Sunday, August 5, 2012

Cornbread-Sausage-Stuffed Bell Peppers

Stuffed peppers sound good and not good, at the same time. I don't know what it is about them that makes me think "uh, no". Sausage and a tomato-based sauce coupled with that whole "try new things" onus I put on myself caused me to try it. The fresh homemade corn bread better be awesome in this!

Cornbread-Sausage-Stuffed Bell Peppers
adapted from Cooking Club of America
click to print

12 oz. bulk Italian sausage
1 c finely chopped yellow summer squash
1/2 c finely chopped celery
1/2 c finely chopped onion
3 large garlic cloves, minced
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
3 c cubed cornbread (1/2 inch)*
1 (14-oz.) jar spaghetti sauce
3 medium assorted color bell peppers, halved lengthwise
1/3 c shredded Parmesan cheese

Heat oven to 350ºF.

Cook sausage in large skillet over medium-high heat 3 to 4 minutes or until beginning to brown, stirring frequently.

Add squash, celery and onion; cook 5 minutes or until sausage is no longer pink and vegetables are tender, stirring frequently.

Add garlic, salt and pepper; cook and stir 1 minute.

Remove from heat; gently stir in cornbread.

Spray 9x13-inch glass or ceramic baking dish with cooking spray.

Pour spaghetti sauce over bottom of baking dish.

Spoon stuffing mixture into bell pepper halves, mounding as necessary. Arrange in baking dish; cover with foil.

Bake 40 to 45 minutes or until peppers are almost tender. Sprinkle with cheese; bake, uncovered, an additional 10 minutes or until peppers are tender.

I thought my peppers were tender enough after baking 40 minutes.

It's like a pasta dish minus the pasta. So very pretty and tasty, I can see how stuffed peppers could be a regular in a families rotation. Keeping the peppers more on the firm side allowed for them remaining five to be served as leftovers without them turning into a mushy pile. If you're going to serve them all at once, softer peppers might be preferable.

The corn bread I used worked very well for this; I agree with the magazine recommendation of using a corn bread without a lot of sugar added. The sauce in a jar offered enough sweetness. My bread cubes leaned more toward 1" cubes rather than 1/2". It worked out, but smaller would be better. Same goes for the sausage chunks. If either or both are too large, stuffing the peppers gets to be a little bit of a hassle.

Finally, since seasonings are heavily reliant on the sausage and sauce, pick ones you like.

  • Italian sausage: $2.18
  • yellow summer squash: $0.58
  • celery: $0.09
  • onion: $0.27
  • garlic cloves: $0.15
  • cornbread: $0.80
  • spaghetti sauce: $1.45
  • bell peppers: $1.94
  • Parmesan cheese: $1.01

Total: $8.47 or  $1.41 for each of six servings.