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> Stuffed Bell Peppers
The bell pepper is an excellent vessel for stuffing meat, rice, and, of course, cheese. It's strong enough to hold its shape in the oven, and the flavor is subtle enough to go well with just about anything. This is our favorite recipe but the customization options are endless. We use shredded Monterey Jack, but feel free to swap in any other melty cheese that you have on hand. You can also use another ground protein (pork, turkey, or chicken) in the place of beef. You could even use Italian sausage! Once you make this iteration we encourage you to make your own and show us the results!
1/2 c. uncooked rice
2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
1 medium onion, chopped
2 tbsp. tomato paste
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 lb. ground beef
1 (14.5-oz.) can diced tomatoes
1 1/2 tsp. dried oregano
Freshly ground black pepper
6 bell peppers, tops and cores removed
1 c. shredded Monterey jack
Freshly chopped parsley, for garnish
1. Preheat oven to 400°. In a small saucepan, prepare rice according to package instructions. In a large skillet over medium heat, heat oil. Cook onion until soft, about 5 minutes. Stir in tomato paste and garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute more. Add ground beef and cook, breaking up meat with a wooden spoon, until no longer pink, 6 minutes. Drain fat.
2. Return beef mixture to skillet, then stir in cooked rice and diced tomatoes. Season with oregano, salt, and pepper. Let simmer until liquid has reduced slightly, about 5 minutes.
3. Place peppers cut side-up in a 9"-x-13" baking dish and drizzle with oil. Spoon beef mixture into each pepper and top with Monterey jack, then cover baking dish with foil.
4. Bake until peppers are tender, about 35 minutes. Uncover and bake until cheese is bubbly, 10 minutes more.
5. Garnish with parsley before serving.
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