I love stuffed peppers! Loaded with veggies, lean meat, and brown rice this meal was super filling and tasty. I also added fresh homemade pesto (recipe coming soon!) to the sliced pepper at the end for an extra kick. Next time I'll try mixing the pesto in with the filling.
Can't seem to get enough pesto these days! I'm just a little obsessed. 





[Recipe] Italian Pesto Stuffed Bell Peppers
Serves 4

INGREDIENTS
  • 5 bell peppers* (color of your choice)
  • 1 cup of cooked rice (or substitute any whole grain, like quinoa or couscous)
  • 1 medium onion
  • 1 can of crushed tomatoes*
  • 1-2 cloves of garlic garlic
  • 1 can of chickpeas*
  • 1 lb ground turkey* (substitute any other meat or tofu crumble)
  • 2 packets of Italian dressing seasoning (or use your own special seasoning)
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheddar* (or other type of cheese)
*Try to purchase these ingredients local/organic/free-range, if possible.

DIRECTIONS
  1. Cook rice per directions; set aside.
  2. Preheat oven to 375-degrees.
  3. Pepper Prep:  Boil a pot of water large enough to fit 4 bell peppers (or 2 at a time). Cut circles in the tops of 4 bell peppers, scrape out the insides and rinse. Add the peppers to the boiling water for about 4 minutes, drain and set peppers into a baking pan.
  4. Filling Prep: Chop remaining bell pepper, onion and garlic. Brown ground meat in a pan; drain and set aside. Saute chopped veggies for about 5-10 minutes or until softened. Open and drain the can of chickpeas. Open the can of tomatoes.Now for the fun part...mix all of the filling ingredients together until blended: sauteed veggies, meat, chickpeas, tomatoes and seasoning. 
  5. Stuff the filling into the bell peppers until full. Top with shredded cheese and place in oven. Bake for 30-45 minutes, or until cheese is slightly bubbly.
  6. Serve after cooling for just a few minutes.I usually just eat stuffed peppers by themselves, but I'm sure they would pair nicely with any type of side dish. 

These stuffed peppers are certainly packed with veggies and flavor! Now I'm thinking about making a 100% vegetarian version...this could get interesting.

Enjoy!


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