Moment of honesty: I rarely have the patience required to make stuffed peppers.
I have a recipe that I like to pretend to be fancy and call Deconstructed Stuffed Peppers. Translation: everything that goes inside a stuffed pepper, plus a few diced bell peppers. Guess what? Tastes exactly the same.
However, sometimes the urge to feel a little more impressive in the presentation department strikes. When that happens, the mantra is always make in bulk and freeze… At least then my efforts can be stretched and enjoyed multiple times in the future.
These stuffed peppers are great eaten the day of, and even better eaten when you have no time to cook in the not-so-distant future. After stuffing these peps, just pop a few in the slow cooker and a few in the freezer for later.
- 4 large bell peppers
- 1 lb lean ground beef
- 1 c. tomato sauce
- 2 tbsp. Tomato paste
- 1 c. rice, cooked
- 1 large onion, diced
- 1 tbsp. Minced garlic
- Provolone cheese
In a large skillet, brown the ground beef, drain the fat. Add garlic and onion. Mix in tomato paste and sauce, along with rice. If you are only eating the peppers that day (aka do not plan on freezing any), you can use raw beef. I prefer not to because I like to be EXTRA sure that meat is cooked, and I like to drain the fat.
Place peppers in crockpot on low heat for 6 hours. Make sure to put a tablespoon or so in the bottom of the crockpot to keep the peppers moist while cooking. 30 minutes prior to serving, top peppers with provolone cheese.
VERY carefully remove from the slow cooker using two large spoons. I attempted to do this with two forks and shed a solitary tear as it pierced the pepper and its moist insides crumbled. Word to the wise: use spoons.
Last but not least: enjoy that hard earned deliciousness. On an unrelated aside, my computer keeps trying to correct the word ‘Crockpot’ into ‘Crackpot.’ This computer knows me too well… I’ve never seen a more fitting autocorrect in my life.