A co-worker and I have been on the quest for a really good stuffed pepper recipe for a while now. It’s a running deal with us. We’re both anti-rice in our stuffed peppers and pro-meat. But I’m of the belief that sausage needs to play a role in the pepper. (I mean duh, sausage and peppers!) She could go either way. We might talk about stuffed peppers a lot. We’re kind of obsessed.
And while I’m afraid her husband might balk at the use of ground turkey and turkey sausage in these peppers, I think I can convince her that these are the best stuffed peppers ever. And if she had to use ground beef and real sausage, then they would probably be just as good. But seeing as how her husband doesn’t have to fit into a wedding dress in 24 days, then he can’t criticize my lower fat version.
And quite honestly, the flavor of the ground turkey was really, really good in these.
Queen of Quirky’s By George! I Mastered the Stuffed Pepper Recipe (And if you don’t think so, you can keep your opinions to yourself!)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil divided
- 1 small sweet yellow onion finely minced
- 5 button mushrooms finely minced
- 1 stalk of celery finely minced
- 3 cloves of garlic (you guessed it…finely minced)
- 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
- 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
- 1/2 lb of 99% fat-free ground turkey
- 2 links of lean turkey Italian sausage
- 4-5 large red bell peppers (I had a bit of stuffing left over so I could have filled five)
- 1 14 oz can of diced petite tomatoes with Italian seasoning (in juice)
- 1/4 cup of plain bread crumbs
- 1/4 cup of grated parmesan cheese
- 1 28 oz can of crushed tomatoes in puree (Yes, I know. I’m in love.)
- 1 cup low-fat mozzarella cheese
- salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 400
Heat tablespoon of olive oil in a large skillet. Add diced onion, mushrooms, celery and garlic and salt and pepper. Cook on medium about 5-7 minutes, until vegetables are soft. Add tomatoes, Italian seasoning and crushed red pepper. Turn off heat. (Taste to make sure your salt level is good.)
Remove sausage from casing and combine with turkey. Add the mixture from the skillet into the ground meat. Add bread crumbs, parmesan and salt and pepper. (Do not taste for salt levels at this point. Not that you were going to. Just feel I should say it. Just guess. I turned my sea salt grinder about three times over this mixture) Mix well.
Drizzle a baking dish with remainder of olive oil. Remove tops and core peppers, rinsing seeds away. If needed, level the bottom of the peppers so they stand upright by carefully slicing from the rounded bottom, creating a flat surface — you don’t want to puncture the peppers. Generously spoon meat mixture into the peppers so that the mixture is slightly heaping. (Sing, “my hump, my hump, my hump, my lovely lady lumps.” Then pretend like you didn’t just sing that.) Cover the peppers with the crushed tomatoes in puree.
Place in the oven and bake for 45 minutes. Remove and top each pepper with mozzarella cheese. Return to oven for 15 more minutes until cheese is melted and slightly golden brown. Serve over orzo, spooning sauce over entire pepper and onto the pasta.
Warning: lava-like insides – eat with care!
These took a while to make, but they are soooo worth it. These were huge. Like mega big. The fiance and I split one.
And then I tried to offer them to his D&D boys who were over, but they had already eaten. Silly boys.
So I guess I have lunch tomorrow, and dinner tomorrow night…
Now that I’ve found the perfect stuffed pepper recipe, I wonder what my co-worker and I are going to obsess over next?I’m sure we’ll think of something.
Wanna see some of my other food obsessions lately?