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Italian Stuffed Peppers

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Serves
4
Prep
15 Minutes
Cook
35 minutes
Italian Stuffed Peppers

Stuffed peppers are a quick, easy and mostly healthy weeknight dinner. The trick to success is having the correct amount of liquid in the mixture so the rice cooks perfectly in the pepper. We suggest an Italian style pepper for this recipe, but you can get creative with different cheeses and spices. Middle Eastern and Greek (try feta cheese) style are also awesome!


Ingredients


4 bell peppers, any color


4 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for drizzling 


1lb ground turkey (ground beef, pork or lamb, or no meat at all, also  works)


1 onion, chopped 


2 cups Vera Pasta pizza sauce


1/2 cup white or brown rice, uncooked


1/2 cup mozzarella cheese


1 cup of chicken stock or water


Salt and pepper to taste (see note below)


Directions


Cut the tops off the peppers. Save them! You will use them later.


Scoop out the seeds and as much of the membrane as you can. Place the peppers cut-side up in a baking dish just large enough to hold them upright.


Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onions and chopped peppers and cook until beginning to soften, 3 to 4 minutes. Add  the ground turkey, season with salt and pepper, and cook, breaking up the lumps, until the meat is almost cooked through and just beginning to brown, 8 to 10 minutes.


Add pizza sauce. Stir and sauté for 2 minutes. Add chicken stock or water and cook 1 more minute.


IMPORTANT! This is the crucial stage. You want the meat, rice and sauce mixture to be pretty moist. The ideal consistency is, if you tilt the pan, the rice slides easily in the liquid. If you need to move it at all with a spoon, then you need more liquid. If so, add more chicken stock or water. If you put your rice into the peppers too dry, it will not cook fully and be a crunchy disappointment. 


Lastly, add salt and pepper, then taste. You want it to taste just a little too salty. This is because the rice is going to soak up the salt while it cooks. If your dish does not taste salty enough or is just right, add a little more salt.


Fill the waiting peppers with the rice mixture. DO NOT fill more than 3/4 of the pepper since the rice will expand. Shred fresh mozzarella by hand and place on top of the rice. Finally, re-top each pepper with its original stem and top. (If, for some reason, you threw out the tops, just cover your baking tray with foil.)


Put the peppers in a 375 degree F oven and bake for 35 minutes. Remove from oven and enjoy!


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