Chicken stuffed peppers are wonderful because bell peppers are easy vegetables to be stuffed unlike cabbage leaves, hence lazy cabbage rolls. Overall, I am a huge fan of stuffing food with food if it doesn’t take too long – stuffed portobellos “Philly Cheesesteak”, quinoa stuffed eggplant and easy Parmesan mushrooms recipe. And then there is crock pot stuffed pepper casserole when I feel like stuffed peppers but want them later.
Bell peppers are on Dirty Dozen list so I’m taking advantage of Fall farmer’s market while I can still get bell peppers grown without pesticides and herbicides. Organic bell peppers are pricey and we usually use them for snacks in winter.
This time I stuffed my bell peppers with brown rice, ground chicken (I had only 10 oz of homemade chicken ground from the drumsticks, so I added a bit of red lentils = great filler!), portobello mushrooms (amazing flavour booster and filler) and organic tomato pasta sauce. I had leftover sauce which saved me a lot of time!
My mom loved making chicken stuffed peppers. As a kid I loved the stuffing but didn’t like the soft baked bell peppers. My kids are the same. We usually serve stuffed bell peppers with plain organic yogurt and whole wheat bread for dipping into the sauce.
Do not throw out the tops. Bake them tucked in between the peppers. The lid on my dutch oven didn’t fit tightly so I placed a piece of parchment paper under the lid for better moisture retention and it took 1 hour to cook. You could also cut peppers in halves and place them in layers in a deeper dish.
Chicken Stuffed Peppers
- 1 cup any brown rice
- 1 1/2 cups water
- 8 large bell peppers tops and seeds removed
- 1 medium onion finely chopped
- 2 large garlic cloves minced
- 8 oz any mushrooms finely chopped
- 1 tbsp coconut or avocado oil
- 1 lb ground chicken turkey or beef works too*
- 1 1/2 cups organic tomato sauce divided**
- 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 1 tsp oregano or basil dried
- 1 1/4 tsp salt
- Ground black pepper to taste
- 1 cup boiling water
- Rinse rice well with cold water and drain. Add to a medium pot with water and bring to a boil. Cover and cook for 30 minutes or until water has evaporated. Set aside.
- In the meanwhile, preheat non-stick skillet on low-medium heat and swirl oil to coat. Add onion, garlic and mushrooms; cook for 5 - 7 minutes or until translucent and fragrant, stirring occasionally. Transfer to a large bowl along with rice, chicken, 1/2 cup tomato sauce, balsamic vinegar, oregano, salt and pepper; mix well with your hands.
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Fill each bell pepper 3/4 full with meat and rice mixture; place in a heavy bottom pot/pan with a lid or a dutch oven. Place pepper tops in between (do not throw them out!).
- In a small bowl, mix water and remaining tomato sauce and pour over peppers and some at the bottom of a pan. Cover with a lid and bake for 40-60 minutes, depending how tight your lid fits (mine didn’t so it took 60 minutes for me). Remove from the oven and serve hot with plain yogurt and whole wheat bread, if desired.
Store in a glass airtight container for up to 5 days or freeze for up to 3 months.
- *If you want to use less meat, add a bit of red lentils.
- **I used Simply Natural organic tomato sauce with basil. Any flavoured pasta sauce works (preferably organic).
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