Oven baked peppers with Italian sausage, brown rice, and pasta sauce - it's a stress-free recipe that tastes great!
Stuffed peppers are a huge hit in our household. My two big kids love them and I can't tell you how happy it makes me when they ask what's for dinner and I say stuffed peppers - I don't hear moaning and groaning. I get a resounding "YES!!!!!" The big kids also love Italian sausage, so I knew they would love these. What caught my eye was that Renee (her blog is linked beneath the recipe) used Classico pasta sauce in the recipe. I was a long time fan of Prego, but converted to Classico and I use their pasta sauce all the time. The brand has pizza sauce, but I use their pasta sauce as pizza sauce because it's that good. I knew it would be amazing in this recipe too.
What also makes this recipe stand apart from every other stuffed pepper recipe I've made is that the mixture inside the pepper is cooked after putting it into the pepper. You don't cook the meat before filling the pepper. It cooks INSIDE the pepper. It's awesome! It makes for a low hassle recipe and that's always a win, in my opinion.
What you need:
- 4 large green bell peppers
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 1/2 lb. ground Italian sausage (pork or turkey)
- 1 cup cooked brown rice
- 1 1/2 cups traditional style pasta sauce (I used Classico), divided
- 1 large egg, slightly beaten
- 1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
- 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
- Fresh basil, chopped, for garnish
- Cut top off of each bell pepper and slice each pepper in half. Remove seeds and membranes. If desired, you can reserve the top (minus the stem) to dice finely to add to the mixture that goes inside the peppers. I do this sometimes to minimize wasting food! I would only add 2 to 3 chopped pepper tops in this recipe, so you can reserve the rest for another recipe - like omelets - YUM!
- Line a 9x13-inch baking dish with aluminum foil and place the eight pepper halves in the dish, inside facing up. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
- In a large bowl, mix together Italian sausage, brown rice, 1/2 cup pasta sauce, egg, and Parmesan cheese. If you chopped up the top of the peppers, add some of it to this mixture.
- Divide meat mixture equally between peppers and then top with 1 cup pasta sauce.
- Cover with dish with foil and bake in a preheated-375 degree oven for 1 hour to 1 hour and 15 minutes.
- Remove from oven and uncover. Top each pepper with mozzarella cheese and place under the broiler until cheese is brown and bubbly.
- Garnish with fresh basil and serve!
Recipe slightly adapted from Renee's Kitchen Adventures
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