Right after food that you can dip into something, stuffed food is probably my favorite meal concept. I’m such a sucker for it. Stuffed peppers, twice-baked potatoes, even things like stromboli or burritos or a jelly filled doughnut just make me happy. It’s like opening a gift that you can eat, and you can also eat the wrapper. How much better can it get than that? (I’ll tell you how: if it’s stuffed and you can dip it. Hmmm…)
Stuffing vegetables like peppers, tomatoes, eggplants, etc is a great way to enjoy a new take on foods you eat a lot. Or, alternatively, it’s a good way to enjoy a vegetable you don’t like by cramming it full of food you do like.
This is a great meal for living simply because it’s quick and easy, and pretty flexible as a concept. We chose to stuff green bell peppers this time, for a reason I can’t remember (probably because they were cheap). After tossing around different ideas of what the filling should be, we decided to use up a ricotta mixture for homemade ravioli we had frozen a few weeks ago. It worked really well, and had a lot of potential for variation in the filling. We went an Italian direction and used tomato sauce to finish the meal, but again there’s a lot of room for other ideas here. Try it out and add your own twist, and let me know what you come up with!
Ricotta Stuffed Bell Peppers Recipe
3 medium bell peppers
2-3 cups ricotta cheese (most of 1 big tub)
1 clove garlic, minced
salt and pepper
3-4 slices of bread, crumbled
grated mozzarella cheese (optional)
Rinse the bell peppers and slice in half top to bottom. Remove the stem, seeds, and ribs to leave the pepper hollow.
Mix the ricotta, egg, garlic, and add salt and pepper to taste. Feel free to add other spices or flavors; our stuffing already had roasted red peppers but you could do Italian spices or sun-dried tomatoes or cooked spinach instead, as examples. Fill each pepper half with the ricotta mixture.
Drizzle a teaspoon of oil (and some Italian spices if you’d like) into the bread pieces and toss to coat evenly, then top the peppers with the bread.
Bake at 400°F for 30-40 minutes, until the pepper is tender and browned in spots and the bread is toasted.
Remove from oven, sprinkle some mozzarella on top of the peppers, and serve with tomato sauce or sides of your choice.
What’s your favorite stuffed food?