Spicy Italian UNstuffed Peppers

I love stuffed peppers. My husband loves stuffed peppers. My son loves stuffed peppers. I love a meal that satisfies everyone and is delicious!

My problem with stuffed peppers is – I HATE to stuff them. My husband always complains of a lack of sauce. My son doesn’t like the peppers – though he does love peppers! Maybe it’s the cooked peppers. Maybe he just doesn’t know what he likes!

My friend Mary over at Barefeet in the Kitchen came up with this recipe. I was in love at first glance! This is a recipe right up my alley.  This recipe is so good! I changed Mary’s original recipe, which can be found here.

First make the stuffing mixture –

  • 1/2 C uncooked long grain white rice
  • 1 C water
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 1 medium sweet onion, finely diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 1/2 C tomato sauce
  • 2 T Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 t onion powder
  • 1/4 t garlic powder
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 1/2 t fresh black pepper
  • 1 t Italian seasoning
  • 1 t crushed red pepper flakes

NOTE: You can use ground turkey too!

Combine the rice, 1/2 teaspoon of salt, and the water in a small saucepan and bring it to a boil. Cover and simmer on low heat for 20 minutes.


While the rice is cooking, saute the onions in a non stick skillet. When they start to wilt, add the garlic. Add beef and cook until browned.

NOTE: If you are using ground turkey you may want to add a teaspoon of oil. The poultry has no fat and needs something to help it move around!

Combine the cooked rice, ground beef mixture, tomato sauce and all remaining ingredients in a bowl and set aside.

Now for the unstuffed part:

  • 4 bell peppers, roughly chopped into 1″ pieces
  • 2 medium yellow onions, roughly chopped into 1″ pieces
  • 1-2 t of olive oil

Heat the olive oil in a very large skillet over medium high heat.

NOTE: I used the same skillet I cooked the beef mixture in. How many pots and pans need to be sacrificed in the name of dinner!?

Add the onions and saute for a few minutes and then add the peppers. Cook until tender but still crisp.

Add the rice, chopped meat, tomato sauce mixture to the pan with the peppers and onions. Heat through. DIVE in!

NOTES: Next time – and trust me there will be a next time! I think I may switch it up again. When I make my stuffed peppers, after stuffing them, I put them in a pot with tomato sauce about half way up the peppers and let them simmer. I like the flavor the peppers give to the tomato sauce. So, I’m not going to add the tomato sauce in with the rice and chopped meat. I have other plans! I am going to saute the onions and most of the peppers until crisp tender, and place in the bowl with everything else. The rest of the peppers, I’m going to saute them a little bit, then add the tomato sauce and let the peppers simmer in the tomato sauce for a few minutes. Then add the onions and peppers and rice and chopped meat into the pan and mix it together.

 This is a wonderful recipe. My guinea pigs son and his girlfriend loved it! I had to grab the pan away so Tom would have dinner! I must admit, when they first sat down, they didn’t have very high hopes for this recipe – I could tell by their faces – and then they tasted it! And they kept taking spoonfuls! It tasted just like stuffed peppers, but without the fuss.

Just a reminder, there is still time to enter my 1st EVER giveaway ~ a $100 American Express gift card! Just follow this link and leave a comment on that blog entry to enter!

14 Responses

  1. I’m so glad that you liked it, Andrea! You’ve made me crave it all over again. I think I’ll put it on our menu again for next week.

  2. Oooh, great idea. Bill wasn’t thrilled with the peppers when I stuffed them, though he doesn’t mind them sliced in other dishes~

  3. Very flavorful unstuffed pepper. And it is great idea to satisfy everyones demands on eating.

  4. Funny how much different the assembly on food makes. I would much rather dig into this plate instead of a stuffed pepper. Maybe it is because all is cooked more evenly. Thanks for sharing this tasty recipe.

  5. What a great idea – so much easier!

  6. Unstuffed peppers…ingenious! This looks delish! And a win-win for all.

  7. My kind of meal!
    I hate stuffing peppers too! the perfect solution

  8. MMMMmmmmm…looks like a great meal for a rainy evening!

  9. What a beautiful dish, it looks very satisfying and delicious!
    *kisses* HH

  10. Deconstructed stuffed peppers. Love it.

Leave a Reply to Heavenly Housewife Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s