Farro Sausage Stuffed Peppers is a delicious and savory dish, combining hearty farro and Italian sausage into sweet bell peppers. Make the filling ahead, for an easy weeknight dinner, and you’ll never look at stuffed peppers the same way again
THIS POST WAS UPDATED MARCH 26, 2019
When I worked at my first job out of college I was still basically a broke college student. So I relied heavily on frozen meals for lunch, especially Stouffer’s stuffed peppers. Which is funny, because I was that kid who hated my food touching each other, exactly the opposite of a stuffed pepper. Over time I transitioned to other lunch options, and I honestly can’t even tell you the last time I had stuffed peppers.
It’s no secret that I enjoy indulgent foods, and that’s never going to change. However, I do balance it out with healthier options. Farro has become one of my favorite healthier options. Roasted Mushroom Green Bean Farro Salad was my first farro recipe on the blog, and a regular on my lunch rotation. Last spring I made Farro with Spring Vegetables, my take on a recipe I saw on The Food Network.
The other day at the gym I overheard someone talking about stuffed peppers, and it got me thinking…this would be a perfect way to add another farro recipe to my collection. That night I created Farro Sausage Stuffed Peppers
WHY THIS RECIPE WORKS
- It’s a complete meal, with delicious flavors that work well together
- You can make the filling ahead (except the tomatoes), and fill/stuff as needed
- They are perfect for leftovers
When I hit the jackpot with a recipe I dance around the kitchen. It’s usually with indulgent recipes, but I definitely did a dance after one bite of Farro Sausage Stuffed Peppers! The recipe is easy to make, and is a hearty, healthy and very delicious dish.
KEYS TO THE PERFECT FARRO SAUSAGE STUFFED PEPPERS
- Use any color bell peppers you wish! The key is to look for peppers that are all about the same size and shape
- Make sure to parboil the peppers for about 5 minutes, or they won’t soften properly when baking
- Cook the Farro in broth, not water, for more flavor. If you use store-bought broth, look for low sodium or no salt added.
- I use Petit Diced Tomatoes because I really like the texture it adds to the dish. However, Tomato Sauce works just as well.
- Create a base in the baking dish with the tomatoes, and layer a little on the sides, but NOT on the top or the tomatoes will burn
- Add cheese for the last 5 minutes of baking. I prefer to go lighter on the cheese, and then can add a little more right before eating.
Canned tomatoes are acidic. Adding just a little sugar will tone it down. I tested it both ways, and the one without sugar had a very strong bite.
MEAT OPTIONS: I use Johnsonville Hot Italian Sausage, because I love the kick of spice and the flavor. You can substitute mild or sweet Italian sausage, pork sausage, turkey sausage, or even ground turkey. Or, go vegetarian with veggie meat crumbles!
MAKE AHEAD AND REHEATING OPTIONS
MAKE AHEAD TIPS:
- For the filling, only prepare the sausage mixture and farro ahead of time.
- Don’t add the tomatoes until you’re ready to stuff, or the mixture will get soggy.
- Don’t boil or stuff the peppers until you’re ready to bake, so the peppers are as fresh as possible.
- Use leftovers within 1-2 days, and reheat in the oven.
- Reheat covered with foil at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes, until warmed through.
I normally eat 2 Farro Sausage Stuffed Peppers as a serving, and it is a perfect meal. You could also do one stuffed pepper with a side salad. And yes, I’ve already fully added Farro Sausage Stuffed Peppers to my regular meal rotation.
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Farro Sausage Stuffed Peppers
- 2 bell peppers, your choice of colors
- 1/2 cup farro, dry
- 1 1/4 cups vegetable broth or chicken broth
- 1 Tablespoon butter
- 1/4 cup yellow onion, diced into 1/2" pieces
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 links (6 ounces) Johnsonville hot Italian sausage
- 1 can (15 ounces) petit diced tomatoes, with juice
- 1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon fresh-cracked black pepper
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 teaspoon fresh thyme, finely chopped
- 1/3 cup sharp cheddar cheese
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees
- Stand peppers straight up, and cut them in half lengthwise. Lay peppers face up, and carefully remove ribs and seeds. You want to have 4 pepper "bowls"
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add a pinch of salt and bell peppers, and parboil for 5 minutes. Drain peppers and lay on paper towels to cool
- While water boils for peppers, add farro to a dry saucepan and toast over medium heat for 2 minutes. Add broth, bring to boil, reduce to simmer, and cook for 17-18 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl to cool. FARRO WILL BE SLIGHTLY UNDERCOOKED, AND THERE WILL BE A LITTLE BROTH REMAINING.
- While farro cooks, melt butter in a medium skillet. Add onions and a pinch of salt and cook, over medium-low heat, for 8-10 minutes, until golden. Add garlic, and cook for 1 minute. Transfer onions and garlic to bowl with farro
- Remove casings from sausage, and add to same skillet. Break into small pieces and cook for about 5 minutes. Remove and transfer to same bowl. SAUSAGE WILL BE SLIGHTLY UNDERCOOKED
- Add black pepper, salt, fresh thyme, and HALF of tomatoes to bowl with farro and sausage. Combine well, taste, and adjust seasonings if needed
- For 4 stuffed peppers I use an 8" x 8" baking dish. You want the peppers to touch, but not to be squished together.
- Add sugar to remaining tomatoes and mix together. Spoon 3/4 of tomatoes in the bottom of a baking dish.
- Lay the peppers side by side, open face up. Generously spoon farro and sausage mixture into the peppers, filling it to the top. Spoon the remaining tomatoes around the sides of the peppers, NOT ON TOP
- Bake in oven for 20 minutes. Sprinkle cheese evenly across stuffed peppers, and cook for another 5 minutes.
- If you halve the recipe, bake initially for 15 minutes. If you double the recipe, bake initially for 30 minutes
- Remove from oven, and allow to rest for 5 minutes before serving