After reading this article (forget the accompanying snarky comments), I’m in. You guys, let’s just cook. From scratch. Or mostly. Even on those nights when we’re tired and overwhelmed and don’t particularly feel like cooking dinner at all. Let’s keep going, reaching, trying new recipes and cook meals to be proud of.
And while whipping up a spatchcocked chicken in gravy (and don’t forget side dishes) isn’t a realistic weeknight dinner option for most people, myself included, I appreciate the sentiment of just saying yes to cooking satisfying, healthy meals, at home.
These rice and sausage stuffed peppers, are totally do-able on a weeknight. I bet you already have most of the ingredients on hand, you can assemble them in advance, and the filling is super flexible – i.e. great for using up leftovers.
If peppers aren’t your thing, the rice and sausage filling would also be delicious stuffed inside tomatoes, zucchini, or mushrooms; simply adjust the cooking time as needed. The peppers fit right into the seasonal transition we’re in right now; the dish utilizes vibrant, end-of-Summer produce, but still feels comforting and hearty enough for these cooler first days of Fall.
Also, at the gentle (and not so gentle) prodding from many of you over the last year, including my own Aunt (Jane, I’m lookin’ at you!), I have decided to start adding the nutritional information for all new Fork Knife Swoon recipes. Please think of these calculated estimates as guidelines, until we can all cook together with the exact same ingredients! I will also be slowly updating older recipes with nutritional info as well. It’s a bit of a laborious process so please bear with me, and hopefully you’ll find this a welcome addition!
- 2 cups (cooked) long grain or wild rice
- 6 bell peppers
- olive oil, for the baking dish
- 1 lb (5-6 links) sweet or hot Italian-style chicken sausage
- 1/2 small yellow onion, minced
- 2 tsp fresh garlic, minced
- 1/4 cup basil pesto (store-bought or homemade)
- 1/4 cup Parmesan, plus more for serving
- kosher salt and freshly-ground black pepper, to taste
- Cook the rice, according to package directions. Set aside. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- Cut the tops off of the peppers, and remove the seeds and white pith. Rinsing under water can help to remove stubborn seeds. Drizzle the bottom of a large oven safe casserole dish with olive oil, just enough to coat. Arrange the peppers in the dish. Set aside.
- Cook the sausage in a large skillet over medium heat until browned and cooked through. As the sausage cooks, use a spatula to break it into small pieces. Drain excess grease, as needed; the sausage will brown faster in less liquid. Add the onion and garlic, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion softens, about 2-3 minutes.
- Remove from the heat, add the rice and the pesto, and stir to combine. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
- Fill the peppers with the sausage/rice mixture, and top with a sprinkling of Parmesan. Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 15 minutes. Remove the foil and bake uncovered for an additional 15-20 minutes, until the cheese is melted and golden, and the peppers are cooked through (Think fork tender, not mushy). Serve warm.