Sweet bell peppers with savory meatball minestrone filling... all topped with cheesy deliciousness!
There are days when you’re in the mood to be in the kitchen all day … and days where you can’t even look at a cooking utensil! Amidst the hustle and bustle of life, meal prep can be awfully tough to squeeze in. Often, we turn to unhealthy options like fast food, which can leave you feeling sapped of energy and run down.
But what if we told you we had a recipe that only took 10 minutes of prep time and 45 minutes of cook time? Leaving you free to roam the house tackling chores, playing with kiddos, or catching up on work?
Today, we’re sharing a meatball stuffed peppers recipe, which is not only nutritious, it’s pretty darn easy, too!
Facts about peppers
If you’re looking to spice up your meal routine, peppers are a delicious and nutritious option to add to your shopping cart! Let’s learn a bit more about this delicious food and answer the often asked question, “are peppers fruits or vegetables?”
History of cooking with peppers
Bell peppers originated in Mexico, Central America, and South America. They were popularized by Christopher Columbus, who, upon this travels, happened across the bell pepper when searching for peppercorn plants to produce black pepper. Columbus returned to Europe with an assortment of bell peppers and they became a hit! People started using peppers as a standalone food, as well as in condiments and as a spice.
Fun fact: some countries refer to bell peppers as capsicum!
Are peppers good for you? Well, the short answer to that is … yes! The nutritional benefits of bell peppers vary depending on their color. Red bell peppers supply more potassium, vitamin C, and folate compared to others, and green peppers are more abundant in protective plant compounds called polyphenols.
Bell peppers have many health benefits, like reducing the risk of cataracts and macular degeneration, which often happens due to age-related sight loss. Red peppers are rich in lutein and zeaxanthin, which are carotenoids that appear to improve eye health. Bell peppers also help reduce the likelihood of anemia, especially within women and girls, due to their high amounts of iron and vitamin C.
Different types of peppers
While bell peppers are indeed good for you, they’re awfully fun to look at and brighten up your kitchen! Bell peppers fall into the Sweet Pepper family, which is more sweet than spicy.
Red bell peppers are the sweetest of all bell peppers and go through the full process of ripening, which gives them a signature sweet and fruity flavor. Red peppers are versatile and perfect for pastas, salads, and char grilling alongside your favorite burger!
Yellow bell peppers are harvested from the vine once they’re reached maturity and contain vitamin C, niacin, and folate. Compared to other pepper counterparts, they’re even a popular choice for juicing alongside apples, lime, and ginger due to their sweet flavor.
Orange bell peppers are a bit tangier than green and contain 3 times the daily recommended amount of vitamin C! They’re not quite as well-suited for grilling as red and yellow bell peppers, but they work well in salads, sauces, dips and dressings.
And finally to cap off the colorful rainbow of bell peppers, green peppers remain on the vine the shortest amount of time compared to other bell pepper varieties. This gives them a tangy taste that is considered refreshing and crisp. They pair well with tomatoes!
Popular pepper recipes
While we share a delicious and nutritious bell pepper recipe below, there are many other ways to enjoy bell peppers, too! These bell pepper recipe ideas are perfect for instances when you buy too many peppers at the grocery store and are looking for ways to use them.
Why not try bell peppers as part of a fajita in a bowl? Or when hosting a party, as part of a grilled red pepper dip with pretzels?
Are peppers fruits or vegetables?
We’re guessing you didn’t see this one coming … peppers are technically a fruit! That’s because peppers are a seed-bearing product that grows from the “ovary” of a flowering plant. A botanical fruit would have at least one seed and grow from the flower of a plant.
Keeping this definition in mind, peppers are therefore classified as a fruit because they contain tiny seeds in the middle and grow from the flower of the pepper plant.
So the next time you’re looking to drop a fun fact on unsuspecting friends or family members, you now have this gem in your back pocket. ;) Just ask “are peppers fruits or vegetables?” and watch their amazement and the unexpected answer.
Ways to eat peppers
While the recipe below features oven-roasted peppers, there are several ways you can enjoy this sweet and delicious fruit!
You don’t need to cook bell peppers to love their flavor! Bell peppers that are cut up in long strips are an awesome complement to dips, like hummus. Or, when diced, as a sweet and tangy addition to pico de gallo. Heck, we’d even eat them as a standalone!
Bell peppers can easily be cooked in the oven. Just line a baking sheet with foil and cook for 15-20 minutes … that’s it! If you’re looking to mix in a variety of vegetables, bell peppers pair well with cooked cauliflower, zucchini, and asparagus. This assortment can easily be cooked on a Sunday and enjoyed throughout the week in salads, quinoa bowls, on sandwiches, and more!
A summertime must! Getting the grill out signifies the start of summer, and what better way to ring in a new season than with delicious bell peppers? The next time you’re getting ready to fire up the grill, add some bell peppers! Slice them into thin strips and cook on the grill for charred, delicious flavor. They can be enjoyed on top of grilled chicken or beef burger … or by themselves.
Meatball Stuffed Peppers Recipe
The recipe options for bell peppers are endless! But there are times when you either don’t have ingredients on hand or don’t want to take the time to cook … or clean up the kitchen.
That’s where Proper Good comes in! Our Meatball Minestrone Soup is used below with bell peppers but is great as a standalone, too. While bell peppers aren’t in the soup itself, it features thick tomato and grass-fed beef bone broth base with beef & pork meatballs, farro, kidney beans and veggies.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes
3-4 bell peppers, cut in half
1 lb ground beef
2 pouches Proper Good Meatball Minestrone Soup
8 oz shredded cheese
- Preheat oven at 375 degrees. Place peppers in baking pan and cook for 15 minutes.
- Saute beef in a pan on medium heat until browned. Stir in 2 pouches of Proper Good Meatball Minestrone soup.
- Remove peppers from oven and fill with meat and minestrone filling. Top with shredded cheese.
- Return to the oven and cook for the remaining 30 minutes.
Yum, yum! Bell peppers for the win. :) We hope you enjoy cooking these bell peppers as much as we enjoyed writing about them!
If you’re looking for a complementary recipe to go along with bell peppers, give these a try: