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Jambalaya Stuffed Peppers
1 h 10 m
Abbie Gellman, M.S., RD, CDN
“In this healthy stuffed peppers recipe, a delicious jambalaya filling of chicken and Cajun spices gets baked inside of bell peppers. Traditional jambalaya is made with green bell peppers, but you can use green, yellow, or orange peppers (or a mix) for this dish. Look for bell peppers with even bottoms, so that they stand upright on their own.”
6 large green, yellow, or orange bell peppers
1½ pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
2 tablespoons salt-free Cajun seasoning (see Tip), divided
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 link andouille sausage (3-4 oz.), sliced
½ cup diced celery
1 small onion, diced ( ½ cup)
2 cloves garlic, minced
½ teaspoon salt
1 (14 ounce) can diced tomatoes
¼ cup tomato paste
1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
1 cup uncooked instant brown rice
1Preheat oven to 400°F. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper or foil.
2Cut tops off peppers and carefully remove the core and seeds, taking care not to split the skin. Dice the pepper tops and set aside. Place the peppers on the prepared baking sheet; bake for 20 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool. Discard any accumulated liquid in the bottom of the peppers.
3Meanwhile, season chicken on all sides with 1 Tbsp. Cajun seasoning. Heat 1 Tbsp. oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add half of the chicken and cook, turning to brown all sides, 4 to 6 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a medium bowl with a slotted spoon. Repeat with the remaining 1 Tbsp. olive oil and the remaining chicken.
4Add sausage to the now-empty skillet and cook, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned, 1 to 2 minutes. Add celery, onion, and the reserved diced pepper; cook, stirring often, until the onions are translucent, 3 to 5 minutes. Add garlic, the remaining 1 Tbsp. Cajun seasoning, and salt; cook, stirring, for 30 seconds. Add tomatoes and tomato paste; stir to combine, scraping any brown bits off the bottom of the pan. Add broth, rice, and the chicken with any accumulated juices; stir to combine. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to maintain a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until the chicken has cooked through and the rice has softened, 5 to 10 minutes. Remove from heat and stir. Let stand, covered, until all liquid is absorbed, about 10 minutes.
5Divide the chicken mixture among the peppers, spooning about 1¼ cups into each one and mounding it on top, if necessary. Bake until heated through, about 20 minutes.
Tip: We prefer homemade Cajun seasoning, because it has more flavor and fewer preservatives than the store-bought versions. For salt-free Cajun seasoning, mix 1 Tbsp. paprika, 1 tsp. each onion powder and garlic powder, ½ tsp. each dried oregano and thyme, and ¼ tsp. each cayenne and ground pepper. You will have slightly more than you need for this recipe; use it to season eggs, chicken, fish, or vegetables. (Want to have extra on hand? Multiply these amounts by four.) Store in a covered jar for up to 6 months.