I’m currently experiencing a quinoa obsession. I don’t know what it is about quinoa, but I can’t get enough of it. This superfood is very filling, and is actually affordable. My kids have been eased into it, by mixing quinoa with brown rice, but now they eat it straight up. Sometimes alone in a bowl with a sprinkle of salt and a pat of butter. Lord, it is so good. This Slow Cooker Quinoa Sausage and Peppers recipe is from one of my favorite slow cooker cookbooks, but with a few changes. I like change. It’s fun.
This recipe is also more on the healthy side. Turkey kielbasa, onion, chicken broth and a rainbow of peppers were used, which made this a hearty and satisfying meal. It was also pretty easy, since it’s cooked in the slow cooker.
Here are the ingredients. Don’t they look so pretty? Very simple ingredients, including apple cider vinegar, honey and spicy mustard. You only use 1 cup of quinoa, which will yield about 3 cups once it’s cooked. I loved the idea of adding the honey and apple cider vinegar, and that the spicy mustard gives the meal a flavor boost. I will say, we needed a little more spice in this recipe. I just added a few shakes of ground black pepper once the meal was done, but you could add a few squirts of Sriracha, or even add a pinch of red pepper flakes to the liquid ingredients.
I think the key part of this recipe is the peppers. I’m a green pepper gal, since they are always at a good price, but I splurged on the trip-color peppers this time. I have to say, it was worth it.
The cook time is a little different than regular slow cooker recipes. If cooked on low, it’s ready to eat in about 5 hours. If turned to high, it will be ready in about 2 to 2 1/2 hours. So, this is great meal to start before you leave for soccer practice, since it will be ready to eat when you get home. Or if it’s 4pm and you JUST thought about dinner. You can chop up the ingredients, rinse the quinoa, and throw everything in the slow cooker for a 6:30pm meal time. This is not an all day cooking kind of thing.
You can top your bowl with shredded cheddar cheese (which is phenomenal), but it’s not necessary. This dish is great all on its own. Don’t panic if your dish looks a little watery. The quinoa ends up absorbing that liquid, even after you’re done cooking. I scooped some into my bowl (see the first picture in this post), and all that lovely sauce soaked into the quinoa. Oh my.
Ready for the recipe? Check it out below.
Slow Cooker Quinoa with Sausage and Pepper
serves 8 to 10
1 14.5-ounce can chicken or vegetable broth
1 cup quinoa, rinsed and drained
1/4 cup cider vinegar
2 tablespoons spicy mustard
2 teaspoons honey
2 14 to 15-ounce packages of turkey kielbasa sausage, halved lengthwise and sliced into 1/4 inch half-moon shapes
4 medium yellow, red, orange and green peppers, seeded and cut into bite-size pieces
1 medium onion, cut into thin wedges
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese for a topping (optional)
In a 4 to 5-quart slow cooker, combine broth, rinsed quinoa, vinegar, mustard, and honey. Stir.
Add the sausage, sweet peppers, and onion on top of the quinoa mixture. Do not stir! The quinoa needs to cook in the liquid, and covered by the sausage and vegetables to cook evenly.
Cover and cook on low heat setting for 4 1/2 to 5 hours, or on high heat setting for 2 to 2 1/2 hours.
Stir gently before serving. Add ground black pepper or Sriracha to taste. Top with shredded cheese, if desired.
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