As a child I hated green peppers — or so I thought. Growing up in a large Iowa farm family and in an era when grocery stores had limited produce, they were not in my mom’s genre of cooking. Her style was pretty classic old school Iowa — corn, beans, peas, and carrots in a roast. It wasn’t until I went to college that I experience a wider selection of vegetables and learned I liked them.
This year I have a bumper crop of green peppers and have been searching for new ways to use them. Oddly enough I found an old way to use them, stuffed green peppers. My husband was actually the one that thought of them. He had remember that at one time he like them. So I started searching my vintage cookbooks. As usual I didn’t find exactly what I wanted and used 3 different recipes to help figure out amounts, typical ingredients and technique. They actually varied quite a bit and the following is my version. So a shout out to Betty, Better Homes and Gardens and several Church cookbooks.
The winner for my husband — with the “can of tomato soup”. This does seem to go against my “fresh” theme here, but sometimes you do what makes them happy!
- 4 to 6 green peppers
- ¼ cup chopped peppers (optional)
- 1 lb ground beef or ground turkey for a lighter version
- ½ cup finely chopped onion
- 1 can concentrated tomato soup or 15 ounces of your own fresh tomato sauce
- ¼ cup water (optional if using soup)
- 1 cup cooked rice
- 1 tsp salt
- ½ tsp
- 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
- 1 TBSP Johnny's French Dip Au Jus concentrate
- 1 cup shredded American, Cheddar, Mozzarella or your favorite cheese
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees
- Clean peppers by cutting out the top and clean out the seeds and membranes
- Slice just enough off of the bottom of the peppers to allow them to stand without tipping
- In a large pot of boiling water, cook the peppers for 5 minutes. Drain well.
- Sprinkle inside of peppers lightly with salt.
- Brown ground meat and onions together -- optionally also extra ¼ cup of chopped peppers
- Drain any extra fat and add remaining ingredients except cheese and reserve a small amount of tomato sauce to just cover the bottom of your pan.
- Mix all together.
- Stuff peppers with meat mixture and place in a baking dish with the reserved tomato sauce in the bottom.
- Bake covered for 20 minutes -- uncover sprinkle with cheese and continue to back for 10 to 15 minutes, until cheese is golden brown and bubbly.
For some easy variations try an Italian version using a basil tomato sauce, or a Mexican version with large can or Rotel tomatoes and a Mexican cheese. Cheese lovers may want to add some extra shredded cheese to the mixture. A Vegetarian version could replace the meat with a bean and rice mixture — add some chopped roasted tomatoes and top with bread crumbs for some crunch.
Keep it simple and enjoy!