Stuffed peppers, a dish that is served in many modern-day restaurants and households across the world, are considered by some to be of Spanish origin. The popularity of this meal was brought about by the immigration of Spaniards during the twentieth century. Most versions of stuffed pepper recipes consist of hollowing out a bell pepper and stuffing it with other ingredients, but other recipes call for the peppers to be reassembled after being stuffed. Stuffed peppers are so named because they resemble a pepper once it has been hollowed out.
Stuffed peppers are served in many households throughout America as well as in Italian-American cuisine. The dish is popular among people who are health-conscious, as stuffed peppers do not contain a great deal of fat and can be adapted to adhere to vegetarian or low-cholesterol dietary restrictions.
Stuffed pepper recipes typically consist of filling a hollowed-out bell pepper with ingredients such as beef, cheese, rice, bread crumbs, herbs, and spices. Although a wide variety of stuffing ingredients may be used, a common combination consists of beef and rice. Other ingredients often used include onions, garlic, spinach, olives, tomatoes, peas, broccoli, carrots, ham, sausage, cheese (such as Parmesan), eggs, bread crumbs, or cooked rice.
Some variations of stuffed peppers do not use stuffing. For example, some recipes call for the peppers to be reassembled after being stuffed. In this case, the hollowed-out pepper halves are arranged in an appropriate baking pan with their edges slightly overlapping each other before they are filled with ingredients such as cheese or sauce. The filled pepper halves are then placed in an oven to bake. Some recipes simply call for the ingredients to be poured over the pepper halves before they are baked, without reassembling them.
Stuffed peppers are popular in Italian-American cuisine and among health-conscious people because they typically contain less fat than other meat dishes do. They may also be prepared as a vegetarian or low-cholesterol dish by omitting the meat and/or cheese. In addition, stuffed peppers do not require as much preparation as many other dishes do, making them suitable for quick meals. They may be served as a main course or as a side dish to another entrée.
Stuffed peppers are not only served in American cuisine but also in Italian-American cuisine. In these instances, the peppers may be filled with other ingredients such as cheese and Italian meats like sausage and capicola.