When my Mom came to visit late last summer she told me about this great stuffed pepper recipe she found. She said her and Dad were skeptical about the recipe at first, but loved it. Although I love peppers I have a hard time with food touching sometimes…you know the mixing of different consistencies…so I wasn’t sure I’d like these, but Mom made the meal for my husband and I and we were instantly hooked!! Since obtaining the recipe from my Mom I’ve made these for a few friends and they’ve requested the recipe too! I apologize I can’t give credit for the recipe to the original provider though, because Mom doesn’t remember where it came from. She did say she lessened the amount of rice by ¼ cup though. The best part about this recipe is it can be customized any way you want by switching up the cheese and meat; you may even want to try another color pepper. I love the taste of the fresh basil mixed in and use more than the recommended amount, however my husband isn’t a fan of basil, so I leave it out of his. Enjoy!
6 Red Bell Peppers
1 ¾ Cups Instant Whole Grain Brown Rice
16 oz Turkey or Chicken Sausage
4 Roma Tomatoes, Diced
1 ½ Cups Reduced-Sodium Chicken Broth
4 oz Smoked Gouda, Shredded (Gruyere or any other smoked cheese works great too)
3 TBSP Fresh Basil, Chopped *Optional
Remove rind from cheese, cut off 4 oz block and shred. Store in fridge until ready for use.
Dice tomatoes in a way that avoids using the seeds. Set aside until ready for use.
Rinse fresh basil under water, pat dry and chop. Set aside until ready for use.
Remove stems and seeds from peppers, cutting off the tops and rinsing thoroughly with water.
Fill a microwave safe dish (like CorningWare) 1/3 of the way with water and submerge tops of peppers.
Place dish in microwave and cook on high 3 to 4 minutes. Rotate dish 180 degrees and microwave an additional 3 to 4 minutes. **NOTE: I like my peppers to be slightly firm once cooked, so I usually heat a total of 6 to 6 & 1/2 minutes. Depending upon the number of peppers in the dish and the desired consistency of the peppers, cooking time will vary**
Remove sausage from casing and brown in saucepan.
Discard drippings and strain cooked sausage under water to remove excess fat, if needed. **NOTE: Depending upon the turkey or chicken sausage used, it is so low in fat that rinsing the sausage is not necessary**
Add rice, diced tomatoes and broth to saucepan with sausage, mixing to combine. Cook over medium to medium-high heat until mixture boils. Stir and cover.
Turn temperature to 2 or 3 and simmer 5 minutes.
Remove saucepan from heat and let stand until rice fully absorbs broth, about 10 minutes.
Preheat oven to Broil.
Add ½ the shredded cheese and all the fresh basil (if using) to mixture and stir well to combine.
Using a spoon, stuff peppers with sausage mixture and top with remaining cheese, distributing evenly across 6 peppers.
Broil peppers 2 to 4 minutes, or until cheese is melted.
Yields 6 Servings
Weight Watchers: 1 pepper = 8 points plus