These hot Italian sausage stuffed peppers are as colorful as they are flavorful. Stuffed bell peppers with rice, hot Italian sausage, aromatics, and topped with melty cheese. This easy stuffed bell pepper recipe is a quick and easy dinner and meal prep recipe.
Why this recipe works
Bell peppers are the perfect vegetable to stuff with ingredients. Stuffing bell peppers are great for meal prepping, low carb eating, and an extra layer of flavor to accompany other ingredients.
How-to cut a bell pepper
First you need to cut and clean the peppers. You can either stuff them vertically or horizontally. I’ve done them both ways. With both, you want to remove the seeds, stem, and the white flesh inside (it can make the pepper bitter). I use a pairing knife to shave the white flesh out or you can use your fingers and pull it out.
Bell pepper color
You can use any combo of bell pepper colors. I typically do not use green bell peppers because they are the least ripe of the bunch, but since you’re putting them in the oven to cook you probably won’t notice that much of a flavor difference.
Cooking the stuffing
Hot Italian sausage: Hot Italian sausage typically comes in a link. Remove the skin prior to cooking and as you cook break it into smaller pieces. For smaller pieces, you can chop on a cutting board after cooking. Use a slotted spoon to remove sausage to leave the juices behind, it will help flavor the rest of the ingredients!
Onion: Put the onion into the sausage juices and you’ll see them immediately take on that color and all the flavor. Sauté until they begin to soften, then add in the minced garlic.
Fire roasted tomatoes: I like to use fire roasted instead of plain diced tomatoes, because it gives an extra layer of flavor to the dish. Herbs: I add in some dry herbs: thyme, basil, and oregano. Then a secret ingredient… Worcestershire sauce! (just a touch).
Rice: Next, I add back in the hot Italian sausage and rice I cooked on the side. I add in a little chicken broth because you don’t want the stuffing to dry out when you put them in the oven to bake.
Bell pepper tip: Since bell peppers are rounded, you want to secure them so they don’t roll and the stuffing falls out. Take your pairing knife and carefully shave a flat spot on the bottom so the pepper sits flat in the baking dish.
Spoon the filling into each pepper and top with some cheese. Cover with foil and place in the oven for 30 minutes or until the peppers are easily pierced and tender. Remove the foil at the end to brown the cheese under the low broiler.
Carefully remove the Italian sausage stuffed peppers from the oven and top with fresh parsley.
Storing the bell peppers
You can store the bell peppers in the refrigerator for 3 days to enjoy throughout the week. You can also freeze them individually for meal prepping purposes.
Looking for more recipes with Italian sausage?
- Meatball Pasta Bake
- Stuffed Zucchini Rolls
- Stuffed Acorn Squash
- Hot Italian Sausage White Bean Soup
- Meatballs and Homemade Sauce
- Cornbread Sausage Stuffing
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Hot Italian Sausage Stuffed Peppers
- 1 pound hot Italian sausage casings removed
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 cup white rice cooked to package instruction (do not overcook)
- 14 ounces fire roasted diced tomatoes
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- ½ yellow onion chopped (⅓ cup)
- 4 bell peppers cleaned stems and seeds removed
- ½ cup chicken broth
- ½ teaspoon dried oregano
- ½ teaspoon dried basil
- ½ teaspoon dried thyme
- ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon reduced sodium Worcestershire sauce
- ½ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
- ¼ cup Italian blend shredded cheese
- Garnish: fresh italian flat leaf parsley roughy chopped
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
- Cook rice according to package instructions, do not overcook, better to be a tad al dente because you’ll be putting into the oven.
- In a large sauté pan over medium high heat, add 2 tbsp olive oil and the hot Italian sausage. Cook the sausage, breaking it up into smaller pieces as you go, until fully cooked through. Using a slotted spoon, remove the sausage, place in a bowl, and set aside. Leave juices in the pan.
- Lower the heat to medium and add in the onions. Sauté for about 5 minutes until they begin to soften. Add the minced garlic and cook an additional minute. Add in the fire roasted tomatoes, the Worcestershire sauce, and the herbs/spices: basil, oregano, thyme, salt, pepper, crushed red pepper flakes. Stir to combine. Add the sausage back in, the cooked rice, and the chicken broth. Stir to combine and allow the flavors to meld for 5 minutes while you prepare the peppers.
- You can cut the peppers either horizontally or just cut a whole in the top and stuff them vertically. Either way you want to remove the stem, the seeds, and the white flesh from the inside using a pairing knife. Place the peppers in a baking dish, if they are having trouble standing shave a flat spot on the back of them with a pairing knife.
- Using a spoon, stuff the peppers with the sausage mixture, top with cheese, and cover with foil. Place in the oven for 30 minutes (peppers should be fork tender). Remove the foil and low broil the cheese for 5 minutes or until lightly browned/melted. Remove from the oven and serve with fresh parsley on top.
- You can use any combo of bell pepper colors. I typically do not use green bell peppers because they are the least ripe of the bunch, but since you’re putting them in the oven to cook you probably won’t notice that much of a flavor difference.