Stuffed Peppers with Broken Meatballs and Rice

Try the meatballs from Rachael's Veal and Pork Meatballs with Mushroom Gravy and Egg Noodles if you don't have a favorite recipe of your own.
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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 1 hr 35 min
  • Active: 20 min
  • Yield: s: 4 to 6 servings
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4 large bell peppers (any color)

Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

1 tablespoon EVOO, plus more for drizzling

6 plum tomatoes or small vine-ripened tomatoes

4 cloves garlic

1 fresh red chile pepper

1 red or mild yellow onion

2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh thyme

3 tablespoons butter

1/2 cup orzo

1 cup long-grain white rice

2 cups chicken stock

20 to 24 small meatballs, coarsely crumbled

1 1/2 to 2 cups shaved or grated Parmigiano-Reggiano


  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Halve the bell peppers lengthwise and remove the seeds. Season with salt and pepper and drizzle with EVOO. Place the peppers cut-side down in a large casserole dish. Cut an X in the hull of each pepper and roast for 20 minutes. Let cool slightly.
  3. Meanwhile, in a mixing bowl, grate the tomatoes on the large holes of a box grater, discarding the skins. (You should have about 2 cups.) Grate the garlic, chile pepper and onion into the bowl and season with salt and pepper. Add a drizzle of EVOO and the thyme.
  4. Heat the butter and 1 tablespoon EVOO in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the orzo and toast until golden and fragrant. Add half the tomato sauce and the rice and stir for 1 to 2 minutes. Add the stock and bring to boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer, cover and cook until the rice is tender, 17 to 18 minutes.
  5. Combine the rice mixture, meatballs and 3/4 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano. Spoon the filling into the peppers and top with the remaining tomato sauce, the remaining cheese and a drizzle of EVOO. Bake until heated through and the tops are browned, about 45 minutes.

Cook’s Note

The stuffed peppers can be covered and refrigerated for a make-ahead meal. Bring to room temperature before baking.