While we eat chicken fajitas often, this is my very first time making stuffed peppers. They seemed a little labor intensive to me and I’m usually all about the quick and easy after a long, busy day homeschooling, blogging, and doing housework.
I came across these cute little stuffed peppers while on Pinterest a few weeks ago and knew my kids would enjoy getting their own personalized “pumpkins” for dinner…okay, okay, I was also hoping that these cute little peppers would persuade them to eat this veggie-rich dish without complaint. But hey, whatever it takes. Sometimes us moms have to be extra creative with sneaking in those veggies, am I right?! 😉
I came across some black rice at my local market and thought it would be perfect to fill these peppers, especially with Halloween right around the corner. Not only is it a festive color, black rice is very nutrient-dense and filled with beneficial vitamins and antioxidants. Another rice can also be substituted if you don’t have or can’t find black rice. I would recommend following the rice to water ratio on the package of the bag you purchase and don’t forget to adjust the cook time accordingly.
We don’t typically celebrate Halloween, but the kids have always enjoyed going to the pumpkin patch and picking out a pumpkin. Occasionally they would talk my hubby into carving silly faces into it. It’s so easy to cut faces out of these peppers, which at first glance look just like little pumpkins! I google searched “cute pumpkin faces” and got some ideas from the images. Of course the faces aren’t necessary, but make such a festive touch if you happen to be making this dish in the fall time.
Although I added chicken to these, you can easily omit the meat for a vegan/vegetarian friendly dish. If you consume dairy, feel free to stir in and top with shredded cheese as well! This dish is super delicious, very customizable, and full of wholesome ingredients. I hope you give it a try!
- 1 cup black or wild rice, rinsed clean
- 2 cups chicken/vegetable broth or water
- 4-6 whole bell peppers, any color*
- 2 tablespoons cooking oil (I like avocado or coconut oil)
- 2 chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch chunks (Omit for vegan/vegetarian version)
- 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 teaspoons cumin
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- salt and pepper, to taste
- 2 roma tomatoes, chopped
- 1 cup frozen corn
- ¼-1/2 cup chopped cilantro or parsley
- I like rice so I add a lot. If you're not a big rice fan, you can half the amount of rice and broth/water. Place rice and broth together into a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, cover, reduce heat and simmer until the water is absorbed, about 30-35 minutes (more or less time may be needed, so check periodically)
- Remove from heat and set covered pot aside until needed.
- Slice the tops off the bell peppers, remove and discard the seeds and membranes from the inside of each pepper. Remove and discard the stems and chop the remaining pepper from the tops. Set aside. *If you want to keep the tops of the peppers for serving, you can chop up ½ cup of an extra pepper. I chopped up an additional red pepper. Filling is enough to fill 4-6 peppers, depending on their size.
- Preheat oven to 350F. Drizzle oil into a large sauté pan and place over medium-high heat. Add onion and chopped peppers and sauté for 1-2 minutes, until they begin to tenderize. Add cut up chicken breasts, minced garlic, cumin, paprika, pepper, and a generous pinch of salt. Cook for 4-5 minutes, until chicken is almost cooked thoroughly.
- Stir in tomatoes and corn. Cook until corn is heated through. By this time the chicken should be fully cooked and no longer pink inside. Check seasoning and adjust adding additional salt, pepper, or cumin to taste.
- Remove from heat and stir in chopped cilantro or parsley.
- Fill each pepper with the rice mixture and place into a baking dish. You want the peppers to be semi-snug so they don't tip over while baking.
- Add a little water to the bottom of the baking dish to steam the peppers while baking. Cover dish with aluminum foil and place onto the middle rack of the pre-heated oven. Bake for 30-40 minutes, or until peppers are soft and filling is hot.