While stuffed peppers are a new phenomenon to me, I fell in love with the idea very quickly. One day after chatting with one of my girlfriends about what to make for dinner, as we often do, I decided to search for a stuffed pepper recipe.
A lot of the recipes I found were packed with too much rice, sauce, or even pasta. As the girlfriend of a serious meat eater, I wanted to eliminate most of the fillers, and stuff the peppers with tons of protein. Finally, I found Dear Chrissy’s recipe on Pinterest. Not only did the photos of her peppers look delicious, I also loved her idea to add sausage to the stuffing.
As you all know by now, I make recipes my own by adding flavors I am craving at the time. As a half-Italian gal, I am always craving the comfort of Italian food! I took Dear Chrissy’s stuffed pepper recipe and successfully turned it into an Italy-inspired dish. I may have eaten two in one sitting.
- The potato masher is back. As mentioned in a previous post, I use a potato masher to brown meat in a pan rather than a wooden spoon. Meat sticks to wooden spoons making it harder to clean, plus it takes more time and energy to break-down the meat. It may sound strange, but the potato masher will make this task much easier!
- Be creative! Stuffed peppers are a blank canvas for you to add any flavors and textures you’re craving. Use Pinterest for inspiration!
- 6 large peppers
- 1/4 cup quinoa, cooked
- 1 tablespoon EVOO
- 1/2 lb ground chicken
- 1/2 lb hot Italian chicken sausage, removed from its casing
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 onion, minced
- 1 can diced tomatoes, no salt added
- 1 cup grated mozzarella cheese
- 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons basil, finely chopped
- Salt & pepper to taste
- Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Cut the tops off of your peppers and trim the bottoms so they stay flat in the baking dish. Place the prepared peppers into a baking dish and set aside.
- Cook the quinoa by adding it to a small pot over medium-high heat with 1/2 cup of liquid. Note: I use vegetable or chicken stock for more flavor but feel free to use water. Once the quinoa/liquid mixture comes to a boil, reduce the heat to low, cover with a lid, and let sit for a few minutes. You'll know it's done once you open the lid (be careful of steam) and the quinoa has absorbed all of the liquid. Fluff the quinoa by gently running a fork through it. Remove from the stove and set aside.
- Add EVOO to a large pan over medium heat and brown the chicken, sausage, garlic and onion. Once the chicken is cooked, stir in the diced tomatoes and 1/2 cup of the mozzarella cheese. Season with salt and pepper.
- Fill each of the prepared peppers with stuffing, cover with tin foil, and bake for 40 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and take off the foil. Sprinkle the remaining 1/2 cup of cheese atop each pepper and bake uncovered for another 15 minutes, or until the cheese is bubbly.