This old-school stuffed peppers recipe was inspired by BA video host Brad Leones Italian American grandmother. On her behalf, the filling mixture is sacrosanct: a variety of ground beef and pork, cooked white rice, spices including cumin and smoked paprika, walnuts for added texture, and raisins for some sweetness. Meanwhile, Parmesan plays double duty: It adds a savory note to the filling and is sprinkled at the top to produce a nice browned and cheesy crust. Nonna Leone braised her peppers in tomato juice, not marinara or canned diced tomatoes, both to help keep costs down and because those chunkier ingredients would reduce an excessive amount of in the oven, burning out prior to the peppers are fully cooked.
If its your first-time filling vegetables, this simple recipe (or this vegetarian one) is a great place to begin. Red, yellow, or green bell peppers will dojust get them to free from soft spots or blemishes. To greatly help them stay upright, sliver a little off underneath of each therefore the peppers sit flat in the baking dish. Fill the peppers with the meat and rice mixture to the very best (and also a little over it) because the filling will shrink since it cooks.
These stuffed bell peppers are better still made in advance. Invest a little bit of prep time, assembling and cooking the stuffed peppers around 2 days ahead, then refrigerate and reheat in a baking dish before serving at a Sunday supper or weeknight meal.
Tbsp. extra-virgin essential olive oil
large onion, finely chopped
cup chopped walnuts
garlic cloves, finely chopped
tsp. tomato paste
tsp. cayenne pepper
tsp. ground cumin
tsp. ground turmeric
tsp. smoked paprika
cup dry white wine
tsp. kosher salt, plus much more
Freshly ground black pepper
lb. ground beef (20% fat)
lb. ground pork
cup cooked rice
cup golden raisins
oz. Parmesan, finely grated (about cup), divided
medium or 6 small bell peppers, any color
cups tomato juice (100% juice)
Step one 1
Preheat oven to 350. Heat oil in a big skillet over medium. Cook onion, stirring often, until translucent and beginning to brown, 1015 minutes. Add walnuts, garlic, tomato paste, cayenne, cumin, turmeric, and paprika and cook, stirring constantly, until combined and garlic is softened, 23 minutes. Add wine and cook, stirring, until just slightly reduced, 12 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
Step two 2
Mix beef, pork, and remaining 1 tsp. salt together with your hands in a big bowl. Fold in rice, raisins, and cup cheese with a wooden spoon and mix well to mix. Add onion mixture and mix with wooden spoon until incorporated.
Step three 3
Take off bottom bumps of bell peppers to produce a flat end to allow them to stand upright. (Dont shave off an excessive amount of or the filling will leak out.) Cut a thin slice from stem ends of peppers to eliminate tops, then scoop out seeds and membranes; discard. Spoon meat mixture into peppers, pressing down on mixture to pack filling completely to the very best.
Arrange peppers in a little Dutch oven or baking dish. Pour tomato juice around them, leaving about 1″ of pepper exposed.
Top stuffed peppers with remaining cup cheese; season with pepper. Cover with foil and bake one hour. Uncover and continue steadily to bake until peppers are tender and cheese is browned, about 30 minutes more.