I love comfort food. That is something about me that will never, ever change. Biscuits and gravy, italian toast with sweet cream butter, macaroni and cheese…if I ever end up in the slammer on death row, my last meal request would be all of the above with a side of my stepmom’s mashed potatoes.
Of all of the healthier recipes we’ve been trying lately, this recipe for stuffed sweet red peppers hits closest to home in regards to comfort food. The below recipe uses ground turkey instead of beef, with just a little bit of sweet Italian sausage for flavor. If you’re cutting extra calories, I’d try chicken or turkey sausage instead. The filling mixture was so good that we’re keeping it as a new meatball recipe.
According to my food tracking app, one serving comes out at 615 calories; 120 of the total is from parmesan cheese, which makes for an easy way to cut more if you want. We both were very full afterwards; it was like eating a giant meatball with a side of roasted red pepper, haha. (The garlic toast was Russell’s, the stinker).
Stuffed Sweet Red Peppers (Healthier!) Recipe
Please see below to view a printable version of the recipe.
Stuffed Sweet Red Peppers (Healthier) Recipe
- 1.5 teaspoons of extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 onion, finely chopped
- 1 cup of tomato spaghetti sauce (meatless)
- 1/2 cup low sodium beef broth
- 1.5 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
- 2 ounces sweet Italian sausage
- 6 ounces ground turkey
- 1/2 cup diced tomatoes with juice
- 4 tablespoons Italian-seasoned breadcrumbs
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 tablespoons parsley
- 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
- 2 sweet red bell peppers, chopped in half horizontally and seeded
- To taste:
- Red pepper flakes
- Cayenne pepper
- Salt and pepper
- Glass pie dish or 9×9 square glass baking dish
- Frying pan
- Medium/large mixing bowl
- Tin foil
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees. While oven is preheating, chop onion, mince garlic, and chop/clean bell peppers.
- In a skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add finely chopped onion and sauté until tender. When done, remove onion from heat and place in mixing bowl.
- Add the tomato/spaghetti sauce, beef broth, balsamic vinegar, and red pepper flakes to the skillet. Heat for about three minutes, until well combined and warm. Pour the tomato sauce mixture in the bottom of the glass baking dish and set aside.
- In a mixing bowl, add the breadcrumbs, turkey, sausage, diced tomatoes, parsley, minced garlic, and cayenne pepper in with the onions. Season with salt and pepper if you want. Mix well, with your hands if necessary. Then add in half (1/4 cup) of the parmesan cheese and mix again.
- Begin to stuff your peppers. Divide the filling into four equal parts. Take one part and form into a rough meatball shape with your hands; then stuff the meat mixture into the nooks and crannies of half a red bell pepper. Repeat until all of your peppers have been stuffed.
- Place stuffed peppers in the glass baking dish on top of the tomato sauce mixture. Sprinkle the top of the peppers with remaining 1/4 cup of parmesan cheese.
- Cover baking dish with aluminum foil. Bake for 45 minutes, then remove foil and bake for another 25 minutes, or until the meat is cooked through.
- Serve peppers with tomato sauce mixture spooned overtop, or extra spaghetti sauce.
Since there are only the two of us, we made this one night for dinner and ate it for two (shoutout for leftovers everywhere). You could also serve with a side of pasta; we had ours with an olive oil- and vinegar-dressed salad. I particularly like this recipe because there is no rice in the stuffing, but you don’t miss it. Enjoy!