For some reason I feel like I grew up eating stuffed peppers, though I don’t have a clear memory of my Mom ever making any. I do remember her making stuffed cabbage leaves.
Either way, one day all I could think about was stuffed peppers. “I could hide so many veggies in them!” And use the quinoa I have had in my pantry forever. That is one of the best things about these peppers, you can make the stuffing out of whatever you have in your pantry/fridge.
The savory stuffing starts with browning some breakfast sausage in a large pan. You could use any protein you want, I like sausage for the fat and seasoning in the sausage. After it is browned and cooked through, through in your desired vegetables and a grain. Season with salt, pepper, and parsley. The best thing about these stuffed peppers? Follow this basic format and swap out whatever you need to customize it! Need it to be paleo? Swap the sausage for ground beef or turkey (or you know, use paleo sausage) and remove the grain. Gluten free? As written, this recipe is totally gluten-free. Google tells me quinoa is gluten free, and I think rice is too, so you could also sub rice if you prefer. Vegan? Omit the meat and use coconut oil to saute’ your veggies. Omit the cheese. My child is the only child in the world that doesn’t like cheese, so I only topped two peppers with cheese.
The actual best part? My son LOVED these. Any healthy meal he’ll eat with gusto is a winner in my book. Now we just have to convince his Dad……
Sausage and Quinoa Stuffed Peppers
These family friendly stuffed peppers are easily customized to suite many special diet needs, are filling, and toddler approved!
- 1 cup quinoa, cooked
- 1/2 lb breakfast sausage
- 1/2 red onion, diced
- 4 bell peppers
- 1 cup frozen peas
- mozzarella cheese (optional)
Pre-heat your oven to 350°F. Cook your quinoa per packages directions. While it is cooking, cut the tops off of your bell peppers and remove seeds/membranes from insides. Chop tops, throwing away the stem. Reserve tops for stuffing. Discard seeds and membranes.
In a pan over medium heat, crumble and brown your breakfast sausage. Once cooked through, add your onions and bell pepper tops. Cook until soft. Add frozen peas and place lid on pan, cook for 5 minutes. Add your quinoa and cheese (if using).
Take a pepper, and stuff! Over fill the peppers, as they cook the stuffing will shrink down a little. Repeat with all of the peppers. I only stuffed 3 peppers, and had tons of stuffing left over. Its delicious the next day! Top peppers with cheese if desired. Place peppers on a greased baking sheet and bake for 2o minutes. I like my peppers to still have a little crunch, feel free to bake longer for softer peppers. The filling is completely cooked when you stuff them, so you can really bake them as along or short as you want.