Italian Stuffed Peppers

Stuffed with quinoa, brown rice and Italian sausage, these Italian Stuffed Peppers are a tasty and filling winter meal!

Stuffed with quinoa, brown rice and Italian sausage, these Italian Stuffed Peppers are a tasty and filling winter meal!“You’ve got to wait until the sky is totally grey.  All one color.  And you can’t see any clouds.  That’s when it’s likely to snow.”  I remember my mother telling me this when I was a kid…and I subsequently remember staring out of the window for hours waiting for that solid, dull-grey sky.  Growing up in the south, snow was rare.  In fact, I’d guess that we saw snow only once or twice during our years Charleston.  We later moved to Raleigh, NC, and while snow was more common there, it was still rare.  Snow was still an “OMG!  It’s snowing!” type of event.

Stuffed with quinoa, brown rice and Italian sausage, these Italian Stuffed Peppers are a tasty and filling winter meal!Back then, snow meant snow days.  Snow meant an unexpected day off of school.  Snow meant fun!  We’d build snowmen, have snowball fights, make snow “ice cream”.  It was a regular old party!  Now that we live up here in upstate New York, snow is fairly common.  Correct that.  Snow is very common.  In the last week alone, we’ve had 2 large snow storms.  One led to Robbie’s daycare closing for the day and the other led to a 2-hour delay.  Both led me to snowblowing and shoveling the driveway in the bitter cold.

Stuffed with quinoa, brown rice and Italian sausage, these Italian Stuffed Peppers are a tasty and filling winter meal!Over the weekend, we decided to have some good old-fashioned fun with the snow.  Sunday was a snowy day, so we pulled out our sled and laid Robbie right down on top.  Of course, we put him in his hand-me-down snow suit, and he looked a bit like a cartoon character.  But at least he was warm and dry!  So off we went pulling the sled behind us down the street.  At first, we thought Robbie would complain or perhaps try to get off the sled.  Nope.  He loved it!  In fact, at one point, I was trotting along at a nice little clip while Robbie laid on the sled yelling “Go!  Go!”  So Dad went and went.  And then Dad came in and took a nap on the couch.  (Hey, running through snow is hard work!  How did I do that when I was a kid?!)

Once we recovered from the sledding adventure, I hopped into the kitchen to make dinner.  I had a general idea that I wanted to make stuffed peppers with Italian sausage, but I wasn’t sure where to go from there.  I decided to add in some brown rice and quinoa to bulk up the filling.  Add in some Parmesan cheese and then top those peppers off with tomato sauce and shredded mozzarella, and a mighty tasty dinner began to come together!

Stuffed with quinoa, brown rice and Italian sausage, these Italian Stuffed Peppers are a tasty and filling winter meal!Whenever it comes to rice and grains, I turn to Bob’s Red Mill.  Not only do they sell a huge variety of rices and grains, but I know I can always trust their quality.  As a result, I always keep several different types of Bob’s Red Mill’s rices and grains in our pantry at all times.

For these Italian Stuffed Peppers, I used both Long Grain Brown Rice as well as Organic Whole Grain Quinoa.  I love both brown rice and quinoa individually, but I find that the two taste even better when mixed together.  Both have a mild nutty flavor, and they make a great base for fillings like the one in these Italian Stuffed Peppers.  Not only did the rice and quinoa bulk up the filling so I ended up with more stuffed peppers, but they boosted the protein in this dish, too.  Win!  Wondering where to buy Bob’s Red Mill products near you?  Click here!

Stuffed with quinoa, brown rice and Italian sausage, these Italian Stuffed Peppers are a tasty and filling winter meal!That night, Laura and I ate our Italian Stuffed Peppers while we watched the snow fall in the backyard.  And Robbie sat there with us in his high chair.  He even poked at a bit of the rice and quinoa before giving up and opting for sweet potatoes (his favorite) for dinner.  All in all, I give our snow day an A+.  So next time it snows, grab a sled and act like a kid again!  In the meantime, stay warm and enjoy these Italian Stuffed Peppers!

Stuffed with quinoa, brown rice and Italian sausage, these Italian Stuffed Peppers are a tasty and filling winter meal!

Stuffed with quinoa, brown rice and Italian sausage, these Italian Stuffed Peppers are a tasty and filling winter meal!

