Since a photo of me sheepishly eating refried beans out of a bowl with a spoon wouldn’t make for a particularly interesting blog post (…or would it?), I thought I had better do something a little more interesting with the homemade refried beans I made last time. So, I bring you Mexican stuffed peppers!
These sweet bell peppers are stuffed to the top with homemade refried beans, rice, lime, coriander, cheese… absolutely delish. Don’t skip the squeeze of lime, as it adds such an amazing flavour to the rice!
(by the way, only red, yellow and orange peppers are allowed here in my eyes – green aren’t sweet enough!)
Stuffed peppers are a bit of a vegetarian standard, so I’m actually quite surprised that I have barely any stuffed pepper recipes on the blog (only one, in fact!). I think the reason is that the first time I made stuffed peppers, they went pretty wrong, and it’s put me off a bit.
Years and years ago, when I was about 17, I had my then-boyfriend (now husband!) over for dinner. My parents were away for the night (don’t worry mum, you knew about it at the time!), so I took the opportunity to make him a really nice three course dinner.
Dessert was amazing (I made a simple version of my salted chocolate pots), and I have absolutely no recollection of what I made for the main course (it was obviously not too memorable) – but I remember the stuffed peppers I made for the starter. I guess I had no real clue what I was doing at the time, because I just put the uncooked filling, which included loads of raw vegetables, into the uncooked pepper and stuck it in the oven.
Yep, it ended up as a watery mess. Any liquid the the veg held ended up in a deep (deeeep) pool at the bottom of the dish. He still ate it, but I’m sure it was mostly out of politeness.
There’s a simple way to get around this problem, though. I like to use a pre-cooked filling, which definitely helps. That way, you can roast the peppers on their own (upside down, so any liquid drains right out instead of sitting inside them), and then once you’ve added your filling, they just need to be popped under the grill or back into the oven for a few more minutes to crisp up. Easy!
Mexican stuffed peppers
- 4 bell peppers
- 1 tbsp oil
- ~ 8tbsp refried beans shop-bought or homemade
- ~ 8tbsp cooked rice I used brown rice
- Juice of 1/2 a lime
- 4 tbsp cheddar cheese grated
- 4 slices tomato
- Fresh coriander and sour cream to serve
- Cut the tops off the peppers, and remove the seeds and ribs. Rub them in a little oil, and place them cut-side down in a baking dish. Roast for about 30 minutes at 170°C (Gas Mark 3 / 325°F), until they are fairly soft but still holding their shape.
- Turn the peppers over, and add some refried beans to each pepper, until they are around half full (around 2tbsp per pepper, depending on their exact size). Press the beans right into the base of the pepper. Fill each pepper nearly to the top with cooked rice, and squeeze over the lime juice.
- Finish each pepper with a little grated cheese and a slice of tomato, then place under the grill (broiler) or back into the oven for a few minutes, until the cheese has melted and begun to crisp up.
- Serve topped with some sour cream and plenty of fresh coriander.