Bell peppers are botanically fruits, but we cooks consider them as vegetables. Add Italian sausage stuffing and I consider them heaven.
I decided to create a recipe for stuffed peppers using surplus garden produce and Italian sausage on hand. But there's "nothing new under the sun" as Linda Hendricks' Cooking Tip of the Day blog had posted one a year ago. My version shortens the baking time considerably by steaming the peppers and pre-cooking the rice, and varies ingredients and measurements too. So now you have a choice of two recipes on CookEatShare to tempt your Italian sausage stuffed-pepper palate!
- 4 medium to large bell peppers (green, red, yellow, orange)
- 1 1/2 cups garden fresh cooked tomatoes (see directions in Step 2 below, or substitute an equivalent amount of canned undrained diced tomatoes)
- 1 lb. bulk Italian sweet sausage
- 1 small onion peeled and chopped fine
- 2 cloves garlic peeled and minced
- 1/2 cup finely minced fresh parsley
- 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- 1/2 cup fresh grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
- 1 cup cooked rice
- 1 slice dry artisan bread made into coarse crumbs in food processor - about 1 cup (or substitute 3/4 cup fine Italian seasoned bread crumbs)
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Vegetable spray
- Wash peppers. Slice just enough of the tops off to create sufficient opening to stuff, removing stems, seeds and membranes. Steam about 10 minutes until slightly softened but still flexible-firm. Remove from steamer and drain upside down on rack; set aside.
- Meanwhile, if using fresh tomatoes about 2 pounds will cook down to 1 1/2 cups. Slip skins off (I steamed them a couple of minutes); stem, seed (optional) and chop. Saute them in a 1/2 tablespoon olive oil 2-3 minutes, adding 1/2 to 1 cup of water as needed for juice. Reduce heat to low, cover.
- Crumble sausage in large skillet; cook over medium heat until lightly browned; add onions and garlic and cook 2-3 more minutes until onions are tender.
- Add parsley, Italian seasoning; salt and pepper to taste; cook for 1 minute. Add Parmesan cheese, 3/4 cup of the mozarella cheese, cooked rice and bread crumbs. Stir in tomatoes (see photo).
- Arrange peppers in lightly sprayed casserole sized so that peppers will remain upright and not tip over (see photo.) Divide sausage filling evenly among peppers, mounding slightly (filling does not expand).
- Cover with foil and bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes; remove foil and sprinkle filling with remaining 1/4 cup shredded mozarella cheese.
- Return to oven uncovered and continue baking 10-15 minutes until cheese has melted and barely begins to brown.
|Amount Per Serving||%DV|
|Serving Size 271g|
|Recipe makes 4 servings|
|Calories from Fat 413||67%|
|Total Fat 45.97g||57%|
|Saturated Fat 18.3g||73%|
|Trans Fat 0.01g|
|Total Carbs 17.76g||5%|
|Dietary Fiber 1.0g||3%|