Saturday, December 17, 2011

Deconstructed Stuffed Peppers

With deconstructed dishes in culinary style this season, it seems a good time to share this recipe for Deconstructed Stuffed Peppers, a wonderful take on traditional stuffed peppers that my wife created and cooked. My part this week was limited to following her around the kitchen with a camera and taking good notes.

The idea for this recipe came a few weeks ago when, after attending a spaghetti and meatballs dinner, we were fortunate to be given some leftover meatballs to take home. (The meatballs were some of the best I’ve ever had and, despite my best efforts, I was not able to get the recipe out of the chef.) A night or two later, my wife used them to put together a kind of deconstructed stuffed pepper meal that was so good I knew it had to be shared here. (Unlike her husband, a technocrat who typically plans recipes in great detail, she’s a marvelous improvisational cook.) As an added benefit, except for the bowl used to mix the meatball ingredients, everything is done in one baking dish. (Long-time readers may also remember a recipe my wife provided about a year ago for a lovely cream of broccoli soup, also worth checking out.)

The recipe begins with finished meatballs, cooked to completion. Use any you like; if you need a meatball recipe, click here for the one published on this site a couple of weeks ago. 

The recipe also calls for a tomato sauce. You may choose to use a good-quality marinara sauce from a jar, the no-cook sauce published here previously, or any other you like. This being her recipe, I’ll pass along my wife’s recommendation that a smoother sauce works better than a chunkier sauce in this case.

This recipe makes about three servings.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Put 10 cooked 2” meatballs, 2 rough-chopped green peppers, 1 medium rough-chopped onion in a baking dish sprayed with cooking spray. (You’ll want to use more meatballs if yours are smaller, or fewer if yours are larger.)
Add 2-1/2 to 3 cups of sauce and stir to mix.

Cover the baking dish with foil and bake for 30 minutes.

Add 1 cup of uncooked white rice and 1 cup of water. Cover again with the foil and bake for another 5 – 10 minutes.

Top with shredded mozzarella cheese.

Bake uncovered a few more minutes until the cheese is melted.

All that’s left is to dish it up, add some garlic bread and a glass of wine, and you’ve got yourself an easy, delicious meal that’s a real change of pace!

Hope you enjoy these deconstructed stuffed peppers as much as I did. And be sure to stop by next week for another great-tasting, kitchen-tested treat that will be perfect with your Christmas dinner! (Or any other time, for that matter.) Till then, stay well, keep it about the food, and always remember to kiss the cook. ;-)


  1. Look yummy..! And I always remember to 'kiss myself'..!

  2. Words to live by, Mark. :-) Thanks!

  3. This looks wonderful! Unfortunately, I can no longer eat onions. I can use onion powder for flavor, but would you recommend any substitution? Thanks!

  4. Thank you, Cynthia! For a substitute, if you are ok with onion powder that should work fine. For a medium onion a tablespoon or so of onion powder should do it. If you are able to do shallots, scallions or leeks, those should work well also. Something I read had a great suggestion if you go with the onion powder: add some celery for texture. Let me know how it turns out!