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Buffalo-ranch stuffed pepper boats
August 7, 2014 - Shasta Langenbacher
It’s late summer in Central Pennsylvania! That means peppers, and that’s good news.
Something I’ve discovered in the last few years are stuffed peppers. Before I met my husband, I thought I hated them. Nope. They’re amazing, I just needed him to show me how they can be so good.
I’ve learned to make at least five variations now, and I love them all. I prefer to call them pepper boats because I cut them in half to roast them. More on that later.
This pepper recipe is no exception. It's a fun twist on stuffed peppers. It’s got buffalo hot sauce - something we just love around here - with some ranch to give it some variety. Inspiration for this recipe came via Pinterest. Blog “Primally Inspired” put up a recipe that I made into a lazy man’s Buffalo Ranch stuffed pepper.
The nice thing about this recipe is that you can use your favorite hot sauce and ranch dressing and make it even more glorious.
What you’ll need:
1 pepper per serving. 2 halves = one serving.
Leftover chicken. I don’t care if it’s grilled, a rotisserie, from a can, whatever. You need 1 cup per serving.
Your favorite wing sauce -OR- 2 tablespoons of butter and your favorite hot sauce
Your favorite ranch dressing
cheddar or monterey jack cheese, shredded
Start by preheating your oven to 450 degrees.
Cut your peppers in half, cutting out the insides, seeds and the stem. Cut it from top to bottom, making what I call “the pepper boat.” I do this because I like them roasted all the way. You can keep it whole if that’s what you like.
This recipe is for 6 pepper boats, or 3 servings.
Arrange your pepper boats on a greased cookie sheet. Cooking spray is what I use (the Misto to be exact). Have the cut side facing down, just because they’re buggers and they slide everywhere. My pictures are flip-flopped because I forgot how rascally the peppers can be.
Once the oven gets hot, pop the sheet of peppers in the oven for about eight minutes. I’m not gonna judge you if you do it around 350 degrees, but don’t put them in before that. I’ve already made this a lazy recipe, ok?
Warm up your leftover chicken and shred or cube it so it’s easy to eat. Plop it into a large mixing bowl.
The peppers should be close to being done. Take them out, flip them over, and put them in for five more minutes.
Once done, take them out of the oven and allow them to cool a bit while you make the buffalo ranch mix.
I like to use Franks’ Red Hot buffalo sauce. Why? It’s pre-made buffalo wing sauce ready to go, and I don’t want to make my own wing sauce. Also, I was being lazy. Works for me!
If you’re fancy and you’re loyal to a hot sauce, melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a sauce pan to start your own wing sauce.
Once it’s melted, put in about two tablespoons of hot sauce. If you like it hotter, go for it. I’m not here to make you sign a waiver though, so don’t keel over from the heat.
Add your wing sauce to your chicken bowl and stir it up. If you like it hot, go for it. If you’re like me and you just want a nice zippy touch, add about four tablespoons of wing sauce.
Break out your ranch dressing. I’m not loyal to a brand, so I got the one on sale. There were probably coupons involved. I add about four tablespoons of dressing. I like an even mix, but again, it’s up to you what you use.
You should have a nice creamy concoction after you stir it up. Give the sauce a taste. Is it too hot or not even close to being hot enough? Add more ranch if it’s too hot, add more hot sauce if it’s not zippy enough. Be careful about putting too much ranch - you could make it too creamy.
With a tablespoon, place the chicken mix into the pepper boat. Fill them up to the rim, but don’t pack it in too tight. The mix needs some room to mingle and bubble up while it’s baking.
Place them in the oven for 10 minutes, then pull them out and top with some shredded cheese and put back in for five minutes. I forgot to pull it out at 10 minutes, so the cheese just went on top at the end. Usually, I’m a stickler about melted cheese, but I was making a few things at once, so the no-so-melty cheese just had to work.
When they come out, it should be some zippy buffalo ranch chicken glory. I paired them up with obliterated (or smashed) potatoes. That recipe is coming up next.