Sunday, September 12, 2010

Recipe for Stuffed Green Peppers with Brown Rice, Italian Sausage, and Parmesan

Stuffed Bell PeppersI've been a long-time fan of stuffed bell peppers, but what inspired me to create this new stuffed peppers recipe was the gorgeous large green bell peppers my grocery store had last week for only $.50 each. (Well, that and the fact that my dad loves stuffed peppers and I hadn't made them for him for quite a while.) I planned to make a meatless stuffed pepper but then I found two links of turkey Italian sausage in the fridge. I couldn't resist adding that to the mix, but you could easily make this vegetarian by substituting sauteed mushrooms for the sausage. I enjoyed a couple of these flavorful stuffed peppers with my dad, who gave them a very enthusiastic thumbs up!

Start by cooking one cup of long-grain brown rice. I used my beloved Zojirushi Rice Cooker with Uncle Ben's Brown Rice, but you can also just follow package directions and cook the rice on the stove.

I don't remember where I learned this trick of barely slicing off the bottom of the bell pepper to make a flat spot for the pepper to stand on, but I always do this now when I'm hollowing out the peppers.

Cut off a fairly generous amount of the stem end of the pepper, because you'll be chopping that up to add to the stuffing mixture. Then remove seeds and stand the peppers up in a baking dish you've sprayed with non-stick spray or olive oil. (A dish that's close in size to the peppers will work best.)

Remove the stems, then chop up the pepper tops along with one large onion. I made this fairly small dice because I wanted it well-distributed in the rice.

Heat olive oil, then saute the peppers and onions for 3-4 minutes, until they are starting to soften but aren't browned.

Remove the peppers and onions, add a bit more olive oil, then squeeze the sausage out of the casings and saute until browned, breaking apart with the turner as you cook.

Add the onions and peppers back to the sausage, add dried spices and saute 2-3 minutes to blend the flavors.

Then mix in the cooked brown rice and Parmesan cheese and cook 1-2 minutes to warm the mixture.

Stuff the filling mixture into the peppers, pushing down with a spoon so the peppers are tightly stuffed. (A few years ago I stopped pre-cooking the peppers before stuffing, and now I prefer peppers that are stuffed raw.) If you have peppers that are smaller than I did, you might have a bit of filling left. You can bake it in a small ramekin along with the peppers. Cook the stuffed peppers at 375 F/190C for about 30 minutes.

After 30 minutes, remove from oven and put a generous pinch of grated mozzarella on top of each pepper. (The filling might have shrunk down a little, making it easy to add the cheese.)

Put peppers back in the oven and bake 10-15 minutes more, or until cheese is melted and lightly browned. Serve hot.

Stuffed Green Peppers with Brown Rice, Italian Sausage, and Parmesan
(Makes 4 large stuffed green peppers, recipe created by Kalyn when her market had a great sale on peppers!)

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

Cook rice according to package directions, or using a rice cooker. (Rice can be cooked ahead and used in this recipe later.)

Preheat oven to 375F/190C. 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. (A few years ago I stopped pre-cooking the peppers before stuffing, and now I prefer peppers that are stuffed raw.) 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.

You can freeze leftover peppers for a month or two, although the frozen peppers will be a little softer in texture (but still very tasty.) I cut them in half top-to-bottom before freezing and freeze two halves in a small baking dish with a snap-on lid.


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South Beach Suggestions:
Green and red bell peppers are low-glycemic and very nutritious, and stuffed bell peppers like this made with brown rice are a great main dish for phase 2 or 3 of the South Beach Diet.

More Tasty Ideas for Stuffed Bell Peppers:
(Recipes from other blogs may not always be South Beach Diet friendly; check ingredients.)
Southwestern Stuffed Peppers from Kalyn's Kitchen
Stuffed Peppers with Turkey Italian Sausage, Ground Beef, and Mozzarella from Kalyn's Kitchen
Stuffed Peppers with Cabbage from Kalyn's Kitchen
Couscous and Feta Stuffed Peppers from Smitten Kitchen
Goat Cheese and Olive Stuffed Peppers from The Perfect Pantry
Gluten-Free and Grain-Free Stuffed Peppers from Elana's Pantry
Feta Stuffed Peppers from Seriously Good
Stuffed Peppers with Ground Turkey from Gluten Free Goddess
Classic Stuffed Peppers from What's Cooking Chicago?
Pizza Stuffed Peppers from Healthy. Delicious.
(Want even more recipes? I find these recipes from other blogs using Food Blog Search.)counter customizable free hit

93 comments:

Maria said...

