Unstuffed Pepper Casserole

A clever but simple weeknight meal.

By The Editors

Reader Lynn M. of Indianapolis sent us this casserole dish, and it's now one of our favorite weeknight meals. A "family comfort food recipe … prepared with simple ingredients," this dish taes all the components of a classic stuffed pepper — beef, rice, onion, pepper, cheese — and lays them out in an easy-to-make meal that's also an excellent candidate for freezing.

Before you make the dish, there are two things you should know:

  • To make the casserole a little lighter, try substituting 93 percent ground turkey and reducing the cheese to 1 cup.
  • Campbell's now sells its tomato soup in 10-ounce cans. If you can't find a 14-ounce can, simply add a 10-ounce can, then fill the empty can a little less than halfway with water, and add that as well.

Enjoy!

Ingredients:
1 pound lean ground beef
2 cups cooked white rice
1 medium green bell pepper, cut into bite-size pieces
1 medium onion, cut into bite-size pieces
1 can (14 ounces) tomato soup
1 can (8 ounces) tomato sauce
1 teaspoon basil
1 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground pepper
2 tablespoons butter or margarine
2 cups shredded 2 percent Cheddar cheese

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Coat a 9x13-inch baking dish with cooking spray.

2. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, brown ground beef. Drain skillet of fat and place beef in a large mixing bowl.

3. To the beef, add cooked white rice, bell pepper, onion, tomato soup, tomato sauce, basil, oregano, salt, and pepper. Mix thoroughly. Pour mixture into baking dish.

4. Thinly slice butter or margarine and place on top of beef mixture. Sprinkle shredded cheese over top. Cover with foil and bake 30 minutes.

5. Remove cover and bake until cheese is bubbly, an additional 10 to 15 minutes.

6. Remove casserole from oven and let cool 5 to 10 minutes before serving.

Serves 6

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