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Recipe: Grilled Ground Beef Stuffed Peppers

Published: Aug. 18, 2020 at 5:13 PM CDT
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WAUSAU, Wis. (WSAW) - Ground Beef Stuffed Peppers cooked on the grill is an amazing way to add smoky char and flavor. These are prepared like the classic, but kicked up a notch by cooking them on the grill.

These stuffed peppers are made with ground beef, vegetables, herbs, rice, sauce, and cheese, making them basically a one pot meal! This recipe is super adaptable and easy to tweak.

Stuffed peppers are a great way to feed a small crowd, or trying to get picky kids to eat some vegetables. They’re filling, flavorful and full of so many different food groups. And they’re so easy to make. After prepping and cooking the beef and rice, it’s really about stuffing the peppers and cooking on the grill.

Grilling stuffed peppers add a slight char and smoky flavor almost like roasted red peppers. Combine that with the natural flavor from grilling and you get an awesome combination.

And because we firmly believe anything you can cook on the stove top or grill you can cook outside on your smoker and grill, and it’s so much more fun and flavorful!

What peppers are best for grilled stuffed peppers:

Red, orange and yellow peppers are our preference. Green bell peppers are slightly under-ripe and can be slightly bitter. Red, Orange, and Yellow have more natural sweetness. However if you like green pepper flavor, then by all means use them.

When selecting the peppers, pay attention to the bottom so they are even. You’ll be standing these up, so an even base is key so they don’t fall over on the grill. Also make sure they are similar in size so they cook evenly. If one happens to be taller (or wider) you can cut more off the top so that they are more uniform in size.

Did you know that green, orange, yellow, and red bell peppers are all the same variety at various stages of ripeness?

When preparing stuffed peppers, carefully slice off the top of the peppers where the stem is taking care to make it a straight line and even among all the peppers. Carefully remove the seeds and the white membrane inside of the peppers where the stem was so all you have is the pepper remaining. That white membrane is bitter to taste. You can also use the tops (minus the stem) to dice up to add into the mix, or just save them for snacking.

Prepare the Filling

  • Make the rice: We use jasmine for its flavor and density. Basmati works well too but has a little more earthy flavor, but avoid using an instant rice. Prepare the rice according to the rice packaging directions. We make the rice while we are browning the beef. This can also be done in advance to save you time.
  • Brown the Beef: For the ground beef start with a good fat to lean ratio like 80/20 (80% lean to 20% fat). Next, saute the beef in a cast iron pan on medium heat. To do this, add olive oil to the hot pan and drop in the ground beef. Let the ground beef brown a few minutes before stirring. This browning adds more richness to the filling. Occasionally pour out any liquid that accumulates in the pan due to the fat rendering out.
  • Mix in remaining filling ingredients: Finally add the remaining filling ingredients to the cast iron pan, including the cooked rice, additional liquids and binding agents. Stir to incorporate over low heat and then prepare to stuff the peppers.
  • Stuff the Peppers: Stuff about 1/4 cup of the filling into each pepper. The exact amount may vary based on the exact size of your peppers. Add equal amounts into each pepper.
  • Top with Remaining Cheese: add the remaining cheese to the top of each pepper.

Grilling the stuffed peppers

Prepare the grill for two zone cooking or target around 375 degrees Fahrenheit if using a pellet grill. Gently place the peppers onto the grill over indirect heat. You can place them in a cast iron pan to keep them stable, or if they have a nice flat base, just place them directly on the grill.

On a pellet grill cook for 40 minutes at 375 degrees F.

If using a kettle grill, grill the peppers over indirect heat for 20 minutes and then rotate 180 degrees. This will evenly expose both sides of the peppers to the heat source. Cook another 10-20 minutes or until the cheese is melted and the peppers look tender and slightly roasted. They should not be too soft that they fall apart.

They should cook in 30-40 minutes total. Remember, the meat is already cooked, so we’re just looking to soften and roast the peppers and melt the cheese.

Remove and serve immediately.

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