Sunday, April 20, 2014

Spicy Mexican Un-Stuffed Bell Peppers

Fresh bell peppers stuffed with flavorful ground meats and tender rice is a combination that my family would be happy to eat any day of the week. The other day I caught a great sale on bell peppers and couldn't resist buying several of them, to make Italian Stuffed Bell Peppers. However, once I had the peppers in the kitchen, I wanted to make something different.

We've been on a Mexican food kick all week, so I changed up our usual Italian stuffed peppers and created this spicy twist on one of our favorite meals. It was also the perfect use for the rest of the salsa that I already had in the house.

My husband especially loved this dinner; my oldest son and I thought it was delicious as well. The heat in this dish was a bit much for my non-spice loving son and my toddler though. (If you aren't a fan of spicy heat, I'd recommend skipping the hot yellow pepper. It will still be delicious without it.)

Spicy Mexican Un-Stuffed Bell Peppers
Yield: 8 servings
(printable recipe)

1 lb ground beef
1 lb pork sausage
2 cups cooked rice, I prefer white, but brown works as well
6 bell peppers, I used 3 red and 3 green, roughly chopped into 1" pieces
1 medium red onion, roughly chopped into 1" pieces
1 small yellow onion, roughly chopped into 1" pieces
1/2 hot yellow pepper, minced, about 1 tablespoon
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup Pico de Gallo, or salsa of your choice
2 tablespoons, plus 1 teaspoon Mexican Seasoning, divided
kosher salt, to taste
small handful fresh cilantro, chopped small
2 cups Pepper Jack cheese or Mexican Cheese blend, shredded

In a large skillet, over medium heat, brown and crumble the beef and pork. Season with 2 tablespoons of the Mexican Seasoning as it cooks. When it is finished, remove to medium size bowl. Add the cooked rice and  the salsa. Stir well to combine and then cover to keep warm.

In the same skillet, over medium heat, heat the olive oil. Saute the yellow pepper and garlic until it is fragrant. Add the onions and the bell peppers. Saute for about 5-6 minutes until they start to soften. Increase heat to medium high and season with kosher salt and a teaspoon or so of the Mexican Seasoning. Toss to coat all the pieces and saute a few more minutes until tender, yet still a bit crisp.

Layer the bell pepper mixture onto the plates and then top with a generous amount of the meat and rice mixture. Sprinkle with cheese and cilantro if desired. Enjoy!

FREEZER MEAL: Layer the sautéed vegetables and then the meat mixture into freezer safe containers. Let cool completely and then freeze. Let thaw in the refrigerator before reheating in the microwave. Top with cheese and cilantro just be serving, if desired.

Spicy Mexican Un-Stuffed Bell Peppers recipe by Barefeet In The Kitchen

(Recipe originally published 4-2-2012 - notes and photos updated 4-20-2014)

ONE YEAR AGO TODAY: Ranch Potato Salad with Bacon and Eggs
TWO YEARS AGO TODAY: Classic Chicken Marsala


  1. You are creating new categories of comfort food, love this! I know I say this all the time, but I'm amazed at how your photos crisply bring out every element of color and texture in this dish.

  2. I would love to be on a Mexican kick all week!

  3. My husband would love this dish. Somethings about meat, rice and peppers makes him so happy! I adore Mexican food and miss the real thing I used to get in Denver. Sounds terrific! Hope you and your family have a blessed Easter :)

  4. When I was a kid, my mom made stuffed peppers often... I usually got sent to my room for not eating my dinner on those nights :) I've grown so fond of peppers now as an adult.. thank goodness! And I love this unstuffed version of such a classic dish!

  5. That looks & sounds delicious. I think I can smell it too.

  6. My family loves stuffed peppers. This is a great idea to change them up! If I ever find a good price on bell peppers, I snatch them up too!

  7. Stuffed or un-stuffed, I love the combination of flavors. Yum!

  8. This looks good, but having seen the photo of the Jap Chae, I think I'd go for the leftovers! Yum!

  9. I love this idea for "un-stuffed" peppers. What a delicious looking recipe!

  10. I love the colors in this dish. It looks delicious.

  11. Love this one too! Very creative twist on a classic dish;-)

  12. What a pretty dish and all of the peppers in here add so much color which I really like. I like that you used part sausage and spicy peppers. Yum!

  13. Mmmm, absolutely something I would love too. Stuffed bell peppers are a fave of mine so your deconstructed version is right up my alley.

  14. I love reading my old comments ;) This new photo is really great, it shows every delicious detail!

  15. This does look wonderful!!!

  16. Made this last nite. Num!