Josh peeked over at the screen and said, those look good:) They sure do!

Kalyn said...

Thanks Maria (and Josh!) And you could make some vegetarian and some not, so these would be perfect for you guys!

Patrice @ Circle-B-Kitchen said...

These look delicious, Kalyn! I luv stuffed peppers and have several peppers ripening in the garden right now so this will be great. Your recipe looks wonderful. Sometimes I like to slice my peppers in half lengthwise before stuffing them. You get more cheese on the stuffing that way :) Thanks for the great recipe!

Kalyn said...

Patrice, I'm jealous that you have ripening peppers. My peppers are puny this year. Glad you like the sound of this; my dad loved it and so did I.

Kevin said...

Kalyn,
I see you included a link to my feta-stuffed pepper appetizer (Thanks!), did you see this recipe for Spanish Stuffed Peppers?

Mother Rimmy said...

Green peppers and kale are about the only veggies that grew in abundance in my garden. Your healthy stuffed peppers will make good use of them.

CJ said...

I just made stuffed peppers using millet instead of rice. Thought I'd give it a try and it was terrific.


I really like the additional fennel and oregano with the Italian sausage idea. They look fantastic!

Kalyn said...

Kevin, so many good variations for stuffed peppers.

Mother Rimmy, glad you like the recipe. (And my peppers are puny, so you're doing something right.)

CJ, I've never tried millet, but it sounds interesting. I need to get some!

Lidna said...

Hated, hated, hated stuff peppers growing up but am inclined to try some now. How do you eat them? Do you eat the filling first, then the pepper? Or remove the filling, cut up the pepper and eat it all together? Sounds yummy!

Kalyn said...

Lidna (or is that supposed to be Linda?)

I hated them when I was a kid too! I remember when my mom made them I would eat the filling and not touch the pepper.

Now I slice into them and eat a bite of pepper with some filling on it. Love them!!

Maya said...

hey, you can stuff the bell peppers with a variation of potato,pea,and onion mixture.
nice photographs,made my mouth water.
thanks for the recipe.

Joanne said...

I'm of the opinion that everything tastes better with sausage! So I adore the stuffing in this...the vehicle as well can't be beat. Gotta love peppers!

theamerarabwife said...

Yum, stuffed peppers sound so good right now! They're like the transition from summer (peppers) to fall (rice and sausage and melty cheese).

Kalyn said...

Maya, that would be good (but not South Beach Diet friendly with potatoes and peas!)

Joanna, agreed! Sausage makes everything taste good.

Amerarab Wife, I like that thought!

T.W. Barritt at Culinary Types said...

I've been longing to make stuffed peppers, but the ones from the farm can be a little "creative" in shape. Guess I'll just have to go for the full-figured variety in the store! I like the option of turkey sausage or mushroom.

Kalyn said...

TW, I know just what you mean. My own peppers in the garden are not only puny, but they're kind of long and skinny. These peppers from my market were beauties!

Karina Allrich said...

Stuffed peppers are always a treat. And I love brown rice in the stuffing.

Michele said...

How do you get away with not precooking the peppers? Aren't they almost raw?
I usually drop them in boiling water for 10 minutes before stuffing - haven't tried skipping this step.
Going to try these after I figure out about the pre-treatment!

Kalyn said...

Thanks Karina, me too! I really like the Uncle Bean's Brown Rice for this kind of thing, it's not sticky at all so the rice is nicely separated into grains.

Kalyn said...

Hi Michelle,

We must have been commenting at the same time. No, the peppers are completely cooked, with maybe the tiniest bit of crunch, but not much. After all, they are cooking at 375F for 40-45 minutes, which is about as long as you'd cook roasted veggies of most types. I've tried it both ways (and you can certainly pre-cook if you want) but I greatly prefer stuffed peppers without the peppers being pre-cooked.

pressingtotheprize said...

