Sausage and Orzo Stuffed Sweet Peppers are a colorful, easy gluten-free recipe (depending on orzo type used) bursting with flavor and simple to make! Great for a delicious dinner any time.
Perhaps a vestige of the 1970’s dinner table, but I do love a good stuffed pepper. However unlike the ’70’s, this recipe is much more vibrant, both in color and flavor. Grocery stores are brimming with beautiful peppers right now in every shade; green, purple, red, orange and yellow. Choosing colors other than green makes for an exciting visual presentation of this Sausage and Orzo Stuffed Sweet Peppers, soon to be your new favorite fast weeknight comfort food recipe!
Stuffing peppers can become anything from a finely honed consideration of favorite flavors and textures, or a ‘clean out the fridge’ endeavor. I personally love combining a variety of shapes and textures to keep it interesting. Traditionally stuffed peppers include rice however these babies use Orzo, a delicate rice-shaped pasta that has a lighter texture than rice. Orzo has only recently become available as gluten-free orzo which is cause for celebration in my book. Once you try it you’ll think of loads of uses for it I’m sure.
What’s in a Stuffed Pepper? Are Stuffed Sweet Peppers Healthy?
Sausage and orzo stuffed sweet peppers truly provide a full meal, containing protein and carbohydrates in a deliciously filling form. Breakfast sausage, ripe tomatoes, corn kernels, garlic, herbs, Monterey Jack cheese and more combine to make this wonderful celebration of the season. It’s a perfect option for your back to school meal planning! As with any recipe stuffed peppers are as healthy as their ingredients and this version is full of great nutrition, seasonal ingredients and low in saturated fat.
The fall brings into play another advantage of stuffed peppers in that making a big batch of them presents little extra effort to making only a few. They are a hearty dish to serve at football parties, gatherings or simply for a delicious dinner. I think of these sausage and orzo stuffed sweet peppers in the same way I do a spicy sauage skillet lasagna or even an early fall ratatouille. An easy recipe full of great flavor and fresh vegetables.
A recipe note: sweet peppers vary incredibly in size. I used very large peppers in this recipe, each with a cavity that would hold over a cup of stuffing. I have shared the volume of stuffing the recipes makes and offered two different pepper amounts depending on the size available in your area. The stuffing shrinks a bit while it cooks so don’t be afraid to stuff amply!
How to Make Sausage and Orzo Stuffed Sweet Peppers:
Stuffing peppers is very easy to do. The sausage is sauteed and combined with the other ingredients including the prepared orzo. Once mixed together the sweet bell pepper is stuffed from the top after the stem has been removed. It is sprinkled with cheese and baked until the pepper itself is soft and cooked, then the entire stuffed pepper is eaten.
Whether for a large batch dinner, football parties, or an easy back to school weeknight dinner, Sausage and Orzo Stuffed Sweet peppers are a perfect comfort food recipe. With gluten-free orzo being more widely available, this may be made with traditional orzo or gluten-free depending on your dietary needs and preferences.
Celebrating the late summer early fall growing season is a delicous opportunity. These peppers are choke full of fresh heirloom tomatoes, corn kernels, breakfast sausage, garlic, herbs and more making for a mouthwatering recipe.
Sausage and Orzo Stuffed Sweet Peppers
- 6 large or 8 medium Sweet Peppers
- Tops of the sweet peppers (non-stem), diced (approximately 1 ¼ cups)
- 1 tablespoon Vegetable Oil
- 2 large Garlic Cloves , diced
- ½ large Yellow Onion , chopped
- 1 ½ teaspoons fresh Sage Leaves , diced
- 1 pound loose Breakfast Sausage
- 6 large or 8 medium Sweet Peppers
- ¾ cup Corn Kernels , fresh removed from corn cob or frozen and thawed
- 1 cup Tomato (fresh preferred), chopped
- Zest of one large Lemon
- 2 teaspoons Lemon Juice , freshly squeezed preferred
- 2 cups prepared Orzo (gluten-free or gluten depending on your dietary needs)*
- Salt and black pepper to taste
- ½ cup plus 2 tablespoons grated Monterey Jack Cheese (note: plan 2 tablespoons per pepper)
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Place a large pot of water on the stove to boil (to blanche the peppers before baking).
Preparing the peppers: using a paring knife cut around the top of the pepper where it curves from the stem area to the sides. Remove all seeds (tip: use a dining spoon facing the pepper sides inside and gently scrape from bottom to top to release seeds and membrane). Once the pot of water is boiling add peppers individually or multiple peppers for 1 minute (medium) or 1 ½ minutes (large). Remove and run under cold water until they are no longer hot. This stops the cooking process; alternatively they can be placed into an ice bath to cool for a few minutes. Remove and set upside down on paper towels to drain while you prepare the stuffing.
In a large skillet heat the vegetable oil over medium-high heat. Add the garlic cloves and onion; sauté until the onions are translucent.
Add the sage and sauté an additional minute. Add the breakfast sausage and cook, stirring frequently, until no pink color remains in the sausage. Break up sausage into small pieces (crumbles) with a heat-proof spatula or wooden spoon.
Combine the chopped sweet pepper tops, corn kernels, tomato and Orzo into the skillet; stir to heat through. Salt and pepper if needed.
Place the prepared peppers into a baking dish. Distribute the filling evenly between the peppers, using a large spoon to fill them. Bake peppers 30 minutes or until the middle of the filling is hot.
Sprinkle the tops with Monterey Jack cheese, return to the oven to allow the cheese to melt (a few minutes). Remove from the oven and allow to sit for 5 minutes before serving.
*If you are gluten-free and have difficulty finding gluten-free orzo locally, Amazon.com carries several varieties/brands in their grocery section.