Paprika-Spiced Stuffed Peppers
Plenty of paprika lends a lightly pungent flavor and vibrant red color to the creamy sauce and the pork, beef and rice filling in this Hungarian-inspired stuffed peppers recipe.
Yield: 6 servings, 1 pepper & 1/2 cup sauce each
Active Time: 60
Total Time: 130
Peppers & Stuffing
- 6 medium red bell peppers
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 cups finely chopped onion
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 3 tablespoons paprika, preferably sweet Hungarian
- 2 1/2 cups cooked long-grain or instant brown rice
- 1 large egg, lightly beaten
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh marjoram
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- 12 ounces lean ground beef
- 12 ounces lean ground pork (see Tip)
- 1 14-ounce can diced tomatoes
- 1 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
- 1 cup finely chopped leeks, white and light green parts only
- 1 tablespoon paprika, preferably sweet Hungarian
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- Freshly ground pepper to taste
- 1 cup reduced-fat sour cream
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Cut tops off peppers and remove seeds. If the peppers don’t stand on their own, remove a thin slice off the bottoms; set the peppers aside. Finely chop the tops.
- To prepare stuffing & stuff peppers: Heat oil in a medium skillet over medium heat and add onion. Cook, stirring, for 5 minutes. Add chopped pepper tops. Cook, stirring, 3 minutes more. Add garlic and 3 tablespoons paprika; cook, stirring, 1 minute more. Transfer the mixture to a medium bowl. Let cool for 5 minutes. Stir in rice, egg, marjoram, 3/4 teaspoon salt, coriander, cumin and pepper. Add beef and pork and gently knead the mixture until well blended. Mound about 1 cup of the stuffing into each pepper.
- To prepare sauce: Drain tomatoes and combine with broth, leeks and 1 tablespoon paprika in a Dutch oven. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat; simmer for 5 minutes. Season with 1/4 teaspoon salt and pepper. Place the stuffed peppers in the pot and cover with a lid or foil.
- Bake the peppers until tender and an instant-read thermometer inserted into the stuffing registers 150°F, 50 minutes to 1 hour. Uncover and continue baking for 10 minutes more. Transfer the peppers to a warm serving platter; tent with foil to keep warm. Using caution (the handles will be hot), place the pot on a burner over medium-high heat. Simmer the sauce until reduced by about half, 4 to 8 minutes. Remove from heat and whisk in sour cream. Serve the peppers with the sauce.
Tips & Notes
- Make Ahead Tip: Prepare peppers and stuffing (Steps 2-3), omit egg; refrigerate separately up to 1 day. Add egg to filling before stuffing peppers.
- Tip: Depending on your supermarket, it might be hard to find a lean option for ground pork. But it’s easy to make your own in a food processor. Choose a lean cut, such as loin or tenderloin. Cut into pieces and then pulse in a food processor until uniformly ground (being careful not to overprocess, turning the meat into mush). Or ask your butcher to grind it for you. Using lean pork or lamb instead of regular ground pork saves up to 164 calories and 5 grams of saturated fat per 3 ounces of cooked meat.
Nutrition Bonus: Vitamin C (270% daily value), Vitamin A (132% dv)
2 1/2 Carbohydrate Serving
Exchanges: 3 medium-fat meat, 3 vegetable, 1 starch, 1 fat