Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Slow cooker favorite: Italian Stuffed Bell Peppers

As you can tell by now, I am a lover of slow cooker recipes.  I've shared slow cooker soups, meats, and today I am making Italian Stuffed Peppers.  

Keep in mind, for this recipe you will need cooked rice, so if you have some left over from a previous day, that is ideal.  Otherwise, you'll want to plan ahead to make sure you have enough time. 

If you are pressed for time in the morning, you can prepare the filling for the peppers the day before and refrigerate until stuffing. I should have done that, to save the stress of making sure I could get out of the house on time. 

Italian Stuffed Bell Peppers
serves 4

1 onion, minced
6 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
4 red, yellow or orange bell peppers
1 slice white sandwich bread, torn into quarters
1/4 cup whole milk
12 oz Italian sausage removed from its casing
1 small zuccini, cut into 1/4 inch peices
3/4 cup shredded monterey jack cheese
3/4 cup cooked rice
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
salt & pepper
2 tbp minced fresh basil for garnish

1. Microwave onion, garlic, oil, tomato paste, and red pepper flakes in bowl, stiring occasionally, until onions are softened (about 5 minutes).

2. Cut top 1/2 inch off each pepper.  Chop pepper tops fine, discarding stems.  Remove core and seeds from peppers. 

3. Mash bread and milk into paste in large bowl using fork. Mix in onion mixture, chopper pepper tops, sausage, zucchini, monterey jack, cooked rice, parmesan and 1 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp pepper using hands (I used fork). Pack evenly into cored peppers.

4. Pour 1/3 cup water into slow cooker.  Place stuffed peppers upright in slow cooker.  Cover and cook until peppers are tender, 4-6 hours on low. 

5. Using tongs and slotted spoon, transfer peppers to serving platter, discarding liquid in slow cooker. Sprinkle with basil and additional parmesan and serve. 

(Image above via Why Vegetarian

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