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Farmhouse Kitchen Recipe: Homegrown Italian Stuffed Peppers

Farmhouse Kitchen Recipe: Homegrown Italian Stuffed Peppers

Kathleen Henderson is the natural living mentor behind the Roots & Boots blog and youtube channel and the creator of the brand-new Real Food Family Meal Plan, which is earning 5-star ratings–and saving time and money–in kitchens across the country. Because everyone needs to improve their pantry, and incorporate a little more real food in their family’s menu, you’ll want to be sure to snag Kathleen’s FREE downloadable printable, 12 Healthy Choices at the Grocery Store.

Stuffed peppers are the perfect way to use up leftovers and extra produce from the garden or farmer’s market.  However, it’s also completely acceptable to make stuffed peppers from scratch. 

Homegrown stuffed peppers

My favorite thing about stuffed peppers is that I can make them an almost completely homegrown meal.  We raise the beef and the veggies, as well as some of the seasonings.  Maybe one day we’ll make our own cheese, but for now I’m happy with the raw cheddar we’re able to buy at the grocery store.

So many options!

One of the fun things about stuffed peppers is all the options for fillings!  The possibilities are endless: basically, you’ll combine your choice of meat, veggies, seasonings, and (optionally) cheese. 

If you tolerate grains, you may want to mix in cooked rice.  For grain-free, try riced cauliflower instead.

If you happen to wind up with extra stuffing and not enough peppers, try serving it over roasted veggies.  Alternatively, the extras can be frozen for future stuffed peppers or for adding to soups.

Grain-free Italian Stuffed Peppers

Remember: stuffed pepper recipes, including this one, are more of a loose guide than a strict recipe.  Feel free to substitute other meats or no meat at all, as well as alternative vegetables.  If you’re a garlic fan, go ahead and increase the amount of cloves.

Ingredients:

  • 8 medium bell peppers
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning (or add a heaping ½ teaspoon each of Rosemary, Basil, Parsley, Oregano, and Thyme)
  • 1 pound ground beef (grass fed is best)
  • 1 teaspoon unrefined sea salt
  • 1 ½ cups riced cauliflower, cooked
  • 1 15-ounce can diced tomatoes, drained (or 1-2 cups chopped fresh tomatoes)
  • 1 cup shredded raw cheddar
  • Optional: thinly sliced green onions, for garnish

Instructions:

  1.       Preheat oven to 375°F.
  2.       Remove the top of each pepper and set the tops aside.  Discard seeds and membranes.
  3.       Place the peppers in a baking dish and season inside with salt and pepper.
  4.       Dice pepper tops and reserve for adding to the filling.
  5.       In a large pan, heat the oil over medium heat.  When hot, add diced onion and cook until softened.
  6.       Add the diced pepper tops and cook briefly.
  7.       Next, add the garlic and cook for about one minute, until fragrant.
  8.       Add the ground beef and cook until brown. 
  9.       When the beef is almost browned, add the Italian seasoning and stir well to combine.
  10.   When the beef is browned, remove from the heat and stir in riced cauliflower and drained (or fresh) tomatoes.  Season as needed with salt and pepper.
  11.   Next, divide the mixture evenly between the peppers.
  12.   Top each pepper with shredded cheddar.
  13.   Add 1 cup water to the baking dish, carefully pouring it between the peppers.
  14.   Grease one side of a large sheet of tin foil and place this side down on top of the peppers.  Cover tightly, securing all four sides to the baking dish.
  15.   Bake for about 1 hour, until the peppers are softened, but not mushy.  The filling should be heated through.
  16.   If you want to get fancy, thinly slice the green part of a green onion or two, and sprinkle on top of each pepper before serving.

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