There’s something beautifully simple about stuffed peppers. They’re so versatile, you can put whatever you want in them, and they can easily be an all-in-one meal. One way to really have fun with this is to add in some smoky, tender barbecue.
I love the way that the richness of the pork plays off of the flavors of the veggies and the seasoned rice, and it all melds together beautifully with some cheese over the top. And of course, the overall flavor will change depending on the spices you have with the pork itself—you get a taste all your own!
If you want to change things up, there are some quick swaps you can do. If you’re trying to avoid meat, shredded jackfruit will work wonders here. (Cook up the jackfruit with your favorite barbecue sauce before making these peppers, and you’ll be set!) If you’re trying to eat less carbs, cauliflower rice works just as well as regular rice. I had a hard time finding any difference between the two when I compared them side by side.
The peppers you use will also influence the overall flavor. Red peppers will be the sweetest, while green peppers will give you a fresh bite with some slightly bitter notes (yellow and orange peppers are in the middle, leaning a little bit on the sweeter side). If you want to amplify the natural sweetness in the pork, use red, orange, or yellow peppers. If you want a counterbalance, use the green.
If you’re looking for something quick and satisfying for a weeknight dinner, give these peppers a shot!
BBQ Pork Stuffed Peppers
4 bell peppers (any color)
1/4 cup water
1/2 yellow onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
8 oz sliced mushrooms
1/2 lb BBQ pulled pork
1 1/4 cups cooked rice
2 TBSP tomato paste
1 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp paprika
1 cup shredded Cheddar Jack cheese
Cut three of the bell peppers in half, removing the seeds and the membranes, and dice the fourth. Place the halved peppers in a 9×13 baking dish with the water, and microwave for 5 minutes to blanch them. Remove the peppers from the pan, pour out the water, and put the peppers back in, open side up.
In a large sauté pan, cook the onion with a little bit of oil over medium heat until tender and translucent. Add in the garlic, and cook until fragrant. Add in the mushrooms, diced peppers, and pork, and continue cooking for 2-3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the rice, tomato paste, and seasonings; stir to combine, and cook until the rice is heated through, about 3-4 minutes. Remove from heat.
Preheat the oven to 350F. Put about 1/2 cup of the rice mixture in each of the peppers, and top with cheese. Bake for 20 minutes, until the cheese is hot and melty. Remove from pan, and serve immediately.
Serves up to 4.