Stuffed Peppers in a Crock-Pot? Why Not?

Crock-pot stuffed peppers on a wooden chopping board
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You can make almost anything in a Crock-Pot, including this savory stuffed pepper recipe. These stuffed peppers are not only easy and delicious, but they’re healthy, too, loaded with vitamins A, C and B6. And they're versatile – you can easily leave out some ingredients your family might not like by simply adding the called-for quantity to another ingredient, such as a little extra onion if you eliminate the garlic. You can also tweak it with substitutions to accommodate your family's tastes.

Total Time: 6 1/2 hours | Prep Time: 30 minutes | Servings: 6 peppers

Ingredients:

  • 6 bell peppers
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/4 cup chopped onion
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 pound ground beef, crumbled
  • 1 cup cooked rice – white is best, but brown rice and wild rice work, too 
  • 1 1/2 cups tomato sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon flour
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Approximately 1/3 cup chicken broth
  • 1 cup shredded cheese

Directions:

  1. Trim the peppers, removing the tops, the ribs and the seeds. Set the cleaned peppers aside.
  2. In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook until the onion softens, about 3 minutes.
  3. Add the beef to the skillet and cook an additional 5 to 7 minutes.
  4. In a large mixing bowl, combine the rice, tomato sauce, flour and salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Combine the beef mixture with the tomato sauce mixture and stuff the peppers.
  6. Pour the broth into the Crock-Pot. Depending on the size of your Crock-Pot, you may need a little more or a little less than 1/3 cup. The broth should be about 1/2-inch deep.
  7. Arrange the peppers in the bottom of the Crock-Pot so they’re sitting in the broth. It’s OK if it’s a snug fit, but spray the cooking pot with cooking spray in advance so the peppers don't stick to the sides of the pot. If they’re touching, it will prevent them from tipping over as they soften during the cooking process.
  8. Cover the Crock-Pot and set it to low. Cook the peppers for 5 1/2 hours.
  9. Top the peppers with the cheese and cook an additional 30 minutes.
  10. Remove the peppers from the Crock-Pot with a large slotted spoon to drain them a bit before serving. 

Tip

You can also chop up the tops of the peppers rather than discard them and add the pieces to the skillet with the onion and garlic.

Add 1 teaspoon of Worcestershire sauce to the rice mixture in Step 4 for an extra little kick.

You can serve the sauce and the drippings left in the Crock-Pot on the side for those who like their peppers a little sloppier. Just skim any fat off the top, and stir it well first.

Using lean ground beef is best so the peppers won’t be too greasy.

Use your family’s favorite cheese or combined cheeses. Almost anything works with this recipe, from mozzarella to ricotta to cheddar or even Monterey Jack.