Spooky-Faced Stuffed Bell Peppers

In Foodie Tips & Tidbits by Christine McKellar

Halloween is the time to indulge in fun and fantasy. All that creativity shouldn’t stop short of the kitchen. Whether you have a tribe of ghosts, ghouls and goblins or just a hungry poppa ogre waiting to be fed, these spooky jack-o-lantern faced stuffed bell peppers will satisfy the appetite and tickle the funny bone at the same time.

Spooky Stuffed Bell Peppers

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease an 8×8 inch baking dish.

6 green, yellow, orange (or mixed combination) bell peppers
1 pound ground beef sirloin
4 ounces ground Italian sausage
1 cup cooked brown rice
1 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 (24 ounce) jar Classico® Tomato and Basil Pasta Sauce, divided
2 cups shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
Fresh chopped parsley

Wash the peppers, and cut jack-o’-lantern faces into the peppers with a sharp paring knife, making triangle eyes and noses, and pointy-teeth smiles. Slice off the tops of the peppers and scoop out the seeds and cores. Keep the tops for decoration as hats.

Combine the ground sirloin, Italian sausage, brown rice, Italian seasonings, salt, pepper, garlic, Parmesan cheese, egg, and 1/2 cup Classico(R) Tomato & Basil sauce in a large bowl. Mix until combined.

Stuff the prepared peppers lightly with the mixed ingredients and place them into the prepared baking dish so they lean against each other.

Bake until the peppers are soft and internal temperature of the meat reaches 165 degrees F, about 1 1/2 hours. Top with remaining Pasta Sauce, sprinkle the mozzarella cheese on top and lightly broil until cheese is melted. Crown with sliced pepper tops.