Cut Down The Cooking Time By Slicing Your Stuffed Peppers In Half

When you make stuffed peppers, it's common to cut off the top and keep them whole. Despite this tradition, we think there's a strong case for slicing peppers in half. The first, and perhaps most important, benefit of slicing the peppers in half is it reduces the cooking time. Halved peppers will soften faster than whole peppers, which means you don't even have to blanch them before you stuff them with rice, quinoa, ground beef, or whatever fillings you like to use.

Let's get into how much time slicing your stuffed peppers can save you. Every recipe varies, but many suggest cooking the peppers in the oven for 20 minutes before stuffing. This gives your peppers time to soften without having to waste water and effort to blanch them. To be fair, blanching whole peppers only takes 10 to 15 minutes, but you'll have to wait for the water to boil, so you are saving time by using halved peppers. Your oven will already be heated when it's time to return the stuffed peppers to cook, which only takes an additional 10 to 15 minutes. In comparison, whole peppers can take 30 minutes to an hour to cook depending on the recipe — even after they are blanched.

Tips for making sliced stuffed peppers

It's not just about saving you time in the kitchen. Slicing peppers in half also makes it easier to remove the veins and seeds without scooping out parts of the pepper. You should keep the stems on the peppers for this method to prevent the stuffing from falling out of the top. But, we don't recommend eating the stem. Another perk is that you can cook this version of stuffed peppers on a sheet pan, so the bottom of the pepper gets soft and the cheese and other toppings melt and get crunchy for more texture. It also prevents the problem of how to keep your whole peppers upright while cooking.

When it comes to what you should stuff the sliced peppers with, there are many options. The traditional way to go is to use rice, ground beef, and tomatoes, then top it with shredded cheese. You can swap the beef for turkey and the rice with quinoa. But one of the best things about stuffed pepper recipes is the variations out there. If you're a fan of Philly cheesesteaks, make your filling with onions, more bell peppers, and thinly sliced steak. And if you want a dash of Mexican influence, use black beans and jalapeños, and add in your favorite taco seasoning.