Unstuffed "Stuffed" Peppers

This a family favorite. Having the peppers mixed together in the sauce, instead of stuffed, gives it a lot more flavor. Any leftovers can be frozen and reheated. It can be easily adapted for a crock pot by reducing some of the water. You can adjust your own "Stuffed Pepper" or "Stuffed Cabbage" recipe for this.

Ingredients:

  • (2) 8 oz. can tomato sauce
  • (2) 10 3/4 oz. can tomato soup
  • 14-15 oz. can stewed tomatoes, chop up if too chunky for taste
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  • 3/4 cup water
  • 2 tsp. lemon juice
  • 2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 Tbsp. brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Several dashes/hot sauce or to taste, optional
  • 1 cup long-grained rice, cooked
  • 8 - 9 large red and/or green peppers/cleaned, seeded, diced/bite-size pieces
  • (2) large onions, diced/bite-size pieces
  • 1 1/2 - 2 lb. lean ground beef
  • 1/2 - 3/4 lb. sweet Italian sausage
  • Bacon/topping, optional

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease two 3-quart casserole dishes.

Mix the first ten ingredients together in a large bowl. Mix in cooked rice. Set aside.

Partially cook peppers and onions. Add to rice/tomato mixture.

Brown ground beef; drain. Add to rice/tomato mixture. Mix lightly.

Remove casings from sausage and brown; drain. Chop/cut into smaller pieces. Add to rice/tomato mixture. Mix lightly but thoroughly.

Add to two greased casserole dishes and top with uncooked bacon and/or additional Parmesan cheese, optional.

Bake in oven for one hour or until thickened and bubbly. Optional, can be broiled briefly before serving. Be careful when broiling, keep casserole dishes a distance from broiler to prevent breakage. Can be frozen

Suggestions:

Cook rice in the microwave: Add 1-cup raw long-grained rice to a greased 3-quart casserole dish with lid. Add 2 cups water, 1 tsp. salt, 1 tsp. lemon juice, 2 Tbsp. butter and/or olive oil, dash of black pepper and one bay leaf. Low-salt beef or chicken broth may be substituted for the water.

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Cook covered casserole dish in microwave on high for 5 minutes. On medium setting, cook for 15 minutes. Let stand 10 minutes. Remove bay leaf and fluff with a fork.

This may not be the fastest way to cook rice but it is convenient when the stove top is already in use. Cooked rice can be frozen and reheated in the microwave.

In one of the casserole dishes set aside for the recipe, I cook the rice in the microwave. When slightly cooled, I add one cup of the cooked rice to the tomato mixture and refrigerate or freeze the remaining cooked rice for later use.

In the other casserole dish, I partially cook the peppers and onions using the microwave. When slightly cooled, I add the peppers and onions to the tomato mixture. Also, add any of the onion and pepper liquids/juices.

No need to wash the casserole dishes, reuse the same dishes that were used for cooking the peppers/onions and the rice for the "Unstuffed" Stuffed Peppers. Using a damp paper towel, wipe the outside and bottom, in case there are any drippings.

Prepare this partially ahead of time by mixing the sauce with the cooked rice, peppers and onions. Refrigerate for 1-2 days. Cook the meats, and continue with the recipe.

Servings: 12+
Time:1 Hours Preparation Time
1 Hours Cooking Time

Source: My own recipe.

By mkymlp from NE PA

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