Turkey Sausage and Orzo Stuffed Peppers
Stuffed peppers are a popular favorite for a family meal because they're easy to make, satisfying and economical. You can get pretty creative with what you stuff inside a pepper, but this combination of turkey sausage and orzo is one of our favorites because it's loaded with flavor and a lot lighter than a ground beef based filling. Serve with a salad and some garlic bread for a complete meal.
- 4 large bell peppers (red, green or combination)
- 1 lb mild Italian turkey sausage, removed from the casing
- 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 1 cup orzo
- 1-1/2 to 2 cups low-sodium chicken broth (or water)
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 4 cloves garlic, very finely chopped
- 1/2 cup onion, finely chopped
- 1-1/4 cups diced tomatoes w/liquid, divided
- 2 tablespoons grated romano cheese
Preheat the oven to 375°F and grease a baking dish just large enough to hold all 4 peppers upright and side by side.
Slice the tops off the bell peppers, remove the stem and cut into 1/4-inch dice. Set aside.
Remove the core and seeds from the peppers and season the insides with a pinch of salt. Place in the prepared baking dish and pre-bake for 8 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside.
While the peppers pre-bake, heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the dried orzo and cook, stirring frequently, until the orzo is thoroughly coated with oil and has developed a nice golden color (do not brown).
Stir in 1-1/2 cups of the chicken broth, cover and cook until the liquid is absorbed and the orzo is tender, 7 to 10 minutes. Add the additional broth during cooking if needed. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.
Heat the remaining oil over medium heat and add the chopped pepper tops. Sauté until softened, 2 minutes, then add the onion and garlic. Continue cooking until the onion is soft and the garlic fragrant, 1-1/2 minutes longer.
Add the sausage, increase the heat to medium-high and continue cooking, until the sausage is lightly browned, breaking up large chunks with a spatula.
Add 1 cup of the tomatoes, along with the orzo and romano cheese. Combine well and season to taste with salt and pepper.
Fill each pepper cavity with the sausage-orzo mixture, packing gently. Depending on the size of your peppers, you may have leftover. Top each pepper with about 1 tablespoon of the remaining tomatoes and spread to cover the filling.
Bake, uncovered for 20 minutes, or until the peppers are tender when pierced with a knife. Serve immediately.
Makes 4 servings