Stuffed peppers with a Portuguese touch
I’m a huge fan of Portuguese chouriço, so when I started putting together my version of a stuffed pepper recipe, I thought, why not add some of that delicious smokey flavour to the ground beef. It was a fine decision, if I do say so myself.
If you’re not familiar with this chouriço, you might be more familiar with the Spanish sausage called chorizo. Portuguese chouriço is smoked, while Spanish chorizo is cured. For this recipe, chouriço was the perfect smokey flavour I was after.
Cheese topping for stuffed peppers
There are literally hundreds of stuffed pepper recipes out there. Many of them are topped with some melted cheese.
I was originally going to use some sharp cheddar, but then I was pleasantly surprised at the grocery store when I spotted a package containing a blend of havarti, gouda and monterey jack. As soon as I saw this, I new I had to make a small modification to the recipe. I also added a little parmesan on top of the blend, just for fun.
Clearly the cheese is a very flexible part of this recipe. Use one favourite or a blend of many. I mean… it’s cheese, and cheese is good! 😃
This recipe takes a bit of time, but is very easy to make
Nothing about the recipe is difficult. No complicated techniques required. But the steps do take a bit of time. You need to cook rice separately, cook your meats and sauce, and then bake the peppers. Once again, not difficult, but it will take a little time. It’s so worth the effort!
Broiling at the end is a nice touch!
I could have just baked the peppers in the oven with no extra steps, but that char… am I right! The toasted edges on those peppers gave them that mmmm grilled feeling. It made a delicious meal even better!
Each pepper is pretty much a meal
I love, love, love, stuffed peppers. You can always add a salad or other favourite side to stuffed peppers, but I feel like they’re a self contained meal. You get the veg, the meat and rice all in one neat, edible bowl. It’s a pretty perfect meal.
A perfect make-ahead meal
These stuffed peppers are great coming out of the oven, but they’re also a very good leftover food. Prepare them ahead for a dinner party, a future weekday supper, or work lunches. These peppers reheat very well in the oven or in the microwave, so versatile!
Give these stuffed peppers a try and make your today… or tomorrow, yummy!
- 6 large bell peppers (try to find peppers that can sit flat) tops, cores and seeds removed
- 1/2 cup basmati rice or other favourite rice
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 small cooking onion diced
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 1/2 cup white wine
- 1.1 lbs or 500 g lean ground beef
- 5.3 oz or 150 g Portuguese chouriço, finely chopped (Portugal’s version of Spanish chorizo)
- 2 tbsp tomato paste
- 1 can 13.46 fl oz or 398 ml diced tomatoes
- 2 tsp kosher salt
- 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tsp paprika
- 1 tsp chili powder
- 1/2 cup of your favourite shredded cheese. We used a mixture of havarti, gouda and monterey jack
- 2 tbsp grated parmesan cheese
- Fresh flat leaf or Italian parsley chopped for guarnish
Cook the rice based on the package instructions, and set aside.
Heat the oil in a large frying pan on medium heat.
Once the oil is hot, add the onions, stir, and sauté for about 1 minute.
Add the garlic, stir and continue to sauté for about 2 minutes.
Add the ground beef and chouriço, stir and cook until the ground beef is cooked through (no red). This will take roughly 8 to 10 minutes. Stir occasionally.
Add the white wine and cook until the wine reduces by roughly half.
Lower the heat to medium low, add the tomato paste, tomatoes, salt, black pepper, paprika and chili powder, stir and cook/simmer for about 5 minutes.
Turn off the heat, add the rice and stir until all the ingredients are well mixed and coated. Set aside.
Preheat the oven to 375 ºF.
Place the peppers inside a large baking dish. Lean them on each-other to help hold them upright.
Scoop the meat mixture into each of the peppers. Make sure all the peppers are filled equally.
Once the oven is hot, place the baking dish on the middle rack and bake for 25 minutes.
Once the 25 minutes are up, set the stove to Broil, pull the baking dish out, top each pepper with equal amounts of the shredded cheese and then equal amounts of parmesan cheese.
Place the baking dish back in the oven on the middle rack, and cook for 5 minutes or until the cheese is bubbling and the edges of the peppers are looking toasted.
Guarnish with chopped parsley and serve hot. A fresh salad is a perfect side for this dish.
- If needed, cut a little sliver from the bottom of the peppers to help them stand.
Find a variety of pepper colours to make the presentation prettier. This doesn’t affect the flavour.
- Feel free to change up the topping cheese choices, mozzarella or cheddar will also work nicely.
- Want a little kick? Add hot pepper flakes, cayenne pepper or a favourite hot sauce when adding the spices.