A Twist on Stuffed Peppers (and other "stuffed" stuff)

Use this versatile and delicious stuffing in peppers, squash and other stuffed vegetables.

Stuffed peppers, stuffed squash and more stuffed stuff.

Green bell peppers are the one crop I can count on each year. Yesterday I filled a two-gallon bucket with ripe peppers - again. I only planted three plants.

They grow super-well in my garden, whether it's due to our hot humid weather, or the soil composition. All I know is they grow like crazy.

Every summer I pick all those peppers, chop them up or cut them into strips, and put them in the freezer. Over the winter I use them in sloppy joes, on pizzas and in many other dishes.

When pepper season arrives the following summer, I almost always have enough left over to last another year. I probably should only grow them every other year.

What to do with an overabundance of green peppers.

One of hubby's favorite dishes is stuffed peppers (and stuffed cabbage, do you see a pattern here?) I've never cared for stuffed peppers, but I make them occasionally because he loves them. I've always thought the filling was very bland. Just ground beef and rice and tomato sauce.

But quite by accident I've come up with a new recipe that we both love!

This recipe uses the vegetables you have in your refrigerator and makes delicious stuffed peppers, stuffed squash and other dishes.

The filling

I really boosted up the flavor of the stuffing this time by using mild-flavored pork sausage and added onions, more peppers, mushrooms, garlic and zucchini.

Use whatever vegetables you have on hand, slice or chop them up, then brown the sausage. Add the vegetables and saute until they are crisp-tender. Season with salt and pepper.

Then add a cup of cooked rice and some spaghetti sauce and stir it all up together for the filling.

A twist on the usual stuffed peppers recipe

Stuffed green peppers

Hollow out the green peppers, and if necessary slice a bit off the bottom so they'll stand up well. Coat the bottom of your baking dish with sauce, then set six peppers in the sauce, "facing up."

Add the stuffing mix to the empty, upstanding peppers.

If you are like me and made more stuffing than you needed to fill up six bell peppers, you can either make more stuffed peppers or use some creativity and make something similar-but-different.

Personally, stuffed peppers aren't my favorite so I had actually planned to use the leftover stuffing to make stuffed squash, similar to zucchini boats.

A tasty twist on stuffed peppers

Stuffed summer squash

Here's how to make stuff squash or zucchini - because squash and zucchini are pretty much interchangeable.

Cut two yellow squash in half lengthwise and remove the seeds. Using the tip of a grapefruit spoon works great to scrape out the squash's seeds because the tip of the spoon is serrated.

After removing the seeds, hollow out the squash until about a quarter-inch of the shell is left intact.

You can add the squash "meat" that you scraped out back to the stuffing mixture, along with a chopped tomato or two if you have some.

(I mixed the stuffing for the squash boats before I added the rice - in other words - before I stuffed the peppers. You can, of course, include rice in your stuffed squash mixture if you wish. I like it a little less-saucy than the stuffed pepper stuffing, and without rice. Just personal preference of course.)

Squash boats

Sprinkle the tops of the stuffed peppers and squash with grated cheddar or mozzarella cheese and bake them at 350°F for about 25 minutes.

The squash needed a few more minutes than the peppers did; test them by poking the squash flesh with a fork to see if it's tender enough, and bake a bit longer if needed.

Use this stuffing recipe for stuffed peppers or squash

Substituting sausage for the ground beef in this dish made the peppers and squash so much more flavorful. I used mild-flavored pork sausage but if you wish you can use a more-highly seasoned sausage.

Another "stuffed" dish

I still had some sausage stuffing left after making both stuffed peppers and stuffed squash. If you do too, or if you only made stuffed peppers OR stuffed squash instead of making both, you can add the stuffing mix to quesadillas the next day along with some more grated cheddar cheese. Oh my goodness, those quesadillas were some of the best I've ever eaten!

The "recipe"

1 lb mild pork sausage
sliced onion
chopped green peppers
sliced mushrooms
chopped zucchini or summer squash
chopped tomato
one clove garlic, finely chopped
salt and pepper to taste
spaghetti sauce or tomato sauce
1 cup cooked rice

Brown the sausage, remove from the pan and allow to drain. Pour off most of the fat, leaving enough to saute the vegetables.

Add the chopped/sliced vegetables to the pan and saute until they are tender. Add garlic last so it doesn't burn. Drain off any fat.

Add enough sauce to moisten the vegetables. The texture is up to you, whether you like it a bit dry or saucy-er. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Mix the cooked rice into the stuffing, and fill hollowed-out vegetables with the mixture. Sprinkle the tops with shredded cheddar cheese. Bake at 350°F for about 25 minutes. Poke the squash or peppers with a fork and bake longer if needed.

This is a great recipe to use up vegetables you have in the garden and/or refrigerator. What would you add? What would you stuff with this mixture?

Share this with someone who needs a new idea for dinner. They'll thank you for it.

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You'll love this tasty twist on stuffed peppers, plus you can use the stuffing recipe in stuffed squash and other vegetables and more!

This post has been shared at some of my favorite blog hops.


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  1. Sounds yummy. Will have to try this recipe.

    1. I think it's delicious. I hope I haven't broken any "stuffed vegetable rule" by using sausage. I hope you'll give it a try.

  2. Anonymous12:10 PM

    Our huge Italian family always used beef but sausage sounds super. Sometimes we'd substitute flavored Italian breadcrumbs for the rice ........and don't forget to can the extras (you can usually fit 2 in a wm pint jar) with sauce. The peppers do get a bit soft but with care you can set them right on top of a mound of pasta, he'll LOVE it come February! I always make a dozen and it's an easy winter dinner. Jan in NWGA

    1. What a great suggestion, Jan, thank you! I'm going to do that while we still have peppers!

  3. That looks Yummy! Bell peppers are awesome! Thanks so much for sharing with us on the Homesteader hop!

  4. Anonymous7:42 PM

    Your peppers sound and looks tasty. Cant wait to make some.

  5. Yum! I love stuffed peppers, they we make them slightly different. We just had zucchini boats for dinner earlier. I'll have to try the stuffed pepper "stuffing" in them some time.

    1. It's delicious in zucchini boats, Alicia. Thank you for commenting.

  6. I just made stuffed bell peppers with my first two peppers from the plant. The banana and Anaheim chilies have been producing for a month, now it's the bell pepper's turn. I grow mine in pots because I don't have much garden space. Maybe my zucchini will give me something when I get home after this week away. I've been battling blossom end rot with calcium supplements. - Margy

    1. I hope you return home to several zucchinis ready to pick, Margy!

  7. Stuffed peppers are a family favorite here. This looks like a great recipe! Thanks!

  8. This is definitely going on this week's meal plan! Sounds and looks super tasty! Thanks for sharing!

    1. I hope you enjoy them, Marielle!

  9. Delicious, thanks for sharing with Hearth and soul blog hop pinning.

    1. Thank you for sharing, Swathi.


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