(My Own!) Stuffed Banana Peppers

I’m very excited about this post because this is my first main course meal that I invented entirely on my own!  I hope you give this a try and enjoy it as much as I did :)

 

Stuffed Banana Peppers with Quinoa and Chicken Sausage

Serves: 6 stuffed peppers

1/2 lb fire roasted chicken sausage

1/2 cup uncooked quinoa

3 garlic cloves, minced

1/2 white onion, diced

1 orange pepper, diced

1.5 tbsp olive oil

6 banana peppers

1 cup reduced-fat Mexican blend cheese

14.5 oz can reduced-sodium chicken broth

28 oz can low-sodium crushed tomatoes, divided

1/2 tsp. dried basil

1/2 tsp. dried oregano

Salt & pepper to taste

Sprinkle of crushed red pepper flakes (to taste)

1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs

Instructions:

  1. Boil a large pot of water.
  2. Chop the tops off the banana peppers and clean them of all seeds by making a long slit down the side of the pepper lengthwise.
  3. Once water is boiling, add banana peppers and cook for 5 minutes.
  4. While peppers cook, rinse quinoa thoroughly (I use a very fine colander so quinoa won’t slip through the holes).
  5. Heat a olive oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat.  Once hot, saute onion, sausage and orange pepper until vegetables are tender and sausage is cooked, about 8-10 minutes.  Add garlic in last 3 minutes of cooking.
  6. Preheat oven to 350 F
  7. Add half of crushed tomatoes can, quinoa, chicken broth, basil, oregano and crushed red pepper flakes to the skillet.  Bring to a boil and then simmer for 15 minutes.
  8. Turn the heat off and mix in the cheese.
  9. Place 2-3 spoonfuls of remaining 14.5 oz crushed tomatoes on bottom of a 13×9 glass baking dish.  Place cooked, sliced open banana peppers into the dish.  Stuff each pepper with about 3/4 cup of the sausage-quinoa mixture or enough to fill it.  Divide what is remaining in the crushed tomatoes can across the tops of the six peppers, then top with a sprinkle of panko breadcrumbs.
  10. Bake at 350 F for 30 minutes or until warmed through.
  11. Serve with mixed greens salad of your choice.

 

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