One Pot Veggie Stuffed Peppers

I first started making this recipe from CookingLight back when I ate meat.  I eventually adopted it to my vegetarianism, and adopted it again, until I was left with a lean mean super easy and delicious stuffed pepper recipe.

This is a leftover use up recipe for me: I always have something with rice and something with pasta sauce before I make it and make extra to use in the peppers.

Ingredients

  • 2 bell peppers (color doesn’t matter)
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1.25 cups veggie ground beef crumbles OR chopped pinto beans
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • pinch of ground allspice
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup cooked rice
  • 1/4 cup parmesan OR combination of 1/8 cup nutritional yeast + 1/8 cup Daiya mozzarella for vegans
  • 1 cup tomato pasta sauce, divided 1/4 cup and 3/4 cup (jarred is fine!)
  • 1/4 cup red wine
  • 1/4 cup chopped parsley

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
  2. Cut the tops off the bell peppers.  Scrape out and discard all the seeds and membranes inside.  Wash inside and out.
  3. Place peppers cut side down into a bowl, cover with plastic wrap and microwave on High for 2 minutes.
  4. Pick out a pot that fits all your peppers standing up snuggly, whose sides reach over the tops of the peppers and is ovenproof to 450 degrees.*
  5. Heat this pot on medium heat, with a tablespoon of olive oil inside.  Add onions.  Saute a couple of minutes, until onions get translucent.  Don’t let them brown or burn, if this starts to happen, turn the heat down as low as it will go.
  6. Add spice and salt, stir together.
  7. Immediately add the ground beef crumbles or beans.  If you’re using frozen, cook until they thaw out.  If not, just cook until the whole mixture is heated through.
  8. Add 1/4 cup pasta sauce, saute until heated.
  9. Add the rice and cheese/cheese substitute.  Turn off the heat.  Stir in the chopped parsley.
  10. Spoon this filling into your prepared peppers.  Set aside.
  11. Add remaining pasta sauce and wine to the same pan.  Bring to a boil on High.  Reduce for 1 minute.
  12. Place your peppers back in the pot, nestling them into the sauce.
  13. Either cover your pot with an ovenproof lid* or tent with foil.  Make sure foil doesn’t touch top of peppers or any sauce.
  14. Bake covered for 20 minutes.  Remove cover, and bake additional 5 or until tops are lightly browned.

*Having a pot like this is what makes this a one-pot dish.  Original recipe calls for putting peppers in a low-sided baking dish and this is a problem.  Whenever you’re using tomato sauce in the oven (lasagna also), your foil shouldn’t touch tomato sauce: aluminum will leach, and your sauce will taste terrible.  If you’ll be using a pot lid instead of foil, make sure that the lid in addition to the pot is ovenproof.  For example, Le Creuset pots are ovenproof, but knobs on lids are only good up to a certain temperature. If you don’t own an appropriate pot, use a skillet on the stove and a deep-sided ovenproof dish in the oven.

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