southwestern stuffed peppers.

Funny story: remember when I said that I liked lighter dishes once the thermostat finally rises? Well, in true WNY fashion, one day of high 80s can quickly turn into a high of low 60s the very next day! Unpredictable to say the very least. One upside to the cooler weather is I get to go back to nice, warming dishes! And boy is this one that will make it into my regular recipe rotation. When most people think of stuffed peppers, they think of italian seasonings, soft green bell peppers, tomato sauce, and a very, very long cooking time. In fact, I usually make an “unstuffed” pepper casserole, as my normal stuffed pepper recipe is too time consuming on a week night. Much to my delight, this Mexican take on stuffed peppers is much quicker! I like them spicy, so I used spicy homemade salsa that my dad and I made last summer, but you can use your favorite salsa and alter the recipe to suit your spice preferences. The original recipe called for corn, but I used diced zucchini instead as a way to get a serving of green veggies into this dish. You can also use any grain of your choice, or add any veggies you like!

This recipe has you roast the pepper halves while you make the filling; a great time saving trick! You stuff the roasted pepper halves with the spicy beef and bean mixture, top with salsa (and cheese if you like!), and bake for another 15ish minutes until completely softened and voila! Spicy, hearty, healthy and totally satisfying. As an added bonus, these freeze beautifully! Add a margarita (or two.. no judgment!), and enjoy the taste of Mexico from your kitchen!

southwestern stuffed peppers.
inspired by simply love food.


olive oil
3/4 lb. lean ground beef or turkey
1 cup onions, chopped
2 cups cooked rice (I used brown)
3-4 bell peppers, halved and seeded removed (I used yellow, orange, red)
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 small zucchini, chopped
2 cups salsa, plus additional for topping
shredded cheddar or jack cheese to top (optional, I didn’t have any, so I skipped it)
1 heaping tablespoon homemade taco seasoning (blend of cumin, chili powder, oregano, garlic, paprika).

cilantro, sour cream, avocado


Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Lightly coat the peppers with olive oil and roast in baking dish for 15-20 minutes, or until just barely tender. Remove the peppers from the oven and allow to cool.

While peppers are roasting, cook ground beef in medium skillet until no longer pink; drain off any excess fat. About halfway through cooking, add onion and cook until lightly softened.

In a large bowl, add the taco seasoning, cooked ground beef, onions, drained black beans, zucchini and rice. Add in salsa and mix well.

Spoon the mixture into each pepper half and place back into the baking dish. Top with any additional salsa if desired. Cook the peppers for another 15-20 minutes, or until the peppers are cooked through. If desired, remove from oven, top with cheese, and return to oven until cheese is melted.

Remove, top with cilantro, avocado or sour cream before serving (optional). Serves six.


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