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Michael Symon Stuffed Peppers

You won’t believe how easy it is to prepare these Michael Symon Stuffed Peppers, yet they’re incredibly delicious and rewarding. In this dish, juicy bell peppers are filled with a mixture made of Italian sausage, rice, and tomatoes, then baked until the filling is hot and bubbling and the cheese has melted.

Michael Symon Stuffed Peppers
Michael Symon Stuffed Peppers

This recipe for stuffed peppers is great since it can be prepared in advance, stored in the freezer, and is loved by all members of the family. Complement the dish with a Caesar salad and garlic bread baked from scratch.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

  • These Aren’t Your Mom’S Boring Stuffed Peppers. It’s cooked with Italian sausage, sautéed onion, garlic, carrots, bell peppers, crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, herbs, and my secret ingredient. The filling is too wonderful to eat simply, as promised.
  • They’Re Roasted, Not Boiled. This recipe pre-cooks the peppers in the oven for 15 minutes (in the same baking dish you’ll bake them with the filling) while you create the filling. Pre-roasting enhances the bell peppers’ inherent sweetness and ensures their texture is just right—not too crisp, not mushy, or falling apart.
  • This Stuffed Peppers Dish Has Few Steps. Pre-roasting the peppers reduces the need to boil them. By filling shortcut? Food processor chops onions, carrots, and peppers. No cutting! After sautéing the meat and vegetables, boil the sauce for 10 minutes. Then fill the peppers and bake.
  • Stuffed Peppers Are Meal Prep-Friendly. These Italian stuffed peppers taste better the next day, so prepare them the day before and bake them when you’re ready to eat. Dinner was never easier.
  • Fresh Or Leftover, They’Re Excellent. Many dishes are best served fresh, but stuffed bell peppers taste great reheated. That might be two dinners in one! And if you don’t want to eat them again, freeze them.

Michael Symon Stuffed Peppers Ingredients

The few ingredients in this stuffed pepper dish generate diverse tastes and textures. Most of the ingredient list is thrown into the filler. You’ll need these.

  • Italian Sausage. Using Italian sausage instead of ground beef adds flavor and meat. Italian sausage has fennel spice. If you forgo the Italian sausage, add fennel to your filling for a genuine taste.
  • Rice. Brown rice is heartiest and won’t vanish or turn mushy when baked.
  • Vegetables. Bolognese starts with a sofrito of onions, celery, and carrots. This dish substitutes bell pepper tops for celery. Finely chopped veggies are soft and smooth in the sauce. You may use a food processor to save time.
  • Crushed Tomatoes. 28-ounce can of mashed tomatoes (often called crushed tomatoes in puree). Make sure your crushed tomatoes don’t include salt or spices. Crushed tomatoes give texture and taste. San marzano, cento, and muir glen are recommended. San Marzano tomatoes are frequently marketed as “whole,” so smash them with your hands.
  • Tomato Paste. It is the secret to making our filling taste slow-cooked. Just a few teaspoons of tomato paste give a rich tomato flavor.
  • Garlic. Must! You can use more or less garlic depending on your taste.
  • Herbs. Basil and parsley make the flavors explode, but dried herbs work fine.
  • Seasonings. This filling includes onions, garlic, basil, parsley, oregano, thyme, salt, and pepper. Red pepper flakes give my filling the perfect kick and bring out all the flavors. Start with less and add more to taste at the end of cooking if you’re unsure.
  • Beef Bouillon. This component makes the filling delicious. Bouillon replaces the hours-simmered broth in bolognese and infuses the sauce with the same rich flavor (and replaces the salty pork) in minutes. Use beef granules, cubes, or better bouillon. Don’t dissolve cubes in water before adding to the sauce.
  • Sugar. Sugar balances the tomatoes’ acidity. Sugar quantity depends on tomato acidity and personal liking. Each time I add sugar differently. Start with 1 teaspoon of sugar and add more to taste.
  • Mozzarella. Smooth, creamy, and buttery. Its milky creaminess diminishes tomato sauce’s flavor. So it doesn’t get lost, we’ll add mozzarella to the filling and the top.
  • Parmesan. Salty, nutty taste your filling.

Is It Possible To Cook The Stuffed Peppers In The Slow Cooker?

Stuffed peppers can be prepared in the slow cooker, yes. If you don’t have time to pre-bake the peppers, you may still follow the rest of the directions by putting them together only leaving out the cheese until right before serving. Slow cooker preparation calls for half a cup of water, so add that much if using a 6-quart or bigger model. Spread out the filled bell peppers and add them to the dish.

To get the peppers tender, cover and simmer them on low for 6 hours or high for 3 hours. When the peppers are soft, sprinkle the remaining cheese over the top, cover, and continue cooking for another 10 minutes, or until the cheese has melted.

