These sausage stuffed peppers are a fun and satisfying twist on the traditional beef version. The filling includes a handful of flavorful savory ingredients like sausage, garlic, fresh parsley, oregano, and basil, plus your favorite cheese such as parmesan, asiago, and/or cheddar. Add cooked rice and spoon into large and cored bell peppers before baking. They’re herbed, hearty, juicy, and conveniently packaged as an edible bowl!
While we mainly focus on baking and desserts, it’s fun to share dinner recipes every now and then—especially when we make one that REALLY hits the spot like this minestrone soup or this cilantro lime chicken. I’ve made these sausage stuffed peppers a handful of times in the new year, usually mixing up the type of sausage, cheese, herbs, and rice each time. I figured you’d enjoy trying a new dinner recipe, one that’s equally satisfying, flavorful, and comforting. We love this dish!
Tell Me About These Sausage Stuffed Peppers
- Flavor: Garlic! Herbs! Cheese! Sausage! Lots of flavor in each forkful. You can truly control the flavor by choosing your favorite sausage, herbs, and cheese. For herbs I recommend using fresh parsley, oregano, and basil but you can use dried or add others that you enjoy as well.
- Texture: If you avoided over-baking the peppers, they’ll be fork tender with a hot and hearty sausage filling.
- Ease: Though you need to pre-cook the filling, it’s a pretty straightforward process. I’d label this as an easy dinner recipe.
- Time: Set aside about 1 hour to complete this dish. It usually takes me awhile to perfectly slice off the tops/core out the peppers, but maybe you’re a little faster than I am! Prepping the filling takes at least 10-15 minutes. The peppers cook in about 40. As they cook, you can whip up a quick spring salad to serve alongside the heartier dish.
Overview of Key Ingredients
If you’re anything like me, your creativity shines in the kitchen. Feel free to make any substitutions that I list below. It’s easy to play around with different types of sausage, flavorful herbs, your favorite cheeses, and whatever rice you love most.
- Bell Peppers: The best peppers for this recipe are large bell peppers with relatively even bottoms so they can stand up without toppling over. You can use any color.
- Sausage: We usually use Italian sausage, but you could use your favorite. It can be ground or as links, but be sure to remove the meat from casings so you can break it up as it cooks in step 3. How about chicken or turkey sausage? Those work too, but you’ll need to add them later in the recipe if they’re already cooked. See recipe note.
- Herbs: I recommend fresh oregano, parsley, and basil. Thyme or sage would be excellent with these flavors, too. You can use fresh or dried herbs as detailed in the written recipe below. Use a little extra for garnish, if desired.
- Chicken Broth: We need a little liquid to keep the filling moist and bound together. I usually use chicken broth, but the same amount of tomato sauce (just use your favorite) or even pesto works.
- Cheese: We use shredded cheese both in the filling and as a topping, too. Just use your favorite. Some great options for this recipe are parmesan, asiago, cheddar, mozzarella, and/or pepper jack. You can use a blend of your favorite cheeses, too.
- Rice: Cook the rice before you get started with step 3 (the filling) below. Make sure that you measure the rice after it has been cooked. The amount of cooked rice that uncooked rice yields depends on the type, but it usually doubles in size. So cook about 3/4 cup of rice to yield the 1 and 1/2 cups needed for this recipe. Any of your favorite rice works such as white rice, brown rice, basmati rice, jasmine rice, wild rice, or even quinoa. We usually use a brown rice/quinoa blend.
Can I Make This Without Meat?
Yes. We’ve tested this exact recipe with chickpeas and black beans. See the detailed instructions for making the switch in the recipe Note below.
Bake covered, then top with cheese and return it to the oven for 5 more minutes.
It’s certainly difficult to make a lumpy brown filling look pretty, but I did my best!!! I think you’ll really love these. If you enjoy hearty baked dinners like this, try this chicken pot pie next—equally satisfying and flavorful!
More Satisfying Dinner Recipes to Try
- Chicken Pot Pie or Turkey Pot Pie
- Crab Cakes Maryland style and loved by locals and out-of-towners!
- Black Bean Burgers
- Creamy Chicken Noodle Soup
- Homemade Stromboli
These sausage stuffed peppers combine garlic, sausage, herbs, cheese, and rice to make a hearty, mega flavorful, and conveniently portioned dish. Feel free to use your favorite sausage, cheese, herbs, and rice. Review recipe notes before beginning.
