Who doesn’t love a good slow cooker recipe? They are super convenient and simple for families on the go. Just throw it on in the morning and it is good to go by the time every body is home and ready for dinner.
They are also great for those on a budget. These Un-stuffed Peppers I threw together this week cost just around fifteen dollars give or take. It fed two adults and two very hungry boys who asked for seconds, and also, provided leftovers for lunch the next day.
The inspiration behind this recipe came from the stuffed peppers I grew up eating as child that my mom would make. They were the definition of Italian comfort food for me. (Well, right behind the homemade lasagna, of course.) Let’s face it though, the prep work for these can be a little time consuming. With having to soft boil the peppers before hand and then stuffing them, ‘ain’t nobody got time for that’. So, I decided to deconstruct them. I threw all the ingredients in a crock pot. That way, I could get all the nostalgic flavors of the stuffed peppers without having all the prep work of actually stuffing the peppers.
Now, this recipe does require a little prep before hand, but it can all be done in the same pan so it’s easy cleanup.
First I diced up a red pepper, green pepper, and onion. I also minced three garlic cloves.
Then, I seasoned my ground turkey with salt and pepper. I then browned it in a Cast Iron Skillet. You can use any ground meat for this recipe. I have tried this with ground beef and chicken and they all turned out good. Although, the beef, in my opinion, was best. I just used what I had on hand.
After the meat was browned, I dumped it into the crock-pot.
Next, I sauteed the garlic and onions and used some red wine to deglaze the skillet. You want to make sure you do not skip this step. You want to get all those brown bits up off the pan. That’s where all the flavor is! If you choose not to cook with wine, this can also be done with stock. I also went ahead and threw a couple of bay leaves in here to let them warm up and release their aroma.
I then emptied the skillet of all its contents, juices and all, into the crock pot.
I placed the remaining ingredients in the crockpot: a 14.5 oz can of diced tomatoes, a 14.5 oz can tomato sauce, one tablespoon Italian seasoning, one teaspoon of maple syrup to cut the acidity of the tomatoes, one teaspoon of Worcestershire (this is optional, but it enhances the flavor), and then I used the tomato sauce can to measure out chicken stock. I used three cans. Salt and pepper to taste, stir, and set on low for six hours or high for four.
To finish this off, I served it over pearled barley. You could also use rice or even, pasta.
And there you have it. Super easy Un-stuffed peppers!
• 1 lb ground meat
• 1 tbsp oil
• 2 red peppers diced
• 2 green peppers diced
• 1 onion diced
• 3 cloves garlic minced
• 14.5 oz can of diced tomatoes
• 14.5 oz can tomato sauce
• 1/4 cup red wine (or stock)
• 1 tbsp Italian seasoning
• 2 bay leaves
• 1 tsp maple syrup
• 1 tsp of Worcestershire (optional)
• 3 tomato sauce cans full of stock
• salt and pepper to taste
Salt and pepper your ground meat. Heat a skillet and oil on medium high heat. Brown your meat and dump in the crockpot. If the pan is dry, add a little more oil. Saute your onions, garlic, and bay leaves. Pour in the wine or stock to deglaze the pan. Dump the onions and garlic with all the liquid into the crockpot. Add the rest of the ingredients to the crockpot and stir. Cook on low for 6 hours or high for 4.
This can be served with any grain of your choosing or eaten alone. We chose to serve over pearled barley.
* This post contains affiliate links. I may earn compensation, at no cost to you, if you click and make a purchase.