- Alyssa Workman
These beef enchilada stuffed peppers are easy to make, perfect for meal prepping, freezer-friendly, and to top it all off, absolutely delicious!
These beef enchilada stuffed peppers are a fun twist on your average stuffed pepper. The enchilada sauce, green chilis, onions, and rice elevate them to the next level. If you’re new to The Clean Kitchen, first off, welcome! I’m so happy you’ve found your way here. If you’re reading this then odds are you care about your health and wellness. Apart from creating and sharing delicious recipes, I love to dive into the WHY behind the ingredients. Understanding the health benefits, how to be mindful of the common food marketing schemes, and how to make truly healthy choices helps us all achieve optimal health. So, let’s break down a few of the main ingredients in these beef enchilada stuffed peppers 🙂
Ingredient breakdown & tips!
You can use whatever color bell pepper your heart desires! I used a mixture of green, yellow, orange, and red bell peppers just because I think they’re pretty. Did you know that bell peppers are all the same, just ripened to different levels? Red peppers are the most ripe, which is why they have the sweetest taste, orange and yellow peppers are somewhere in the middle, and green peppers are harvested the earliest, resulting in a more “greeny” taste. If you can, you’ll definitely want to buy organic peppers. They are #13 out of 47 on the EWG's 2020 Shopper's Guide to Pesticides in Produce™ (the lower the number, the more contaminated the produce is with pesticides).
When looking for a clean enchilada sauce be mindful of hidden ingredients like sugar, soybean oil, flour (gluten), and artificial colors and dyes. For a clean and cost efficient enchilada sauce that you can make in less than 15 minutes check out my healthy homemade enchilada sauce recipe.
A little ground beef education...
Try to buy 100% grass-fed and finished beef. Organic is the second best, but still great, option. Not only are grass-fed cattle treated more humanely than conventionally raised cows, but their meat is also more nutritious. Dr. Mark Hyman, in his book “Food: What the Heck Should I Eat?,” explains “cows, sheep, and goats are ruminants, meaning they have four-chambered stomachs designed to extract the nutrients they need from grass, hay, and other forage . . . that is not what they are fed on factory farms. Instead, they’re forced to eat corn, soy, wheat, and other crops that are extremely cheap . . .Cattle raised on grain can develop bloating, liver abscesses, and other fatal conditions . . .Studies show that the incidence of these diseases decreases when cattle are fed their natural diet of grass and hay.”
Also from Dr. Hyman’s book: “Grass-fed meat has much better types of fat than grain-fed. . .when livestock are fed grains and other foods that are not part of their natural diet, the levels of inflammatory omega-6 fatty acids in their meat rise, while the levels of beneficial omega-3 fats plummet. If they’re fed a natural diet, the reverse happens. Grass-fed meat contains up to five times the omega-3 fats as conventionally raised meat.”
USDA Organic certified is a second-best option. Organic beef can be raised on a diet of grain and corn, but not exclusively. The USDA certification also has other requirements in place to make sure that the cows are treated humanely, not pumped with antibiotics, etc. Here are the USDA’s organic livestock requirements if you are interested!
Where to buy grass-fed or organic beef
My #1 recommendation would be your local farmer’s market. Most times it’s actually going to be cheaper than buying grass-fed or organic beef at the grocery store. Plus you are supporting local farmers! You can go in with a friend to buy a quarter, half, or whole grass-fed cow as long as you have the freezer space. Buying in bulk like this is always cheaper.
Costco has USDA Organic Certified ground beef that I buy if I can’t make it to the farmer’s market.
You can even just do a Google search for grass-fed meat near you! It’s a super simple way to find a local farm near you.
Can I use any type of rice in this recipe?
Yes, you absolutely can! I used wild rice because it has a lower glycemic index (it won’t spike your blood sugar as much) than most other types of rice. Compared to brown rice, wild rice also has less calories and more protein! You could also use quinoa instead of rice. I always have packs of organic brown rice in my freezer that I can throw in the microwave for a few minutes if I’m crunched for time. I’ve used that before in this recipe as well! Whatever works for you and your lifestyle!
Can I freeze these stuffed peppers?
Yes, actually stuffed peppers are one of the easiest meals to freeze. You can freeze them either before or after you’ve cooked them. If you cook them before freezing, make sure they are cooled completely before freezing, otherwise they will get soggy. Put them in a freezer safe dish to avoid freezer burn and/or wrap them a couple times with plastic wrap. When you’re ready to eat them, you don’t even have to defrost them before putting them in the oven. Bake them at the same temperature until they’re warm (for pre-cooked) or for raw peppers, bake for the same amount of time in the directions + 5 to 10 minutes (until they are warmed all the way through).
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
1 lb ground beef
1 small red onion, roughly chopped
2 4 oz cans green chiles
2 cups cooked rice (I used wild rice)
1 ½ cup enchilada sauce
Brown the ground beef, adding the onions once the beef is ¾ of the way cooked. Once beef is cooked, season with salt and pepper, to taste.
In a large mixing bowl, combine the cooked beef and onions, cooked rice, green chilies, and 1 cup enchilada sauce. Mix until well combined.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
Cut each pepper in half lengthwise and remove the stems, ribs, and seeds. I left the stems on for presentation. Place peppers on a foil-lined baking sheet or casserole dish (you may need to use more than one baking sheet or dish)
Fill each pepper with the beef enchilada mixture. Don’t skimp out! I like to completely overflow each pepper.
Use the other ½ cup of enchilada sauce to drizzle over each stuffed pepper before baking.
Bake peppers for about 35 minutes, or until peppers are soft. Serve immediately!