So let’s hear it – what are your new year’s resolutions? Did anyone resolve to eat more vegetables? As for me, I’ve noticed I’ve bought more fresh fruits and vegetables over the past year so that will continue this year. But I’ve often used vegetables as side dishes, not so much incorporating them into main dishes. However these Italian Stuffed Peppers are an exception. The Baron suggested the other week to have stuffed peppers and that came at the perfect time when bell peppers were on sale. Rather than the traditional way of making stuffed peppers, I put on an Italian spin and they turned out delicious. These Italian Stuffed Peppers were filled to the brim with rice, zucchini, Italian sausage, garlic and cheese before baking up until soft & flavorful…
If you have leftover rice, this would be a great dish to use it up in. I added crumbled Italian sausage for some heartiness but you can easily omit the sausage and use vegetable stock for a vegetarian or meatless meal. These were even good the day after when the flavors really were absorbed by the rice. So if you’re trying to incorporate more vegetables in your diet this year, give this one a try!
recipe adapted from Giada De Laurentiis
- 1 (28-ounce) can Italian tomatoes
- 2 zucchini, grated
- 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese, plus more for sprinkling
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 pound italian sausage, crumbled and cooked
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 1/2 cups rice, cooked and cooled
- 6 sweet bell peppers
- 2 cups chicken broth
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
- Pour the tomatoes into a large bowl and break apart using a pair of kitchen shears or your finger tips. Add the zucchini, cooked sausage, cheese, olive oil, garlic, salt, and pepper. Stir to combine.
- Stir the cooked rice into the vegetable mix to combine. Warm the chicken broth and set aside.
- Slice the tops off the peppers and remove all ribs and seeds. Cut a very thin slice from the base to help the peppers stand up.
- Spoon the rice mixture into the peppers. Place the peppers in a deep baking dish and fill dish with the warm chicken broth. Cover the dish with foil and bake for 45 minutes. Remove the foil, sprinkle the top of each pepper with cheese and continue baking until the cheese is golden, about 15 minutes. Remove from the oven, carefully transfer the stuffed pepper to a serving plate.