My family eats a lot of stuffed bell peppers. Traditional style or deconstructed, Mexican or Italian flavors; the kids and my husband tend to just love them. These meatballs are another awesome way to use the bell peppers that abound this time of year.
These meatballs are loaded with all of our favorite stuffed bell pepper ingredients. As easy to make as meatballs can possibly be, these were a hit with every member of my family.
Spicy Stuffed Bell Pepper Meatballs
- 1 lb ground beef
- 1/2 cup cooked rice
- 1/2 green bell pepper fine dice
- 1/2 yellow onion fine dice
- 1 egg
- 1/2 cup panko or breadcrumbs
- 1/2 cup shredded cheese I used a Mexican cheese blend
- 8 ounce tomato sauce
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1/4 teaspoon granulated garlic or garlic powder
- 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 14 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 3/4 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a skillet over medium high heat, warm a small drizzle of olive oil. Add the diced peppers and onions. Saute for a few minutes, until they are softened. Remove from the heat. Stir together the tomato sauce, Worcestershire and all of the spices then set aside.
- Place the ground beef in a large mixing bowl and use a wooden spoon to break up the meat. Add the rice, onion and pepper mixture, panko, egg and cheese. Add about ½ of the tomato sauce mixture and stir gently with a wooden spoon. Mix lightly with your hands to combine well without over mixing.
- Using a 1" scoop (for small bite-size meatballs) or a 1 1/2" scoop (for larger ones) place the meatballs on the baking sheet. Round with your hands to smooth out each meatball. (If your meatballs are cracking, wet your hands to help smooth them.) I usually drop a scooped portion into one hand and smooth it gently before placing them on the trays.
- Bake the small meatballs for 15-16 minutes, larger ones for 20-25 minutes depending on size. Remove from the oven and cover to keep warm. Serve with the remaining tomato sauce drizzled on top or as a dip. Enjoy!