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Thread: Can I Freeze Stuffed Peppers?

  1. #1

    Can I Freeze Stuffed Peppers?

    This week's overabundance in my CSA basket is sweet red peppers - lucky me! One of DH's favorite dishes is Cooks Illustrated stuffed peppers which I make with soy crumbles instead of beef. I'd like to make a batch of them and freeze them. Other than the cheese maybe getting a little rubbery, does it seem like these would freeze well?

    Stuffed Bell Peppers

    4 medium peppers -- red, yellow or orange
    1/2 cups long grain white rice, uncooked
    1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
    1 medium onion -- chopped fine, about 1 cup
    12 ounces ground chuck
    3 medium garlic cloves
    1 (14 1/2 ounce)can diced tomatoes -- drained, 1/2 cup juice reserved
    1 1/4 cups Monterey jack or cheddar cheese -- shredded
    2 tablespoons fresh parsley leaves -- chopped
    1/4 cup ketchup

    Trim 1/2 inch of tops of peppers, discard cores and seeds. Bring 4 quarts
    water to boil in large stockpot over high heat. Add 1 tablespoon salt and
    bell peppers. Cook until peppers just begin to soften, about 3 minutes.
    Using slotted spoon, remove peppers from pot, drain off excess water, and
    place peppers cut-sides up on paper towels. Return water to boil; add
    rice and boil until tender, about 13 minutes. Drain rice and transfer to
    large bowl. Set aside.

    Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees.

    Meanwhile, heat oil over medium high heat in heavy skillet. Add onion and
    cook, stirring occasionally, until softened and beginning to brown, about
    5 minutes. Add beef and cook, breaking beef into small pieces with
    spoon, until no longer pink, about 4 minutes. Stir in garlic and cook
    until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Transfer mixture to bowl with rice,
    stir in tomatoes, 1 cup cheese, parsley, and salt and pepper to taste.

    Stir together ketchup and reserved tomato juice in small bowl.

    Place peppers cut-side up in 9 inch square baking dish. Divide filling
    evenly among peppers. Spoon 2 tablespoons ketchup mixture over each
    filled pepper and Sprinkle each with 1 tablespoon of remaining cheese.
    Bake until cheese is browned and filling is heated through, 25 - 30
    minutes. Serve immediately.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2000
    Location
    Columbus, OH, USA
    Posts
    3,033
    I'm not an expert on freezing, but since there are lots of commercially frozen stuffed pepper dinners, I imagine homemade peppers would freeze just as well.

    Cheers,
    Phoebe

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    Milwaukee, WI
    Posts
    450
    I've never used soy crumbles, always ground beef, but yes I freeze stuffed peppers every year when I can buy the peppers cheap at the farmers market. Just be aware it takes several days for them to really thaw out, when you take them out of the freezer to reheat.
    Cheryl-If I was organized, I'd be dangerous.

  4. #4
    Thanks. Cherise, do you bake them before you freeze them? I'm cooking the rice right now (trying it in the crock pot this time.)

  5. #5
    Yes, as a personal chef I freeze them all the time. I usually bake them for my customers so they can thaw and have a quick heat. If you wanted to do them unbaked I think they would be fine. I do blanch my peppers for a couple minutes before and if freezing unbaked would blanch the peppers just 2 or 3 minutes.
    Carlin
    website:www.chefcarlin.com

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    New Jersey
    Posts
    16
    While I don't use the soy crumbles, either, I almost always freeze stuffed peppers when I make them. It's just hubby and I, so we have leftovers A LOT, and the peppers always freeze well.
    Amy

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    Milwaukee, WI
    Posts
    450
    Sorry sugaree, I just saw your follow up question today. I tend to just pop in to the BB for a few minutes on my lunch break most days. This probably won't help now, but I don't bake my pepppers before freezing. I blanch the peppers for a few minutes, cook the beef and rice before stuffing, and then just assemble them and pour my sauce over the top, then freeze. Such a great meal when the weather turns cool, and buying a bushel basket of peppers at the market this time of year, they are so cheap!
    Cheryl-If I was organized, I'd be dangerous.

  8. #8
    Actually Cherise, your timing was perfect. I got sidetracked and didn't make the peppers until this morning. If I hadn't read your message, I would not have put the sauce on before freezing, so thanks. They are now in the freezer, along with so much other stuff I'm scared to open the door!

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