Dirty Rice Stuffed Peppers Recipe

Ingredients:

Bell Peppers:

  • 6 medium-sized bell peppers (use your favorite colors – red, green, yellow, or orange)

Dirty Rice Filling:

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 lb ground beef, pork, or turkey
  • ½ cup chopped onion
  • ½ cup chopped green bell pepper
  • ½ cup chopped celery
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 package (or 1 cup) pre-made dirty rice mix (like Zatarain’s)*
  • 2-2 ½ cups chicken or beef broth (low sodium if you prefer)
  • 1 (15oz) can diced tomatoes, undrained (optional)
  • Hot sauce, Cajun/Creole seasoning to taste

Topping (Optional):

  • ½ cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • ¼ cup breadcrumbs
  • 1 tbsp melted butter

*If you can’t find pre-made dirty rice mix, use regular rice and add extra Cajun/Creole seasoning to taste.

Instructions:

Prep the Peppers:

  • Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C).
  • Cut the tops off the bell peppers and remove the seeds and ribs. Consider halving them lengthwise for easier filling and eating.
  • Parboil the peppers: Lightly boil the bell peppers for about 3-5 minutes to slightly soften them. Drain well.

Make the Dirty Rice:

  • Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add ground meat and cook, breaking it up, until browned. Drain excess grease if necessary.
  • Add onion, bell pepper, celery, and garlic. Cook for 5 minutes, or until softened.
  • Prepare the dirty rice mix according to package directions, using the broth as the liquid. Alternatively, cook rice separately and mix with Cajun seasoning. Stir in the ground meat mixture.
  • Add diced tomatoes (if using), hot sauce, and more Creole/Cajun seasoning to taste.

Stuff the Peppers:

  • Place the parboiled peppers in a baking dish.
  • Fill each pepper generously with the dirty rice mixture.

Bake:

  • Pour a small amount of broth or water into the bottom of the baking dish (about ¼ inch) to prevent burning.
  • Cover tightly with aluminum foil and bake for 30-40 minutes, or until peppers are tender.

Optional Cheese Topping:

  • For the last 10-15 minutes of baking, remove the foil. Sprinkle the peppers with cheddar cheese, a mix of breadcrumbs and melted butter (if you like). Bake uncovered until the cheese is melted and bubbly.

Tips:

  • Leftovers: Stuffed peppers reheat well! Store leftovers in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
  • Adjustments: Add other ingredients to your filling like sausage, corn, beans, or your favorite vegetables.
  • Slow Cooker Version: Brown the meat and vegetables, then transfer to a slow cooker with the rice mixture and broth. Cook on low for 4-6 hours or high for 2-3 hours.
  • Serving: Serve as is, or offer accompaniments like a simple green salad or extra hot sauce.

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