I love my Fixate cookbook–I have a handful of recipes from it that I make all the time (Grandma’s Tomato Sauce and the Clean Eating Sloppy Joes are a couple of examples), and now there is a Fixate cooking show on Beachbody On-Demand that I watch every week to get new recipe ideas! I was watching it last week and got reminded of this stuffed pepper recipe that is so good, but also a little involved and complicated.
On the show, Bobby Calabrese (the chef) mentioned that instead of buying chicken breasts and cutting them up into bite-sized pieces to cook, you could just get ground chicken to save some time and energy. GENIUS! I’m not sure I would ever have come up with that on my own, but it’s such a simple tip!
The original recipe calls for quinoa and corn, but I opted to leave those out because 1) I don’t really like corn, 2) I didn’t want that many carbs in this meal, and 3) I was being lazy and didn’t want to add quinoa. If you love corn and don’t care too much about the extra carbs, feel free to add 1 cup cooked corn and 2 cups cooked quinoa to the filling when you add the black beans.
If you want to make this recipe even easier and quicker, you can skip the whole baking step and slice your peppers into large strips and use them as a chip alternative. You could also skip the peppers altogether and just eat the filling alone, or in taco shells or with tortilla chips. Check your grocery for pre-chopped onion and minced garlic in the jar. That saves a few steps, as well! Last, instead of chopping the cilantro I usually just tear it by hand as I add it to the dish and that is a lot faster, as well.
Busy Mom’s Chicken-Stuffed Peppers (adapted from Fixate)–serves 4
4 bell peppers (any color), cut in half and seeds/ribs removed
2 tsp olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 lb ground chicken (can up this to 2 lbs to bulk up the filling if you prefer)
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 tbsp cumin
2 tsp chili powder
1 tsp paprika
Salt, to taste (at least 1/4 tsp)
1 cup tomato sauce (I used plain canned tomato sauce, no salt or sugar added)
5 tbsp fresh cilantro, chopped
1 tbsp lime juice
Optional: 1 cup shredded monterey jack cheese
Optional: Hot sauce, to taste, for serving
Preheat oven to 375F. Place peppers skin side down on a baking dish (spray with cooking spray). Set aside.
Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat until hot. Add onion and cook for 5-8 minutes, until soft and translucent, stirring frequently. Add garlic and cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Add ground chicken, cumin, chili powder, paprika, and salt and cook, stirring frequently, until chicken is cooked all the way through and no longer pink.
Add tomato sauce, black beans, cilantro, and lime juice and reduce heat to medium low. Stir together until all ingredients are fully mixed and heated through. Remove from heat and turn heat off.
Scoop a heaping 1/2 cup of filling into each pepper half. Cover with foil and bake for 35 minutes, until peppers are soft. If desired, top each pepper with cheese and bake for 3-5 more minutes uncovered until cheese is melted.
Let cool about 5 minutes before serving. Top with hot sauce if desired. Each serving is 2 pepper halves!