Italian Stuffed Peppers

Stuffed with quinoa, brown rice and Italian sausage, these Italian Stuffed Peppers are a tasty and filling winter meal!
Print Pin Rate
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 35 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours 5 minutes
Servings: 6 servings
Calories: 545kcal

Ingredients

For Brown Rice

  • ½ cup brown rice uncooked
  • 1 cup water

For Quinoa

  • ½ cup quinoa uncooked
  • 1 cup water

For the Stuffed Peppers

  • cup bread crumbs
  • ¼ cup milk
  • 1 pound mild Italian ground sausage
  • 1 medium white onion diced
  • 1 large egg beaten
  • ¼ cup fresh Italian parsley chopped
  • tsp garlic minced
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • ½ tsp red pepper flakes
  • ¼ cup Parmesan cheese grated
  • 6 large bell peppers
  • 1 15-oz. jar tomato sauce
  • ½ cup mozzarella cheese shredded

Instructions

For the Brown Rice

  • Using a medium saucepan, combine the rice and water. Place over medium heat until water begins to boil. Cover pan and reduce it to lowest setting. Let simmer (covered) for 50 minutes. Remove from heat and let sit for 10 minutes covered. Fluff with a fork and set aside for later.

For the Quinoa

  • Using a medium saucepan, bring water to a boil. Add quinoa and return to a boil. Cover pan and reduce heat to medium. Let simmer (covered) for 12 minutes. Remove from heat, fluff with a fork, cover and let stand for 15 minutes. Set aside for later.

For the Stuffed Peppers

  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray a large baking dish with cooking spray; set aside.
  • Using a large bowl, combine the bread crumbs and milk. Let soak for 15 minutes.
  • Using a large skillet, add the sausage and onion; cook over medium-high until sausage is fully cooked.
  • Transfer cooked sausage and onions into bowl with breadcrumbs. Add cooked rice, cooked quinoa, egg, parsley, garlic, salt, pepper, oregano, basil, red pepper and Parmesan cheese. Mix until well combined.
  • Slice a thin layer off the top of each pepper. Remove seeds and inner membranes. Pour ~⅓ of tomato sauce into bottom of baking dish. Stuff peppers with the sausage and rice mixture. Place peppers upright in dish. Pour remaining tomato sauce over tops of peppers.
  • Cover dish tightly with foil and bake for 40-45 minutes, or until peppers are tender.
  • Remove foil. Sprinkle tops of peppers with shredded cheese. Bake for 5 more minutes, or until cheese has fully melted.
  • Before serving, spoon sauce from dish over peppers and garnish with additional chopped parsley.

This Italian Stuffed Peppers post was written by me on behalf of Bob’s Red Mill.
The opinions and recipe are all my own.  Thank you for supporting the brands that support Spiced!

Stuffed with quinoa, brown rice and Italian sausage, these Italian Stuffed Peppers are a tasty and filling winter meal!

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24 Comments

  1. OMGEEE – the cuteness! That picture and video of Robbie sledding are just too adorable! Haha – and gotta love that he’s bossing you around telling you to keep going! Yup, I remember running (and not falling) through/in snow being hard work – those couple of times or so I tried it! And, what better way to recover than with a hearty and healthy meal of sausage, rice and quinoa stuffed peppers!

    1. Haha…we had so much fun frolicking in the snow with Robbie! Laura and I were pretty sure it would fail miserably, but he loved it! It took him until the end of the driveway before he started yelling for us to go faster. 🙂 And these stuffed peppers were just the way to enjoy the end of that snow day. Yum! Thanks, Shashi!

  2. Are you sure Robbie enjoyed this winter fun? Because on the video he doesn’t look that excited – rather concentrated. And tell me about all this snow. Andrey is having a flight from Halifax to Toronto tomorrow, and they had up to 70 cm of snow. Only on Monday. Hopefully this stopps and clears by tomorrow. And these stuffed peppers are delicious, David. Sausage, cheese, and herbs – what could be better?

    1. That video was from the beginning of his trip down the driveway…he just got more and more excited as we went. But it was hard to video him since we were basically jogging in the snow! Yeah, the snow hasn’t been too bad this year…until the past week. But I see some warm(ish) days are coming, so that will help melt all this mess. Also, you should make some stuffed peppers for Andrey’s return. They’re delicious…even if they don’t include dulce de leche. 🙂 Have a great weekend, my friend!

    1. Thanks so much, Cassidy!! We had a blast on our snow day…and I have a sinking feeling that Robbie is hoping for more snow soon. Dad is on the #MoreNappingLessShoveling train right now though! 🙂

  3. Hi David. I love stuffed peppers with different grains and meats. The pictures of Robbie remind me of sledding with my kids in MI, good memories.`

    1. Haha! Next time I should include a picture of me shoveling…just to remind you of those days in MI! 🙂 But, yes, we did have a blast with Robbie last weekend. We weren’t sure how he would like it, but it turns out he loved it! By the time we got to the end of the driveway (in that video), he was yelling Go! Go! 🙂 And these stuffed peppers were the perfect comfort food dish for that cold, snowy day, too! Thanks so much for commenting, Dorothy…and tell Gary I said hello!!

