This easy stuffed pepper casserole takes classic stuffed pepper ingredients like ground beef, rice, tomatoes and cheese and literally a family meal, turning it into one healthy, easy meal!
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 pound ground turkey or ground chicken or lean ground beef
- 1 medium yellow onion
- 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
- 3 cloves garlic minced (about 1 tablespoon)
- 12 ounces frozen chopped spinach thawed with as much water squeezed out as possible
- 1 red bell pepper cored and diced
- 1 green bell peppers cored and diced
- 2 cups water
- 1 can 15-ounces fire roasted diced tomatoes in their juices
- 1 8-ounce can no salt added tomato sauce
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 cup uncooked brown rice rinsed and drained
- 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
- 1/2 cup shredded pepper jack cheese use Monterey jack or mozzarella for a more mild flavor; or swap in additional cheddar
- In a Dutch oven or similar deep, sturdy saucepan, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the turkey (or your choice) and onions.
- Cook, stirring with a wooden spoon or spatula, until browned and fully cooked through and onions are soft, about 7 minutes.
- Add Italian seasoning, cumin, salt, pepper and garlic.
- Stir and cook until garlic is fragrant, about 1 minute.
- Add the spinach, and using a fork (or very carefully with your fingers) break up the lumps so that they are evenly distributed with the meat.
- Add red and green peppers, water, tomatoes, Worcestershire tomato sauce, and rice. Stir until evenly mixed.
- Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat to a gentle simmer. Cover the bowl and leave it for 30 minutes.
- Uncover and stir, scraping off any rice that has started to stick. Prepare and let simmer until rice is soft, about 10 to 15 more minutes.
- Remove pot from heat. Uncover and stir, taste and adjust seasoning to taste.
- Don’t worry if it’s still a little runny. It will continue to thicken and the liquid will absorb more when it sits.
- Sprinkle cheese over it, then restore its texture.
- Leave it off the heat for about 10 minutes, until the cheese has melted and the rice is soft (there will still be a little chewy left, which is normal for brown rice, but it shouldn’t be crunchy).
- If you’d like the top to be golden, place the dish, uncovered, under the grill for a minute or two (watching carefully to ensure the top doesn’t burn). Serve warm and sprinkled with fresh coriander or parsley.
To store: Place leftover casserole in an airtight storage container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
To reheat: Reheat the tagine in a Dutch oven over medium-low heat until heated through. You can also rewarm this casserole in the microwave until it is completely heated up.
To freeze: Store leftovers in an airtight, freezer-safe storage container for up to 3 months. Allow it to thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating it.