I tore this recipe out of a Southern Living magazine years ago. The recipe is a good one (I’ll share it at the bottom of this post), but it’s actually the idea I liked more than the actual recipe, the idea being that you make twice baked potatoes, but stuff the filling into bell pepper halves instead of potato skins.
The idea is a keeper because:
- This one dish gives you a vegetable in addition to the potato.
- The peppers are pretty…they add color to the dinner table. (My dietician friends – Hi Pam! – would like that they’re healthy too.)
- It’s easier than making twice baked potatoes.
The recipe has you bake the potatoes and scoop out the insides, like you would in a traditional twice baked recipe. You can do that, but I think it’s easier to make your favorite mashed potato recipe instead. There’s no pulp scooping that way, although you do have to peel the potatoes so pulp scooping or peeling – take your pick.
Even easier, you can buy premade mashed potatoes in the refrigerator case at your grocery store. That’s what I did last night and I doctored them up with a little sour cream and some fresh chopped chives.
You can grill the peppers or bake them. I baked these alongside some salmon steaks I had marinated and 30 minutes later a complete meal came out of the oven. It doesn’t get any easier than that, especially for a weeknight meal, but these are tasty enough that you can make them for a dinner party, which I’ve done several times.
So, now for the magazine recipe:
- 4 large baking potatoes (about 3 1/2-4 pounds)
- 4 large red bell peppers
- 1 16 oz. container sour cream
- 1/2 cup shredded Gouda cheese
- 1/4 cup sliced green onions
- 3 T. butter
- 3 T. chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
- 3/4 t. salt
- 1/2 t. ground pepper
- 1/4 t. paprika
- Pierce each potato 3 to 4 times with a fork and place directly on oven rack. Bake at 450 degrees for 1 hour, 30 minutes. Let cool slightly.
- Cut bell peppers in half lengthwise, cutting through stems and keeping them in tact. Remove and discard seeds and membranes. Rinse and pat dry. Set aside.
- Cut baked potatoes in half. Scoop pulp into a large bowl and discard the shells. Add sour cream and next six ingredients, blending well with a fork or potato masher.
- Spoon potato mixture into bell pepper halves. Sprinkle with paprika.
- Grill peppers over medium-high heat (350 – 400 degrees) with the grill lid closed until peppers blister and potato mixture bubbles around edges. Serve immediately.
And here’s my simplified version:
- Enough of your favorite mashed potato recipe or premashed potatoes to serve 4 (I used a 24 oz. container of Reser’s brand mashed potatoes and added sour cream and fresh chopped chives to taste.)
- 2 whole bell peppers, any color
- Cut bell peppers in half length-wise and remove the insides. Wash and pat completely dry.
- Prepare the mashed potatoes and use a spoon to divide the mashed potato mixture among the four pepper halves.
- Bake in a 350 degree oven (or grill on a medium heat grill with the cover closed) for 20-30 minutes, or until the peppers are soft and the potatoes are heated through. Serve.