I love these things for SO many reasons, but the #1 might be because they’re sausage! That means they’re not chicken, salmon, or beef, which take up about 99% of our diet around here. Sausage is such a fun change-up, and we keep it light by stuffing it in a pepper. No rice in these because you just don’t need it. These are inspired by my mother-in-law, who makes them on a regular basis. I’ve had them in the back of my mind for a long time, and now that I see how easy and delicious and different these are, we’ll be making them often.
- 4 yellow bell peppers
- 1 lb mild italian sausage
- 1 clove garlic
- 1/2 cup finely chopped onion
- 1/2 cup finely chopped celery
- 1 can petite diced tomatoes (the regular size – ~10 oz I think)
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon fresh basil
- 1 teaspoon fresh oregano
- 1.5 cup homemade bread crumbs
- 1/2 cup chicken broth
- 1 cup shredded parmesan
- Pepperidge Farm crispy breadcrumbs (or any store bought version)
First make the breadcrumbs. Cut about 2-3 slices of bread (any kind) into 3/4 in pieces. Place them on a baking sheet and bake at 300 for about 15 minutes until they are dried out.
Preheat the oven to 350.
Cook the sausage in a large skillet until cooked through. If necessary, drain the fat if there is a lot of excess. You need a little left in there to cook the onions and celery. Add in the garlic, onions and celery and cook for about 8 minutes. Mix in the tomatoes, salt, basil and oregano. Stir to combine. Add in the homemade breadcrumbs and chicken broth to moisten and bring to a low boil until the broth is gone (you don’t want a liquid-y filling). Turn off the heat.
Cut the stems off the peppers, slice the peppers in half, and remove the seeds and veins. Place them in a bowl with a splash of water, cover and microwave for 2 minutes. Place the 8 pepper halves in a shallow baking dish and fill with the stuffing (do not add cheese or crispy crumbs yet). Cover with foil and bake for 20 minutes. Uncover, top peppers with the cheese then the bread crumbs (a pinch or two per pepper for an extra crunch) and bake for another 15 minutes.