We love these as a weeknight dinner because they are a very flavorful and very filling all in one meal. I usually serve these with a side green salad and dinner is done. Also, they save very well for leftovers or for lunch the next day. A few tips for this recipe:
- If you do not want to make all of the peppers at once the meat filling freezes very well. When you are ready to have this dish again, take out the leftover mixture, place it in the fridge a day ahead of time and buy fresh peppers to stuff the next day.
- These make great leftovers as is, but my husband also loves the leftovers diced up and sautéed with scrambled eggs in the morning as another take on the dish.
- You can easily substitute brown rice for the white rice if you prefer. I have made it both ways and there is not a significant taste difference.
- I typically do not make this recipe with the pancetta when I make these during the week, but it does add another element of flavor. They are great both ways.
- To get the cheese extra crusted on top and the blistered edges around the top of the pepper, cook on broil the last 2 minutes.
Italian Bolognese Stuffed Bell Peppers
Flavorful Italian Bolognese Stuffed Bell Peppers
- 1 1/2 cups uncooked white rice
- 1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
- 1/8 Cup Diced Carrots
- 1/8 Cup Diced Celery
- 1/2 Small White Onion - Diced
- 2 Cloves Garlic
- 6 Large Bell Peppers or 8 Medium Size Bell Peppers (Any Color)
- 1 1/2 Pounds Lean Ground Sirloin
- 1/4 Pound Pancetta or Bacon (optional)
- Salt and Pepper
- 2 15oz. Cans Tomato Sauce
- 1/3 Cup Red Wine
- 1 Tablespoon Dry Italian Seasoning
- 1/2 Teaspoon Red Pepper Flakes
- 1/2 Cup shredded Parmesan or Parmesan Reggiano Cheese
- 1/2 Cup shredded Mozzarella
- Fresh Basil
- Step 1 Preheat Oven to 375 degrees F.
- Step 2 Cook rice according to package directions. (I prefer a long grain white rice which usually takes about 25 minutes).
- Step 3 Heat olive oil in a large sauce pan over medium high heat. Sauté and stir carrots, celery and onions until tender.
- Step 4 Add ground sirloin and pancetta (optional) and cook until browned and crumbled. Drain off excess liquid and return to heat.
- Step 5 Add in the garlic cloves and sauté for another minute. Salt and pepper the meat mixture to taste.
- Step 6 Add tomato sauce, wine, italian seasoning and red pepper flakes. Simmer for 10 minutes.
- Step 7 Stir in parmesan cheese and rice. Simmer for another 5 minutes until most of the liquid is absorbed.
- Step 8 Remove the tops of the peppers and insides – scraping out all the seeds. Then place in a shallow dish. ** Note: I like the peppers more tender so I cook them about 8 minutes before I add the mixture. If you prefer a firmer texture ship this step).
- Step 9 Fill peppers with beef mixture. Top with mozzarella or your cheese of choice.
- Step 10 Bake uncovered for 30 minutes.
- Step 11 Serve hot and garnish with fresh basil.