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Are you looking for a delicious, hearty dinner recipe? Make these hot sausage stuffed peppers! This easy-to-make dish is made with colorful bell peppers, spicy Italian sausage, rice, tomatoes, and a blend of spices. Topped with melty cheese, it’s perfect for weeknight dinners or special occasions. So, grab your ingredients and get ready to make the best stuffed peppers with Italian sausage you’ve ever tasted.
Why this Italian sausage stuffed peppers recipe works
Stuffed peppers are a classic dinner option, but this recipe takes it up a notch with the addition of Italian sausage! This hearty dinner dish is packed with flavor and makes for an easy weeknight meal. Plus, you can make them ahead of time and store them in the refrigerator for a quick reheat later.
The combination of bell peppers, Italian sausage, rice, tomatoes, and a mix of spices creates an amazing flavor combination that you won’t be able to get enough of.
This dish is sure to become a family favorite!
Here’s everything you need to make these stuffed peppers with sausage…
- Hot Italian sausage
- Bell peppers
- Olive oil
- White rice
- Fire-roasted diced tomatoes
- Italian blend shredded cheese
- Garlic cloves
- Yellow onion
- Dried spices (oregano, basil, thyme)
- Chicken broth
- Crushed red pepper flakes
- Kosher salt and black pepper
- Reduced sodium Worcestershire sauce
- Fresh Italian flat-leaf parsley (optional)
If you are not a fan of spice, swap out the hot Italian sausage for a sweet kind.
How to make hot sausage stuffed peppers
After you’ve shopped for all of your ingredients, follow these simple steps to make sausage and peppers with rice!
Cook white rice
When making all of the components for this dish, start by cooking the white rice. This takes the longest to make, and you can easily prep everything else while the rice cooks!
Just cook your white rice according to the instructions on the package. This is also a great time to preheat the oven to 375°F.
Don’t overcook the rice. It’s better to leave it a tad al dente because you’ll be putting it in the oven, and it will continue to cook.
What type of rice works best for this stuffed pepper recipe?
I recommend using a long grain white rice for this recipe. It’s incredibly versatile and easy to find in any grocery store. But, you can just as easily use Basmati or Jasmine.
If you’re not a fan of white rice, use brown rice!
Can I swap in a different kind of grain?
Yes! You can use quinoa, farro, or any other grain instead of white rice in this recipe.
Prep the bell peppers
So, while the rice is cooking, it’s time to prep the bell peppers.
To prepare the bell peppers for the sausage stuffing:
- Wash the bell peppers thoroughly and pat them dry.
- Then, cut the peppers vertically down the middle. You can also cut a hole in the top and stuff them vertically standing.
- Remove the stem, seeds, and white flesh from the inside using a pairing knife.
- 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.
Does it matter what colored bell pepper I use?
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.
Now a fan of bell peppers? Consider stuffing an acorn squash instead!
Cook sausage stuffing
Now that the bell peppers are prepared, it’s time to move on and cook up the Italian sausage and veggies.
To cook the hot Italian sausage:
- In a large 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 it in a bowl, and set aside.
- Leave juices in the pan and lower to medium heat.
- Add the onions and sauté for about 5 minutes until they begin to caramelize. Add the minced garlic and cook for an additional minute.
- Pour in the fire-roasted tomatoes, the Worcestershire sauce, and the herbs/spices. 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.
I could only find sausage links. How do I cook them?
A lot of times hot Italian sausage typically comes in a link but don’t worry – we can fix it!
Remove the sausage casing by splitting the link in half and peeling away the skin. You can also make small slices along the length and then remove the casing that way as well.
Stuff the bell peppers and bake
Once the stuffing is cooked, it’s time for the fun part: stuffing the bell peppers. You are one step closer to enjoying a delicious dinner!
To properly stuff the peppers:
- Using a spoon, stuff the peppers with the sausage mixture into each one. Just make sure to not overflow them.
- Top each pepper with shredded cheese and cover with foil.
- Place in the preheated oven for 30 minutes.
- Remove the foil and low broil the cheese for 5 minutes or until golden brown and melted.
If you have e a few extra minutes to spare, shredded your own cheese!
What type of cheese should I use?
I recommend using a blend of Italian cheeses like mozzarella, Parmesan, and Asiago. This will give you the best flavor, but you can also use regular mozzarella or cheddar.
Can I make these stuffed peppers vegetarian?
Yes! To make these peppers vegetarian, simply swap out the sausage for cooked lentils or tempeh.
How to eat
Top the sausage stuffed peppers with some fresh parsley and serve hot! They are delicious on their own or pair them with a salad for a complete meal like this Brussel Sprouts Caesar salad.
Make a batch of these cast iron garlic butter dinner rolls to go along with it, and you’re all set!
Carefully remove the Italian sausage stuffed peppers from the oven and top with fresh parsley.
How to store
To enjoy the leftover sausage stuffed peppers, refrigerate them for up to 3 days. If you plan to use them for meal prep, freeze them individually in sealed containers or freezer-safe bags with the air removed.
How to reheat
For best results, reheat them in the oven at 350°F for 20 minutes or until the peppers are warmed through. You can also reheat them in the microwave, covered with a damp paper towel.
Love Italian? Try out these other recipes:
- Stuffed Pasta Shells
- Penne Alla Vodka
- Crispy Chicken Caprese Recipe
- Mushroom Risotto
- Meatball Pasta Bake
Made this recipe and loved it? Leave a star rating below!
- 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)
- 1/2 yellow onion (chopped (1/3 cup))
- 4 bell peppers (cleaned stems and seeds removed)
- 1/2 cup chicken broth
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon reduced sodium Worcestershire sauce
- 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
- 1/4 cup Italian blend shredded cheese
- Garnish: fresh italian flat leaf parsley (roughy chopped)
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- 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.