The BEST Italian Stuffed Peppers
Warm and comforting just in time for the cooler weather! These Stuffed Peppers are a one stop meal with veggies, meat, and rice. My nonna made them often when feeding all her teenage grandchildren. She snuck extra veggies in them to make sure we got our daily dose (smart nonna). They are filling, packed with veggies, meat, and rice and seem to hit the spot every time. My mamma typically made them for Sunday supper and we ate the leftovers as an after school snack!
Stuffed peppers is a dish common in Italy. It consists of hollowed or halved peppers filled with any of a variety of fillings, often including meat, vegetables, cheese, rice, or sauce. The dish is usually assembled by filling the cavities of the peppers and then baking them in the oven. The peppers get soft and all the fillings and flavors intensify.
Multi-color and nutritious it’s a delicious dinner and one that you’ll want to add on regular rotation! This is a family recipe that I hope you enjoy! From my cucina to yours. Mangia! Mangia! Eat!
Made with Amore,
The BEST Italian Stuffed Peppers
- 4–5 bell peppers (I prefer a mix of colors or just red)
- 1 pound ground beef (use 90% lean, or ground turkey)
- 1 yellow onion, diced
- 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (leave out if you don’t like the heat)
- 3 Roma tomatoes, diced
- 3 celery stalks, diced
- 1/2 cup shredded carrots
- 1 cup cooked long-grain rice
- 1 cup grated parmigiano cheese (more for topping), finely grated
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil (I suggest Colavita brand)
- 1/8 cup balsamic vinegar (good quality variety from Modena Italy)
- 1/8 cup of red wine
- 2 cloves garlic, cut in quarters
- 1/4 cup fresh parsley, minced
- 3 tablespoons fresh oregano, minced
- 1 tablespoon of fresh rosemary, minced
- 3 tablespoons fresh basil, minced
- Coarse sea salt + black pepper to taste
- 8 fresh basil leaves for garnish
- 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese for topping
- Rinse your peppers and pat them dry. Cut out the stems and slice each pepper in half. Scrape out the seeds and membranes and discard them.
- Place cleaned peppers with tops on in a microwave and oven safe dish with 2 inches of water. Microwave on high for 5 minutes.
- Discard water from pan. Drizzle peppers with olive oil and season with salt and pepper
- Preheat your oven to 375 degrees F.
- Add oil to a 12-inch skillet on the stove over medium-high heat. Add onions, celery, carrots, garlic, all the herbs, tomatoes, red pepper flakes.
- Add the red wine and balsamic vinegar. Let cook for about 8 minutes until soft. Season with salt.
- Add meat to pan. Break up the meat with a wooden spoon. Cook, stirring frequently, until the meat is browned. turn heat off pan.
- Stir in the cooked rice. Add the parmigiano cheese and stir to combine.
- Scoop about 3/4 cup of the meat filling into each pepper half. Add more meat as needed, until each pepper half is filled to the surface. Scatter any extra meat filling around the peppers in your pan.
- Sprinkle each pepper half with two tablespoons of shredded mozzarella. Gently pat the cheese onto the peppers. put the tops on the peppers- slightly tilted.
- Bake, uncovered, for 15 minutes at 375 degrees F. Then, broil the peppers for two minutes to brown the cheese, if desired.
- While the peppers are baking, gently rinse your basil leaves and pat them dry. Stack a few leaves, roll them up, and slice them into ribbons. When the stuffed peppers are done, sprinkle the basil on top.
- Refrigerate leftovers for up to four days!