I just made these tonight. I have a guest staying with me, so I did half and half; meat and mushroom. It was perfect!
-Brianna

Cate said...

I love stuffed peppers but prefer red, yellow or orange ones as I find green ones harder to digest. When I did use them I always did parboil them first. Will have to try this recipe!

healy said...

Thanks! That sounds easy & delicious! :)

Kalyn said...

Healy, you're welcome. Hope you have fun making them.

myfrenchkitchen said...

Delicious Kalyn...a complete meal with a small salad on the side, what could be better?
ronelle

Kalyn said...

Thanks Ronelle. I agree, this is my kind of meal.

Kate Farrell said...

I prepared these stuffed peppers for last Monday's dinner - they are delicious. Next time I'm going to try different color peppers - as I'm sure they will be equally good. This is my new favorite stuffed pepper recipe - much better than the beef, white rice, tomato sauce version I've been making for years.

Kalyn said...

Kate, so glad you liked it. Yes, I'm sure red or yellow peppers will be fantastic (I just couldn't resist the green ones for $.50 each!)

s said...

Hi

I haven't made this for about 40 years. And when I did, I put tomato sauce over each one while baking.

Thanks for the trip down memory lane. We are so often chasing whatever is food du jour that we forget simple and familiar.

Kalyn said...

So so glad you enjoyed the memory.

glor said...

Kalyn, thanks for such a wonderful recipe. I made these stuffed peppers tonight ... they are absolutely wonderful!!!! This is a keeper recipe ... will be sharing on my blog, everyone should make these.

Kalyn said...

Glor, thanks. Always glad to hear the recipe was a hit.

Susan said...

Thank You for the recipe!!!

Kalyn said...

Susan, you're welcome. Glad you like it.

panavia999 said...

I cannot stand the taste of cooked green bell pepper, so make stuffed peppers with red or yellow bell pepper. I like hot pepper too so sometimes make stuffed pasilla peppers - they need to be sliced lenthwise and are a bit messy but flavorful. My father was a chef and he always blanched the peppers for a minute before baking, and he added a slice of cheese on top.

Kalyn said...

I think stuffed pasilla peppers sound wonderful.

Tia said...

those look great! peppers were on sale this week for us too so I bought a bunch. Great timing!

Kalyn said...

Tia, I love it when my timing is spot-on like that!

Melissa said...

I really liked this but I couldn't resist serving it with a little pasta sauce drizzled on top. I'd never had stuffed green peppers before (yes, it's true). I've always intended to try them and it was your recipe that gave me the final boot. ;)

Kalyn said...

Melissa, I'm so glad you tried stuffed peppers, and I think a little tomato sauce served over it sounds great!

Danette said...

I am not sure what Greek or Turkish oregeno is...would regular oregeno work or where can I buy Greek or Turkish Oregeno?

Kalyn said...

Danette, Greek or Turkish oregano is probably what you have unless it's labeled "Mexican Oregano." It's often labeled just oregano, I probably didn't need to be so picky about it!

Johanna GGG said...

Hi Kalyn - just wanted to say thanks for a great recipe - I made an almost vegan version - just a little cream cheese and some leftover nut roast - it was wonderful - it is posted on my blog today if you want to see how it looks

Kalyn said...

Johanna, was just thinking about you the other day! Glad this worked, will go check your version now.

Jamie said...

I found this recipe via Pinterest. I made them today and they were YUM!!

Kalyn said...

Jamie, so glad you enjoyed them. And I love Pinterest!

Sarah said...

I found your recipe on Pinterest and tried it myself. It was amazing. I just blogged about it and linked back to you. http://sarahdawndesigns.blogspot.com/2011/10/pinterest-recipes-stuffed-bell-peppers.html

Kalyn said...

Sarah, glad you enjoyed it. I'm addicted to Pinterest!

hi-island mama said...

i stumbled upon your blog from pinterest. made this a couple of weeks ago and even i thought it was delicious and i'm not a big fan of meats and sausages! super simple, yummy, and healthful. thank you!

