It’s pretty easy to make a bland tasting stuffed pepper: simply mix tomato sauce, ground beef, and rice and stuff away. Uhh, no. We want some flava-flav in our peppers. This time I had a few links of spicy chicken sausage that I’d purchased from Whole Foods. I had a few green peppers in the fridge, as well as rice in the pantry, so I felt confident I could pull it together. These are great to make in quantity and freeze a portion for another night. Plus, this is an easy way to feed a big crowd – it’s quite economical and pleasingly colorful! This combo is a keeper, but you could easily add some cooked shrimp for a jambalaya stuffed pepper, or red kidney or black beans, cumin, and chipotle powder for a Mexican style pepper. Serve this with a green salad and garlic bread and I’m a happy eater!Oh, and if you're looking for something else to stuff with sausage, check out this recipe. Sausage Stuffed Bell Peppers
(adapted from allrecipes.com)
1 pound spicy chicken or turkey sausage
1 carrot, finely chopped
1 celery stalk, finely chopped
1 large onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 (15 oz) can diced tomatoes
1 tsp worcestershire sauce (go easy, the sausage is salty)
2/3 cup water
2/3 cup uncooked long grain rice
1/3 cup cheddar cheese
1/3 cup mozzarella cheese
4 whole green or red bell peppers, cut in half and seeds removed
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Drop in the bell pepper halves and cover with a lid. Simmer for 5 minutes and not too much longer because then they will be soggy by the time they are baked. We’re just giving them a little head start. Remove peppers to drain and place them in a 9x13 baking dish. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Cook the sausage in a wide skillet until cooked through and remove to a paper towel lined plate to drain. Pour off all but 1 Tbsp fat (or add olive oil, if needed) and sauté the onions, carrots and celery until softened. Add the garlic and cook 2 minutes more. Add the diced tomatoes, worcestershire sauce, water, and rice. Cover and simmer 15 minutes, or until the rice is tender. Stir in some black pepper, fresh basil and parsley. Taste for seasoning. Mix in a small amount of cheese to bind the mixture.
Spoon the rice and sausage mixture into the 8 pepper halves. Top with remaining cheese, cover with foil and bake for 20 minutes. Remove the foil and bake 10 minutes more. Serves 6-8.