Monday, July 6, 2020

Couscous Stuffed Peppers

Anyone else getting cooking fatigue since quarantine? 😅 I thought I cooked fairly often before but I really underestimated how often I would eat snacks provided by my work or grabbing lunch at a nearby food cart. It seems like we have to go grocery shopping at least a couple times a week now to keep up with how much we're eating.

Needless to say, I've become a fan of healthy and hearty recipes I can whip up in a few minutes when my motivation is running low after a full day of work. This stuffed pepper recipe is one I've been working on for a few years. I've tried a couple of variations like with rice, pre-roasting the pepper prior to stuffing, and others but this one is definitely my favorite outcome. 

The light and fully texture of the couscous is less heavy and filling than rice which means that you can totally add some more shredded cheese op top 😁

You can make this recipe your own by either adding vegetarian crumbles, diced veggies, ground beef, or even some spicy chorizo would be tasty! I have also made these with a creamy cheese sauce but this time, I decided to broil some cheese on top and serve it with sour cream and fresh herbs.  

Couscous Stuffed Peppers

makes 4 stuffed peppers

4 large bell peppers (any color) 
1 TBS butter
2 TBS chopped onion
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp smoked paprika 
1 lb lean (at least 80%) ground beef (you can substitute vegetarian crumbles or just omit completely)
salt and pepper to taste 
1 box of couscous prepared according to box instructions (6.5oz.) I used the garlic and herb variety from Near East
1 can (15 oz) tomato sauce
3/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese (cheddar will work too) 
Sour cream and chopped cilantro for garnish


1. Heat oven to 350°F. Cut a thin slice from the stem end of each bell pepper to remove the top of the pepper. Remove seeds and membranes; rinse peppers. If necessary, cut a thin slice from bottom of each pepper so they stand up straight. 

2. In 10-inch skillet, add butter, onion, and garlic and cook over medium heat. Once onion starts to turn translucent, add spices and cook for 2-3 minutes. Add beef (if using) and cook for and additional 8 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally until beef is brown; Stir in cooked couscous and 1 cup of the tomato sauce; cook until hot.

3. Carefully transfer the peppers to the baking dish cut-side up and fill each pepper with the couscous mixture. Sprinkle with the cheese. Cover with foil and bake until the peppers are tender and the stuffing is hot, 20 to 25 minutes. Cook for an additional 5 min. with the foil off to melt any added cheese on top. Serve warm or at room temperature drizzled with the tomato cooking liquid.

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