The Best Way To Prep Peppers Before Stuffing Them

You can't go wrong with any version of stuffed peppers. Traditionally, this delicious meal consists of bell peppers stuffed with rice, ground meat like beef or turkey, and tomato sauce topped with cheese. There are many variations of stuffed peppers (like cheesesteak stuffed peppers) but no matter what filling you choose, the best way to prepare the peppers is to pre-cook them before stuffing because it will help reduce your cooking time. It also ensures the peppers are fully cooked without overcooking the deliciousness inside when they go into the oven.

Many recipes suggest blanching your peppers. In case you don't know, you can blanch vegetables by placing them raw in boiling water for a short period of time, then moving them to ice water to stop the enzymes from breaking down. This results in peppers that are soft and ready to be filled without them getting soggy. While this is a perfectly fine route to take when you're cooking stuffed peppers, there are easier (and less messy) ways to prepare your peppers.

Prepping your peppers for stuffing

Instead of blanching your peppers, you can pre-cook them using a couple of different methods. First, wash your peppers, cut off the tops and stems, and remove the veins and seeds inside. To make this process easier, you can use a spoon to scoop out the veins and seeds. Then, cut them in half lengthwise or leave them whole after they're prepped.

When your peppers are ready to cook, you have two methods of attack when it comes to pre-cooking. Remember, stuffed peppers usually cook for up to 45 minutes, so pre-cooking the peppers while you work on the stuffing saves you time. The first method is boiling. For this route, place the peppers in a large pot and cover them with water. Next, bring them to a boil, reduce the heat, and continue cooking the peppers until tender. You can also pre-cook them in the oven before they're filled. Preheat your oven to the temperature recommended by the recipe, place them in the oven until they are tender, then fill and return the stuffed peppers to the oven for the remainder of the cooking time. Another quick way to get those peppers ready is to microwave them for two to three minutes before filling them and continuing the cooking process in the oven.