Stuffed bell peppers is an American dinner classic that is easy to adapt to your family's flavor and ingredient preferences. While what goes in the peppers may vary, the one element that unites stuffed pepper recipes is that they are baked in the oven until the stuffing is fully cooked and the pepper is tender. However, if you're a modern busy mom in a rush to get dinner on the table, your kids can enjoy this classic meal a lot faster if you prepare it in the microwave.
Wash and cut large bell peppers, either in half horizontally, or just cut off the tops. This is a matter of preference based on your family's tradition or what recipe you are using. Remove the seeds, stem and stem ribs from each pepper half with a paring knife.
Prepare your meat or vegetarian stuffing for the peppers. Traditional meat stuffings typically consist of ground beef, turkey or sausage mixed with cooked white rice and sometimes a tomato sauce. However, you can prepare a vegetarian version by replacing the meat with ingredients such as sauteed mushrooms, black beans or spinach.
Brown the meat in a saucepan, if you prefer. If you are preparing a meat stuffing, some recipes call for you to brown the meat before stuffing in the peppers for baking. This will lessen the time needed to cook in the microwave, but it is an additional step that is not required if you wish to prepare the dish entirely in the microwave.
Fill each green pepper half with your prepared stuffing, then place the peppers in a round glass baking dish, arranging them in a circle. Cover with a lid or plastic wrap.
Cook the stuffed peppers in the microwave on high until the stuffing is fully cooked. If you prepared a meat stuffing, four stuffed peppers in the microwave with 1 1/2 pounds of meat should take roughly 10 to 15 minutes, depending on the type of meat. Use a meat thermometer to ensure that the meat you are cooking is fully cooked. If the meat is already browned and at least partially cooked, the peppers will be cooked in far less time, depending on the amount of stuffed peppers, the meat and the microwave wattage. For either preparation, check periodically for doneness with the meat thermometer. The pepper should also be tender to the touch when done.
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Based in Los Angeles, Zora Hughes has been writing travel, parenting, cooking and relationship articles since 2010. Her work includes writing city profiles for Groupon. She also writes screenplays and won the S. Randolph Playwriting Award in 2004. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in television writing/producing and a Master of Arts Management in entertainment media management, both from Columbia College.