Jambalaya originated in Louisiana and comes from French and Spanish influences. The rice based dish usually contains chicken, sausage and/or shrimp in a light tomato base. The flavors are tangy and rustic – a true comfort food and perfect during the fall and winter months, when the weather starts to get a little cooler. Traditionally Jambalaya is served straight out of the pan, but I thought it would be fun stuffed into peppers for a nice presentation.
Quinoa has been around for a few years now and it is high in protein and vitamins. I love the texture and taste – both chewy and nutty at the same time. Quinoa instead of rice in this jambalaya makes it extra special and gives it a unique bite.
Quinoa Jambalaya Stuffed Peppers have a little smokiness from the sausage and a traditional spin with the Creole Trinity – carrots, celery and onions. This dish is great to make during the week for nice dinner, but is also makes a delightful casual dinner-party food. You can always prepare the peppers ahead, store them in the refrigerator and bake them in the oven when ready to serve.
5-6 red bell peppers
3 stalks celery
1 red onion
2 cloves garlic
5 sprigs fresh thyme or 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 pound Jennie-O smoked turkey sausage
2/3 cup tri-color quinoa or any variety
1 cup dry white wine
1 1/2 cups chicken broth
15 ounce can diced tomatoes
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1/4 cup fresh parsley, rough chopped
salt & pepper
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Cut lids off of peppers, remove seeds and place in an oiled casserole dish.
2. Peel carrots and slice, along with celery. Dice onion and red pepper lids, mince garlic. Dice chicken into chunks and slice smoked turkey sausage into 1/2 inch thick pieces.
3. In a large skillet, add 1 tablespoon olive oil and place over medium high heat. Add carrots, celery, red onion, garlic and diced red pepper lid pieces, stir. Cook for 4 minutes or until the veggies are just beginning to soften. Add thyme and stir to combine.
4. Add in the diced chicken and sliced turkey sausage, stir to incorporate with veggies. Stir in quinoa and wine. Pour in chicken broth, tomatoes and tomato paste, stir.
5. Cover with lid and turn the heat to low, cook for 15 minutes, remove lid and turn the heat back to medium high. Cook for another 5 minutes or until the jambalaya is thickened slightly. Ladle jambalaya into each red pepper and spoon extra around the perimeter. Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and sprinkle with fresh parsley. Serve with a green salad and enjoy!