Stuffed peppers are the quintessential firehouse meal. It is essentially a one pan dish that is easy to assemble which means less dishes for the crew to clean. It is also infinitely customizable and I could probably say I have never made them the same way twice but this recipe is definitely up there with my favorites. I wanted to lighten it up a little so I decided on using chicken sausage and making a ragu with mushrooms. The chicken sausage tricks us into thinking we are eating traditional pork sausage while keeping the calories and fat lower. Typically pork sausage has 290-455 calories and 23-38 grams of fat per link, while chicken and turkey sausage have 140-160 calories and 7-10 grams of fat for the same amount. The mushroom ragu provides the added factor of umami to the dish and also helps keep the calories low. This ragu is also great over pasta, which is exactly what I did when I competed on Food Network's Guy's Grocery Games!
This dish is proof that a firehouse classic can be turned into something healthy AND delicious!
CHICKEN SAUSAGE STUFFED PEPPERS WITH MUSHROOM RAGU
STUFFED PEPPER INGREDIENTS:
- 1 Cup Cooked Rice, White or Brown
- 4 Bell Peppers, cut in half lengthwise and seeded, ribs removed
- 1 lb. Chicken Sausage
- 1 Yellow Onion, sliced thin
- 1 Cubanelle Pepper, seeded and sliced thin
- 2 Garlic Cloves, chopped
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- Salt, to taste
- 1 Cup Panko Breadcrumbs
- ½ Cup Parmesan Cheese
STUFFED PEPPER PROCEDURE:
- Preheat oven to 400*
In a large skillet over medium heat, add a little olive oil and the chicken sausage. Brown and cook through. Remove and set aside.
Add the Cubanelle pepper and onions, saute until onion is translucent. Add the garlic and stir to prevent burning. Remove and place in a bowl with the rice.
Chop the sausage into bite size pieces and add to the rice/pepper/onion bowl. Taste and adjust seasoning.
In a small bowl, combine the breadcrumbs, parmesan and a drizzle of olive oil.
Pour the mushroom ragu (recipe below) into a baking pan. Place the halved peppers on top and stuff with the rice mixture. Top each pepper with the breadcrumb mixture. Place in the oven and bake for 25-30 minutes or until the breadcrumbs are golden brown.
QUICK MUSHROOM RAGU INGREDIENTS:
- 8 oz. Package of Mushrooms, chopped
- 28 oz. Crushed Tomatoes
- 2 Garlic Cloves, chopped
- 1 Tsp. Dry Basil
- 1 Tsp. Chili Flakes
- In a large skillet over medium-high heat, add enough olive oil to just cover bottom. Add the chopped mushrooms and stir until all the water is out of them and they start to brown. Lower the heat to low, add the chili flake, garlic and dried basil. When the garlic just starts to color, add the tomatoes. Cook at a simmer while you assemble the peppers.