Quinoa and Ground Beef Stuffed Hot Hungarian Peppers

5 Apr

I was craving some red meat but didn’t want to go hog wild, so I decided to make some simple stuffed peppers with just a touch of ground beef.  I punched up the protein with a healthy serving of quinoa and made a quick and easy tomato sauce to accompany the whole thing.  The light heat from the paprika, chili powder, and hot Hungarian peppers worked well with the quinoa and cheese.  This dish was yummy and filling and quite quick for a stuffed pepper recipe.

Quinoa and Ground Beef Stuffed Hot Hungarian Peppers

Quinoa and Ground Beef Stuffed Hot Hungarian Peppers:

6 hot Hungarian peppers, roasted, skins removed

1 cup quinoa, cooked according to package instructions

1 tbs. olive oil

1/4 cup white onion, chopped

3-4 cloves garlic, chopped

1/2 cup ground beef

1/2 tsp. paprika

1/2 tsp. chili powder

1 tbs. tomato paste

1/2 cup water

1/2 cup shredded Mexican-style cheese blend

Preheat oven to 325º.

In a 10″ cast iron pan, heat olive oil over medium heat.  Add onion and garlic and cook until garlic begins to brown and onion is translucent.  Add beef, paprika, and chili powder and brown beef, stirring occasionally, 5-6 minutes.

Add quinoa and stir to combine.  Add tomato paste and water and stir to combine.  Simmer until water is completely absorbed, about 5 minutes.  Add 1/4 cup Mexican cheese and stir to combine.  Turn off heat and cool slightly.

Using your thumb or a knife, cut a slit in the peppers lengthwise.  Do not remove the seeds or the stem.  Place about 1 tbs. of filling closest to stem.  Pinching in sides, fold in half widthwise.

Place in a casserole dish.  Top with tomato sauce (see below) and remaining cheese.  Cover with tinfoil.  Bake, 25-35 minutes, until sauce is bubbling and peppers are heated through.

[Note: You can also roll these up lengthwise and place seam side down in your casserole dish if your peppers are large enough.  Ours were somewhat slender and this way allowed me to place more filling in each pepper.]

Tomato Sauce:

1 tbs. olive oil

1/4 cup white onion, chopped

3-4 cloves garlic, chopped

1 cup basil and herb crushed tomatoes

1/2 tsp. paprika

1/2 tsp. chili powder

Heat olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat.  Add garlic and onion and sauté until onion is translucent.  Add basil and herb crushed tomatoes, paprika, and chili powder.  Simmer, uncovered, 10-15 minutes to allow flavors to meld.

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