Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Quinoa-Stuffed Peppers with Basil Sauce

Ok, so I've never made stuffed peppers before!  When I think of stuffed peppers, I kind of get turned off because they make me think of ground beef and rice.  I guess that's why I've never made them...until now!  Oh, when I saw this recipe I wanted to make these, or have Giada make them for me, instantly!
Yes, I gave it away, it's another Giada recipe!  The kicker though, is the Basil Sauce that goes over these peppers just before serving...OMG!  This sauce is so versatile, it could literally be used alongside anything...chicken, fish (we had Salmon with our peppers and poured some over the Salmon), Steak, pasta, etc.
Super easy dish that can be a main dish or a side.  Like I said, we grilled some Salmon and it made for the perfect meal!  Here's how I adapted her recipe below.

Here's my note on Quinoa if you're not sure what it's all about:  Quinoa is a tiny ancient grain...similar in texture to Couscous.  It's high in protein AND Wheat and Gluten Free.  A perfect choice if you have any sensitivities or allergies to wheat or gluten.  My kids really like it!

Quinoa-Stuffed Peppers with Basil Sauce {Makes 4 }


  • 1 cup Quinoa {Rinsed throroughly}
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1 cup canned garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1/4 cup oil-packed sundered tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 packed cup chopped baby spinach leaves
  • 1/2 cup {4 oz.} crumbled feta cheese
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 large bell peppers {I used red, orange and yellow}
  • Hot water, as needed

  • 1 packed cup fresh basil leaves
  • 1/2 cup {about 4 ounces} creme fraiche
  • 3 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp. water
  • 1 garlic clove, coarsely chopped
  • 2 tsp. fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 tsp. sugar
  • 1/4 tsp. salt, plus extra, as needed
  • 1/4 tsp. freshly ground pepper, plus extra, as needed

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2.  Filling:  in a medium saucepan, bring the chicken broth, cumin and quinoa to a boil over medium-high heat.  Cover the pan and reduce heat to low, for 10-15 minutes or until all liquid has absorbed.  Put the quinoa in a large bowl and add the bean, sun-dried tomatoes, spinach, feta and 1/4 cup olive oil.  Season with salt and pepper, to taste.  Stir until all the ingredients are combined.  
  3. Slice the tops off the peppers and remove all the ribs and seeds.  If necessary, cut a very thin slice from the base to help the peppers stand up.  Stuff the peppers with the filling and drizzle the tops with olive oil.  Put the peppers in an 8 inch square or oval baking dish.  Fill the baking dish with 3/4 -inch hot water and bake until the filling is golden and the peppers are cooked through, about 55-60 minutes.  NOTE:  If the filling begins to brown too quickly, cover the pan with foil.
  4.  Sauce:  In a blender, combine the basil, creme fraiche, olive oil, water, garlic, lemon juice, sugar, salt and pepper.  Blend until smooth.  Adjust he seasoning with salt and pepper, to taste.  
  5.  Remove the peppers from the oven and arrange on serving plates.  Spoon the sauce around the peppers and serve!
Here's the quinoa up's so cute!

Nice big peppers

pretty simple ingredients

oh, forgot these things!

Just gave a nice drizzle of olive oil and now for the oven

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