Parents are always asking me for tips and tricks to get their kiddos to eat more veggies. We know how important vegetables are for fiber and essential vitamins, but sometimes it seems like an impossible task to get a picky child to eat one!
My boys love stuffed bell peppers because the flavors come together so deliciously that they don’t even realize they’re eating so much produce. And I love how easy this recipe is to throw together! Ground meat, rice, corn, beans and cheese… it’s like your favorite taco without the tortilla. Simply brown the meat and onions with spices, then toss in the rest of the ingredients to your instant pot and set to pressure cook for 8 minutes. Everything is ready in a flash!
You can easily modify this recipe to match your family’s tastes. Any ground meat will work: turkey, chicken, beef, or pork. Black beans or white beans? Add the corn or just skip it! I’ve even swapped the stewed tomatoes for a can of green enchilada sauce or chunky salsa. So many ways to switch things up! If your child doesn’t like bell peppers, this easy stuffing tastes fantastic inside a seeded beefsteak tomato! Simply cut off the top and scoop out all the seeds and insides to make a small bowl. Or give zucchini boats a try! Cut a zucchini in half lengthwise, then trim off the stem ends. Use a spoon to carefully scoop the flesh out of the zucchinis. While the stuffing is cooking, bake the zucchinis on a parchment lined baking sheet for 20 mins at 400 degrees.
Stuffed Bell Pepper Recipe
- Instant Pot
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 lb ground meat (turkey, pork, chicken, beef)
- 1 red onion, diced
- 1 tsp ancho or traditional chili powder
- 1 tsp salt
- ½ tsp cumin
- 2 cups water
- 1 (15 oz) can stewed tomatoes with garlic, oregano and basil
- 1 cup white rice
- 1 (15 oz) can black beans
- 1 (8.75 oz) can corn or 1 cup frozen corn kernels
- 4 bell peppers, halved and seeded
- 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
- Chopped cilantro for garnish
- Optional: avocado slices or guacamole on top
- Set your Instant Pot to saute for 5 minutes. Heat oil in the bottom of the pot, then add meat, onion, chili powder, salt and cumin. Cook and stir, breaking up meat to crumble it. Do not worry if the meat is still slightly pink, it will finish browning when you pressure cook everything together.
- Stir in water, rice, stewed tomatoes, black beans, and corn. Mix evenly, then close and lock the lid. Select high pressure and set for 8 minutes. Allow 10-15 minutes for pressure to build.
- When the instant pot is finished, wait at least 5 minutes to release pressure.
- Meanwhile, cut bell peppers in half and remove all seeds.
- For an easy steaming method that won’t heat up your kitchen, wrap each bell pepper half in a damp paper towel and microwave on a plate for 1 minute. Flip over and repeat for a softer pepper, or just heat once to leave a little crunch.
- Spoon the mixture into a steamed bell pepper half and top with shredded cheese, chopped cilantro and avocado slices.
Modifications for Age
For toddlers and preschoolers I like to cut a half up into bite sized pieces, easy for little hands to pick up or good practice for using their forks or spoons. For a baby, you can take some of the filing and a softened pepper and blend together until desired consistency for them to also be able to join in the fun. You can also add seasoning at the very end, so you can pull some out for baby with less salt and spice. Saute a few minutes longer once you add the spice in for everyone else.
This is a a super easy and tasty meal that the whole family can enjoy together!