Italian-style stuffed peppers are like a low-carb lasagna recipe prepared in their own dish. These Lasagna Stuffed Peppers are a delicious mix of ground beef, orzo & tomato sauce, all stuffed into tri-color peppers. A hearty dinner ready in 45! Low carb and gluten-free options available.
Easy Stuffed Peppers
During the course of my normal day of hunting around the internet for interesting food blogs and health articles, I kept seeing delicious looking stuffed peppers containing mostly ground beef and rice mixtures. I wasn’t really in a rice frame of mind, more an Italian mood, so decided to think up something with pasta that I could put in a pepper.
I love all things Italian, and my favorite has to be lasagna. Well, maybe its pizza, no, maybe it’s my tortellini skillet – oh well, you get the idea. I’m an Italian food fanatic! In any case, I decided to try stuffing the peppers with lasagna. Now you know, those big fat lasagna noodles just don’t fit into a pepper (duh!), so I decided to go with orzo to satisfy my pasta craving.
The filling is easy to make too. Just toss together the orzo with pasta sauce, cheese and ground beef. I also added some zucchini and tomatoes to up the vegetable count! What you get is one great tasting and healthy dinner that’s all wrapped up inside some sweet peppers.
Change it up to suit your family’s tastes
- Substitute spinach for the zucchini or double up on the greens or add both.
- Change out the orzo for quinia, zoodles or even spaghetti squash making it a great low carb or gluten-free option. If you’re not worried about carbs, try using rice.
- Don’t like bell peppers, just put the filling into a casserole dish, top with cheese and bake.
An easy dinner on the table in 45 minutes. And it tastes just as good the second time around! Enjoy!
- 6 large bell peppers, red, yellow or orange
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 cup onion, chopped
- 1-2 cloves garlic minced
- 1 lb. lean ground beef
- 1 Tablespoon basil
- 1 Tablespoon oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 cup uncooked orzo, cooked according to package directions (quinoa or zoodles for gluten-free)
- 1/2 cup ricotta cheese
- 8 oz mozzarella shredded
- 1/2 zucchini diced
- 3 tomatoes diced
- 2 cups favorite pasta sauce
- 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese grated (or Pecorino Romano)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare a rectangular baking dish that will hold all the peppers by spraying with nonstick cooking spray. Set aside.
Wash the peppers then cut the tops off. Remove the membrane and seeds. Bring a large pot of water to a boil, drop in the peppers and parboil for 5 minutes. Remove and turn upside down to drain.
In a large skillet, heat olive oil and saute onion and garlic for 5 minutes. Add ground beef and spices and cook until meat is brown and cooked through.
Drain meat and pour into large bowl. Add cooked orzo, ricotta, half of the mozzarella, zuchini, tomatoes and spaghetti sauce. Stir to combine.
Stuff peppers and place in prepared baking dish. Sprinkle the tops with Parmesan cheese and remaining mozzarella cheese.
Bake for 25 minutes. Serve hot alongside some warm crusty bread.
If making this into a casserole, dice the peppers and cook with the onion and garlic. Then add to the orzo-cheese-spaghetti sauce mixture prior to putting into a casserole dish that has been coated with a non-stick spray. Bake as directed.