How Long To Cook Stuffed Peppers?

After preheating bell peppers for 15 minutes without the filling, they should be cooked for another 30-40 minutes with the filling at 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Time in the oven will vary based on a number of factors like pepper freshness (more time is needed for newer peppers), the kind of baking dish used, the amount of moisture in the filling, and oven temperature. Pricking the peppers with a fork is the most reliable technique to determine when they are done cooking.

How To Make Michael Symon Stuffed Peppers

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Remove the peppers’ very tops (about 1/4 inch) and set them aside. Remove and discard the seeds and membranes. Add the chopped pepper tops to the filling (I use my food processor to chop the bell pepper tops, carrots, and onions). * Set aside.
  • Cut side up, and add peppers to a baking dish. Brush or spritz each pepper’s inside with olive oil. The peppers are roasted for 15 minutes. Concurrently, prepare the filling.
  • Brown the sausage, onion, carrots, and chopped bell pepper tops in a large Dutch oven or large saucepan over medium heat until the onions are soft. Add garlic and red pepper flakes, if desired, and simmer for an additional 60 seconds. Remove grease.
  • Bring to a boil the remaining Filling ingredients up to “Add Later” (except rice and cheeses). Simmer uncovered for 10 minutes, stirring intermittently, or until very thick.
  • Stir in the Parmesan cheese, then the rice.
  • Turn the peppers over to remove any extra moisture that may have gathered while roasting, then return them to their original position. Distribute half of the filling evenly among the peppers. Sprinkle half of the mozzarella cheese over the dish. Refill the peppers with the remaining filling and distribute the remaining mozzarella on top.
  • Pour just enough water to slightly cover the bottom of the pan around the peppers. Cover with foil and bake at 400 degrees F for 30 to 40 minutes, until the peppers are fork-tender and the cheese has melted. Garnish with parsley. Serve warm.
Michael Symon Stuffed Peppers
Michael Symon Stuffed Peppers

What To Serve With Stuffed Peppers?

This recipe for stuffed peppers by Michael Symon is fantastic and tasty when served with:

  • Green Salad. Combining the crispness of salad with the melty cheese and the stuffing of stuffed peppers is a winning combination. We really enjoy salads, and some of our favorites are the classics like the caesar, apple, strawberry spinach, green bean, and strawberry avocado broccoli salads.
  • Vegetables. Instead of a salad, offer delicate vegetables, or serve both. We really recommend the roasted parmesan broccoli, roasted parmesan asparagus, roasted asparagus with balsamic brown butter, and the sautéed brussels sprouts with garlic.
  • Bread. To do this, and to fill our faces, we adore light and airy dinner rolls, garlic parmesan butter breadsticks, and handmade garlic bread.
  • Fruit. Crisp, juicy fruit like fresh grapes, melons, etc. makes a great accompaniment. Fruit salads dressed in honey-lime vinaigrette, winter fruit salads dressed in honey lime poppy seed vinaigrette, and berry salads dressed in honey mascarpone are all fan favorites in our household.

Recipe Variations

  • Alternate Rice. Alternate grains such as farro, quinoa, cauliflower rice, and orzo can be substituted in place of the rice in the recipe. Since the filler ingredients will continue to cook in the oven, it is important to make sure they are not overdone. In the case of orzo, this means cooking them until they still have a little bite to them.
  • Ground Beef. To make this dish vegetarian, simply omit the Italian sausage and replace it with the same amount of lean ground beef, plus 1/2 teaspoon of dried fennel and as much crushed red pepper flakes and Italian seasoning as you like.
  • Turkey. It’s possible to substitute ground poultry for Italian sausage. Season with 1/2 teaspoon of dried fennel, 1 teaspoon of crushed red pepper flakes, and Italian spices, as described above. For an even more meaty taste, I like to add an extra teaspoon of beef bouillon. If you’re using bouillon, cut the salt in half and season to taste with more salt.
  • Other Proteins. Instead of Italian sausage, you may use sliced sausage, shredded rotisserie chicken, roasted or sautéed shrimp, etc. If you want a quick addition, try this recipe for butter garlic shrimp.
  • Cheeses. Toss in some provolone, cheddar, fontina, etc., in place of part of the mozzarella.
  • Include Some Vegetables. The filling may be customized with your choice of mushrooms, zucchini, broccoli, eggplant, corn, green beans, or spinach. At the very end of cooking, the sauce can be augmented by the addition of roasted vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, or zucchini.
  • Throw In Some Artichokes. Those who have a soft for artichokes. Soft, somewhat sweet, and nutty describe artichokes well. Make sure you get artichoke hearts that aren’t marinated and instead sold in water. They usually have a sharper flavor after being marinated. Roughly chop and toss into the sauce pot.
  • Make It Vegetarian. If you want to make this dish vegetarian, you may substitute the Italian sausage for mashed tofu, chopped mushrooms, white beans, or plant-based ground “meat,” but you’ll need to have more red pepper flakes, salt, and Italian seasonings on hand to make up for the flavor the sausage would have added.
  • Stuffed Bell Peppers With A Mexican Flavor. Spice things up in a new way by seasoning the filling with 1 1/2 tablespoons of chili powder, 1 teaspoon ground cumin, 1 teaspoon ground oregano, 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika, 1/2 teaspoon pepper, and cayenne pepper to taste. If you prefer, you may spice up the filling with some chopped green chiles, corn, black beans, and cilantro. Put in some pepper jack, Monterey, or cheddar cheese instead.
  • Stuffed Peppers With A Flavorful Mediterranean Filling. Italian sausage can be replaced with ground beef or lamb; sun-dried tomatoes, kalamata olives, artichoke hearts, and feta cheese can all be added to the mixture.

