I’m quite proud of this weeknight dinner idea. It’s a perfect pairing of creamy and crunchy, and incorporates what I learned in my college cooking classes every meal should ideally be: colorful, and including a variety of textures and as many food groups as possible. I’ll add that an ideal meal for me is fairly quick and simple to prepare, and this is all of those things.
I used sweet mini peppers for a fun spin on traditional stuffed peppers, and filled them with lean turkey sausage, lots of veggies, and rice, and complemented all that crunchy savory-ness with the creamy goodness of Stouffer’s Macaroni & Cheese. Ugh, that stuff is so good and really cuts down on dinner prep time as well as dirty dishes. While homemade meals are the “golden standard” for many families, we live in a busy world where whipping up homemade dishes every night can be challenging. Stouffer’s Macaroni & Cheese is an easy solution that you can feel good about feeding your family. Plus, mix a little homemade with a little Stouffer’s like I did and that’s a dang good-looking meal. Check out my recipe video HERE.
Did you know that Nestle has a Balance Your Plate program meant to help you put together wholesome meals like this? A couple of tidbits: Balance Your Plate is an educational program designed to help you put together delicious and nutritious meals that incorporate both frozen and fresh foods. And one shocking tidbit: research shows that Americans are only meeting MyPlate recommendations for vegetables, fruit, proteins, dairy and grains seven days out of 365. Oh my!! That’s only one week out of 52! One of my favorite things about prepared meals is that you know exactly everything that is going into your body, making it easy to consciously balance your meals out. Lately I’ve been focusing on getting more protein, so with prepped meals it’s been easy to count macros.
So hopefully you’re making some goals like I am to balance your plate out more. You can start with my easy weeknight dinner solution below; find the mini stuffed pepper recipe at the bottom. What would you pair with Stouffer’s yummy Macaroni & Cheese? Find tons more dinner inspo HERE.
- 1 bag sweet mini peppers (12 oz.)
- 1/2 lb. turkey sausage
- 3/4 cup cooked short-grain rice
- 1/2 cup corn
- 4 oz. tomato sauce
- 1/2 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
- 1/4 tsp garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp Italian seasoning
- salt + pepper
- grated Parmesan cheese (opt.)
Prep the peppers by slicing in half length-wise leaving the stem intact like in the photos. (you can also watch my video HERE.) Remove the seeds and membranes. Set aside the stem pieces, and finely dice the remaining pieces.
In a pan over medium heat, cook your sausage, breaking it into as small of pieces as possible with your spatula. Once cooked, remove to a clean bowl. Cover loosely with aluminum foil to keep warm. In the same pan over medium heat, add the diced peppers and cook until tender. Remove from heat.
Preheat oven to 375F. Line a pan with aluminum foil.