Jen’s Favorite Recipe for Spicy Stuffed Peppers

This simple recipe from OC4 coach Jen Widerstrom features a savory, satisfying, meaty mix of mushrooms and lean beef. Omit the cheese, if you’re dairy-free.
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Spicy Stuffed Peppers

Serves 3

Ingredients:

  • 3 medium bell peppers (any color) 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt, plus more to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, plus more to taste 1/2 cup shredded carrot
  • 8 ounces cremini mushrooms, stems removed, chopped 
  • 1 pound Laura’s Lean Beef
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder 1/4 tsp oregano
  • 1/4 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes, plus more to taste 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 (28–ounce) can crushed tomatoes 1/2 cup cooked brown rice
  • 1 large handful of roughly chopped fresh spinach 2 tbsp chopped fresh basil
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese (optional) 3/4 cup chicken stock

Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F.
  2. Prepare the bell peppers by cutting them in half through the stem and removing the core. Place in a large baking dish, cut side up, and set aside.
  3. Heat the oil in a large pan over medium-high heat. Add the onion and a pinch of salt and black pepper, and cook for 5 to 7 minutes. Add the carrot and mushrooms and cook for another 2 to 3 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender.
  4. Add the ground beef, the 1 1/2 tsp salt, the 1/4 tbsp black pepper, the garlic powder, oregano, paprika, and the ½ tsp red pepper flakes, and break up the meat while incorporating all the spices. Cook for 5 to 7 minutes, until the meat is no longer pink.
  5. Add the tomato paste and stir to combine. Add the crushed tomatoes and let the mixture simmer over low heat for 10 to 12 minutes, stirring occasionally. Adjust the seasonings, adding more salt, black pepper, or red pepper flakes to taste. Add the rice, spinach, and basil and stir to combine. Remove from the heat and add the lemon juice.
  6. Spoon the ground beef-veggies mixture into the halved bell peppers until nice and full. Top each pepper with a little bit of cheese (if using). Pour the stock into the bottom of the baking dish and cover the dish lightly with foil. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until the peppers are just tender.
  7. Remove from the oven and discard the foil. Transfer to a plate and serve.

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