- 6 large bell peppers (any color)*
- 1 Tablespoon olive oil
- 1/2 cup chopped yellow onion (1/2 of a medium onion)
- 1 pound uncooked Italian sausage (removed from casings)*
- 1 cup (120g) chopped mushrooms (optional)
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 teaspoon fresh chopped oregano (or 1/2 teaspoon dried)
- 1 teaspoon fresh chopped parsley (or 1/2 teaspoon dried), plus more for garnish if desired
- 1 teaspoon fresh chopped basil (or 1/2 teaspoon dried)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
- 1/2 cup (120ml) chicken broth*
- 1 and 1/2 cups (190g) shredded cheese, divided
- 1 and 1/2 cups (about 300g) cooked rice or quinoa (I use a brown rice/quinoa blend)*
- Prep the peppers: Slice 1/4 inch off the top of the peppers. Remove the core and seeds as best you can. (Pulling it out by hand usually works best.) Line peppers cut side up in a greased baking pan large enough to fit them all. A 9×13 inch dish is a great size for this recipe. A cast iron skillet could work too.
- Preheat oven to 375°F (191°C).
- For the filling: Heat olive oil and onion in a large skillet over medium heat. Cook for 3-4 minutes until onions are soft, then stir in the sausage, mushrooms, garlic, oregano, parsley, basil, salt, and pepper. Cook and break up the sausage with your spoon/spatula as best you can until the sausage is almost fully cooked through, about 6-7 minutes. Carefully spoon out most of the grease/fat, if there is any. Stir in the chicken broth. Cook for 2 minutes, then remove from heat. Stir in 1 cup of cheese and all of the cooked rice.
- Spoon filling into each pepper, filling all the way to the top.
- Optional, but helps keep the peppers moist as they bake– pour about 1 inch of warm water into the bottom of the pan around the peppers.
- Bake, covered, for 35-38 minutes or until the peppers are nearly fork tender. Remove from the oven, and evenly sprinkle the peppers with the remaining cheese. Return to the oven, uncovered, and bake for 5 more minutes.
- Sprinkle with additional parsley or other herb, if desired. Use tongs to carefully remove the peppers from the pan and serve warm.
- Cover and store leftovers in the refrigerator for up to 4 days or freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator, then reheat in the microwave or cover and bake in a 300°F (149°C) oven for 20 minutes or until warm in the center.
- Peppers: The best peppers for this recipe are large bell peppers with relatively even bottoms so the peppers can stand upright without toppling over.
- Sausage: We usually use sweet Italian sausage, but mild or hot Italian sausage works. You could use other types of sausage such as chorizo, bratwurst, or andouille but I haven’t tested the recipe with those options. It can be ground or as links, but be sure to remove the meat from casings so you can break it up as it cooks in step 3. You can use chicken or turkey sausage too, but if it’s already cooked (or if your pork sausage is already cooked), you’ll need to add it later in the filling step. Chop it up fine. To use cooked sausage in this recipe, add the mushrooms and flavorings as instructed in step 3. Cook until mushrooms are soft, then stir in the chicken broth. Cook for 2 minutes as directed, then remove from heat and mix in the finely chopped cooked sausage when you add the cheese and cooked rice.
- Meat-free? We enjoy these with beans instead of sausage, too. Stir in 2 cups of cooked beans such as chickpeas or black beans when you add the chicken broth.
- Herbs: Feel free to leave out an herb or replace with your favorite. 1 teaspoon fresh chopped thyme or sage or 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme or sage would work wonderfully here too.
- Chicken Broth: We usually make the filling with chicken broth, but also love tomato sauce or even pesto. (Same amount.)
- Cheese: We usually use a blend of parmesan and asiago, but cheddar, mozzarella, or even pepper jack would be great. Use your favorite.
- Rice: Measure the rice after it has been cooked. The amount of rice that uncooked rice yields depends on the type, but it usually doubles in size. (Cook 3/4 cup to yield about 1 and 1/2 cups.) Any of your favorite rice works, just as long as it’s cooked before mixing with the stuffing ingredients in step 3. White rice, brown rice, basmati rice, jasmine rice, wild rice, or even quinoa. I used a brown rice/quinoa blend in these photos.
Keywords: stuffed peppers, sausage