This is my Tex-Mex variation on stuffed bell peppers. It’s a great way to use up leftover taco meat and rice and also is a great make ahead meal. For being so easy to make, they are quite impressive looking. Being able to make them ahead of time, the single-serve portion, and striking presentation make these stuffed peppers a great main dish for a dinner party.
To prepare the peppers, cut the tops off and use a paring knife to cut off the ribs and seeds from inside. Tap the pepper upside down to dislodge any pesky remaining seeds. I coated the outside of the pepper with olive oil and a sprinkling of salt and pepper is nice to season the pepper itself.
Tex-Mex Stuffed Pepper – Serves 4, Cook Time – 1 hour
4 Bell Peppers, tops cut and ribs and seeds removed
1 cup cooked rice
½ pound ground beef
1 small onion, diced
1 stalk celery, diced
1 carrot, diced
2 cloves garlic, diced
½ teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon paprika
2 teaspoons chili powder
Salt and Pepper
1/3 cup shredded cheddar cheese
2 green onions, sliced
Handful of cilantro, chopped
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
Heat a skillet over medium heat, add a tablespoon of oil. When hot, add the diced onion, celery, carrot, and sprinkling of salt and pepper. Sauté for 4-5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in the garlic and continue sautéing for 30 seconds until you can smell the garlic. Add the beef and another sprinkling of salt. As the beef cooks, begin to break it apart with a mixing spoon. Cook until the beef is browned. Add the cumin, paprika, and chili powder and stir allowing the spices to bloom and become fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the cooked rice to the pan and stir to combine. Remove from the heat. Stir in the cheese and a bit of the cilantro and green onion. Taste for seasoning. You may need more salt if the rice was not seasoned.
Scoop the rice mixture into the oiled and seasoned peppers. Top the peppers with some more cheddar cheese and put in the oven for 40 minutes, or until the cheese is bubbly and the pepper is softened.
To serve, top the peppers with crema, green onion, and cilantro.