- 3–5 bell peppers, green or colored, halved, seeds removed
- 1/2 lb. ground beef (or a full pound)
- 1 Tbs. taco seasoning (or follow package directions for 1/2 pound beef)
- 1 1/2 c. frozen corn (optional)
- 2 c. black beans (prepared from dried or about 1 can)
- 1 16 oz. jar salsa
- 1/4 c. diced red onion
- (optional) other vegetables: diced red pepper, zucchini, leafy greens, etc…anything you have on hand to enhance the mixture
- (optional) extra kidney beans or lentils to fill in for the missing 1/2 lb. ground beef
- (optional) up to 1 c. shredded cheddar or Mexican blend cheese
- Brown meat and add taco seasoning, following directions on packet or with seasoning recipe to make basic taco meat.
- If using a half pound ground beef, you might brown a whole pound and freeze the other half for an easy pasta meal the next week.
- Consider adding cooked lentils or kidney beans at this point and double the taco seasoning accordingly.
- Add all the other ingredients except the cheese and heat through on the stovetop.
- Be creative with the vegetables you have on hand; it’s hard to go wrong with a whole jar of salsa and some taco seasoning already in the mix!
- Meanwhile, use a steamer basket to steam the halved peppers for 5-10 minutes until somewhat softened but not cooked to death.
- Arrange in an oval or 9×13 casserole dish and “stuff” the filling into each pepper generously.
- This filling is a bit like the loaves and fishes: everything is suddenly full and there’s still more left!
- I often end up with more filling than I need, which becomes great taco-style leftovers or freezes well for a future meal.
- After filling, top the peppers with shredded cheese and broil or bake at 350F for 5-10 minutes to brown the cheese.
You can skip the steaming peppers step and simply fill the raw peppers, adding a little water around them in the casserole dish to soften them up while it bakes, but you’ll have to bake 30 minutes, covered, before removing the cover for 5-10 minutes to brown the cheese. You can also freeze raw peppers, simply halved, and then they’re ready for the next stuffed pepper meal, especially if you freeze a jar of leftover filling!