Stuffed Green Bell Peppers with Brown Rice, Italian Sausage, and Parmesan

Morgan and I in front of Sleeping Beauty's castle at Disneyland in Hong Kong this past summer!

I have seen stuffed pepper recipes populating the pages of Pinterest for months and have always been tempted to try them, but for some reason always forgot about them when I tried thinking of new recipes to make for the blog. Luckily for me, one of my best friends in my graduate program decided we should spend our Friday night cooking, drinking wine, watching Disney movies (you can see why I like her), and attemping a brand new recipe. These peppers are packed with flavor, and it’s a pretty healthy dish too. I wish I hadn’t waited so long to try them, I had been missing out! It was only fitting we watch Sleeping Beauty, as we both geeked out something fierce at Sleeping Beauty’s castle in Hong Kong Disneyland this past summer! This recipe paired with two great disney movies and a bottle of wine (or two…) made for quite a wonderful evening with my pretty blonde food-and-wine-loving friend.

Readers, meet favorite new recipe. Favorite new recipe, meet readers.

Stuffed Green Peppers with Brown Rice, Italian Sausage, and Parmesan: Serves 4
(no really, I was full after eating only one! …well, after eating cheese and crackers and then eating one…)

Ingredients:

  • 1 C long-grain brown rice (I used Uncle Ben’s Brown Rice, but any long grain rice will work.)
  • 4 large green bell peppers, bottom trimmed, cap end cut off and diced, and seeds removed
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 2 tsp. + 1 tsp. olive oil
  • 2 links (about 8 ounces) turkey Sweet Italian Sausage (or other sausage of your choice. Use diced mushrooms instead of sausage for vegetarian version.)
  • 1/2 tsp. ground fennel
  • 1/2 tsp. dried Greek or Turkish oregano
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • Salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup grated mozzarella cheese

Instructions:

  • Cook rice according to package directions, or using a rice cooker.
  • Preheat oven to 375F. Trim bottom of bell peppers so they have a flat surface to stand on. Cut off a fairly generous amount of the stem end of peppers, then remove seeds.
  • Place hollowed-out peppers in a baking dish that you’ve sprayed with non-stick spray or olive oil. (A dish that’s close in size to the peppers will work best.)
  • Remove stem part from the pepper caps and trim off any white membrane, then dice pepper caps and the onion into fairly small dice.
  • Heat 2 tsp. olive oil in a large skillet, then saute diced pepper and onion for 3-4 minutes, until they are starting to soften but aren’t browned.
  • Remove pepper-onion mixture to a bowl, add 1 tsp. more olive oil, then squeeze sausage out of the casing and cook until it’s lightly browned, breaking apart with the back of the turner.
  • Put the onion-pepper mixture back into the pan with the sausage, add the dried spices, and saute 2-3 minutes to blend the flavors.
  • Then add cooked rice and Parmesan cheese, season the mixture with salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste, and cook just long enough to warm, about 1-2 minutes.
  • Stuff the filling mixture into the hollowed-out peppers, using a spoon to press the mixture down so it’s tightly packed into the pepper shell. If you have any extra filling, you can put it in a small ramekin and bake along with the peppers.
  • Bake peppers for 30 minutes, then remove from oven and put a generous pinch of grated mozzarella on top of each pepper. Put peppers back into the oven and bake about 10-15 minutes more, until cheese is melted and lightly browned. Serve hot.

I cannot put into words how remarkably easy this was! I was fairly intimidated in the beginning because all of the ones I saw online looked so pretty, which in my mind translates to “damn this is going to be hard to make.” Wrong. It really is as simple as emptying out the peppers, cooking the filling, add filling to peppers, put into oven, BAM DELICIOUSNESS. I pinky promise you these will be made again in the future, especially during the week! They don’t keep forever, but they were definitely still good 1-2 days later, making this a healthy meal prep option that I’ll be taking to work to make my coworkers jealous — yes I have that reputation as “the food snob” at work, and no, it doesn’t bother me.

I’m going to try more variations of stuffed peppers in the future, so keep an eye out for those recipes! Seriously, this was so much fun to make — Good luck, and happy eating!

One thought on “Stuffed Green Bell Peppers with Brown Rice, Italian Sausage, and Parmesan

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