Slow Cooker Stuffed Pepper Casserole

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Slow Cooker Stuffed Pepper Casserole

Meal: Dinner
Dietary Type: Omnivore (with vegetarian option)
Prep Time: 10-15 Minutes
Cook Time: 3-5 Hours on High, 5-7 Hours on Low
Serves: 6



The Dish

Stuffed peppers are an instant dinner classic that almost everyone enjoys—and although delicious, they can be a bit of a hassle to make. 

That is not the case with this Slow Cooker Stuffed Pepper Casserole, however. With just a few minutes of prep, this dish is almost completely hands-off for the entirety of the cook time. The end result is a healthy and hearty casserole, full of that classic, comforting stuffed pepper flavor.   

Like most recipes, this can be altered to suit your tastes and needs. Use any lean ground meat, any cheese, and any herbs and spices you prefer. Add it all to the slower cooker, and let it do the work for you.

Ingredients

2 tbsps (30 ml) vegetable oil
1 lbs (455 g) ground turkey
1 large onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 6-oz. (170 g) can tomato paste
1 14.5-oz. (411 g) can no-salt added diced tomatoes
2 ½ cups (591 ml) low sodium chicken broth
1 cup (190 g) uncooked long grain brown rice, rinsed and drained
1 tbsp (15 ml) Worcestershire sauce
2 tsps (1.4 g) dried basil
2 tsps (~2 g) dried oregano
1 tsp (2.3 g) onion powder
1 tsp (~3.3 g) garlic powder
¾ tsp (4.5 g) kosher salt, or to taste
½ tsp (~1 g) ground black pepper, or to taste
½ tsp (~1.2 g) paprika
Pinch of cayenne pepper (optional)
2 bay leaves
1 cup (113 g) sharp cheddar cheese, grated 

Preparation

  • In a large skillet over medium heat, add onion and ground turkey. Cook until onion is translucent and meat is no longer pink in the middle (about 7-10 minutes). Add in minced garlic and cook 1 minute more. Mix in tomato paste, and cook 1-2 minutes, stirring frequently. 
  • Pour meat mixture into a 6-quart (5½-6 l) slow cooker. Add in chopped red and green peppers, diced tomatoes, chicken broth, brown rice, Worcestershire sauce, basil, oregano, onion powder, garlic powder, salt, black pepper, paprika, cayenne, and bay leaves. Stir to combine. Cover, and cook 3-5 hours on high, or 5-7 hours on low (just until rice is tender). Stir mixture every few hours. 
  • Once the rice is cooked, turn the heat off. Find, remove, and discard bay leaves. Taste, and adjust salt and black pepper as necessary. Sprinkle cheese over the top of the casserole, and replace the lid on the slow cooker. Allow mixture to sit for 10 minutes, or until cheese is thoroughly melted. Serve warm. 

Notes

For a vegetarian option: Swap the ground meat for 1 lbs (~454 g) fresh mushrooms, sliced. Cook the mushrooms in the skillet alongside the onions, until softened for 7-10 minutes, and proceed with the recipe instructions from there. Optionally, you can also add in 1 15.5-oz. can of no-salt added kidney beans (rinsed and drained) to the slow cooker in the last 30 minutes of cook time as well.

Other modifications: Any lean ground meat can be used in place of turkey. Any cheese can be use in place of the sharp cheddar. 

Slow cookers vary widely in cooking time, so check casserole occasionally for doneness to avoid overcooking the rice.