I have three words for you:
…I know! When I read those three words together, I was so inspired to make this dish!
It does, however, take a bit of labor to prepare this dish. I found it to be fun though!
First I sliced four bell peppers in half, and removed the seeds.
A three minute blanch was in order. After immersing in boiling water for three minutes, promptly remove the peppers and place in a cold ice bath, to prevent overcooking.
And naturally, we can’t make stuffed peppers without preparing a filling. This filling contains lean ground sirloin cooked with diced onion, drained, and seasoned with dried parsley, paprika, salt, pepper, garlic, and red pepper flakes.
Then, time for the fun stuff! Add cooked quinoa, diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, and frozen corn to the meat mixture.
One timesaver in this dish is that we are using quinoa which typically cooks quite a bit faster than rice, which is traditionally used in stuffed peppers. You could also cook the quinoa in advance if you preferred. I loved the little chewy bite the quinoa adds to the filling.
Fill ‘er up! Add filling to each pepper half, then pour a watered-down tomato sauce atop the peppers.
Mmm, my house smelled delicious at this point! The smoked paprika I used in the filling was especially fragrant. Sprinkle a modest amount of shredded cheddar over the bell peppers. As hearty and homey as this meal may be, we’re still trying to keep things healthy here.
Five minutes later – MELTED CHEESE! One of my favorite things. Actually cheese in any form is one of my favorite things. My favorite thing. Possibly. Probably. Okay, it is.
This guy is ready for his close-up shot.
Oh my lawd, it’s cheese.
A plate of two will do, for me. I didn’t even bother with a side dish with this meal. I mean, I’ve got my veggies (bell peppers, tomatoes, corn), my lean protein (ground sirloin), and my whole grains (quinoa). That’s balanced enough for dinner on a work night for me!
These peppers were so very delicious! I loved the idea of reducing the amount of meat and amping up the volume (and nutrition!) with cooked quinoa.
Stuffed Peppers with Quinoa Recipe
Recipe from Taste of Home
- 1 can (14-1/2 ounces) diced tomatoes, undrained
- 1 cup water
- 1/2 cup quinoa, rinsed
- 4 large bell peppers
- 3/4 pound 90% Lean Ground Beef
- 1 large onion, finely chopped
- 3 teaspoons dried parsley flakes
- 2 teaspoons paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 cans (8 ounces each) no-salt-added tomato sauce, divided
- 3/4 cup frozen corn, thawed
- 1/2 cup shredded reduced-fat cheddar cheese
- Drain tomatoes reserving juice; set aside. In a small saucepan, bring water to a boil. Add quinoa. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 12-15 minutes or until liquid is absorbed.
- Meanwhile, cut peppers in half lengthwise and remove seeds. In a Dutch oven, cook peppers in boiling water for 3-5 minutes. Drain and rinse in cold water; invert onto paper towels.
- In a large skillet, cook the beef, onion, parsley, paprika, salt, pepper flakes and pepper over medium heat until meat is no longer pink. Add garlic; cook 1 minute longer. Stir in one can tomato sauce, corn, quinoa and tomatoes; heat through.
- Spoon into pepper halves. Place in a 13-in. x 9-in. baking dish coated with cooking spray. Combine the reserved tomato juice and remaining tomato sauce; pour over peppers.
- Cover and bake at 350° for 30-35 minutes or until peppers are tender. Sprinkle with cheese; bake 5 minutes longer or until cheese is melted.
Yield: 4 servings.
My rating: 8.0/10
Hope you enjoy!