Okay, so this recipe made A LOT! I made it not only for our family (6, including my parents), but also for a friend who recently had a baby. 10 big ol' peppers to be exact. Great for a crowd, or for freezing for a later meal.This recipe is super versatile too. You can make it how it is, stuffed into peppers. You can make it how it is, leaving out the chopped zucchini, and stuff it into zucchini. You can even leave out the rice in the mix, and serve it over rice instead... or bake it all in a casserole... your choice. And you can tweak it to your liking, and what you have on hand. Good stuff!
1 lb. Ground Beef
2 links Bratwurst, casings removed
3 Link Italian Sausage, casings removed (Don't judge. I like to mix my meats!)
21 Seasoning Salute from Trader Joe's (I seriously love the flavor of this no-salt seasoning!)
Onion Flakes and Garlic Powder (fresh is always better. I was just lazy and used dehydrated.)
Splash or two of Balsamic Vinegar
1/4 cup, or so, White Wine
2 hand fulls of Baby Carrots, finely chopped
1 Medium Zucchini, finely chopped
1 Bag Frozen Rice Medley (Brown and Red Rice, and Black Barley) from Trader Joe's, or 2 cups cooked brown rice
1 28 oz. can Petite Diced Tomatoes
12 oz. Italian Cheese Blend (I used Quattro Formaggio Blend from TJ's), divided.
10 Bell Peppers, any color (I like the ones with four bumps on the bottom... they stand up better)
Brown and chop the meat with all the seasonings.
Add the finely chopped carrots and zucchini. (The Pampered Chef Food Chopper is a life saver people!)
Cook until the meat is thoroughly done. Add balsamic vinegar, wine, tomatoes. Cook uncovered until the liquid is reduced a little.
Make the rice according to package directions, then add it into the mix. Turn off heat.
Put about 1 Tbsp of the cheese in the bottom of each pepper.
Add about 3/4 of a cup of the cheese to the somewhat-cooled meat mixture.
Start spooning the mixture into each pepper.
Top them evenly with remaining cheese.
Cover with foil.
Bake at 375 for 30 minutes. Take the foil off and cook another 15-20 minutes, until hot, melty. bubbly, browned, etc.
I usually serve mine with fresh bread and a green salad. Enjoy!