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Sausage, Rice, & Quinoa Stuffed Peppers

November 1, 2018

Today, I got home from a playdate with my kids at 6:30 pm and I needed to get dinner on the table FAST because the kids were super hungry and on the verge of a meltdown.  The problem was I didn’t have much in my fridge.  I had to get a little creative.

I had some red peppers and ground pork, as well as leftover rice and quinoa pilaf from the night before so I decided to make stuffed peppers.  Not only did I get to use my leftovers (bonus points!), but I knew that this dish would be filling and serve almost as a complete meal. I say almost because I had to make some steamed broccoli also.  What can I say, I’m a glutton for punishment!

Sausage, Rice, & Quinoa Stuffed Peppers | Wannabee Chef

To make the stuffing for the peppers, I mixed the following ingredients by hand into 1 lb of ground pork (if you don’t eat pork, you can substitute any ground meat or chopped tofu and mushrooms):

2 tbsp dried onion

1 tbsp chopped fresh garlic

2 tbsp chopped parsley

2 tbsp grated pecorino romano cheese

1 tbsp paprika

1 tbsp salt

1 tbsp pepper

Pinch of crushed red pepper

Hopefully, you already have many of these ingredients handy in your spice rack.

Then I added 1/2 cup of the rice and quinoa pilaf to the mixture.  If you don’t have rice, you can use any type of grain, pasta or potatoes.  Again, a great way to use leftovers!  I find that grains provide a nice crunchiness to the dish.

I used a chef’s knife to cut two red peppers in half horizontally and removed the seeds and veins from the inside of the peppers with my hand.  I then stuffed the mixture into the halved red peppers (overstuffing a little because meat shrinks a little when cooked).

I poured a 2 inch layer of First Field pure strained tomatoes into a glass oven-safe dish.  I bought these tomatoes from Trader Joe’s but you can get it now at many grocery stores.  Trust me, the flavor of these tomatoes are amazing and will literally cause a flavor explosion in your mouth.  I also like the fact that it’s a local product for me since it’s made from New Jersey tomatoes.

I added my homemade bruschetta seasoning to the strained tomatoes in the glass dish. For my seasoning, I use equal parts (a couple of pinches) salt, garlic powder, dried basil and crushed red pepper.

Then, I placed the stuffed peppers atop the layer of strained tomatoes.

I covered the dish and put it in the oven at 400 degrees for 30 minutes.

I had dinner on the table by 7:10 pm.  This dish was enough to serve my entire family (along with the steamed broccoli, of course).  Even my husband was getting full after eating one of the stuffed peppers!

Sausage, Rice, & Quinoa Stuffed Peppers | Wannabee Chef

For a little guilty pleasure, sop up any remaining tomato sauce with some buttered toast!

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