How To Store Stuffed Peppers?

In The Fridge:

Allow Stuffed Peppers leftovers to cool to room temperature before covering them with foil or transferring them to an airtight container. Refrigerate Stuffed Peppers for up to 4 days.

In The Freezer:

Stuffed peppers can be frozen before or after baking, individually or together in a baking dish. Store the peppers in an airtight container in the freezer for up to 3 months. When ready to bake, thaw overnight in the refrigerator, and bake or reheat as directed.

To Make Ahead:

  • Cut the pepper tops off, remove the seeds, and cut the tops for the filling up to 2 days ahead of time. Store the peppers in an airtight jar in the refrigerator.
  • Roast the peppers for 15 minutes, then set aside to cool before storing in an airtight container in the refrigerated for up to 1 day before filling.
  • Make the filling up to 3 days ahead of time, chill, and store in an airtight container. Fill the peppers with the mixture and cheese, cover, and place in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours before baking.
  • Allow the stuffed peppers to come to room temperature while the oven warms up. To account for the cold factor, increase the baking time by 5-10 minutes.
  • Assemble the peppers according to package directions and freeze for up to 3 months.

To Reheat:

  • Microwave. To ensure that the filled bell peppers reheat uniformly, I suggest chopping them into quarters. Start with 90 seconds in the microwave and increase by 20-second increments until heated thoroughly.
  • Oven. Reheat stuffed bell peppers in an oven preheated to 350 degrees for about 20 minutes, covered.
Michael Symon Stuffed Peppers
Michael Symon Stuffed Peppers

Do You Have To Precook Peppers Before Stuffing Them?

Yes, the peppers should be pre-boiled to some extent before being stuffed so that they may become soft once the filling is cooked through and the cheese has melted. If you don’t pre-cook the peppers, the filling will be fiery but the peppers themselves will remain crisp. The bell peppers may be pre-cooked by baking them for 15 minutes while you boil the mixture.

My Personal Recipe Tips

  • Pick Out Some Nice Big Bell Peppers. Buy fat, spherical bell peppers instead of tiny ones with the hope that they’ll hold their shape better.
  • Level The Bell Peppers. If your bell peppers are leaning, trim off the bottoms so they stand up straight; just be cautious not to cut all the way through the pepper! Fill it with leftover bell peppers if this happens by mistake.
  • The Rice Must Not Be Overcooked. Brown rice is my preferred rice since it is so hearty and forgiving, but it must be cooked just so because it will continue to cook very slightly in the oven after you remove it. In a similar vein, white rice tends to turn mushy when baked, so I wouldn’t advocate using it here.
  • Shred Cheeses Yourself. You shouldn’t use any kind of pre-shredded cheese, including mozzarella powder or parmesan cheese. To prevent the cheese strands from sticking together in the bag, pre-shredded cheeses are treated with anti-clumping agents. The presence of these compounds also prevents the cheese from melting evenly.
  • Simmer The Sauce Until Thick. After 10 minutes, check the consistency of the sauce and continue simmering if it still seems too wet. The peppers will become mushy if the filling is too thin, so keep it thick.
  • Make Sure The Peppers Don’t Go Mushy. The secret to perfectly cooked stuffed bell peppers is not overbaking them. It is important to remember that the filling is already cooked and to bake the stuffed peppers only until they are soft.
  • The Peppers Should Be Baked Until They Are Easily Pierced With A Fork. We don’t want our peppers to be too crunchy, nor do we want them to be too mushy. The bell peppers are done baking when a fork can quickly go in and out of them.

