These classic stuffed peppers are as flexible as they are delicious: The filling combines lean ground beef with sautéed vegetables and cooked white rice (the perfect use for leftover takeout rice!), but ground turkey, chicken or pork can be substituted in its place. Topped with melty mozzarella, these peppers will feed a hungry crowd. For a speedy weeknight dinner, make the filling, stuff the peppers and refrigerate for up to 24 hours before baking.
- Serves: 6 persons
- 4large red, orange or yellow bell peppers
- 2tablespoons olive oil
- 1cup finely chopped fennel bulb (about 1/2 a small bulb) or celery
- 1cup finely chopped yellow onion (about 1 small)
- 3garlic cloves, minced
- 1teaspoon dried oregano
- ½teaspoon red-pepper flakes
- 1pound ground beef (at least 15 percent fat), turkey, chicken or pork
- ¾cup dry white wine, chicken broth or vegetable broth
- 1(14-ounce) can diced fire-roasted tomatoes
- 1 ½teaspoons kosher salt, plus more to taste
- ½teaspoon black pepper, plus more to taste
- 1cup cooked white or brown rice
- ¼cup grated Parmesan
- 2tablespoons minced fresh parsley, plus more for serving (optional)
- 1cup shredded mozzarella, provolone or other semifirm cheese
Step 1Heat the oven to 400 degrees. Cut the peppers in half lengthwise and carefully remove core, seeds and ribs using a paring knife. Arrange the peppers, cut-sides up, in a 9-by-13-inch pan or other baking dish in which they fit snugly.
Step 2In a large (12-inch) skillet, heat the olive oil over medium. Add the fennel and onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, 6 to 8 minutes. Stir in the garlic, oregano and red-pepper flakes, and cook until the garlic is fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the beef and cook, breaking up the meat with a wooden spoon, for 3 to 5 minutes, until no longer pink.
Step 3Add 1/2 cup wine, increase the heat to medium-high and cook, scraping the bottom of the pan, until the liquid in the pan is reduced by about half.
Step 4Add the tomatoes and their juices, salt and pepper, and bring to a boil. Remove from the heat and stir in the rice, Parmesan and parsley, if using. Taste and adjust seasonings.
Step 5Divide the mixture among the peppers. Pour the remaining 1/4 cup wine into the bottom of the dish, wrap tightly with foil and bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until a paring knife easily pierces the peppers. Remove the foil and spoon any juices that have accumulated in the bottom of the pan onto the peppers. Sprinkle the mozzarella evenly onto the peppers and bake another 10 to 15 minutes, until the mozzarella is melted and beginning to brown.
Step 6Allow the peppers to cool for 5 minutes, sprinkle with parsley, if using, and serve hot.