These Italian Sausage Stuffed Peppers are filled with savory sausage, tomatoes, delicious spices and topped off with lots of melted cheese! They are easy to make and this recipe hardly has ANY chopping involved making it doable for a delicious weeknight dinner! This is an impressive dish and a great recipe for entertaining!
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Italian sausage is such a staple ingredient in my kitchen. It instantly adds so much flavor to almost any dish! It’s especially good in this Easy Tortellini Bake, this Italian Sausage and Gnocchi Bake, and this Baked Sausage and Peppers recipe!
Speaking of FLAVOR, these Sausage Stuffed Peppers are full of traditional stuffed pepper ingredients like meat, rice, cheese, and tomatoes. But also includes a few yummy flavor enhancers such as garlic powder, onion powder, Italian seasoning, and Worcestershire sauce!
They are super easy to pull together and the filling can be made ahead of time so all you have to do is bake them! It’s definitely a recipe that will be on repeat at your house!
WHY YOU’LL LOVE THIS RECIPE
- An easy, impressive dish that’s FULL OF FLAVOR!
- No time-consuming chopping involved!
- The filling can be made ahead and stored in the fridge or freezer.
- Entire peppers can be made ahead of time and baked when you are ready to eat!
You’ll need the following ingredients to make this amazing Italian Sausage Stuffed Pepper Recipe:
Italian Sausage: I like using sweet Italian pork sausage, but you can also use hot Italian sausage, chicken sausage, or turkey sausage. Just stay away from breakfast sausage 🙂
Bell Peppers: Look for bell peppers that are on the larger side–they are easier to stuff and hold more yummy filling! Any color peppers are fine!
HOW TO MAKE ITALIAN SAUSAGE STUFFED PEPPERS: STEP BY STEP
Here are some quick visual instructions. Remember that the full recipe and instructions with exact ingredients will be in the recipe card below!
Step 1: Brown up your Italian sausage.
Step 2: Then add tomatoes, rice, spices, Worcestershire sauce, and rice. Stir to combine and cook 3-4 minutes or until most of the liquid is absorbed.
Step 3: Stir in Parmesan cheese.
Step 4 & 5: Spoon the meat mixture into bell pepper halves, and top with lots of cheese! Cover and bake in a casserole dish at 375°F for 25-30 minutes until peppers are tender.
RECIPE TIPS & TRICKS
- Cutting the bell peppers length-wise vs. just cutting off the pepper tops like they do in some traditional stuffed peppers recipes, makes them so much easier to eat!
- Look for bell peppers that are on the larger side–they are easier to stuff and hold ore yummy filling!
⭐️ CONFIDENCE TIP ⭐️
After you add the Parmesan cheese, taste your filling, and add salt ONLY if needed. The Italian sausage and Parmesan cheese have a good amount of salt, so you might find no additional salt is needed.
STORAGE & REHEATING
- Storage: Store leftover peppers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days.
- Reheating: You can reheat leftover peppers in the microwave or covered in the oven at 375°F until warmed through.
- Freezing: Bell peppers have quite a bit of moisture in them so they don’t freeze up perfectly, but they CAN be frozen! Cool cooked peppers completely. Then transfer to a zip-top freezer bag, seal tightly and freeze for up to 6 months. When you are ready to enjoy them again, thaw overnight in the fridge and reheat according to the directions above.
If want a quick make-ahead meal for later, freeze JUST the filling. When you are ready to enjoy, stuff your peppers and bake.
Here are a few substitutions you can make:
- Italian Sausage: This recipe is also fantastic with a pound of ground beef, ground turkey or chicken.
- White Rice: My favorite rice to use is plain old cooked white rice, but you can also use cooked brown rice, cauliflower rice, wild rice, or even cooked orzo pasta
- Fire-Roasted Tomatoes: If you can’t find fire-roasted tomatoes, you can use regular diced tomatoes or your favorite marinara sauce. Tomato sauce can also be used in a pinch.
- Cheese: Use whatever cheeses you have on hand! Sharp cheddar is one of my faves!
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Nope, there is no reason to pre-cook your peppers before stuffing them. Covering the peppers and cooking them at 375°F will ensure nicely cooked peppers that aren’t overly soft.
If you like your peppers super soft, add a few tablespoons of water to the bottom of the baking pan before covering with foil and baking.
If you have baked your peppers for 30 minutes, covered, and they are still not tender enough for your liking, add a few tablespoons of water to the bottom of your baking dish. Cover with foil, and bake until desired tenderness. The water will help steam the peppers and make the softer.
Peppers are done when they can be easily pierced with a knife.
TOOLS FOR THIS RECIPE
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Italian Sausage Stuffed Peppers
- 1 lb. Italian sausage, casings removed if neccesary
- 2 tsp olive oil
- 1 14.5oz. can diced, fire roasted tomatoes
- 2 tsp garlic powder
- 2 tsp onion powder
- 2 tsp Italian seasoning
- 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
- 1 1/2 cups cooked rice See Note 1
- 1/4 cup chicken broth
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese or Parmigiano Reggiano
- 1 cup mozzarella cheese, grated
- 3-4 large bell peppers See Note 2
- red pepper flakes (optional, to taste)
- fresh basil or fresh parsley, to taste (optional, for serving)
- Prep: With a sharp knife, cut around the stem of each bell pepper and carefully remove the stem. Then, split each pepper in half lengthwise and remove seeds and white membrane. Place them cut side up in a 9×12 (or similar) baking pan and set aside.
- Cook Sausage: In a large skillet over medium high heat, add olive oil. When oil is hot, brown sausage, breaking up the meat into small pieces as it cooks (about 3-4 minutes). Drain grease, if necessary. Pro Tip: Use a potato masher during the last couple minutes of cooking to get the meat broken up nice and fine.At this point, preheat your oven to 375°F.
- Add: Add tomatoes, garlic powder, onion powder, Italian seasoning, Worcestershire sauce, chicken broth and rice. Stir to combine. Bring to a simmer and cook for 3-4 minutes or until liquid is mostly gone. Then, stir in Parmesan cheese and remove pan from the heat. Make Ahead: At this point, the sausage mixture can be cooled completely, then stored in an airtight container or Ziploc bag. Store in the fridge for up to 4 days or freeze for up to 6 months. Stuff peppers and bake per directions below when you're ready to enjoy!
- Stuff: Fill each of the pepper halves with a generous portion of the sausage mixture. Sprinkle mozzarella cheese on top of the peppers.
- Bake: Cover your baking pan with aluminum foil and bake for 25-30 minutes (or more), depending on how soft you like your peppers. Peppers are done when they can be pieced easily with a knife. Optional: Remove foil and broil for an additional 2-3 minutes until cheese is browned.
- Serve: Allow peppers to cool 1-2 minutes. Then top with fresh basil or parsley and serve hot!