Miss Christina from Food Apparel is visiting with us today and my mouth is watering over her recipe!
Mini Bell Pepper and Quinoa Casserole is a savory dinner recipe the whole family will enjoy.
Love stuffed bell peppers but want to make them faster? This Bell Pepper and Quinoa Casserole gives you all the flavor of the classic stuffed pepper and comes together quickly!
Hi it’s Christina with FoodApparel checking back in. I’m excited to share this Mini Bell Pepper and Quinoa Casserole Recipe because it brings together some of my favorite flavors and is sooooo easy to make!
First of all, here’s a disclaimer. Quinoa is not super trendy in my household. I like it just fine and in the right context, I’ll definitely go for it. Don’t put it in my pancakes or in my oatmeal or yogurt though. Just don’t. Not hating on anyone that does. To each their own. But if you use it just for a normalish grain dish (aka, where you might imagine having rice in a dish or as a side), then I’m all for it.
Probably one of my favorite uses for quinoa is in stuffed bell peppers! I really love the texture and the flavors – they just go hand in hand. And I don’t even have to convince anyone else in my household to eat it either. A couple months ago I didn’t have the big bells on hand, just a bag of the assorted mini bell peppers, and I thought, hey, I can still make this work. So, I just cut up the bells really quickly, and didn’t even really have to seed them (since they don’t really have many seeds), and then just layered everything in a casserole dish. It was really fast to throw together and turned out super delish!
This casserole is so flexible. For example, you can use different grains. I think my favorite is with quinoa, but you can also use straight up rice if you’d like, or go crazy with something like freekeh (pictured). There are additional flavors you can add (like boosting the flavor with a little chicken stock, or adding black beans), but also do without if you don’t have these things on hand. I love to use sausage to give the dish a hearty flavor. But if that’s not your style, you can make it vegetarian, no problem! I hope that you will give it a try and LOVE IT! 😉
- 1 to 1½ cups dry quinoa
- 2 to 3 cups water or chicken stock (to cook quinoa - see below)
- 2 teaspoons chicken base (optional - do not use if using chicken stock)
- 1 pound assorted mini bell peppers (about 18-20 peppers), tops off, cut in half, and seeded
- 2 sausage links, casing removed
- 1 15 ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed (optional)
- 4 ounces mozzarella cheese
- 2-3 green onions, chopped (for garnish)
- In a medium pot, cook quinoa as per instructions on the package (usually simmering covered for about 12-15 minutes, or until water is absorbed). (Ratio is 1:2 quinoa to water; so for 1 cup dry quinoa, 2 cups water, 1 and ½ cups quinoa, 3 cups water.)
- Note: For a richer flavor, cook the quinoa in chicken stock, either by using premade stock, or adding chicken base to water - 1 teaspoon per 1 cup of water. You can always just cook in just water as well.
- In a frying pan, brown sausage, using spatula to chop up into bite-sized pieces.
- In a 1.5-2 quart casserole dish (or 8x8/9x9 pan), place half of the peppers on the bottom of the dish.
- Layer with half of the quinoa, sausage, beans, and cheese.
- Top with green onions.
- Cook at 375 degrees for about 30 minutes, or until peppers are soft.
- If desired, set oven to broil to brown the cheese right at the end, about 2-3 minutes.