Spicy Southwestern Stuffed Peppers in the Slow Cooker

Slow Cooker Spicy Southwestern Stuffed Peppers; try saying that five times without messing up. A few years back, my sister-in-law made some stuffed peppers during our trip to Maine and they were AMAZING! I have wanted to make them ever since we left, but never could find the recipe online. I stumbled across a posting that showed a similar version to a cookbook Slow Cooker Best-Loved Recipes or something like that, so I decided to just wing it and hope for the best. It was a huge success. It was a little too spicy for the kids, but I am going to try to reduce the heat next time as well as try to make it in the slow cooker without the peppers - maybe call it a Southwestern Rice Casserole?  My biggest fear was the rice not cooking all the way through, but it did. I basted the peppers twice throughout the cooking time with the liquid from the bottom of the pot to make sure they cooked.

4-5 Bell Peppers, tops and membranes removed (keep tops in tact if possible)
1 Cup Rice, Uncooked
1 Can Black Beans, or 2 Cups Prepared Black Beans
1 Can Corn, undrained
1 Can Rotel, undrained
1 Tbsp Chili Powder
1/2 tsp Garlic Powder
1 tsp Cumin
1 tsp salt
1/4 cup franks hot sauce
1/4 - 1/2 cup water
1 Cup Pepper jack, Monterrey jack or Mexican blend cheese

Carefully remove pepper tops and reserve. In a large bowl combine rice, beans, spices, Rotel, Hot Sauce, Cheese, corn,  and water; mix well. Mixture should be somewhat soupy. Fill peppers using a large ice cream scoop. Place peppers inside the slow cooker. Press mixture lightly to make sure its stuffed in the pepper really well. Pour an additional 1/4 cup of water into the bottom of the slow cooker. Place the tops back onto the peppers. Cover with lid. Cook on low for about 6-7 hours. Using a turkey baster, baste peppers with the liquid on the bottom about halfway through to ensure enough liquid gets to the rice. (I did this a few times just in case).

In order to make this dish less spicy, try using a mild Rotel or substitute tomatoes and green chili's. Instead of hot sauce, try using enchilada sauce or green sauce. I will experiment next time and post my findings. :)

Recipe linked to Tasty Tuesday's @ Balancing Beauty and Bedlam

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