Stuffed Pepper Boats

pepper-boats1Cook’s Notes: I have been making this recipe for at least 14 years. The tomato juice-ketchup basting sauce is an improvement over simply adding 1 cup of salsa to the mix. This is hands down the easiest way to make stuffed peppers — no boiling or blanching is required. Save any extra filling to eat as a side dish. I also like to add sliced black olives to the mix.

8 small red bell peppers
1.5 cups cooked brown rice
15 oz can corn, rinsed and drained
15 oz can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 tsp minced garlic
1-1/4 cups shredded Cheddar cheese, divided
Optional: 1/3 c chopped green onions
14.5 oz can diced tomatoes
1/4 cup ketchup

Heat the broiler. Line a rimmed cookie sheet with foil and coat it lightly with nonstick cooking spray.

Halve bell peppers lengthwise and core them. Place cut side down on prepared pan and broil 7 minutes until lightly charred.

While the peppers cook, combine rice, corn, black beans, garlic, and 1 cup of the Cheddar cheese. If using the green onions, stir them in.

Drain the tomatoes, saving 1/4 cup of the tomato juice. Add the drained tomatoes to the rice and corn mixture. Stir well to combine.

In a small bowl, combine the tomato juice and ketchup. Stir well.

Turn the pepper halves over and fill them with the rice and corn mixture. Spoon the tomato juice topping over peppers. Top with remaining 1/4 cup shredded cheese. Broil 2 more minutes or until filling is hot and cheese on top is melted. Serves: 4.

Source: Adapted from a recipe in Woman’s Day magazine in the 1990’s (“Santa Fe Stuffed Peppers”. The tomato juice-ketchup basting technique comes from the America’s Test Kitchen Family Cookbook.