As a big fan of stuffed peppers, I knew it would only be a matter of time before I came back to them as a concept. We really enjoyed making ricotta-stuffed peppers in the past, and thought that our little cornbread-stuffed jalapeños worked great as an appetizer. So last night when I was cooking dinner for our little community, I thought it might be fun to combine those two concepts into a meal-sized, cornbread-stuffed bell pepper.
The reason I like cornbread so much for a stuffing is because it’s a nice, moist, crumbly bread with a nice distinct flavor. So many recipes want you to load your pepper up with meat and cheese, and it ends up not feeling like a very creative or healthy food choice by the time you’re done. Plus, since we’ve been trying to eat less meat and our one community member is a vegetarian, we always look for nice ways to leave the meat out.
I tried to add flavors and ingredients into the stuffing that gave the same “satisfaction” and savory enjoyment as a good meat stuffing would have done: slowly sauteed onions, sundried tomatoes, garlic, sage, rosemary, kale. The idea was to use the garlic and herbs and caramelized onions to give a nice spicy flavor, while the kale and tomatoes lent their dense and earthy personalities to heighten the experience.
And then cheese on top, because cheese is the best.
Try it out!
Cornbread-Kale-Stuffed Bell Peppers Recipe
6-8 bell peppers, halved and cored
1/2 recipe cornbread
1 onion, finely diced
6-10 sun-dried tomatoes, minced
3 cloves garlic, minced
6-8 cups finely chopped kale
3 tb each minced rosemary and sage
shredded cheddar cheese to top, 1-2 cups
Make your cornbread — it’s better for this recipe to use a cornbread that’s on the leaner side (not much fat or sugar in the recipe) because you’re adding a lot of other flavors. I like the one on this site for it; I made half the recipe in a little 8-inch skillet in the toaster oven and it only took 10 minutes to bake. Awesome.
In a tablespoon of oil, start gently sauteing your onions.
Chop the garlic, tomatoes, and herbs and add them to the pan. Add a little oil if necessary to keep things cooking without sticking to the pan, and don’t raise the temperature beyond medium heat (longer is better on these, to get a lot of flavor out).
Chop your kale finely. It’ll look like more kale than you’ll ever need, but as always it will shrink down to nothing once you cook it. Add to the pan with the other ingredients and cook till wilted and tender, then remove the pan from heat.
Crumble the cornbread into a big bowl, and mix in the sauteed ingredients to make a ridiculously tasty stuffing.
Lay your cleaned pepper halves on a baking sheet and fill evenly with the cornbread mixture. Bake for 30 minutes at 400°F.
Once the peppers are tender and the cornbread is pretty well browned, remove from oven and sprinkle with the cheese (if you want). Return to the oven for 10-15 minutes to brown the cheese, then remove and eat!
Let me know what you think!