Stuffed peppers are great, but unstuffed peppers are even better!!
As one of my most loved and most popular recipes, I had to include this in my Debut Cookbook ‘Comfy’!
Stuffed Peppers Filling
Don’t get me wrong, I am partial to a stuffed pepper. However, there’s no getting around the fact that they take a rather long time to make and they’re a little awkward to eat. It’s slightly disheartening when you slice into them and the filling just pours out. So today we’re taking all the same awesome flavours of Mexican style stuffed peppers, and turning them into a super easy and delicious stuffed pepper casserole.
The awesome thing about this dish is it’s all made in one pot. Here I use a large cast iron skillet, but any large/heavy bottom oven safe pan will do the trick. If you don’t have an oven safe pan don’t worry, you can just pour the filling into a dish to melt the cheese (more on this in a sec).
The bulk of this recipe consists of beef, rice and diced peppers.
What kind of peppers to use?
Regular peppers (bell peppers) work great. I usually do different colours, but any you’ve got on hand will do the trick. I also dice them into small bite-sized pieces as opposed to finely dicing them; just to make them pop (they are the star of the show after all).
What kind of beef to use?
You’ll want to use ground beef (beef mince) and preferably fairly lean. Because it’s all made in the same pot you don’t want excess fat turning the filling greasy. If you’ve only got fatty beef, just drain off the fat after it’s fried.
Process shots: add peppers to skillet (photo 1), fry over high heat until lightly charred (photo 2), reduce heat and fry onion (photo 3), fry garlic (photo 4), add beef (photo 5), fry until browned (photo 6).
Once you’ve fried off the beef, just stir in tomato paste, then add beef stock, chopped tomatoes and spices/seasoning.
Using uncooked rice
The beauty of this dish is you cook the rice in with everything else. Not only does this fit neatly into the ‘one pot’ theme, but it then also allows the rice to soak in all those gorgeous flavours as it cooks.
Once the rice has cooked, you could serve it up from there, but what’s a stuffed pepper (or unstuffed pepper in this case) without copious amounts of cheese? Here I sprinkle over mozzarella and cheddar, then pop the whole thing under the grill until the cheese has melted.
Process shots: add tomato paste (photo 1), stir to combine (photo 2), add stock, tomatoes and seasoning (photo 3), add rice (photo 4), stir until cooked (photo 5), add cheese and grill (photo 6).
Unstuffed Peppers FAQ
Can I prep this ahead of time?
Yep! Just allow to completely cool then tightly store in the fridge and reheat when needed.
Can this be frozen?
It can indeed, just allow to completely cool then tightly store in the freezer. Preferably thaw in the fridge before reheating.
Can I use cooked rice?
You could, but it won’t have the opportunity to soak in all the flavours like uncooked rice does. If you do have leftover rice that needs using up, you’ll need around 1.5 cups (as opposed to 1/2 cup uncooked).
Serving Unstuffed Peppers
I love sprinkling over fresh coriander/cilantro once the cheese has melted. I also sometimes serve with avocado (or guacamole) and a dollop of sour cream, but these are both optional.
For another delicious stuffed recipe check out my Italian Sausage Stuffed Tomatoes!
For another delicious beef and rice recipe check out my One Pot Meatballs and Rice!
Alrighty, let’s tuck into the full recipe for this stuffed peppers casserole shall we?!
How to make Unstuffed Peppers (Full Recipe & Video)
- Large Cast Iron Skillet or Large Oven Safe Pan & Wooden Spoon
- Sharp Knife & Chopping Board
- Cheese Grater
- Serving Spoon
- Jug (for stock)
Ingredients (check list):
- 1lb / 500g Ground Beef (low fat, preferably 5%)
- 1x 14oz/400g can of Chopped Tomatoes
- 1 1/2 - 1 1/3 cups / 375-400ml Beef Stock
- 1/2 cup / 100g Long Grain Rice (uncooked)
- 3 tbsp Tomato Puree (tomato paste in US)
- 3 Peppers, diced into large chunks (bell peppers)
- 1 medium Onion, finely diced
- 3 cloves of Garlic, finely diced
- 2 tsp Dried Oregano
- 1.5 tsp EACH: Smoked Paprika, Cumin
- 1 tsp EACH: Grounder Coriander, Chilli Powder (hot or mild, work to spice preference)
- 1/2 tsp EACH: Salt, Black Pepper (or to taste, if stock is salty consider reducing salt)
- 1 cup / 100g EACH: Mozzarella, Cheddar
- Olive Oil, as needed
- finely diced Fresh Coriander/Cilantro
- diced Avocado (optional)
- Sour Cream (optional)
- In a large cast iron skillet over high heat, add diced peppers to a drizzle of olive oil and fry until lightly charred. Lower heat to medium and fry the onion until soft, then add in garlic and fry for a couple of minutes longer.
- Add in beef and fry until fully browned, then stir in tomato paste and fry for a couple of minutes. Pour in stock and chopped tomatoes, then add oregano, smoked paprika, cumin, ground coriander, chilli powder, salt and pepper.
- Stir in the uncooked rice, then keep on a gentle simmer until the rice is cooked through, gently stirring now and then (approx 20mins). If you need to add more liquid to cook the rice just gradually add more stock or water as needed.
- Level out the mixture with your wooden spoon, then sprinkle over mozzarella and cheddar. Place the skillet under the grill and cook on high until the cheese melts.
- Sprinkle over coriander/cilantro, then serve up and enjoy!
Quick 1 min demo!
Your Private Notes:
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