Stuffed Peppers


A few days ago, my friend, Machel, asked me if I had a stuffed peppers recipe. “Do I ever!” is what I responded with…and then I got to thinking–do I really have a recipe for this? These stuffed peppers fall under the ‘make it until it tastes right’ family recipe category. Meaning there are no measurements–just ingredients. So for all of you wanting to make my Mom’s stuffed peppers in the near future, give this recipe a try. It’s just delicious and will stick to your ribs. Good food for the upcoming months.

Side note–after I had my baby, my Mom came into town for a good two weeks to help with the little one and fill my fridge and freezer to the brim with prepared meals. This was one of the things she made and my husband (and my brother in law) went crazy over them! They both were puzzled as to why we (my sister and I) had never made them before. I didn’t really have an answer. So now he requests them, and I make them.

Hope you all are in the mood for some German food tonight! Or maybe it’s Hungarian. (My ancestors are from both places, so we eat food from both places and things get confusing!) Either way, these are mighty tasty.

Stuffed Peppers
yield: 4-6 servings
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1 lb. ground beef (80/20)
1 lb. ground pork
1 medium onion, diced
1/2 cup long grain white rice
6 green bell peppers*
1 large can tomato juice
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup lard or shortening
1/4 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup granulated sugar

Prepare bell peppers by cutting the tops off and removing the seeds and the ribs. Wash and set aside. In large bowl, mix together beef, pork, onion, rice, salt and pepper. Stuff bell peppers with meat mixture.

*If you do not have enough green peppers, then form meatballs with the remaining stuffing–this is a great way to get your kids to eat this meal, too!*

In a large pot, pour in the entire can of tomato juice. Rinse can out with 1/2 cup water. Place stuffed peppers and any meatballs into the pot. Try to submerge them as best as possible. Cover with lid and heat pot over medium high heat. Once it comes to a boil, reduce heat to low and simmer lightly for 1-2 hours.

In a large skillet, melt shortening over medium heat. Sprinkle in flour and whisk until smooth. Cook roux until it deepens in color to be a medium brown. Stir frequently to make sure it doesn’t burn.

Using a slotted spoon, remove stuffed peppers and meatballs from pot leaving the hot cooking liquid. Pour browned roux into remaining tomato juice (it will bubble violently for a few seconds at first, so just be aware that it is totally normal). Stir well. After a few minutes, the tomato juice should thicken and become more of a sauce. Stir in sugar and more salt and pepper. It will be sweet–as it should be 🙂 Serve with rye bread–or any other bread you have around, but really, rye is the best.

Recipe TIPS
-You can use all ground beef if you don’t have/can’t find ground pork.


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  1. These are sooo good. The sauce is to die for. This was a hit for the entire family. Thanks Lauren!

  2. These look delicious! Just a quick question, how large is the can of tomato juice that you use? Also should the rice be cooked or uncooked when making the meat mixture? Can’t wait to make this!

  3. When I make my Mom’s Stuffed Green Peppers, I make a meatloaf/meatball type mixture from ground beef, egg, bread crumbs, chopped onion, spaghetti seasonings (including grated parmesan and romano cheese, oregano, a splash of crushed red pepper spice, parsley, garlic (grated or powder) and onion powder, salt and pepper, etc.) to taste. Stuff the green peppers with this mixture (press and fill – meat will shrink as it cooks). In the meantime, I have made a meatless spaghetti sauce (or use jarred sauce – doctoring until tastes like mine with many of same spices added to meat mixture). Place stuffed peppers upright in baking dish next to each other. Spoon sauce over and around green peppers so they are covered with the sauce (or as close to covered as you can get). Start with baking dish covered. Uncover for last 30 minutes. Bake in 350 degree oven until green pepper very soft and meat mixture cooked through (1-1/2 to 2 hours)(may take longer but house will smell incredible). Place green pepper and sauce (and I always make extra meatless spaghetti sauce) over spaghetti. Cover with romano and parmesan. Serve. I have never heard complaints. This was a special dish requested for birthday dinners when we got to ask for anything we wanted.

  4. well i have to say i will try these sound really tastey. i havent had a good stuffed pepper since my mother passed on. she used to make theam with canned tomatoe juice from are garden and work her magic at the stove from there. i too am hungarian slovak i iknow these will be good maybe better than my moms .i”ll let yaha know and buy the way you forgot the mashed potatoes thank you for the recipe dave

  5. What size tomatoe juice?

  6. These where delishious! My husband talked about these peppers for two days! We loved them.

  7. This quite similar to the recipe my grandmother from Cincinnati passed down. I live in California and when a friend asked if I had a good stuffed pepper recipe, I copied it word for word. Not until after my Latin American friend got the strangest look on her face while reading it did it occur to me that my grandmother called them ‘mangos’!! we had quite a laugh, but I still love cooking them this way instead of baking. Thanks for bringing back a sweet memory.

  8. You never answered the many questions about what size can of tomato juice. Nor, did you correct this recipe although it appears it was originally posted over 5 years ago.

    So, I ask – what size of tomato juice?

  9. This recipe looks like an example of the genius of home cooks ( that is,fabulous), but you never clarified the questions asked six years ago regarding the size of a “large can of tomato juice.” I have no idea what you mean by a large can; are you referring to a 36 ounce large can, or…? Canned tomato juice is not a product that I normally buy, so I do not have a frame of reference. Please help! I would love to make this recipe#

  10. Hi Lauren. I’m a new widow with two sons and am just now getting back to cooking regularly after we had to relocate. I lost all my “go to” places to get many food items so when I saw the rolls in your photo, I wanted to ask if you had a good recipe for buttery rolls so I can make some for Thanksgiving next week. My sons adore bread and miss terribly the soft, buttery rolls we used to get. Fingers crossed you have something or can point me to a good recipe. Thank you. I enjoy your posts and hope to muster myself up to make some of your recipes this week.

  11. I love this recipe 🙂

  12. I have to admit, your receipe left me in tears! I have been craving my grandma’s receipe for stuffed peppers for years and havent found anything even close until I found yours. We too are German so Im sure thats why the receipe is is close to hers. Grandma always put some lemon juice in her sauce, it really freshend up the tomato juice. And measurements lol, nope. It was always ” a little of this, alot of that and NEVER forget the love! She never measured the juice or anything, just had to be enough to cover the peppers and meatballs. She served it over mashed potatos and buttered rye bread. thanks for sharing



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