I love making different kinds of stuffed peppers but my husband and kids aren't always fans. Recently, I came up with the idea of doing fajitas this way - bell peppers are part of fajitas and it seemed like a natural combination. For those of you with negative associations with stuffed peppers bear with me - I also made stuffed chiles. One of our favorite restaurants in Pasadena is Cafe Verde and they have these amazing stuffed pasilla chiles on their menu and I've also wanted to recreate those for awhile. As you can see below, I started with half peppers, and half chiles. I think the key to getting the filling warmed through is to cut the peppers like the chiles - lengthwise instead of just cutting the top off. When you pick your peppers and chiles at the store, you want to look for ones that seem like they'll lay flat and have a good concave opening for stuffing.
Since this was an original recipe and the first time I made it, the amounts of ingredients are approximate. If it looks too rice-y or not chees-y enough, add ingredients as you like. I used the Near East Spanish Rice (it's GF) and a packet of fajita seasoning from Sprouts. The Lawry's packet or the Border Grill sauces will work fine too. If you don't like cilantro with your fajitas, you can leave it out. To make sure your chiles aren't too spicy, remove the seeds and membranes.
Chicken Fajita Stuffed Peppers (serves 4)
4 bell peppers or pasilla (Anaheim or Poblano) chiles (or a combination)
1 lb chicken breast tenders
Fajita seasoning for chicken
1-2 cups Spanish Rice (cooked and prepared according to package)
1/2 cup diced onion
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
1-2 cups shredded cheese (I used a mexican blend - cheddar or jack would work fine)
Salsa, guacamole, sour cream (optional - for serving)
Preheat oven to 375. Cut your peppers and/or chiles in half lengthwise (from the stem to the base) and remove seeds and membranes. Place open side up in a lightly oiled baking pan (or two) without crowding the pan.
In a large skillet, cook chicken breast tenders over medium heat with the fajita seasoning (look at instructions on the seasoning packet - you may need to add olive oil or a little water). Once it's just cooked through, remove from skillet and dice. Set aside. Prepare your spanish rice and also set aside.
Stir together cooked chicken, 1-2 cups cooked rice, onion, cilantro, and 1 cup of cheese. Spoon filling into the peppers, not packing too tightly and not heaping too high. Top each pepper with more cheese.
Pour about an inch of hot, boiling water in the bottom of your pans and cover the pans with foil. The steam will help to soften the chiles / peppers. Bake at 375 for 25-35 minutes, uncovering the last 10 minutes to make sure the cheese is melted. Serve with salsa, guacamole, and sour cream for topping.