It’s starting to be that time of year where the temperatures are perfectly warm during the day and the evenings are nice and cool. It’s this time of year that I like to start to use my crockpot again. These can be prepped the day in advance or you can make them the same day – since they are not in the crockpot for that long. These definitely require some prep – so consider that when doing your meal planning.
I will tell you this though – they are totally worth it! I loved the rich tomato sauce paired with the perfectly cooked rice and sausage. The peppers were soft but not mushy. If you’ve got a few peppers left from your garden this year – I highly recommend you try this recipe out.
- 4 red, yellow or orange bell peppers
- 1 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
- 3/4 cup Arborio rice
- 8 oz. hot Italian sausage, casings removed
- 2 onions, chopped fine
- 6 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/2 tsp. dried oregano
- salt and pepper
- 1/8 tsp. red pepper flakes
- 1 (28 oz.) can crushed tomatoes
- 1 1/4 cups Parmesan cheese, divided
- 2 Tbsp. chopped fresh basil
1. Cut 1/2 inch off the top of each of the bell peppers. Discard stems and seeds. Chop pepper tops into 1/4 inch pieces; set pepper cups aside.
2. Microwave chicken broth and rice in a covered large bowl until liquid is absorbed and rice is nearly tender – 13 to 15 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, cook sausage in a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat, breaking up into small pieces until browned – 6 to 8 minutes. Transfer cooked sausage to a paper-lined plate once cooked.
4. Pour off all but 1 Tbsp. of fat from skillet (or add some oil if needed – I used lean chicken sausage). Cook onions and chopped pepper until softened and brown – 8 to 10 minutes. Stir in garlic, oregano, 1/2 tsp. salt, 1/4 tsp. pepper, and red pepper flakes. Add tomatoes and bring to a boil, then remove from heat.
5. Combine 1 cup of sauce, sausage, 1 cup parmesan cheese and rice. Transfer remaining sauce to the slow cooker.
6. Poke 4 holes in the bottom of each pepper cup, using a skewer or knife. Fill each pepper with rice mixture and place upright in a slow cooker. Top pepper with remaining parmesan cheese.
7. Cover and cook on low until peppers and rice are tender – 4 to 4 1/2 hours.
8. Transfer peppers to a plate. Stir basil into sauce and season with salt and pepper. Spoon sauce over peppers to serve.
Source: Cook’s Country Aug/Sept. 2011