Healthy and satisfying Italian stuffed peppers with sausage and rice mix topped with melted cheese. This dish is hearty family dish and can also be served for guests.
Italian Stuffed Peppers
This classic dish is often filled with hamburger, which is the way my family has made it for years.
As a kid I never cared for this dish simply because all the goodies in the center were surrounded by a big ole vegetable.
Plus, we always ate stuffed peppers in green bell peppers, which is my least favorite of all the bell peppers.
I have since made it with Italian sausage and boy what a burst of flavor this dish is with that simple modification!
In addition, I make these with other varieties of bell peppers, so everyone enjoys their favorite flavor. I always pick red bell peppers!
How To Make Stuffed Bell Peppers
This dish is simple to make. The steps you take are preparing the peppers and making the filling before baking with cheese.
You will need the following ingredients:
- Rice: I prefer to use long grain white rice, but feel free to add in your favorite rice to this dish. For low carb followers feel free to substitute cauliflower rice or try this unstuffed bell pepper casserole.
- Chicken broth: this can be substituted with vegetable broth
- Bell peppers: I tend to use a variety of bell peppers because it turns into a very colorful dish, but feel free to use any one color if that is your preference.
- Olive oil
- Spices: I used salt, pepper, garlic powder, red pepper flakes, and dried oregano
- Italian sausage: You can use either mild or hot Italian sausage. I have also made these bell peppers with ground beef, but I found that they were not as flavorful.
- Mozzarella cheese: You can substitute the mozzarella cheese for your favorite type of cheese. Any type of cheddar, or pepper jack cheese will work for this.
You will need basic kitchen tools:
- Oven safe deep dish. I used an 8×13 inch pan/2 quart casserole dish.
- Sauce pan
Steps to make Italian stuffed peppers
Ready to get cooking? Let’s do this!
- First, remove the tops of your bell peppers and clean out the seeds and membranes. Set the peppers aside. Keep the tops.
- Now we want to prepare the rice. We will undercook slightly. The rice will finish cooking in the oven when stuffed.
- Dice the peppers from the tops (minus the stem, obviously 🙂 ) and the onion.
- In a large skillet cook the sausage, onion and chopped peppers with oil.
- Add the cooked rice, tomatoes and seasonings.
- Mix stuffing ingredients until combined.
- Add about 1/2-inch of water to the baking dish.
- Stuff prepared bell pepper and place in the baking dish. Cook for 35 minutes.
- Remove from oven and add cheese. Place back in the oven to melt cheese for about 5 minutes.
What Bell Peppers Are Best For Stuffing?
As long as the bell peppers are fresh, any variety; yellow, red, orange or green bell peppers are the perfect vessel for stuffing.
My personal preference are the sweeter peppers, which sometimes are the more expensive ones.
Why do the red, yellow and orange peppers cost more?
It takes peppers from 60-90 days to harvest. The green peppers are harvested right away, which can be shipped to our grocery stores quicker.
Peppers that are left on the vine to ripen longer will turn orange, yellow and red, which is why they can be more expensive.
How do you eat stuffed bell peppers?
Bell Peppers are a great vessel to fill and cook. The rice and meat flavors infuse into the bell peppers, making them even more delicious.
When I eat stuffed bell peppers, I prefer to cut the bell peppers in half and, depending on my mood, I will eat the bell pepper like a taco or simply eat it with a fork.
You can choose to eat bell peppers as the main dish, or as a side.
How do I store my stuffed bell peppers?
You can store your stuffed Bell Peppers in the refrigerator for an additional three to four days.
To reheat, place Italian stuffed bell peppers in either the microwave or in the oven at 350 degrees F for about 20 minutes.
Hungry for more casserole dishes?
Be sure to give this Chicken with Butternut Squash dish.
Or how about this Chili Con Carne with Vegetables?
- ½ cup long-grain white rice
- 1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
- 6 bell peppers
- 1 Tbs olive oil
- 1 tsp salt
- ½ tsp black pepper
- 1 pound Italian sausage, mild or hot
- 1 yellow onion, chopped
- ¼ cup diced tomatoes, fresh or canned
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- ½ teaspoon dried oregano
- ~1 cup water
- ¾ cup Mozzarella cheese, shredded
- Parsley, optional garnish
- Rinse rice under cold water then drain several
times to remove excess starch.
- Add the rice and broth to a saucepan. Bring to a
- Reduce heat, cover, and let simmer for 15
minutes or until the rice is tender but still has some bite. Most of the broth will be absorbed at this point.
- As the rice cooks, remove the tops from the bell peppers then remove and discard the seeds and ribs.
- Chop any remaining bell pepper from the tops and set aside.
- Drizzle about a tablespoon of olive oil over the cooked rice once done then season with a pinch of salt and black pepper. Fluff with a fork and set aside.
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F and have a deep baking dish at the ready.
- Heat a tablespoon of oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
- Sauté the sausage, onion, and chopped bell pepper for 5-7 minutes or until the meat is no longer pink and vegetables are fork tender.
- Add the tomatoes, garlic powder, red pepper flakes, and oregano to meat. Cook while stirring for one minute.
- Add the rice and meat to the skillet. Stir until all the ingredients are evenly distributed.
- Loosely fill each bell pepper with the rice mixture then place the stuffed peppers into the baking dish.
- Fill the baking dish with ½ inch (~1 cup depending on size of pan) of water.
Place stuffed peppers into the oven to cook for 35 minutes.
- Sprinkle on cheese and return peppers to the oven for 5 minutes or until cheese is melted.
Remove from the oven, sprinkle with chopped parsley (optional), plate, and serve warm.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 389Total Fat: 27gSaturated Fat: 10gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 19gCholesterol: 54mgSodium: 1066mgCarbohydrates: 18gFiber: 2gSugar: 6gProtein: 20g
Please note that the nutritional information provided are guidelines and may vary based on the brand of products used. For your specific nutritional goals use My Fitness Pal or Verywell Fit recipe calculators. All content within this site is not intended as medical diagnosis or treatment and should not be considered a substitute for professional medical expertise.
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