Mexican Stuffed Peppers
Hello? The 90s called inviting you to dinner. Yup, this is happening folks, I’m bringing back this old classic of stuffed peppers with a spicy new twist – Mexican Stuffed Peppers, coming right at ya!
Ahhhh, I remember it like it was yesterday. It was 1993, and I was the ripe old age of 9 rocking overalls, a Charlotte Hornets t-shirt and a Utah Jazz hat. I was living the dream! I was at a friend’s house for dinner, and while playing Lego with my buddy Tim, his mother told us dinner was ready. “What are we having?” I asked, and to my delight the response was “stuffed peppers”. My eyes lit up and I remember thinking to myself “Wow, how fancy!”. Glorious peppers, filled with delicious fixings and baked to a sweet golden goodness; what a culinary delight!
Now, looking back it really wasn’t as fancy as I remember but for some reason Mexican stuffed peppers still hold a special place in my heart. Perhaps their simple and colourful beauty provides an illusion that they are Michelin Star quality. (Spoiler alert – these peppers have not won any awards.) And although that is not necessarily true, they sure do hit the spot.
I like to think of these Mexican Stuffed Peppers as fajitas, without the fa or the jitas, (those are things, right?) but rather a spicy, peppery and hearty option that will have you saying Olé by the time dinner is done. Serve them with a big ol’ salad, and you can easily feed a crowd.
Mexican Stuffed Peppers
I made these peppers with beef and beans, but you could make them vegetarian by adding cooked lentils or quinoa instead, or create a paleo option by omitting the beans all together and adding more veggies.
Gluten-Free (Paleo or Vegetarian Alternatives)
- 1lb ground beef
- 4 bell peppers, (red, yellow or orange)
- 1 tbsp. organic butter
- 1 tsp. olive oil
- 1/2 red onion, diced
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tsp. cumin
- 2 tsp. chili powder
- 1 tsp. paprika
- 1/2 tsp. oregano
- 1 1/2 cup crushed tomatoes (or fresh, chopped)
- 2 tbsp. tomato paste
- 1 cup black or kidney beans
- 1/2 cup frozen corn, thawed
- 1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
- Toppings: Avocado, salsa, fresh limes, cilantro, hot sauce, queso fresco or manchego.
- Preheat the oven to 375° F.
- Halve peppers vertically and remove any core or seeds. Brush pepper very lightly with olive oil and set on a baking sheet.
- In a skillet, brown the ground beef. Cook until lightly brown and cooked about half way through. Remove from the pan, strain the excess fat and set ground beef aside.
- In the same pan, heat butter on medium heat and add diced onion and garlic and cook for 3-5 minutes until onions become translucent.
- Add cumin, chilli, paprika and oregano to the pan and cook for another 30 seconds until fragrant.
- Add ground beef back to the pan and stir well to combine with the spice mixture. Season with sea salt.
- Add crushed tomatoes and tomato paste, and stir well to combine. Simmer for 5-7 minutes on a low heat.
- Add black beans, corn and cilantro to the beef mixture and stir well. Add more seasoning now if needed.
- Stuff the peppers. Add the beef mixture to the peppers and lay flat on a baking sheet.
- Cover the baking sheet with aluminum foil and bake in the oven for 30 minutes. Remove foil and bake for another 15-20 minutes until pepper are soft but not mushy. (For softer peppers, simply leave them another 10 minutes.)
- Once cooked top peppers with desired toppings of your choice and serve with a large green salad.