Spicy Greek Pesto Sausage Stuffed Peppers
These zesty, cheesy Mediterranean-style stuffed peppers boast fresh herbs and veg, kicky sausage, chickpeas and citrus — a satisfying dinner that the whole family will dig into.
- 1/4 cup (60 mL) olive oil, divided
- 8 oz (250 g) spicy sausage, casings removed
- 1 1/2 tsp (7 mL) dried oregano
- 1 1/4 tsp (6 mL) salt, divided
- 1 1/4 tsp (6 mL) black pepper, divided
- 1/4 tsp (1 mL) hot pepper flakes
- Pinch ground cinnamon
- 1 can (15 oz/425 mL) chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 1 1/3 cups (325 mL) tomato sauce
- 1 zucchini, diced
- 2 green onions, thinly sliced
- 1/4 cup (60 mL) finely chopped fresh parsley, divided
- 2 tbsp (30 mL) finely chopped fresh basil
- 2 tbsp (30 mL) finely chopped fresh dill
- 1 tbsp (15 mL) freshly grated lemon zest
- 2 tbsp (30 mL) freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 cups (500 mL) cooked basmati rice
- 2 cups (500 mL) Cracker Barrel Mediterranean Medley Blends, divided
- 4 large red bell peppers, halved crosswise and seeded
- Preheat oven to 425˚F (220˚C).
- Into large high-sided skillet set over medium heat, add 2 tbsp (30 mL) oil. Add sausage, oregano, 1 tsp (5 mL) salt, 1 tsp (5 mL) black pepper, hot pepper flakes and cinnamon; cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 to 8 minutes or until sausage is starting to brown.
- Stir in chickpeas and tomato sauce; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 to 8 minutes or until sausage is cooked through and flavors are married. Add zucchini and cook, stirring occasionally, for 1 to 2 minutes or until starting to soften but not completely cooked. Remove from heat.
- Meanwhile, in small bowl, stir together green onions, 2 tbsp (30 mL) parsley, basil, dill, lemon zest, lemon juice, garlic, remaining oil, remaining salt and remaining black pepper.
- In large bowl, stir together rice, sausage mixture, half the cheese and the parsley mixture.
- Arrange red pepper halves, cut sides up, on parchment paper–lined baking sheet. Divide filling among red pepper halves. Sprinkle with remaining cheese.
- Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until filling is heated through, cheese has melted and peppers are tender. Garnish with remaining parsley before serving.
Substitute basmati rice with brown rice, quinoa, barley or farro for a variation.