Today's recipe shares deconstructed stuffed pepper, the popular fun weeknight dinner. This fresh spin on our much-loved classic stuffed pepper casserole recipe. It's also effortless and delicious perfect anytime during the year.
There is no secret behind this deconstructed stuffed bell peppers recipe. It's all about infusing the flavors with the correct combination - juicy peppers, savory meat, aromatic spices, and creamy cheese - and putting them together straight into the pan.
This recipe is simple and made possible in less working time- no need to fuss over stuffing the peppers or baking them(Click here if you prefer authentic stuffed peppers like turkey stuffed peppers, salmon stuffed peppers).
Plus, it's more convenient to customize by including our favorite ingredients.
Why do all love this recipe?
Easy to put together. You don't need an expert cook to serve you this deconstructed stuffed pepper dish. All you need is few simple ingredients and a straightforward recipe like this for a fabulous dinner(also these Jalapeno tuna salad or jalapeno spinach dip).
Cut down the cooking time. Compared to other traditional stuffed pepper recipes, this one saves your time. Less time cooking meaning - more time for enjoying the meal!
Excellent recipe to customize. Are you thinking of adding chicken, turkey, or a plant-based alternative to ground beef? No problem! Want to incorporate your favorite veggies or spices? You're in charge. This recipe is highly adjustable to fit your tastes.
It's delicious. Despite the shorter preparation time, there's no compromise on flavor. It's just as tasty as your favorite stuffed pepper casserole.
Bell peppers. Any color of bell pepper would work great. Opting for more colors like red, green, yellow, or orange - makes it more to look pleasing. They'll add a pop of color and a fresh crunch to your dish. You could also explore other types of peppers based on your heat preference.
Ground meat. I choose ground turkey but feel free to substitute it with ground beef, chicken, or a plant-based alternative. The plus point of this deconstructed stuffed pepper recipe is its versatility!
Onion & garlic. These are the flavor foundations. The chopped onion and minced garlic combine to give your dish that irresistible aroma and a depth of flavor.
Cooked rice: I usually go for white or brown, depending on what I have. The Rice adds a satisfying texture and helps to make the dish more filling.
Diced tomatoes. You can use canned diced tomatoes for ease and convenience. Their tanginess perfectly complements the meat's richness and the peppers' sweetness.
Cheese. A sprinkle of shredded cheese, like cheddar or mozzarella, enhances the overall dish. It binds all the ingredients together and creates a beautiful, delicious golden top.
How to make this deconstructed stuffed pepper?
Over medium heat, place a deep skillet. Add olive oil, diced pepper, and onion.
Cook them by occasionally stirring - for about 5 minutes, or they start to soften.
Now, stir in your minced garlic, cooking it for another minute without burning them(adjust the heat if needed).
Remove the peppers and onion from the pan and set aside(or try this Oven roasted peppers and onions).
Using the spatula breaks the large chunks(this makes the meat cook evenly).
And cook for about 8-10 minutes or until the ground meat is no longer pink.
In low-medium heat, add the set-aside peppers and onion. Also, add cooked rice and diced tomatoes(along with the liquid from the can).
Stir everything together until all the ingredients combine well.
Time for the spices! Add salt, pepper, ground cumin, and paprika.
Let the mixture simmer for about 5 minutes so the flavors meld together(taste your mixture at this point and toss in the salt, pepper, or spices if needed).
Reduce the heat to low. And over the turkey filling, sprinkle the shredded cheese evenly over the top. Cover the pan with a lid and cook for a few more minutes.
Wait until the cheese is nicely melted and bubbly.
Turn off the heat and let your deconstructed stuffed peppers rest for a few minutes before serving(this allows the flavors to develop further and the dish to cool slightly).
Serve it up and watch the smiles around your table.
What to pair with?
Bread. Serve this deconstructed stuffed pepper with a warm, soft inside and crunchy exterior-bread rolls are perfect for soaking up the luscious stuffed pepper mixture.
Garden Salad. For a refreshing contrast, serve with fresh greens, tomatoes, and cucumbers with a light vinaigrette!
Roasted Veggies. Think roasted vegetables like broccoli, zucchini, or carrots for a simple yet elegant side.
Cilantro lime rice. It's zesty and light and brings a fresh touch to the palate.
Coleslaw. Provides a crunchy and tangy contrast to this dish
Pasta: Simple spaghetti tossed in butter and garlic would be fantastic to pair with. Sometimes, simplicity is the key!
How to store this deconstructed stuffed pepper
Firstly, allow the dish to cool down to room temperature.
In the Refrigerator: Choose an airtight container and transfer the leftovers. And refrigerate to use up to three days. Keeping cooked peppers airtight prevents those flavorful ingredients from drying out.
Freezer: Thinking of consuming it beyond three days? Freezing is the best option. For this, portion your dish into freezer-friendly containers according to the serving size. When frozen, this dish is good to store for up to three months (click here for the detailed report on freezing the stuffed pepper).
Thawing: Place frozen deconstructed stuffed pepper in the refrigerator overnight or use the microwave's defrost setting for quicker thawing.
Reheating: On the stovetop, reheat the leftovers over medium heat by stirring occasionally. If the mixture is too dry, add a splash of water. Or microwave it in 30-second intervals(by stirring in between) until it turns piping hot(check this if you want to check more ways of reheating).
Vegan Veggie Delight. Swap the ground meat for crumbled tofu or tempeh. Both are fantastic protein-rich alternatives. Top it with dairy-free cheese or nutritional yeast for that cheesy feel.
Mediterranean twist. Replace ground turkey with ground lamb for a rich, earthy taste. And finish it by sprinkling some feta cheese, olives, and freshly chopped mint.
Tex-Mex modification. Stir in black beans, corn, and chili powder for southwestern flavors. And add some sour cream, fresh cilantro, and tortilla chips over the top.
Printable recipe card
Deconstructed Stuffed Peppers
- 4 bell peppers any color, chopped
- 1 pound ground turkey /beef
- 1 onion medium sized & diced
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 14 ounces diced tomatoes canned
- 1 cup cooked rice white / brown
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning /divided
- 1 cup cheddar cheese shredded
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the chopped peppers and onion to the skillet, and sauté until they soften.
- And remove it from the pan.
- Now to the same pan, add another tablespoon of oil and ground turkey/beef to the skillet. Break it up as it cooks until no pink remains in the meat.
- Stir in the minced garlic and cook for a minute or until the garlic is fragrant.
- Add the diced tomatoes (with their juice), cooked rice, salt, pepper, and Italian seasoning. Stir well to combine. If the mixture seems too dry, add some water or beef broth. Let everything simmer for 5-10 minutes.
- Sprinkle the shredded cheese over the top of the mixture. Cover the skillet and reduce the heat to low. Let it cook for a few more minutes until the cheese is melted.
- Once the cheese is melted, remove the skillet from heat. Let it sit for a few minutes before serving to allow the flavors to blend together.
- Serve hot, and enjoy this deconstructed version of a classic stuffed pepper!