Bell peppers and I have had a tumultuous past. As a kid I hated all of them, but someone once told me that every 7 years your taste buds change. In my case this is definitely true. I still don’t care much for the green bell peppers, but the red, orange and yellow ones are super sweet and really lovely. I think one of the reasons for my aversion to bell peppers started when I would try to eat the traditional stuffed bell pepper, over cooked mushy green bell pepper with some pretty bland ground beef, rice and tomato sauce… Now that I have an appreciation for this fine vegetable and we are in the time of year that they are popping out of people’s gardens across the nation, I decided to give the bell pepper the status it deserves. So, I created the Sausage Stuffed Pepper!
In this beautiful little pepper you will find not only lean ground beef, but hot Italian sausage, brown rice, onions, tomato sauce and my secret ingredient… Swiss cheese. I decided to keep the ingredients super simple and let the sausage do most of the work for me. It’s a super simple and delicious dinner to get on the table to spice things up. And as a mom, I have to tell ya, I love it when a fully balanced meal is all in one tidy package like this.
Now, my husband is still at odds with the poor little bell pepper, so I simply took some of the filling and placed it in an individual casserole dish for him. If you have pepper haters in your life or just want to try something different, this filling can be placed in a hollowed out zucchini, eggplant or ooooo spaghetti squash, yum. It’s super versatile and easy to work with. Give it a try!
The recipe I am going to go through with you is for my small family, so I am only making three peppers and a small casserole as I mentioned… but, you can absolutely double or triple without a problem… You could even double and freeze half if you like…
Recipe for Sausage Stuffed Peppers:
1/2 lb. lean ground beef
3 Hot Italian Sausage links, removed from casing
1 medium onion, diced
1 1/2 cups cooked brown rice
1 small can tomato sauce, divided
1 1/2 cups Swiss cheese, shredded
3 bell peppers, seeded
kosher salt and fresh cracked black pepper to taste
1 Tbs. olive oil
Preheat oven to 350°F.
In a skillet brown the ground beef, sausage and onion over medium heat. Once fully browned and onions are soft, add in cooked brown rice. Combine and transfer to a mixing bowl for easier handling. Add in 1/2 can of tomato sauce. Combine. Add in 1 cup of shredded cheese. Combine.
Prepare peppers by cutting off the top and removing the seeds from the top and bottom. Prepare a baking dish by adding in the olive oil and 1/2 of the remaining tomato sauce. Spread.
Add filling to each pepper, overstuffing if possible. Top with remaining cheese. Add on the top of each pepper. Bake for 30-45 minutes uncovered.
Serve with remaining tomato sauce, Enjoy!
*This is a gluten-free recipe.