I love recipes that are 1. delicious 2. easily customizable and 3. can withstand adding lots of extra veggies!. This stuffed pepper recipe fits all of these so well! Oh, and it also needs to make good leftovers. Yep, does that too.
This summer I have been going to the local farmer’s market more often and I’ve discovered some of the best, high-quality meats from one of the farms, Pastimes Farm and Bakery out of Lincoln, Missouri. If you’ve never thought about purchasing meat at your farmer’s market, I would encourage you to check it out. They often have grass-fed and pasture-raised meats at a competitive price. We have really been loving their Italian pork sausage, which is where I got the idea for the stuffed peppers. It is unbelievably flavorful and works perfectly in this recipe. We also love to use it for homemade pizza.
What to serve with stuffed peppers
Stuffed peppers can really be a meal in itself. You have your protein with the meat or a meat substitute, fat from the meat and olive oil, carbs from the veggies and rice, and lots of veggies of different colors. Here are a few ideas for side dishes:
small side salad
roasted potatoes or sweet potatoes
fruit or fruit salad
There are a lot of different things you can do with this recipe. You can change out proteins, veggies, starch or just eat the filling on its own. Customize to your hearts desire, friends. Here are some ideas:
Use ground beef, turkey, chicken or pork in place of the sausage. You will want to add some additional seasonings for flavor.
I think lentils or black beans would be really good here as a substitute for the meat. Or even half meat and half beans.
You can really mix up the veggies for your taste preferences, sensitivities or what you have available and need to use from your fridge. I like veggies that will hold up well and still have a little crunch like the broccoli slaw and zucchini. Some ideas that would work are chopped or shredded carrots, celery, eggplant, diced tomatoes, and mushrooms.
You can use quinoa in place of rice. You could use all grains instead of cauliflower rice or all cauliflower rice instead of grains. Lots of options here.
If you eat dairy, you could mix in feta or goat cheese or top with shredded cheese.
There is always the option to eat the filling plain or in a wrap if you’re not a big fan of bell peppers. I serve the filling with a little additional rice for my son when we have this and he really likes it. It would also be really good over a baked sweet potato.
Italian Sausage and Veggie Stuffed Peppers
Gluten-free, dairy-free, option for grain-free
Makes: 4-6 servings
- 4 -6 bell peppers, any color (use fewer if serving some of the filling on its own)
- 2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 cup diced onion
- 1 cup chopped broccoli slaw
- ½-¾ cup chopped zucchini
- 1 ½ cup or 6-8oz riced cauliflower
- ½ - 1 cup cooked brown rice
- 1 cup chopped spinach
- 1# ground Italian sausage or meat of choice
- 1 cup marinara sauce
- 2 tsp Italian seasoning
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Heat olive oil in pan over medium heat.
- Saute onion in olive oil until soft.
- Add ground sausage to onions and cook, breaking up meat with a wooden spoon. Drain if needed.
- While meat is cooking, slice each pepper in half lengthwise and remove tops and cores.
- Add broccoli slaw, zucchini, riced cauliflower and rice to meat mixture. Cook another 5 minutes until tender.
- Add spinach and cook until just wilted.
- Stir in Italian seasoning and sauce.
- Spoon meat mixture into peppers. Can cover with foil to prevent the meat mixture from getting overcooked.
- Bake until peppers are tender, about 30 minutes.
I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as we do! If you try this recipe, please leave a comment! I love your feedback.