Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Turkey and Orzo Stuffed Peppers

Now that the weather is starting to cool off a bit, I am enjoying making some Fall and Winter meals again. This is a great dinner to make ahead of time and keep in the fridge until ready to bake. It is also a dinner that I will often make for friends in need of a meal. Once it is prepped it is easy to transfer to bake. The recipe makes quite a bit, so if you won't be eating all of it in one night, I will often freeze the stuffing. When you are ready to use, let it thaw, stuff some peppers, and bake as directed below.

  • 1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes
  • 2 zucchini, grated
  • 20 medium to large fresh mint leaves, chopped, plus more for garnish
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese, plus more for sprinkling
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 1 cup orzo pasta
  • 1 to 1 1/2 lbs ground turkey
  • 1 tablespoon of italian seasoning
  • 8-10 sweet bell peppers 

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
In a large skillet brown the ground turkey over medium-high heat. Once cooked through, drain the grease. Stir in italian seasoning, remove from heat and let cool.

Meanwhile, bring the chicken broth to a boil in a medium saucepan over high heat. Add the orzo and cook for 4 minutes. The orzo should be only partially cooked. Use a fine mesh sieve to drain the orzo. Make sure to drain the warm chicken broth into your baking dish.

In a very large bowl combine all of the ingredients: partially cooked orzo, cooked ground turkey, zucchini, mint, cheese, olive oil, garlic, salt, and pepper. Stir to combine.

Slice the tops off of the peppers and remove all ribs and seeds. You can cut a thin slice from the base of the pepper to help it stand up if needed.

Place the peppers in the baking dish with the warm chicken broth. Spoon the orzo mixture into the peppers. If you have any leftover orzo mixture I like to place it into a baking dish and serve it along with the stuffed peppers if anyone wants more. Also my kids like to eat it without the pepper, so I serve them theirs in a bowl.

Cover the dish with foil and bake for 45 minutes. Remove the foil, sprinkle the top of each pepper with cheese and continue baking until the cheese is golden, about 5 to 10 minutes. Remove from the oven, carefully transfer the orzo stuffed peppers to serving plates. Garnish with mint leaves.

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