Kalyn said...

Glad you liked it. And this is two comments in a row for this recipe from Pinterest; interesting!

Brittney:) said...

Hi Kalyn! I really loved your recipe. Everyone kept asking me 'where is the red sauce?' but I personally loved it without! The parmesan really brought everything together nicely and I appreciate this recipe. I am suggesting it in my own blog today. I made a few small changes (I could not find the fennel) and I used an extra sausage for a little bit more meat, but it was delicious! I added that to the 'yes' list of dinner ideas for me and the boyfriend! :D I plan on slicing up some mushrooms next time and adding them in with the mix!

Kalyn said...

Brittney, so glad you enjoyed it. I think mushrooms would be great in this!

Annie said...

I just made these, and to keep my awkwardly-shaped peppers upright, I sat them in a muffin pan for baking. I don't have a ramekin (new cook). Worked like a charm!

Kalyn said...

Annie, sounds like you're a very smart new cook! Great idea.

Chelsea T said...

Looks wonderful, can't wait to try it!

Reecea said...

Thanks for sharing this Stuffed Green Peppers recipe. I found it on Pinterest. Hubby and I had them for dinner last night. It is our new fav stuffed green pepper recipe. I give it 5 stars!

Kalyn said...

Reecea, so glad you guys enjoyed them. (And I love your name!)

maryellen said...

These look great. I freeze ahead meals for my dad that lives alone. Would u suggest freezing before baking or baking then freezing?

Kalyn said...

MaryEllen, what a great daughter you are. I would definitely bake before freezing, but for best results I would cook the stuffed peppers for a shorter time and then re-heat them by baking the rest of the time. You'd have to experiment a little to see how long they take to re-heat and then bake them that much shorter of a time. (I would thaw in the microwave on low or thaw in the fridge and then reheat.)

Anonymous said...

I cannot wait to make these tonite, but have a a question first...is it a cup of brown rice before cooking the rice, or a cup of cooked brown rice?? thanks

Kalyn said...

Measure one cup of brown rice and then cook it following the directions on the package or using a rice cooker.

Anonymous said...

Love the recipe and thanks so much for sharing. I stumbled upon your site via Pinterest. I'm making 12 of these tonight and definitely using brown rice and the mozzarella on top. Thanks for the inspiration. Merry Christmas! socalMom

Anonymous said...

For those of you a bit more health-conscious, I used chicken instead of the sausage. I also used black beans as a sub for some of the rice. Cutting off the bottom to make it flat is a great idea.

Cee Jay Kay said...

I'm trying to think of a way to have this in Phase One, but can't think of what to substitute for the rice.

Kalyn said...

You could use Cauliflower Rice (there is a recipe on the blog, use the search bar.) Or, this is a Phase One Version of Stuffed Peppers.

Anonymous said...

Found this on pinterest & they look/sound amazing! I've never tried stuffed peppers before & am a tad new to cooking...quick question (might be weird!)...for the sausage links...do you have any idea about how much 2 links would translate to oz. or lbs.? My store only seems to have 1 lb. packages :/

Kalyn said...

I buy packages with 5 links that weight 19.5 oz, so two links would be just a little less than 1/2 pound. Good question, I will add that to the directions.

Christy said...

Thank you SO MUCH for this recipe!! I absolutely love green peppers, and forwarded this to my husband (the household cook) when you posted back in December. He has never liked stuffed peppers and put off making it until last week, and it was the biggest hit! We all loved them, and my one-year-old couldn't get enough of the filling, which is great since it has all the veggies in it. Thank you thank you thank you!!

Kalyn said...

Christy, I am especially happy to hear that the one-year-old would eat it!

Melissa said...

Just want to tell you that I LOVE your recipe!! I tried it for the first time tonight and my husband and I thought it was delicious. I'm just learning how to cook, and the directions for your recipe were very well laid out. Thank you so much!

Kalyn said...

Melissa, so glad you liked it, and I love that my recipes are helping you learn to cook!

Ashley said...

Do you know the calorie count per stuffed pepper?

Kalyn said...

