I’ll be honest, the boys don’t eat the actual pepper here – but they really like the stuffing, which has chunks of red pepper inside, so I feel like they at least get some of the vegetable goodness out of this meal. And frankly, the amount of stuffing always seems to be greater than what actually fits in the peppers, so I usually just scoop more of that onto their plates anyway. This is a great way to use up leftover rice – or if you don’t have any left overs, make the rice the night before, so that is one less step in the evening. You can do the same with the peppers – steaming them on the stove or in the microwave for 8-10 minutes the night before will save you lots of time. And if you have other veggies or meat sitting around in the fridge (ground turkey instead of sausage would be great – a little fresh spinach or peas – whatever!) can get thrown in here too.
4-6 red bell peppers, (tops cut off, chopped and reserved), stem, seeds and ribbing removed
1 cup uncooked white rice (or about 2 cups cooked rice)
12 oz chicken sausage, cut in ¼ inch circles
1 small onion, diced
3 cloves of garlic, diced
12 oz crushed tomatoes
¼ cup grated parmesan, plus more for topping the peppers
¼ cup fresh parsley, finely chopped
1 TBSP dried oregano (or fresh if you can find it)
Salt and pepper, to taste
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees
- Cook rice as directed
- Slice a tiny part off the bottom of each pepper so that it stands upright. Steam in 2 inches of water on the stove or in the microwave for 8-10 minutes.
- Heat olive oil over medium heat. Sauté onions 3-4 minutes, add the garlic and the chopped red pepper.
- Add the chicken sausage and cook through.
- Add the crushed tomatoes, parmesan cheese, parsley, oregano and salt and pepper. Mix well and allow to cook for about 5 minutes.
- Turn off the heat and add the rice to the sauce and mix well.
- Place the peppers in a sprayed casserole dish. Gently fill with the stuffing. Sprinkle with additional parmesan cheese.
- Bake 20-25 minutes.
- Serve with any additional stuffing on the side.