“Sausage” Stuffed Peppers
There are about a million stuffed pepper recipes, but this one is by far my favorite. It makes a great 1-dish meal since you are getting your protein, vegetable, smart carb, and fat all in colorful package. Another bonus, it’s easy to make a big batch so you can have them for dinner tonight, and take them for lunch tomorrow! You might put in some time to make these on a Sunday evening, but they will pay off in time saved during the week.
The wild rice makes this a very special dish. I love when the food I feed my family has a story, and this wild rice brings a deep narrative with it. My friend Stacie Sheldon introduced me to this delicious whole food that also supports members of her tribe living on the White Earth Reservation in Minnesota. The rice is harvested the old fashioned way, and processed by hand. If you have never seen this process check out this video and appreciate you have access to such a healthy, labor intensive food! You can certainly find wild rice at your local grocery store, but to make this recipe extra special, order your wild rice online (I get mine at nativeharvest.com) and find out why Ari at Zingermans dedicated an entire chapter in Zingerman’s Guide to Great Eating to Really Wild Wild Rice.
Another great part about this recipe is you can get creative with the protein. Since you are adding spices to make your own sausage, you can really choose any ground meat you like. I prefer to use ground venison if I have it, it really sticks with the “hunted, gathered, and grown” feel of the other ingredients. You can also use more traditional ground pork, chicken or turkey as well. Try a couple variations, or even mix and match your meat and see what you think.
“Sausage” Stuffed Peppers
- 4 peppers of any color (I like red and yellow because I don’t eat too many other red and yellow foods), halved, cored and seeded.
- 1 cup Wild Rice
- 2 cups water
- 1 lb of ground pork, chicken, turkey, or venison
- 1 tsp each of salt, sugar, dry mustard, sage, black pepper, and onion powder
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- half an onion, diced
- 2 ribs celery, diced
- 8oz portabella mushrooms, sliced
Make the Wild Rice: add rice to water and bring to a boil. The rice is done when it is tender enough to eat, but not so done it’s curling up. About 15-20 min. Drain excess water, if necessary.
Prep the peppers: in a separate pot, bring enough water to cover peppers up to a boil. Add peppers and parboil for about 5 minutes. They should be softer then when they went in, but still sturdy enough to hold the stuffing. Remove and set aside for later.
Brown meat in a cast iron skillet and add spices. If you like spicy sausage, you can add a 1/2 tsp of red pepper flake here. When fully cooked, add the meat to the cooked rice and stir to combine.
Add olive oil to the skillet, add onion, celery and mushrooms and sweat over medium heat until onions are translucent and mushrooms are tender and lightly browned. About 5-7 minutes. Combine this mixture with the meat and rice and stir to combine.
Spoon meat/rice/veggie mixture into the prepped pepper halves and serve! Any leftovers will be good in the fridge for up to a week.
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