· 2/3 cup long grain white rice*· Salt and freshly ground black pepper· 6 bell peppers, (any color (medium-large size))· 1 Tbsp olive oil· 1 1/4 lbs lean ground beef**· 1 small yellow onion, (finely chopped (1 cup))· 3 garlic cloves, (minced (1 Tbsp))· 1 (14.5 oz) can petite diced tomatoes, (drained)· 1 (8 oz) can tomato sauce· 3 Tbsp minced fresh parsley, (plus more for garnish)· 2 tsp Italian seasoning· 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
Step 1Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cook rice according to package instructions.Step 2Meanwhile, trim about 1/4-inch from tops of bell peppers and then remove stems, ribs and seeds. Fill a baking dish large enough to fit peppers with about 1/2-inch of water.Step 3Place peppers upside down in water, cover with foil and bake 20 minutes.Step 4Meanwhile heat olive oil in a large non-stick skillet over-medium high heat. Add onion and saute 3 - 4 minutes. Move onions to one far side of the skillet. Add beef in chunks, season with salt and pepper then let sear until browned on bottom, about 3 minutes.Step 5Break up beef and toss with onions and continue to cook 2 minutes, add garlic and cook until beef is cooked through, about 1 minute longer. Remove from heat, drain off excess fat.Step 6Stir in tomatoes, half of the tomato sauce (about 1/2 cup), cooked rice, parsley, Italian seasoning and season with salt and pepper to taste.Step 7Reduce oven temperature to 350. Turn peppers upright, sprinkle inside peppers lightly with salt and fill with beef filling. Pour remaining tomato sauce over peppers. Cover with foil and continue to bake 20 minutes.Step 8Remove from oven, sprinkle with cheese, return to oven and bake until peppers have reached desired tenderness, about 10 - 20 minutes longer. Sprinkle with parsley and serve warm.