaw them when you want to cook them. Drain the peppers on a paper towel first, since they will most likely exude some liquid as they thaw. Then make the sauce and cook the peppers as you would normally.

      • Nata says

        Thanks for such a quick response! I would want to make them at least a couple of weeks in advance, trying to save time on the prepwork for a party. How important is the searing? I’m not sure if I will be able to do that after thawing them, plus if I’m making a large amount it, I would have to do it in many batches.

  4. olga says

    Oh interesting. I remember one being similar to the lazy cabbage roll recipe. With cabbage in the meat mixture and peppers boiled in water. It was my favorite! I hope im not losing my mind lol

    • erica says

      Yes actually I think I know what you are talking about.. it was called something like lazy cabbage kotleti.. it was very good, I was also looking for it and I can’t find it. However I don’t remember that they had peppers in them..

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