  4. I was really hoping these were peppers stuffed by Italians, or stuffed with Italians, but then it occurred to me that those would be Italian-Stuffed Peppers, with a hyphen. Nonetheless, I haven’t had a stuffed pepper in so long, I cannot remember it! I would love to have one. What time is dinner?

    1. Well, I see your point and desire here, Jeff. But sadly no Italians were used to make these peppers. But I can promise that the quinoa, brown rice and Italian sausage were more than worthy stand-ins for the Italians. I’ve actually still got 2 of these for leftovers tonight…and Laura is off curling. See you for dinner at say 7:00? 🙂

  5. London, unfortunately, is not a snowy place either – I only saw about 3 snowflakes this year … Having grown up in Bavaria with lots of snow every winter I miss it and all the fun that comes with it. Love the video of Robbie Sledding – looks like a great day in the snow! Stuffed peppers remind me of my mum she liked making them when we were kids. Your filling sounds delicious and like the perfect winter comfort food!

    1. 3 snowflakes? That’s all? And I seem to remember London getting a lot of rain…but it must just not be cold enough to snow? Either way, I’m sure a cold rain will still put you in the mood for some comfort food…and these stuffed peppers are sure to fit the bill! Thanks, Miriam…and keep starting outside. You never know when you might see that 4th snowflake! Haha!

  6. I totally know what your mother meant about the gray sky – you can just tell when there’s snow coming! We had about 2 feet of snow the past two days with crazy winds! So, suffice to say we had two snow days! I remember going sledding when I was a kid and the crazy hills we would go down. When I think about it now I wonder what we were thinking some times 😀 I love stuffed peppers, but haven’t had them in ages!! Love the combo of quinoa and rice. This would have been perfect after coming in from the snow. P.S. Robbie looks adorable in his little suit!!

    1. Oh my gosh, it sounds like you’ve gotten more snow than us lately…although we aren’t far behind. Yuck!! I was talking with my Dad the other day and he reminded me of this hill we’d sled down when I was a kid. It was a super steep street, but kids would come from blocks away when it snowed. The police actually just closed the street and we’d sled all night long. I think ppl were out there one night until past midnight! Oh, those were the days, right? These stuffed peppers are indeed the perfect comfort food on a snowy day. Thanks so much, Dawn…and stay warm up there! 🙂

  7. OK, I can do this one, David! I’ve stuffed peppers before. Of course, mine never came out looking as beautiful as your’s, and that isn’t caused by lack of trying my peppers overcook, or maybe I over cook them lol. Growing up in Northern California I only experienced snow once. It melted before it hit the ground, but that didn’t make us any less excited. I can only imagine fun snow days in my childhood. I’ve had my fair share of snow experiences now that I’m an adult. But I wish I could have seen it through those rose color glasses kids always seem to wear. 🙂

    1. Yes! You can absolutely do this one, Mary! And honestly, I’m sure yours will look just as beautiful. It’s all about using the mix of colored peppers to make them look colorful and bright! And that filling…oh man is it delicious! 🙂 You could just leave out the sausage for yours though since you are a vegetarian…the flavor will still be great! And you’re right…there’s just something unique and fun about snow when you’re a kid. Heck, I still love the first snow of the year even as an adult…but the 3rd, 4th, 16th snows? Yeah, not so much. Hope you have an awesome weekend, Mary! Thanks!

  8. Sounds like you guys had a great time in the snow, and got a workout in there too!

    I love making stuffed peppers. I’ve had a new stuffed pepper idea in my head that I need to actually make sometime soon! Bob’s Red Mill is such a fabulous brand. I buy so many of their products!

    1. We really did have a bunch of fun in that snow, Nicole! Of course, I had to go out and do the real work of getting it out of the driveway later…but Robbie’s giggles made it all worth it! 🙂 Yes! Go make stuffed peppers soon! And I couldn’t agree with you more about Bob’s Red Mill. My pantry is also full of different Bob’s ingredients. Hope your week is off to a great start so far!

  9. Dude that little Eskimo!!!!! Gah, what fun! I’m glad he appreciates the snow- Especially with dad having to dig through it in the peak of Winter. Let’s see if he adopts the gardening (aka lawn mowing love too ;))

    These peppers look like the perfect no-fuss meal- I mean, the rice, cheese and a giant pepper- count me in!

    1. He was indeed a little Eskimo that day. He could barely move in that snow suit…reminded me of some sort of cartoon character! And I think Robbie will love the lawn mowing…especially when it becomes one of his chores. ZING! Dad will make stuffed peppers while Robbie does all of the housework. 🙂

    1. Thanks so much, Kevin! Yes, these peppers were perfect after an afternoon of running around in the snow. But I bet they’d be just as tasty after running around in the rain! 🙂

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