Try More Recipes:

Michael Symon Stuffed Peppers Nutrition Facts

Amount Per Serving

  • Calories 222
  • Total Fat 12g
  • Saturated Fat 4.8g
  • Cholesterol 61mg
  • Sodium 247mg
  • Potassium 469mg
  • Total Carbohydrate 15g
  • Dietary Fiber 2.7g
  • Sugars 4.1g
  • Protein 14g
  • Vitamin A 14%
  • Vitamin C 121%
  • Calcium 9%

Nutrition Facts Source: Source

Michael Symon Stuffed Peppers

Difficulty:BeginnerPrep time: 25 minutesCook time:1 hour 15 minutesRest time: minutesTotal time:1 hour 40 minutesServings:6 servingsCalories:222 kcal Best Season:Available

Description

You won’t believe how easy it is to prepare these Michael Symon Stuffed Peppers, yet they’re so incredibly delicious and rewarding. In this dish, juicy bell peppers are filled with a mixture made of Italian sausage, rice, and tomatoes, then baked until the filling is hot and bubbling and the cheese has melted.

Ingredients

    Filling

  • Add later

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Remove the peppers’ very tops (about 1/4 inch) and set them aside. Remove and discard the seeds and membranes.
  2. Add the chopped pepper tops to the filling (I use my food processor to chop the bell pepper tops, carrots, and onions). * Set aside.
  3. Cut side up, and add peppers to a baking dish. Brush or spritz each pepper’s inside with olive oil. The peppers are roasted for 15 minutes. Concurrently, prepare the filling.
  4. Brown the sausage, onion, carrots, and chopped bell pepper tops in a large Dutch oven or large saucepan over medium heat until the onions are soft. Add garlic and red pepper flakes, if desired, and simmer for an additional 60 seconds. Remove grease.
  5. Bring to a boil the remaining Filling ingredients up to “Add Later” (except rice and cheeses). Simmer uncovered for 10 minutes, stirring intermittently, or until very thick.
  6. Stir in the Parmesan cheese, then the rice.
  7. Turn the peppers over to remove any extra moisture that may have gathered while roasting, then return them to their original position.
  8. Distribute half of the filling evenly among the peppers. Sprinkle half of the mozzarella cheese over the dish. Refill the peppers with the remaining filling and distribute the remaining mozzarella on top.
  9. Pour just enough water to slightly cover the bottom of the pan around the peppers.
  10. Cover with foil and bake at 400 degrees F for 30 to 40 minutes, until the peppers are fork-tender and the cheese has melted. Garnish with parsley. Serve warm.

Notes

  • Pick Out Some Nice Big Bell Peppers. Buy fat, spherical bell peppers instead of tiny ones with the hope that they’ll hold their shape better.
  • Level The Bell Peppers. If your bell peppers are leaning, trim off the bottoms so they stand up straight; just be cautious not to cut all the way through the pepper! Fill it with leftover bell peppers if this happens by mistake.
  • The Rice Must Not Be Overcooked. Brown rice is my preferred rice since it is so hearty and forgiving, but it must be cooked just so because it will continue to cook very slightly in the oven after you remove it. In a similar vein, white rice tends to turn mushy when baked, so I wouldn’t advocate using it here.
  • Shred Cheeses Yourself. You shouldn’t use any kind of pre-shredded cheese, including mozzarella powder or parmesan cheese. To prevent the cheese strands from sticking together in the bag, pre-shredded cheeses are treated with anti-clumping agents. The presence of these compounds also prevents the cheese from melting evenly.
  • Simmer The Sauce Until Thick. After 10 minutes, check the consistency of the sauce and continue simmering if it still seems too wet. The peppers will become mushy if the filling is too thin, so keep it thick.
  • Make Sure The Peppers Don’t Go Mushy. The secret to perfectly cooked stuffed bell peppers is not overbaking them. It is important to remember that the filling is already cooked and to bake the stuffed peppers only until they are soft.
  • The Peppers Should Be Baked Until They Are Easily Pierced With A Fork. We don’t want our peppers to be too crunchy, nor do we want them to be too mushy. The bell peppers are done baking when a fork can easily go in and out of them.
Keywords:Michael Symon Stuffed Peppers, Stuffed Peppers
Nutrition Facts

Servings 6


Amount Per Serving
Calories 222
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 12g19%
Saturated Fat 4.8g24%
Cholesterol 61mg21%
Sodium 247mg11%
Potassium 469mg14%
Total Carbohydrate 15g5%
Dietary Fiber 2.7g11%
Sugars 4.1g
Protein 14g29%

Vitamin A 14%
Vitamin C 121%
Calcium 9%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily value may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.