When you ask someone to bring peppers for a dip at a party but you forget about the veggies and finish the dip with all the chips that were brought instead…
You could call these Italian stuffed peppers because of the sausage and mozzarella but you can easily change up the flavour profile to whatever ingredients you like. Add some black beans and cumin, and top with cilantro, sour cream and avocado for Mexican stuffed peppers. Add feta and olives for a Mediterranean vibe. Use any meat you like or omit the meat and use beans or quinoa for for vegetarian stuffed peppers.
1 tbsp olive oil
3 sweet bell peppers (aka paprika in Europe, capsicum in Asia), halved
3 links Italian sausage, casing removed
1.5 cups cooked rice (brown or white), preferably cooked previously and cooled
1 small onion, finely minced
2-4 cloves of garlic, finely minced
2 tsp dried Italian herbs (parsley, oregano, thyme, basil – any combination)
handful of mushrooms, chopped
1/2 eggplant, chopped
2 tomatoes, chopped
mozzarella cheese, for topping
grated Parmesan cheese, for topping (optional)
fresh parsley, for garnishing (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F.
- Drizzle the olive oil over the halved peppers and season with a sprinkle of salt and pepper.
- Roast for 10-15 minutes or until the peppers are soft and cooked through.
- While the peppers are roasting, make the filling. Brown the sausages in a large pan on medium heat, breaking up the sausages as much as possible. Once the sausage is about half cooked, add the onion, garlic, herbs, mushrooms and eggplant. Saute for 5-10 minutes until the veggies are cooked through and the sausage is fully cooked. Add the rice and tomatoes and saute until all the ingredients are well mixed throughout the rice (about 2-3 minutes). Add fresh parsley (optional) and mix to combine. Taste and adjust for salt and pepper.
- Once the peppers are roasted, fill each half with the rice and sausage mixture and top with mozzarella and a grating of fresh Parmesan cheese.
- Put the stuffed peppers back into the oven for another 3-4 minutes, until the cheese has melted. You might want to switch the oven to broil for the last 1-2 minutes to get the cheese golden brown and bubbly.
- Garnish with more fresh parsley (if you like) and serve immediately.