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Sunday Slow Cooker:  Ground Beef and Zucchini Stuffed Peppers

You can’t always control your cravings. Even though it’s been HOT, HOT, HOT, I found myself craving stuffed peppers last week but knew there was no way I was turning on the stove. Predictably I turned to my favorite kitchen gadget and proceeded to make a huge batch of delicious stuffed peppers filled with zucchini, ground beef, tomatoes, and some leftover brown rice in the slow cooker. Yum, yum, yum.

The great thing about this simple recipe is that it can be doctored up any which way you like. Craving something spicy? Use ground beef, black beans, corn, tomatoes with green chiles, and pour some enchilada sauce on top to really hype things up. Craving something really healthy? Use quinoa, white beans, diced tomatoes, tons of quickly sauteed veggies, and skip the cheese to make a protein packed vegan version. Craving comfort food? Use half lean ground sausage and half ground turkey along with diced Italian tomatoes and cheese for an Italian version. The combinations are endless and since they freeze great they are a great recipe to make on the weekend and keep for a night you don’t feel like cooking. Looking for a low carb option? Leave out the brown rice, use 1/2 pound more ground beef, 1 extra zucchini, and 2 cups diced mushrooms for a low carb version.

Slow Cooker Ground Beef and Zucchini Stuffed Peppers
Servings: 6
Serving Size: 1 stuffed pepper
Nutritional Info: 237 calories, 6.2g of fat, 22.7g carbohydrates, 5g dietary fiber, 23.4g of protein, 9.4g of sugar
Weight Watchers® PointsPlus®: 6 *

Ingredients

  • 6 bell peppers, any color
  • 20 oz. diced Italian tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 lb. 95% ground beef
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 zucchini, diced
  • 1.5 cups cooked brown rice
  • 1 cup reduced fat shredded mozzarella cheese

Instructions

  1. Cut the tops off of the bell peppers and scoop out the seeds. Add 1/2 cup of diced tomatoes and 1/2 cup water to the bottom of the slow cooker. Place peppers, cut side up, in the slow cooker.
  2. Brown the beef until no longer pink. Season well with salt and pepper.
  3. Add the onion, garlic, and zucchini to the same pan. Cook for 4-6 minutes until tender, adding 1-2 tablespoons water if needed.
  4. Remove and mix together the beef, zucchini mixture, brown rice, and remaining tomatoes. Scoop into the peppers.
  5. Cook on low for 6-8 hours. For the cheese on top you have two options. For simply melted cheese, sprinkle on top during the last hour of cooking. For browned cheese, place the peppers in a pan after you take them out of the slow cooker. Top with cheese and place under broiler for 3-4 minutes until browned and bubbling.

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I’m Kristen and I couldn’t be happier you are here. You will find a variety of healthy and delicious recipes that will not only taste great, but help you fit in your favorite jeans.

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8 Response to Sunday Slow Cooker: Ground Beef and Zucchini Stuffed Peppers

  1. Jan DeHaven on June 25, 2014

    Made this last night, it was delicious! I goofed and bought salsa style diced tomatoes, it was all i had so in they went. Turned out great. Husband loved it and he is usually not so thrilled with crock pot dinners. This one is a keeper. Thanks so much.

    Reply
  2. Jessica on July 14, 2014

    I was wondering if you could put them in anything other than peppers? I don’t mind putting peppers in the mix, but I don’t like a WHOLE lot of them.

    Reply
    • Kristen on July 14, 2014

      I haven’t tried anything other than peppers so I am not exactly sure what would work. You could try eggplant or zucchini but I would check them often in terms of cooking time because they will likely cook much faster.

      Reply
      • Jessica on July 26, 2014

        We are trying the eggplants tonight. We found some small ones at the farmers market that look just the right size to cap and fill just like the peppers.

        Reply
  3. Jessica on July 26, 2014

    To be more specific, I hollowed out the eggplant into cups, like the peppers, but it only held 1/3 of the mix. Now what to do with the rest?

    Reply
  4. Jessica on July 26, 2014

    Well, the eggplant was too tough, but all the flavors are great. I think we decided next time to try stuffing a mushroom cap. :)

    Reply
    • Kristen on July 27, 2014

      Thanks so much for letting us know how it turned out. I have had success with eggplant in the past but perhaps next time it would be worth it to parcook the eggplant first or add some extra cooking liquid since they didn’t soften up enough.

      Reply
  5. Erica DeGolyer-Patton on August 5, 2014

    How long would you say to cook on high?

    Reply

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