A simple summer dinner idea!
The simple summer dinner ideas continue with this stuffed peppers skillet recipe. I love that this recipe is easy, tasty, uses veggies and has a great Mexican flavor. My family is pretty much sold on anything Mexican and this dish is no different. It’s a great twist for taco night and doesn’t require using the oven at all, which is perfect for summer evenings!
Another good thing about this recipe is the protein is pretty flexible depending on what you like or have on hand. I usually use ground pork (not sausage) for this, but ground beef, ground turkey, tofu or chicken would also be good with it.
To make sure you’re all prepared once you start cooking, start with prepping your bell pepper. I use a green bell pepper for this stuffed peppers skillet recipe, but you can use any color depending on what you like. We like green bell peppers and they are usually the cheapest, so that’s what I use. Clean and dice your pepper. Set it aside.
For this recipe, you’re going to also use boxed rice to serve it on. You can totally make the rice in your rice cooker if that’s you thing, but I went with boxed Spanish rice. Mexican rice works as well. Check your directions for the rice and get it started so it has plenty of time to cook as needed. Here is what I used:
Cook the protein
Once you have prepped your pepper and sorted out cooking your rice, the next step in this stuffed peppers skillet recipe is to cook your protein. I use ground pork, but as I mentioned, ground beef, ground turkey, chicken or tofu also work. Put a drizzle of vegetable oil in a skillet over medium-high heat and add your protein. (For a drizzle of oil, I’d say 1/2 tablespoon.) I use 1/2 pound of meat for our family because we aren’t big meat eaters, but if your family likes meat more, feel free to use 1 pound of meat.
Add your protein and cook and crumble it until it is no longer pink and is cooked through. When your protein is cooked through, add in 1 tablespoon of taco seasoning. I used Old El Paso taco seasoning, because it’s what I had on hand. You can use whatever taco seasoning you prefer, including your own mix if you’d rather. Stir it into the protein and simmer for about three minutes to let it combine.
While the protein is cooking, keep check on your rice and deal with your can of fire roasted tomatoes. You can definitely add them in as-is, but we aren’t big on chunky tomatoes, so I like them pureed. Here is my tomato process:
The stuffed peppers skillet only needs 1/2 cup of tomatoes, so I used the remaining pureed tomatoes in my rice, because it also called for diced tomatoes.
Cook the veggies
If your family will all eat all the veggies, go ahead and toss them in with the protein to cook for this stuffed peppers skillet. However, if you also have picky eaters like me, you’ll want to cook the veggies separately. I moved the seasoned ground pork to a small pan and kept it on low to keep the meat warm.
I used the skillet I had cooked the meat in with the drippings still in it and added 1/2 tablespoon of vegetable oil and then started adding the veggies. First, I put in the pureed roasted tomatoes, then the green pepper, 1 cup of corn (no need to thaw it) and 3 cups of spinach.
Let the veggies hang out and simmer for about 5 minutes over medium heat and then simmer for 3 to 5 minutes until they are cooked through and the spinach is wilted. If you need to, you can add up to 3 tablespoons of water if your veggies need to simmer longer as your rice cooks or for any other reason. The water just keeps the veggies from drying out.
Put it together
And that’s it. Now you just put it all together. It’s so good all mixed together, so I put down rice and then layer on the veggies and the meat. My pickier eater can get smaller amounts of veggies (one avoids spinach, for example). And my pickiest eater, I made a taco using the ground pork instead. I suggest serving it with some tortilla chips for crunch. The stuffed peppers skillet is yummy to scoop up with a chip or two as well!
Stuffed Peppers Skillet
- 1 bell pepper any color
- 1-1/2 tablespoons olive or vegetable oil
- 1/2 to 1 pound ground pork, turkey or beef (Tofu also works!)
- 1 tablespoon taco seasoning
- 3 cups spinach
- 1 cup frozen corn
- 1/2 cup fire-roasted tomatoes
- 1 box Mexican or Spanish rice
- Dice your bell pepper; set it aside.
- Check the directions on your rice box and start the rice, so it has time to cook.
- Put a drizzle (about 1/2 tablespoon) of vegetable oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add your protein; crumble and cook through.
- Add taco seasoning and let it simmer for 2 to 3 minutes.
- While the protein cooks, puree that fire roasted tomatoes if preferred.
- Put the bell pepper, spinach, corn and fire-roasted tomatoes into the pan with the protein. If you prefer to keep them separate, then move the protein to another container and use the skillet the meat cooked in to add the veggies. Put 1 tablespoon of oil into the skillet and then add the veggies.
- Cook the vegetables for 5 minutes on medium heat; reduce heat to simmer for 3 to 5 more minutes until the vegetables are tender. (If you are cooking the veggies separately and they seem dry, add up to 3 tablespoons of water, one at a time, until they are moist.)
- Serve with the rice. We prefer it with the rice on bottom topped with the veggies and meat. Tortilla chips are also a great addition for scooping up the stuffed peppers skillet!
Check out these other simple summer dinner ideas: