Calling all Spicy Food Lovers! Here's how this recipe came to be: 1) These gorgeous, fresh, colorful bell peppers called to me from the Produce Department at Sam's; 2) Sweet Harold LOVES stuffed peppers, and 3) I was ready to develop a Taco Tuesday recipe that didn't include carb filled tortillas or taco shells OR a rice filling!
These beauties pack some serious heat, but you can adjust the flavor level to be suit your taste. The chipotle flavor comes from two sources: one is Chipotle Olive Oil which is used to saute' the onions and to coat the peppers before cooking and the second is from canned chipotles in adobo sauce. Yes, that's what I'm talking about!
This recipe used 2 1/2 peppers. lol The number of peppers you'll need will be based upon the size of the peppers. The filling can easily be doubled. Such a great meal for entertaining as well. Let's get cooking!
2 - 4 multicolored bell peppers, sliced horizontally through the stem (seeds and membranes removed)
2 T. chipotle olive oil
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spread a little of the olive oil in the bottom of an 11 x 7 baking dish. Using your hands, coat the inside and outside of peppers with the remaining olive oil. Place in oven for 5 - 7 minutes.
While the peppers pre-cook, prepare the filling:
1 - 2 T. chipotle olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, diced
1 lb. ground chuck
1 - 2 T. chili powder
1 t. ground cumin
1 t. granulated garlic
1/2 t. ground coriander
1 t. salt
1/2 t. freshly ground black pepper
1/3 cup salsa or Picante sauce
1 - 2 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, minced (here's where you can adjust the heat level!)
1/2 cup shredded Mexican blend cheese
In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat and add onions. Cook, stirring frequently until onions begin to soften. Add ground chuck, breaking it up with a wooden spoon, and cook until no longer pink.
Add all the seasonings, and continue cooking, until seasonings are fragrant, about 4 - 5 minutes. Stir in salsa and chipotle peppers. Sprinkle with the cheese, turn off heat, and stir until cheese is melted. Remove from heat.
Carefully spoon filling into halves of peppers mounding filling slightly. When peppers are filled, place in oven and bake for 20 - 22 minutes.
I like to leave them a little crunchy to mimic the crunch of the taco shell.
Instead of adding all the typical taco toppings on top of the peppers, I chose to add shredded cheddar, diced jalapenos, and shredded lettuce to the plates to allow the diners to add the toppings as they ate and as they chose.
A dollop of sour cream with cilantro on top of the peppers does add a little eye appeal!