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Stuff Peppers With Leftover Meatloaf For The Easiest Meal Prep

stuffed peppers in cooking pot
stuffed peppers in cooking pot - Esin Deniz/Shutterstock

Leftover Monday night meatloaf doesn't have to go to waste or get lost in a storage tub in the bowels of your refrigerator. You can transform the remnants of this meaty dish into a filling for stuffed peppers, creating a whole new meal. Stuffed peppers are versatile, but a classic version generally contains meat, rice, tomato sauce, and a little shredded cheese all stuffed into a bell pepper that's been cored. But rather than slave over making your meaty stuffing, you can use your leftover meatloaf which is already perfectly seasoned to serve as the ideal base for your filling.

To perform this culinary magic trick, first prep your bell peppers. They need to be washed with their seeds removed. Then cube or dice your meatloaf into bite-sized pieces and load them in your pepper along with some cooked rice, tomato sauce, whatever shredded cheese you enjoy, and bake. They should take anything from about 45 minutes to cook, so that the peppers are tender. It's best to start with the peppers covered in aluminum foil, and then to remove it towards the end of the cooking time. Getting your bell peppers' texture right and cooking it for the appropriate amount of time is the trickiest part of this easy meal prep.

Read more: 14 Popular Chain Grocery Stores For Meat, Ranked Worst To Best

Stuffed Peppers Were Made For Your Leftovers

peppers stuffed with bulghar
peppers stuffed with bulghar - SEAGULL_L/Shutterstock

Once you've cooked your newly stuffed bell pepper, you should find it has become soft, but still has the slightest bit of a crunch. You don't want the peppers so cooked that they collapse. But if you prefer your bell pepper to have a softer, more tender texture, you could always cook them in the oven for about 20 minutes before you fill them or if you are in a hurry try microwaving your peppers to soften them before filling and cooking.

You can also put a little water in the bottom of the pan and the steam it creates will help soften the bell peppers quicker; however, be vigilant or the stuffing could become a little soggy. While your goal is to keep the filling from drying out as you try to soften the bell pepper, sogginess is not a good tradeoff.

If you enjoy the ease of this leftover meatloaf hack, you may way want to consider using other leftovers like chili, beans and rice, risotto, and even bulgur wheat salad, which can be heated up in your bell peppers. It's an easy win to create two meals out of one, and yourself a little break.

Read the original article on Tasting Table.