Ashley, I talk in the FAQ at the top of the blog about why I don't provide calorie counts.

Kelly said...

Kalyn,

I found this recipe on pinterest and my boyfriend has been watering at the mouth for them. I made them tonight and they were so incredibly delicious, he even ate two :) And I really loved that I could feel good about eating them seeing as how overall they are healthy!! Thank you!

Kalyn said...

Kelly, so glad you guys enjoyed the recipes!

GreekGirl35 said...

Found this on Pinterest and thought I would give it a try. I didn't have the fennel so I used a combo of greek oregano and basil. I also added an 8 oz can of tomato sauce to keep the mixture together....my kitchen smells divine! I hope that by keeping the peppers raw before stuffing them turns out becauseI usually parboil them first to soften before stuffing.

I will definitely let you know the outcome! And oh, I must have purchased smaller peppers because I have another pepper's worth of stuffing left over! But no worries....it's good enough on its own! ;)

Kalyn said...

Mina, thank you so much. I left a comment asking them to remove it, and if they don't I will file a DMCA complaint. (And after that I will probably delete your comment so it doesn't send any traffic to their site.)

Stephanie Kert said...

I make something smiliar to this. I boil the peppers instead of having them raw, i also use spanish rice instead of regular rice. I also add salsa to the rice and also use ground beef or sausage. Than for on top i just use hunts tomato sauce and than i bake them

Kristi said...

These sound AWESOME! if I slice the peppers vertically into fours and lay them like boats (similar to a potato skin boat) how long do you think I should cook them for?

Kalyn Denny said...

Kristy, I really don't know how that would impact the cooking time, but just guessing I think it would not be that much shorter, maybe 10 minutes less. I do wonder if the filling will dry out if you stuff the peppers that way, let me know if you try it.

Kristi said...

I will be making them sunday :) I guess the other option could be slicing them after I cook them but I just figured that would be more of a mess....I will be sure to let you know how they turn out!

Carisa Wilkey said...

Does anyone happen to know how many WW points these are? I made them before and love them but now I'm doing Weight Watchers and I need the nutritional information.

Kalyn Denny said...

I don't know about ww points, but in the FAQ there is a link for a site I recommend that will calculate the nutritional information if that helps.

Sarah Kornkven said...

Thank you so much for the recipe! I've made this one several times for friends and family and it's always a huge hit! I actually have some friends coming over who requested I make these but I recently chose to become a vegetarian. Do you have any suggestions to what I could put in mine instead of meat? I don't like mushrooms and that seems to be the only replacement I've seen.. Thank you again for the fantastic recipe!

Kalyn Denny said...

Sarah, small cubes of browned tofu, sauteed zucchini, chopped and sauteed cabbage?

geaux.tiff said...

I added a head of cabbage to stuffing and used ground turkey in lieu of beef. C'est bon!

gmasmith said...

These look fantastic. I always make extra stuffing, put stuffed peppers in pan, then put extra stuffing in pan around peppers. This way you don't need to trim the bottoms.

Kalyn Denny said...

I think that's a fantastic idea. And everybody always likes the filling, even if they don't like peppers! Thanks for sharing.

Michelle Campos said...

Making these tonight can't wait to try them !!! Thanks Kalyn !! =)

Patti said...

Can you please tell me if the rice measurement is cooked or uncooked? I think the directions are telling us to cook 1 cup of rice according to the package directions, which would mean the recipe yields more than 1 cup of cooked rice. Many thanks.

Kalyn Denny said...

The recipe uses 1 cup of UNCOOKED rice. It seemed clear to me, since the first instruction is to cook the rice; sorry if it was confusing for you.

Amanda L said...

AMAZING. I made this last night and added a can of tomatos to the recipe. I had so much extra mixture left over that I went ahead and baked it in a corningware dish as a casserole. In the future, we will probably just cut up all the peppers and add to the mixture and bake as a casserole. YUM YUM. The usage of pork rather than beef added such a richness to the dish. Going in our menu planning rotation frequently!!

Kalyn Denny said...

Amanda, so glad you liked it. My version uses turkey Italian sausage, but I'm sure pork would also be delicious.

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