Stuffed Peppers with Quinoa

Super easy make ahead meal. ©2014 Deborah Kaplan

True comfort food. ©2014 Deborah Kaplan

Close up view. ©2014 Deborah Kaplan

Close up view of half a pepper. ©2014 Deborah Kaplan

I have always loved traditional Italian style stuffed peppers with hamburger, rice and tomato sauce. With that said, I decided to sub quinoa for the rice as it is a healthier replacement. I can remember from my childhood, entering the neighbor’s house across the street when she was making stuffed peppers. The aroma was intoxicating. These have that same aroma, that drives us insane when the stuffed peppers are cooking. DH and I share one pepper and MIL only eats the filling without the cheese. This recipe can produce 4-6 stuffed peppers depending on how big the bell peppers are. The dish pictured is a 9″x 9″ square baking dish. I try to buy short wide peppers that sit upright without falling over. I prefer the red or orange ones over the green ones as they are sweeter.

Ingredients:

  • 4 -6 bell peppers (large)
  • Cooking spray
  • 1 pound ground meat (veal, pork and beef mixture).
  • 1/2 cup onion (finely minced)
  • 1 tablespoon garlic (minced)
  • 1 cup quinoa (cooked)
  • 2 cups spaghetti sauce
  • 1 cup spaghetti sauce (optional at table side)
  • 2 cups mozzarella cheese
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese (optional)

Directions:

  1. Cut tops off peppers, remove seeds and discard the tops.
  2. Place peppers in a pot full of water with enough water so peppers don’t touch the bottom of pot, filling the insides of the peppers with water too.
  3. Bring to a boil, (about 15 minutes) then turn it off, and drain water.
  4. Spray casserole dish with cooking spray and place peppers in it, hollow side up and set aside.
  5. Spray a skillet lightly with cooking spray and brown the ground meat.
  6. Drain drippings and place cooked meat in a mixing bowl.
  7. Use same skillet to saute the onions for about 5 minutes on medium heat, stirring frequently so they don’t burn.
  8. Add garlic and saute with onion for 1 minute, remove from heat and add to cooked meat mixing it throughout.
  9. Add quinoa and 1 cup of spaghetti sauce to meat mixture and mix everything.
  10. Preheat oven at 350 degrees F.
  11. Stuff meat mixture into peppers to the top.
  12. Using 2nd cup of sauce, spoon sauce equally on top of each pepper.
  13. Top each pepper with mozzarella cheese.
  14. Place casserole in oven and bake for 30 minutes.
  15. Add Parmesan cheese (optional)
  16. (DH likes to cut his pepper into bite sized pieces and add more sauce on the stuffed pepper at the table).

Preparation time:  45 minutes  /   Baking Time:  30 minutes   /    Servings: 4-6

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