Quinoa & Chorizo Stuffed Bell Peppers

I put this dish together to use various tidbits that I had in the fridge. It turned out delicious, and beautiful too! The colors really popped and the flavors married together to create a savory, hearty dinner.

You can use any color bell pepper for this dish. It will of course affect the look of the dish, but the different colored peppers have different flavors, too, so it will affect the taste as well. Red bell peppers are the sweetest. Yellow and orange ones are slightly sweet. Green ones have a little more crunch and “green” peppery zing. Go with whatever looks and sounds best to you! (Or whatever you have in your fridge!) My pepper was Enormous, so I used just one and it was more than enough for the 2 of us. If you’re really hungry and you have smaller peppers, or to serve 4 people, use two medium/large peppers.

I served some garlicky sauteed greens on the side. I used some of the chard stems in my stuffing. If you serve chard on the side, feel free to do the same. If not, you’re welcome to leave it out. I’ve marked it as optional in the recipe.

Another note… I used two colors of Quinoa since I happened to have them both on hand. I measured out 1/2 cup of each black and white Quinoa cooked them together. It gave the stuffing kind of a confetti look which was really fun! Don’t feel you have to go out and buy two kinds of Quinoa though – go with what you like or what you have!

You’ll probably have some extra stuffing mixture left after filling the peppers. That’s a good thing! You can use it for lunch the next day, or just eat some of it straight from the pan like I may or may not have done… Shh!

Quinoa & Chorizo Stuffed Bell Peppers

Serves 2-4

For the Peppers:

1 very large or 2 medium Bell Peppers

Olive Oil, sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

For the Stuffing:

Cooked Quinoa (1 cup dry, prepared per directions on the package)

2 Chorizo sausages (the crumbly kind, not the hard, cured Spanish kind)

3-4 Scallions, thinly sliced – separate the white parts from the green parts

Stems from 1 bunch Chard, thinly sliced (optional)

1 medium Tomato (a nice juicy, ripe Heirloom one is tastiest) – roughly chopped (don’t discard any juices that come out while chopping – you can use them in the dish!)

1/3-1/2 Cup Salsa

1-2 Tbsp Chevre (Fresh Goat Cheese), crumbled

Sea Salt & freshly ground Black Pepper, to taste

Preparation:

1. Preheat your broiler. To prepare the pepper(s), cut them in half vertically (from top to bottom), then rinse them and remove the seeds. You can leave the stem on or take it off – it’s not edible so it’s a purely aesthetic choice. (I took mine out.) Drizzle the peppers with olive oil on both sides and season with salt and pepper on both sides. Broil the peppers, turning half way through, until the skins are slightly blackened in spots, and the peppers are just firmer than al dente – about 10 minutes. (To be honest I didn’t write down how long I had them under the broiler, so this is pretty approximate. Just keep an eye one them after about 5 minutes on each side.)

2. Heat a medium skillet over medium-high heat. You don’t need to add any oil because the sausage will release its own oils/fats as it cooks (yummy!). Slit the chorizo sausage casings and crumble the inside of the sausages into the skillet. Cook, stirring occasionally, for a couple minutes until the oils start to render out and the sausage starts to brown. Add the white parts of the sliced scallions, and the thinly sliced chard stems if using. Cook for a few more minutes, stirring a couple times, until the scallions and chard stems start to soften. Next add the chopped tomato (plus any collected tomato juice!) and the cooked quinoa, stirring to combine. Add the salsa a bit at a time, until the quinoa sausage mixture is completely coated, but not swimming in sauce. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Cook, stirring occasionally, about 5 more minutes, until everything is combined, tomatoes have melted, and sausage is cooked through.

3. Fill the partly cooked pepper halves with the stuffing mixture. Top with crumbled chevre. Place stuffed peppers back under the broiler for about 5 minutes, until the cheese is slightly browned.

4. Sprinkle the green parts of the sliced scallions over top, and Serve! If you have some of the stuffing mixture left, you can spoon a bit of it around the pepper halves on the plate. This goes really well with simple, garlicky sauteed greens, or a nice crisp salad.

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