Stuffed Pepper Casserole


Stuffed Pepper Casserole

I am in love with casseroles (but you might already know that!).  I love that I can make it completely ahead of time and bake it when I need it.  This week, I made Sunday’s dinner in the Crock Pot (Chicken Enchilada Soup), and then made Monday’s dinner right after—this casserole.  I make enough to have leftovers, so I don’t even have to cook again until Wednesday.

If fresh bell peppers are too expensive, get frozen.  You can thaw them out, put them in a cloth, and squeeze some moisture out before adding them to the Dutch oven.  A lot of times, red, orange, and yellow peppers are like $2 a piece, but lucky this week, they were only 88¢.

You can use ground beef for this if you prefer, but I like ground turkey.  You can also use other cheeses, such as Parmesan, white cheddar, or even Monterey Jack.  And of course, it’s always cheaper and better tasting to buy a block and grate it yourself.

This recipe will make one large-sized casserole dish plus one half-size casserole dish.  This is easily halved.  If you do make a half recipe, just use the egg white instead of the whole egg.  Like so many things I make, this includes making Perfectly Cooked Brown Rice.  You can make and assemble this casserole up to 3 days in advance

Great toppings for this include hot sauce or sour cream, but what doesn’t taste better with sour cream?

 

Total Time:  2 hours-better.jpg

Serves:  10-12

Difficulty Level:  Easy

 

Ingredients

Olive oil

1 medium onion, diced

1 green bell pepper, diced

1 red bell pepper, diced

1 yellow bell pepper, diced

1 orange bell pepper, diced

1 teaspoon salt

5 cloves garlic, minced

3 pounds of ground turkey

2 recipes of perfectly cooked brown rice

Salt and pepper, to taste

1 egg, lightly beaten

2 tablespoons dried thyme

2 tablespoons dried parsley

2 tablespoons paprika

1 tablespoon of dried oregano

1 jar of marinara sauce

1 ½ cups freshly grated Swiss cheese

1 ½ cups freshly grated low moisture mozzarella cheese

1 to 1 ½ cups of seasoned breadcrumbs

 

  1. Add several tablespoons of olive oil to a Dutch oven, and turn it on to medium heat. Once the oil is hot, add the onions, bell peppers, and salt.  Saute for about 10-15 minutes until the veggies are softened.
  2. Add the garlic, and cook for another 2-3 minutes.
  3. Empty the veggies out of the Dutch oven and into a large mixing bowl. Set aside.
  4. Add the ground turkey to the Dutch oven, and cook over medium for 15-20 minutes, or until cooked through.
  5. Add the turkey and the Perfectly Cooked Brown Rice to the large mixing bowl. Allow the ingredients to come to room temperature.  Taste, and season with salt and pepper if needed before adding your dried herbs.
  6. Add to the mixture the beaten egg, thyme, parsley, paprika, oregano, marinara sauce, plus 1 cup of each of the Swiss and mozzarella cheese.
  7. Fold all the ingredients in to combine until everything has been evenly incorporated.
  8. Spread the casserole into the baking dishes. Top each evenly with the remaining cheese, and then with the breadcrumbs.  Cover the casseroles.
  9. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Bake covered for 30 minutes at 375.
  10. Turn the oven up to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Continue to bake for 15-20 minutes at 425 until the top is brown and bubbling.  Serve hot.