If you’re an OG IGE reader than you know I’ve had a fierce hatred for mushrooms, bell peppers and cooked carrots nearly all my life. Well, as you get older, things change (thanks, gravity!) including your tastebuds. In the last year I’ve opened my heart and mouth to mushrooms, and have recently been getting into bell peppers, too. So much so that I took a leap and stuffed a bunch with dirty rice drizzled with red sauce then proceeded to eat like, six in a row.
Dirty Rice Stuffed Peppers with Red Sauce have officially won me over!
What really did the trick was realizing that bell peppers do not taste bell peppery when stuffed and roasted. While raw green bell peppers have a sharp and shouty flavor, roasted peppers are mild and almost sweet tasting. Stuffed with homemade dirty rice (minus the traditional gizzards, plus savory andouille sausage – you’re welcome,) and drizzled with a 15 minute red sauce made with pantry staples, these stuffed peppers are fresh, savory, and filling too.
I can’t say I’m ready to start growing my own bell peppers yet but whether you love bell peppers, or are somewhat on the fence, these stuffed peppers might make a convert out of you, too. The dirty rice inside is unbelievably delicious, and stuffing it into an edible vessel obviously takes things up a notch!
Step 1: Prep the Green Peppers
Start by slicing 4 medium-sized green bell peppers in half then remove the ribs and seeds. Slice off a thin sliver from the back of the peppers then lay them flat in a nonstick sprayed 9×13″ baking dish. Spray the tops with more nonstick spray.
Step 2: Make the Dirty Rice Stuffing
Dirty Rice is a classic Cajun dish that get its “dirty” color from the addition of chicken gizzards to the mix. That said, I swapped the gizzards for chopped andouille sausage in my rendition, and it is off the charts delicious. I was alternating eating a spoonful with scooping one into the peppers!
Saute chopped onions, celery, and andouille sausage sprinkled with Cajun seasoning, until the vegetables are tender and the sausage is sizzling. Add minced garlic then saute for another minute.
Next add chicken broth, long grain white rice, and a touch more Cajun seasoning then bring the broth to a boil. Place a lid on top then turn the heat down and simmer until the rice is tender, 15-20 minutes.
Stir in chopped fresh parsley then voila – dirty rice! Honestly this rice alone makes a phenomenal meal, but we’ve got some stuffing to do.
Step 3: Stuff the Peppers
Scoop the rice mixture into the bell pepper halves then cover the baking dish with foil and bake for 35 minutes at 375 degrees. Remove the foil then turn the heat up to 400 degrees and bake for another 10 minutes, or until the peppers are crisp tender.
Step 4: Make the Red Sauce
I don’t know about you, but in my opinion a meal isn’t a meal without some sauce. This easy red sauce gives the super savory flavors in this dish a little waking up – super good!
Saute chopped onion, celery, and garlic in extra virgin olive oil then add 1 bay leaf, a pinch of dried thyme, and crushed tomatoes. Add chicken broth and a dash or 10 of Cajun seasoning then simmer for 15 minutes.
Once the peppers are tender, plate ’em up then top with sauce. This garden-fresh meal is perfect for the summer – enjoy the stuffed peppers hot or warm, and al fresco, if you can swing it. :) As always, I hope you enjoy!
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Dirty Rice Stuffed Peppers
Dirty Rice Stuffed Peppers are a light and healthy dinner recipe that's full of satisfying flavor. You will lick your plate clean!
- 4 medium-sized green bell peppers, sliced in half, seeds and ribs removed
- 2-1/2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
- 14oz Andouille sausage, diced
- 3 ribs celery, diced and divided
- 3/4 yellow onion, chopped and divided
- 3 garlic cloves, minced and divided
- Cajun seasoning
- 1 cup white rice
- 2 cups + 2 Tablespoons chicken broth
- 1/4 cup chopped parsley
- 1 small bay leaf
- 1/8 teaspoon dried thyme
- 15oz can crushed tomatoes
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees then arrange bell pepper halves in the bottom of a 9x13” baking dish sprayed lightly with nonstick spray. Lightly spray bell pepper halves with nonstick spray then set aside.
- Heat 1 Tablespoon oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat then add sausage, and 2/3 of both the celery and onion. Season with Cajun seasoning then saute until vegetables are tender, 8-10 minutes, turning heat down if vegetables begin to burn. Add 2/3 of the minced garlic then saute for 1 more minute. Add rice, 2 cups chicken broth, and more Cajun seasoning to taste then turn heat up to bring broth to a boil. Place a lid on top then turn heat down and simmer until rice has absorbed all the broth and is tender, 15-20 minutes. Stir in parsley.
- Scoop rice mixture inside bell pepper halves then cover baking dish with foil and bake for 35 minutes. Turn heat up to 400 then remove foil and bake for 10 more minutes, or until peppers are crisp tender.
- Meanwhile, heat remaining 1-1/2 Tablespoons oil in a saucepan over medium heat then add remaining onion and celery. Season with Cajun seasoning to taste then saute until vegetables are soft, 10 minutes, turning heat down slightly if vegetables begin to burn. Add remaining garlic then saute for one more minute. Add bay leaf, thyme, remaining 2 Tablespoons chicken broth, and crushed tomatoes then turn heat up to bring mixture to a bubble. Turn heat down to medium-low then simmer, partially covered or topped with a splatter screen, for 10 minutes. Taste then adjust seasonings if necessary. Plate peppers then top with sauce and serve.
This recipe is courtesy of Iowa Girl Eats, http://iowagirleats.com.