Cheesy Stuffed Bell Peppers
Sweet bell peppers stuffed with a mixture of ground beef, Italian sausage, rice & a Creole tomato sauce, topped with cheddar cheese or slices of Velveeta.
- 4 large sweet bell peppers, green, red or yellow
- 1/2 tablespoon of olive oil
- 2 tablespoons finely minced onion
- 1 pound of ground beef
- 2 links of Italian sausage
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 2 cups of creole tomato sauce (*see Cook’s Notes below), divided
- 1 cup of cooked rice
- salt to taste
- 5 turns of the pepper grinder, or to taste
- 1/4 teaspoon of Cajun seasoning (like Slap Ya Mama)
- 1/2 cup of water
- 1 can of Rotel tomatoes
- 1-2 tablespoons of fresh, dry or panko bread crumbs
- Grated cheddar cheese or thin slices of Velveeta
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Cut the peppers lengthwise and scrape out seeds and ribs. Bring a large pot of water to boil and drop the pepper halves in allowing to parboil for only 5 minutes. Drain and set aside.
- In a large skillet, saute the onion in olive oil until tender. Remove the sausage from the casing and add it and the ground beef to the skillet; cook until browned, breaking up into small pieces. Drain well if needed. Add the garlic and cook another minute. Add 1/2 cup of the tomato sauce, reserve the remaining sauce. Cook and stir 5 minutes or until sauce is heated through. Stir in rice, salt, pepper, and Cajun seasoning. Taste and adjust the seasoning as needed.
- Pour 1/2 cup of water into the bottom of a 9 x 13 inch baking dish and place peppers in the dish. Scoop the beef and rice mixture evenly into each pepper half, topping each off until you use all of the filling.
- Mix the Rotel tomatoes with the remaining tomato sauce, and spoon evenly over the tops of each pepper and sprinkle each with bread crumbs. Bake uncovered at 350 degrees F for 30 to 40 minutes, or until peppers are tender and filling is heated through. Remove, add cheese to top, and return to oven until cheese melts.
Cook’s Notes: Can substitute 2 (8 ounce) regular tomato sauce if needed. If you would like to add the Trinity of vegetable seasonings, simply saute 1/4 cup of onion, celery and bell pepper in olive oil and stir in tomato sauce. Cook for 15 minutes. Set aside until needed. Can also assemble peppers and freeze or freeze leftovers. Peppers can also be cut standing. Simple cut off right under the top stem and remove the ribs and seeds, standing peppers up to stuff and cook.