Stuffed peppers are a great snack. They are super versatile, easy to eat, delicious and nutritious. They’re perfect for parties, picnics, and just about anything else you’d like to serve up.
But what happens when you want to enjoy some stuffed pepper goodness without having to worry about making too much food? Or worse, wasting leftovers?
The good news is that you can freeze stuffed peppers — and there are several different methods you can use to do so.
Freezing stuffed peppers is easy. You just need to follow these simple instructions.
First, wash the peppers thoroughly. Then cut off the stems, remove the seeds and place the peppers into freezer bags. Make sure to label each bag with the type of pepper it contains and the date it was frozen.
When freezing stuffed peppers, it’s best to use small amounts of stuffing per pepper because large quantities tend to expand during thawing. Frozen stuffed peppers are great to serve as appetizers at parties.
They’re also perfect for making burritos.
First things first: Make sure your peppers are fully prepared. You don’t want to stuff them and then find out they’re still raw inside. Next up, let them cool completely.
This step is crucial because once they’re cold, you won’t be able to handle them properly. Then, wrap them individually in plastic wrap. Finally, pop them into the freezer.
When you take them out again, they’ll defrost nicely. You can cook them straight away or thaw overnight in the fridge. Just remember to keep them away from other foods. They might pick up flavors from other dishes.
If you want to make stuffed peppers ahead of time, it’s important to know how to handle them once they come out of the oven. Here’s what you need to do to keep them safe while freezing them.
First, cook the peppers according to your recipe.
Next, let them cool down completely. You don’t want to heat up the filling inside the pepper because it could cause the cheese to melt.
Once they are cooled, cut around the stem end of each pepper. Then, take off the caps and place them upside down on paper towels. This allows air to circulate under the cap and prevent condensation from forming.
The next step is to stuff the peppers with the prepared stuffing mixture. Make sure there are no holes left in the skin.
After that, wrap the whole thing tightly in plastic wrap and place it in a freezer bag.
When it’s finally time to eat those delicious stuffed peppers, here are a few tips to remember about how to defrost them. You might want to use one of the methods listed above depending on what type of pepper you’re cooking.
For frozen cooked stuffed peppers, simply place them in the oven at 350 degrees F for about 30 minutes or until they’re completely thawed and warm inside.
If you’d like to speed up the thawing process, you can put them in the microwave for 10 seconds per pound.
If you want a slower way to thaw frozen uncooked stuffed peppers, just pop them into the fridge overnight. When you take them out the next morning, they should be ready to go.
Tips And Tricks
Before prepping your stuffed peppers for the freezer, here are some things to consider. First, remember that cheese doesn’t freeze well.
So, if you plan to use cheese, make sure to include it in your stuffing recipe early on. You don’t want to add cheese to your stuffed pepper mixture once it’s already frozen.
Freezing the peppers will cause them to lose moisture, which could lead to soggy peppers. Also, if you’ve got leftovers, wrapping each pepper individually will help prevent freezer burn.
And finally, if you’ll be enjoying your stuffed peppers straight out of the freezer, wrap them up in foil. This will protect them from freezer burn and keep them looking great.
You can stuff almost anything into a pepper (see also ‘Stuffed Pepper Serving Suggestions: 20 Sensational Side Dishes‘). There are tons of recipes online including ingredients such as cheese, bacon, onions, garlic, and spices. They’re delicious and easy to make.
Stuffed Pepper Soup
To make delicious stuffed pepper soup, start out by preparing the stuffing. Start by sauteing chopped onion, celery, green bell pepper, red bell pepper, and garlic in olive oil over medium heat.
Add a pinch of salt and pepper and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Then add diced tomatoes with juice and simmer until slightly thickened, about 10 minutes.
Remove from heat and let cool. Once cooled, combine with shredded cheese and eggs. Mix well and set aside.
Next, prepare the soup base. Heat butter in a large stockpot over medium heat. When melted, add onions, carrots (see also ‘How Long Do Carrots Last?‘), celery, and garlic and cook until tender, about 8 minutes.
While vegetables cook, brown ground beef in batches in a skillet over high heat, breaking apart meat as it cooks. Drain off fat and return meat to the pan.
Stir in chili powder, cumin, oregano, and black pepper; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the meat is no longer pink, about 15 minutes.
Add vegetable mixture to pot along with chicken broth, water, crushed tomatoes, barbecue sauce, Worcestershire sauce, and bay leaf.
Bring to boil, reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 30 minutes. Remove the lid and continue cooking for another 20 minutes.
Remove bay leaf and stir in cream. Season with salt and pepper. Serve hot topped with crumbled feta cheese. Garnish with parsley and serve with crusty bread. Makes 4 servings.
Pepper Stuffing Tips
Stuffing peppers isn’t hard, but it takes some planning ahead. First you need to decide how many peppers you want to stuff.
Then you need to choose what type of pepper—sweet or hot—and select whether you’re making stuffed peppers for dinner or appetizers.
Finally, you need to pick out the ingredients you’ll use to fill the peppers. If you don’t know where to start, here are some tips to help you along.
1. Choose The Right Pepper
Peppers come in several shapes and sizes, including long skinny ones called jalapeños, round ones like poblano chiles, and short fat ones like banana peppers.
Each variety has different characteristics, such as heat level and texture, so consider those factors when choosing peppers.
2. Pick Your Flavor
Mild peppers include Anaheim and New Mexico chile peppers. Hot peppers include cayenne, habanero and Scotch bonnet peppers.
3. Decide How Much Stuffing You Want
You can make stuffed peppers small, medium or large. Small peppers hold about 3 tablespoons of stuffing each, while medium holds 4 to 5 tablespoons and large holds 7 to 8 tablespoons.
Use the chart below to figure out how much stuffing you need based on the size of the pepper.
Stuffing peppers is an easy enough process to follow, especially since it involves just a few ingredients. However, there are some things to keep in mind when stuffing peppers.
These include cooking the rice thoroughly, adding the correct amount of liquid, and avoiding overstuffing.
Some people tend to cut corners when stuffing peppers, which leads to one of three possible outcomes. They might accidentally put raw rice into the mix, which could cause the rice to burn in the oven.
Alternatively, they might add too little liquid, which could lead to mushy peppers. Finally, they might stuff the peppers too full, which could eventually lead to the filling bursting out of the pepper while baking.
So it’s good to be aware of these issues.
As we’ve seen, it is very easy to freeze stuffed peppers just ensure that you follow the above steps and you will have a ready made nutritious meal when time is tight.