These Italian sausage stuffed peppers are full of flavour, satisfying, and easy to make (with minimal tools and ingredients)! It’s made with delicious, savoury ingredients like Italian sausage instead of ground beef. The addition of mozzarella cheese ensures every bite is ooey-gooey and extra delicious.
Table of Contents
Make ahead – It’s easy to prep the filling of these Italian sausage stuffed peppers and then make them fresh later. The cooked sausage mixture and rice can be kept in the fridge for 3-4 days before filling and baking the peppers.
No chopping – This recipe is great for beginners since you won’t need to chop any ingredients (besides halving the bell peppers).
Flavorful – The seasoning and sausage combine to create a delicious Italian sausage stuffed peppers recipe.
Easy – Minimal prep time helps keep this recipe easy and beginner-friendly.
Simple – You likely have most of the ingredients for this recipe in your kitchen already.
Great for meal prep – Once you cook these sausage stuffed peppers, they’re easy to portion out for meals during the week. They can last in the fridge for up to four days.
I love adding white rice to these Italian sausage stuffed peppers as it helps make the dish more filling. You can also use other types of rice, like basmati or jasmine, for an equally filling meal.
Italian sausage works great for stuffed peppers with sausage since it’s packed with flavour. You can also use other types of sausage, like chorizo, for this recipe.
Green bell peppers offer a more savoury flavour. However, red and yellow peppers also work well with this dish. They will add a slight sweetness to the recipe.
See the recipe card for full information on all ingredients and quantities.
Stuffed bell peppers is a dish which typically includes a protein (like ground beef), a carb (such as rice or couscous), cheese, and seasoning. In some recipes, additional veggies are added to the filling. Once stuffed, the peppers are baked in the oven so the cheese melts, and the bell peppers soften. Each recipe for stuffed peppers varies. For example, my version of Italian sausage stuffed peppers includes ingredients like fresh basil, ground sausage, canned tomatoes.
How to choose a good bell pepper for filling
When selecting bell peppers for Italian sausage stuffed peppers, ensure you’re picking peppers which are not bruised or soft. The peppers should have shiny skin and firm flesh. I like picking smaller peppers for this sausage stuffed peppers recipe since it’s easier to make more portions.
How to cut and core a pepper
For the best results with this recipe, leave the stem on the bell pepper. Lay each pepper on its side and slice horizontally through the stem. Once the pepper is halved, use the knife to cut out the core and seeds.
Here are a few ways you can adjust the flavours of these Italian sausage stuffed peppers to your preferences! Swap the Italian sausage for another protein, like ground beef or chicken sausage. Or, make it vegetarian-friendly by using chickpeas or black beans as a replacement. For a boost of flavour, cook the rice with chicken broth instead of regular water.
If you want to skip the white rice, use orzo pasta, brown rice, quinoa, or couscous instead. Other types of melty cheese can be added, including cheddar and gouda. Instead of using Italian-inspired herbs, use other herbs and spices (like a Mediterranean mix).
Another great way to change up this recipe is by adding spinach or chopped mushrooms to the meat mixture for extra nutrients. Instead of including plain diced tomatoes, flavoured chopped tomatoes will also work. Try fire-roasted or Italian-style canned tomatoes in this dish. Avoid tomato sauce, as it can make the dish too watery.
Preheat your oven to 175°C/350°F (Fan) or 190°C/370°F (Conventional)
* Cook the rice and allow to cool, before refrigerating.
3. Add 1 tbsp of olive oil to a non-stick frying pan over a medium/high heat. Add the sausage meat and distribute across the pan. Leave to brown for around 3 minutes, then break apart with a spatula Then add half of the Italian seasoning and season with salt and pepper. Continue to cook for 6 more minutes (Image 3).
4. Add your pepper halves to a baking sheet (Image 4).
5. Pour your chopped tomatoes through a sieve to remove the excess moisture. Then add it to a bowl, along with your cooked rice, onion & garlic powder, red pepper flakes and remaining Italian seasoning. Stir to combine (Image 5).
6. Then start to fill the pepper halves with the rice mixture (Image 6).
7. Top with your browned sausage meat and a sprinkle of mozzarella. Pop in the oven for 25-30 minutes (Image 7).
8. Remove from the oven once the topping has browned and the peppers are cooked (Image 8).
Serve with fresh basil and a crack of black pepper. Add an extra pinch of salt if necessary, and enjoy!
Use smaller peppers
I love using smaller peppers for stuffed peppers with Italian sausage. They cook more quickly than the larger variety.
Leave the stem on the peppers
Leaving the stem on the bell peppers makes it much easier to fill them, as it creates a bowl-like vessel for the filling. Ensure you remove the core and seeds before following the recipe for Italian sausage stuffed peppers.
Taste the cooked filling
Before adding more salt/pepper to the dish, taste the cooked filling. It’s best to use less seasoning and add it if needed than to over-salt the recipe.
Italian sausage stuffed peppers are a great dish because they pair well with many sides and mains. They are delicious with roasted veg, salads, soups, rice dishes, and more. For a more balanced taste, try to match your other dishes with the flavours of the stuffed peppers. For example, if you’re making Italian-inspired peppers, serve other Italian-inspired dishes with them (like risotto).
Can you make them, fill them and then freeze them?
Yes, you can fill, cook, and freeze these Italian sausage stuffed peppers. You may find them a bit watery when reheating, but they should freeze fine. Ensure you allow the peppers to fully cool before freezing them.
Should you store the meat and pepper separately?
If you want to turn this into a make-ahead recipe, store the cooked filling and bell peppers separately. Then, fill and bake them before serving.
How long do they last in the fridge/freezer?
If you’re storing the peppers in the fridge, they should be good for up to four days. They can last for up to six months in the freezer.
How to thaw from the freezer?
Allow the bell peppers to defrost in the fridge overnight. Then, follow the noted directions below to reheat them.
How do I reheat them?
Preheat the oven to 375°F/190°F. Then, place the defrosted peppers in a baking dish. Bake them for about 25 minutes or until they’re heated through, and the cheese is melty.
No, you do not need to pre-cook the bell peppers for recipes like my Italian sausage stuffed peppers. It’s simply necessary to prep the peppers by slicing them and adding the filling. As they sit in the oven with filling, the peppers will cook and soften.
When making a stuffed peppers recipe with sausage, you will need to pre-cook the meat and rice before adding it to the peppers.
A few items may be causing your stuffed peppers to be watery. For one, overcooking bell peppers can cause them to release more of their natural liquids. Additionally, adding too much liquid to the inside of the peppers can also create a watery dish.
Yes, you can use frozen bell peppers for this yummy recipe. Follow the same steps as above. You will need to let the bell peppers cook in the oven for a few extra minutes since they’re cooking from frozen.
You can use either regular or instant rice for rice and sausage stuffed stuffed peppers since the rice is pre-cooked before it’s added to the peppers. If you’re making a crockpot version of this recipe with uncooked rice, it’s best to use regular rice instead of instant.
Pair these yummy stuffed peppers with other Italian-inspired dishes like Italian Sausage Tray Bake, Easy Sun Dried Tomato Pasta, or Creamy White Beans with Parmesan.
If you tried this Italian Sausage Stuffed Peppers recipe, it would be mean so much to me if you could leave a review & a star rating to let me know how you found it! I love hearing about your experiences – it motivates me to keep creating more and more recipes for you guys 💛 Let’s get cooking! – Mimi x