Painful Frozen Peppers

It was almost painful to do.

It is very rare when I will purchase a vegetable in a can or jar. It almost has to be one I cannot get fresh or frozen (baby corn), one that is prepared (peppers in adobo) or one that would save me a heck of a lot of work (artichoke hearts). When I purchase frozen vegetables, it is often because I want a quick side dish that I can steam, or because a recipe calls specifically for it (frozen spinach). I don’t buy peppers and onions frozen…..until now.

They are really just to easy to cut up and you lose some of the magic crispness of the vegetable that way. The recipe below called for the frozen kind and I stood for a long time in the frozen aisle debating if I should get the bag or just cut up my own. I finally gave in, knowing these would spend a long time in the slow cooker anyway.

This was a rich, hearty dish. Very tasty too.

Quite a bit of ingredients, but they come together easily.

I actually think there should be more rice in the meatballs. Maybe make it a whole cup.

Frying up the meatballs.

A bit at a time.

Into the slow cooker.

And add those frozen veggies.

Slow Cooker Porcupine Meatballs With Peppers

Makes: 16 meatballs with sauce


  • 2 pounds lean ground beef
  • 2/3 cup uncooked white rice
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 beaten egg
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 (14 ounce) jar spaghetti sauce
  • 1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes
  • 1 1/2 cups beef broth
  • 1/2 cup red wine
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 (16 ounce) package frozen pepper and onion stir fry vegetable blend


1. Thoroughly combine ground beef, rice, milk, egg, garlic, basil, and salt in a bowl. Form the mixture into about 16 1-1/2 inch meatballs.

2. Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium heat, and brown the meatballs well on all sides, about 15 minutes.

3. Place the spaghetti sauce, diced tomatoes, beef broth, red wine, basil, cayenne pepper, bay leaves, and 3 minced garlic cloves in slow cooker, and stir to combine. Put the meatballs into the slow cooker, and stir gently to cover with sauce. Shake the frozen vegetables over the sauce, without stirring, and cook on Low, covered, for 6 to 8 hours, until the meatballs are tender and the vegetables are cooked.

4. About an hour before serving, gently stir the sauce, being careful not to break the meatballs, and remove the bay leaves. Cook for 1 more hour to blend the flavors and thicken the sauce.

Nutritional Info:

Total Fat: 24.4g Cholesterol: 137mg Sodium: 1107mg Total Carbs: 41.6g Dietary Fiber: 5.8g Protein: 37.3g


Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Categories: Beef, Low Carb, Lunch2, Main Dish 3, Recipes, Slow Cooker, Vegetable4, Wine

Author:The Ranting Chef

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2 Comments on “Painful Frozen Peppers”

  1. November 22, 2013 at 1:02 am #

    My mom used to make porcupine meatballs when I was a kid! I haven’t had them in ages. Of course, she just cooked hers in Campbell’s Tomato Soup. Might be interesting to try them with veggies in the sauce! (Though probably not peppers for me. We’re no longer friends, peppers and I….)


  2. November 23, 2013 at 10:34 am #

    Oh, this looks good. I’ll have to try this on the family. 🙂


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