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Stuffed Peppers (and Squash)

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.

Combine bell peppers, sausage and vegetables for a delicious meal.

Every summer I pick all those peppers, chop them 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, and almost always have enough left over to last me 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 vegetables, 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!

Mix up the vegetables, sausage and rice to make the stuffing for stuffed peppers.

I used a two-pound package of mild-flavored sausage from our pigs. I browned the sausage, added sliced onion, chopped green peppers, sliced mushrooms, chopped zucchini, salt and pepper and garlic and sauteed until the vegetables were crisp-tender. I added a cup of cooked rice and some spaghetti sauce and mixed it all together for the stuffing.

Choose peppers that stand upright on their own to fill for stuffed peppers.

I chose peppers that stand up well on their own to be the "stuff-ees". I coated the bottom of the baking dish with spaghetti sauce, set six peppers inside and filled them with stuffing.

It makes a lot of stuffing though. You might want to use one pound of sausage instead. But since I don't like stuffed peppers, my plan was to stuff some summer squash too, similar to zucchini boats.

Stuffed squash, hollowed out and ready to be filled.

I cut two yellow squash in half lengthwise and removed the seeds using a grapefruit spoon. The tip of the spoon is serrated and it works quite well to scrape out the squash's seeds. After removing the seeds I hollowed out the squash until about a quarter-inch of the shell was left.

The squash flesh that I scraped out was added to the stuffing mixture, along with a chopped tomato or two. (Actually, I did this before I added the rice to the stuffing. I didn't want rice in the stuffed squash boats.)

Fill hollowed out squash shells with filling to make squash boats.

After sprinkling the tops of the stuffed peppers and squash with grated cheese I baked them at 350°F for 25 minutes. The squash did need a few more minutes; test them by poking the squash flesh with a fork to see if it's tender enough, and bake a bit longer if needed.

Stuffed green peppers, filled with sausage, rice and chopped vegetables.

The sausage made these definitely-not-bland. I really enjoyed my squash boat for dinner while hubby ate his stuffed peppers. The next day I used the leftover stuffing mix with more grated cheese to make quesadillas. Those were delicious too!

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

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

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


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