Burger Focus: Stuffed Pepper Stovetop Casserole

Last time around in our focus on hamburger, sloppy joes with a Korean-inspired twist took center stage. This time, we're taking all the elements of stuffed peppers and making a stovetop casserole that gives you all the comfort food flavor without the extra fuss. Plus, you'll probably have the most amazing leftovers! Win-win.

You can tweak this recipe a bit, but be careful that you don't end up with something too soupy or dry. It can also be far too easy to get this one too salty, so be cautious when changing around the seasonings. Of course, you can use different cheese, about 3 cups of tomato … stuff, dried parsley and garlic if needed, and frozen spinach that's been thawed and squeezed as dry as possible if fresh isn't available.

I love serving this with a bit of crusty bread for sopping up any sauce left in your bowl after digging in. A good crisp fall beverage (cider, ale, or stout?) will work beautifully to wash it all down. And remember to save those leftovers - this casserole is even better on the second day!

Stuffed Pepper Stovetop Casserole

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 bell peppers, cored and diced
  • 3 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon ranch seasoning
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 12 oz. fresh spinach
  • 1 (15 oz.) can fire roasted diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 (8 oz.) can tomato sauce
  • 1 cup uncooked brown rice
  • 2 cups beef broth
  • 1 ½ cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • Fresh parsley, for garnish

Place a large sauté pan on the stovetop over medium heat; add the olive oil. When the oil is hot, add the ground beef and cook until browned, breaking it up as it cooks. Add the peppers, onions, and parsley; cook for another 5 minutes or until the onion is tender.

Stir in the garlic, ranch seasoning, and Worcestershire sauce; cook for another minute. Add the fresh spinach, canned tomatoes and sauce, uncooked rice, and beef broth. Stir to evenly combine. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce heat to a steady simmer. Cover and cook for 30 minutes.

When 30 minutes have passed, uncover and stir, and then recover and cook for an additional 10 to 15 minutes or until the rice is tender.

When the rice is cooked and all of the excess liquid is gone from the pan, top with cheese. Cover for 5 or 10 minutes until the cheese is melted. Sprinkle with the fresh parsley (chopped coarsely) and serve warm.

  • Yields: 6-8 servings
  • Preparation Time: 1 hour