Elevate traditional stuffed peppers by turning them into smoked barbecue goodness and make new fans out of a classic dish!
This post was sponsored by Head Country to highlight their kick-butt line of Barbecue sauces and spice blends. All thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.
I often think of stuffed peppers as some sort of antiquated dish that only grandma’s serve. I have no idea where I got that notion from.
Every time I reinvent the a recipe like this (like these slow cooker Italian stuffed peppers or my healthy whole30 approved lamb-stuffed peppers), or heck, serve the classics, I am in love with the outcome. Something about substituting what would be a heavy dish for a fresh pepper and skipping some carbs makes it seem healthy and the flavors are always outstanding.
So, what’s up with these stuffed peppers?
I smoked a huge pork shoulder for a party last weekend and had a hefty portion left over for a variety of things. Not wanting an ounce to go to waste, but craving a healthy weeknight meal after a weekend of backyard barbecue gluttony, I decided to create a Tex-Mex inspired stuffed pepper with the pulled pork. I threw in some of my Head Country Bar-B-Que sauce for a fast weeknight meal.
Luckily, I made extras. I ended up having these two nights in a row, and for lunch on the third day as they were that kind of good. I love reinventing and repurposing food to see how far I can stretch my money and still creatively feed my recipe testers. This recipe nailed top marks for everything.
The difference between red, yellow, and green bell peppers
Ok, so you might be wondering about why a green bell pepper costs less than a red, orange, or yellow bell pepper. After all, aren’t they all just a bell pepper by any other name? Yes, indeed they are.
However, since red is the ripest and takes longer to grow, but also therefore has a shorter shelf life… the price just went up.
So why are yellow and orange, which are in the between stage of unripe green and fully ripe red, offered at a middle price point? Because that sort of thing would require much more mental effort getting one’s head around.
Much better to have all the non green levels of ripeness just cost more. That solves everything. Well, almost.
Because you are always welcome to buy a few green ones then ripen them on your own. It might take a week or two, but as long as the pepper is well ventilated and not in too humid a setting, then it will ripen away.
Consider it a little piece of performance art on your counter.
How do you prevent stuffed peppers from getting too soggy?
If the reason you don’t like Grandma’s stuffed peppers because you didn’t like all the sogginess, then there is a way to overcome that issue. Count on the rice to do the job.
But how you use the rice makes a difference. If you use uncooked rice, then the risk is the rice not cooking so I recommend using cooked rice.
It is also important for the rice to be cooled first. Why? Well, all that steam coming off the freshly cooked rice becomes part of the atmosphere rather than a big pool of scalding water in the bottom of your pepper.
What’s your favorite way to use up leftovers?
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Smoked Pulled Pork Stuffed Peppers
- Smoker or grill
- 4 bell peppers Larger the better
- 1 cup smoked pulled pork shredded
- ½ cup yellow rice cooked and cooled
- ¼ red onion minced
- ½ cup black beans rinsed and drained
- 4 oz cheddar cheese shredded , plus 2 oz for topping
- ½ cup Bar-B-Que Sauce Recommend using Head Country Apple Habanero plus 2 tbsp for topping
- Salt Pepper, and Fresh snipped Parsley for Garnish
- Preheat smoker to 225 - 300 with desired woodchips. I used oak for this.
- Carefully cut the peppers in half and remove seeds.
- Combine the pulled pork, yellow rice, onion, black beans, and 4 oz shredded cheese in a bowl.
- Toss with ½ cup of the Head Country Apple Habanero Bar-B-Que to coat.
- Stuff the peppers equally with with the pulled pork filling and top with cheddar cheese.
- Place on the smoker and cook until the cheese has melted and the peppers are tender, about 1 hour.
- Remove from the smoker, plate and serve with additional Head Country Bar-B-Que sauce drizzled over top, fresh snipped parsley or cilantro and salt and pepper to taste.