Sausage and Pepper Ring Mini Meatloaves Recipe

Yields: 6 servings
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 35-40 minutes

Ingredients

Bell Peppers:

  • 2 medium (any color you prefer)

Meat Mixture:

  • 1/2 lb lean ground beef
  • 1/2 lb sweet Italian sausage (casing removed)
  • 1/2 cup breadcrumbs (gluten-free if necessary)
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/4 cup minced onion (or 1 small shallot)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • Pinch red pepper flakes (optional, for a bit of heat)

Topping:

  • 1 cup marinara sauce (your favorite kind)
  • 1/2 cup shredded Italian blend cheese

Equipment

  • Large bowl
  • Baking sheet
  • Oven-safe skillet (optional)

Instructions

Get things started:

Preheat Oven:

  • Set your oven to 400°F (200°C).

Prep the Peppers:

  • Slice the top and bottom off the bell peppers to create flat surfaces.
  • Remove seeds and inner ribs.
  • Cut each pepper crosswise into 3 or 4 thick rings, depending on the size of the peppers.

Make the meatloaves:

  • Meat Mixture: Combine ground beef, sausage, breadcrumbs, egg, onion, garlic, Italian seasoning, salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes (if using) in a large bowl. Mix gently with your hands until just combined (don’t overmix).
  • Form the mini-loaves: Divide the mixture into equal portions (6 if you have 3 rings per pepper). Roll each portion into a ball, then gently press it into a pepper ring.
  • Initial Browning (Optional): For a richer flavor, brown the meatloaves in an oven-safe skillet for a few minutes per side. If you don’t have an oven-safe skillet, skip this step and bake straight away.

Bake and top:

  • Bake: Place pepper rings with their meatloaf filling on a baking sheet. Spread a tablespoon or two of marinara sauce on top of each mini meatloaf. Bake for 30 minutes, covered with foil.
  • Add Cheese: Remove the baking sheet from the oven and sprinkle each meatloaf with shredded cheese.
  • Final bake: Return to the oven, uncovered, and bake 5-7 more minutes until the cheese is melted and bubbly.

Serve and Enjoy:

  • Let the meatloaves rest for a few minutes before serving.
  • This dish is delicious alongside mashed potatoes, rice, or pasta!

Tips:

  • Adjust spice: Add more or less red pepper flakes based on your spice preference.
  • Flavor variations: Experiment with different sausage varieties (like spicy Italian), or add finely diced vegetables to the meat mixture.
  • Storage: Leftovers will keep in the fridge for 3-4 days.

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