Stuffed Green Peppers with Brown Rice, Italian Sausage, and Parmesan
This is one of my earliest and most popular recipes for stuffed green peppers, with turkey Italian sausage, brown rice, and Parmesan, and they freeze well too so you might want to double the recipe. These delicious stuffed peppers are low-glycemic and gluten-free; use the Diet-Type Index to find more recipes like this one.
I’m a long-time fan of stuffed bell peppers, and I’ve made a lot of stuffed pepper varieties through the years, but what inspired me to create this recipe for Stuffed Green Peppers with Brown Rice, Italian Sausage, and Parmesan was finding an amazing sale on green peppers at the grocery store. I stocked up on peppers and let what I found in the fridge inspire the recipe.
At first I planned to make a meatless stuffed pepper but when I found two links of Jenni-O turkey Italian sausage in the fridge. I couldn’t resist adding that to the mix. However, you could easily make this vegetarian by substituting sauteed mushrooms for the sausage. You could also use more sausage and less rice if you want a pepper recipe that’s lower in carbs, but don’t skip the ground fennel and grated Parmesan added to the stuffing because that flavor combination is what makes these stuffed peppers so over-the-top good!
(Historical note: I used to make Stuffed Green Peppers with Brown Rice, Italian Sausage, and Parmesan often for my father, who passed away in January of 2011. I’ll always think of sharing them with him whenever I make this recipe.)
I started by cooking one cup of Uncle Ben’s Brown Rice in my Zojirushi Rice Cooker, or follow package directions and cook the rice on the stove. Then barely slice off the bottom of each pepper so they stand up in the dish. Cut off stem end of the pepper, then remove seeds and stand the peppers up in a baking dish you’ve sprayed with non-stick spray or olive oil. Remove the stems, then chop up the pepper tops along with one large onion.
Heat olive oil, then saute the peppers and onions for 3-4 minutes. Remove peppers and onions, add more olive oil, then squeeze the sausage out of the casings and saute until browned, breaking apart with the turner. Add the onions and peppers to the sausage, add dried spices and saute 2-3 minutes to blend the flavors. Then mix in the cooked brown rice and Parmesan cheese and cook 1-2 minutes to warm the mixture.
Stuff the filling mixture into the peppers, pushing down with a spoon so the peppers are tightly stuffed. Cook the stuffed peppers at 375 F/190C for about 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, remove from oven and put a generous pinch of grated mozzarella on top of each pepper. Put peppers back in the oven and bake 10-15 minutes more, or until cheese is melted and lightly browned. Serve hot.
Stuffed Green Peppers with Brown Rice, Italian Sausage, and Parmesan
- 1 C long-grain brown rice (I used Uncle Ben’s Brown Rice, but any long-grain rice will work.)
- 4 large green bell peppers, bottom trimmed, cap end cut off and diced, and seeds removed
- 1 large onion, diced
- 2 tsp. + 1 tsp. olive oil
- 2 links (about 8 ounces) turkey Sweet Italian Sausage (or other sausage of your choice. Use diced mushrooms instead of sausage for vegetarian version.)
- 1/2 tsp. ground fennel
- 1/2 tsp. dried Greek or Turkish oregano
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
- 1/4 cup grated mozzarella cheese
- Cook rice according to package directions, or using a rice cooker. (Rice can be cooked ahead and used in this recipe later.)
- Preheat oven to 375F/190C. Trim bottom of bell peppers so they have a flat surface to stand on. Cut off a fairly generous amount of the stem end of peppers, then remove seeds. Place hollowed-out peppers in a baking dish that you’ve sprayed with non-stick spray or olive oil. (A dish that’s close in size to the peppers will work best.)
- Remove stem part from the pepper caps and trim off any white membrane, then dice pepper caps and the onion into fairly small dice. Heat 2 tsp. olive oil in a large skillet, then saute diced pepper and onion for 3-4 minutes, until they are starting to soften but aren’t browned.
- Remove pepper-onion mixture to a bowl, add 1 tsp. more olive oil, then squeeze sausage out of the casing and cook until it’s lightly browned, breaking apart with the back of the turner.
- Put the onion-pepper mixture back into the pan with the sausage, add the dried spices, and saute 2-3 minutes to blend the flavors. Then add cooked rice and Parmesan cheese, season the mixture with salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste, and cook just long enough to warm, about 1-2 minutes.
- Stuff the filling mixture into the hollowed-out peppers, using a spoon to press the mixture down so it’s tightly packed into the pepper shell. (A few years ago I stopped pre-cooking the peppers before stuffing, and now I prefer peppers that are stuffed raw.) If you have any extra filling, you can put it in a small ramekin and bake along with the peppers.
- Bake peppers for 30 minutes, then remove from oven and put a generous pinch of grated mozzarella on top of each pepper. Put peppers back into the oven and bake about 10-15 minutes more, until cheese is melted and lightly browned. Serve hot.
- You can freeze leftover peppers for a month or two, although the frozen peppers will be a little softer in texture (but still very tasty.) I cut them in half top-to-bottom before freezing and freeze two halves in a small baking dish with a snap-on lid.
This recipe created by Kalyn when her market had a great sale on peppers!All images and text ©
Low-Carb Diet / Low-Glycemic Diet / South Beach Diet Suggestions:
Green and red bell peppers are low-carb and very nutritious, and stuffed bell peppers like this made with brown rice are a great main dish for phase 2 or 3 of the South Beach Diet. For Phase One or other Low-Carb Diets, you might like my Low-Carb Stuffed Peppers with Turkey Italian Sausage, Ground Beef, and Mozzarella.
If you want nutritional information for a recipe, I recommend entering the recipe into Calorie Count, which will calculate it for you. Or if you’re a member of Yummly, you can use the Yum button on my site to save the recipe and see the nutritional information there.
Find More Recipes Like This One:
Use the Diet Type photo index pages to find more recipes suitable for a specific eating plan. You might also like to Follow Kalyn’s Kitchen on Pinterest to see all the good recipes I’m sharing there.
More Tasty Ideas for Bell Peppers:
Low-Carb Sausage and Pepperoni Pizza Stuffed Peppers ~ Kalyn’s Kitchen
Sheet Pan Chicken and Broccoli with Bell Peppers ~ Family Food on the Table
Low-Carb Cauliflower Rice Southwestern Stuffed Peppers From Kalyn’s Kitchen
Pressure Cooker Stuffed Bell Peppers with Chipotle Lime Sauce ~ Pressure Cooking Today
Low-Carb Roasted Italian Sausage and Sweet Mini-Pepper Sheet Pan Meal ~ Kalyn’s Kitchen
Low-Carb Steak Fajita Sliders ~ It’s Yummi