Sausage stuffed peppers are a savory and colorful dish that combines the robust flavors of sausage with the sweet and slightly tangy taste of bell peppers. This dish is a delightful fusion of textures and flavors, making it a favorite in many households for its versatility and ease of preparation.

Sausage Stuffed Peppers

At its core, sausage stuffed peppers involve hollowing out bell peppers of any color—red, yellow, green, or orange— and filling them with a mixture of cooked sausage, spices, and often other ingredients like rice, onions, garlic, and herbs. The type of sausage used can vary widely, from spicy Italian to milder chicken or turkey sausage, allowing for a range of flavor profiles. Cheese is frequently added to the stuffing or sprinkled on top for a gooey, melty finish.

Once stuffed, the peppers are baked until the peppers are tender and the filling is hot and bubbly. This not only melds the flavors together but also softens the peppers, making them sweet and flavorful. Sausage stuffed peppers can be a complete meal on their own, offering a perfect balance of protein, vegetables, and carbs. They are a versatile dish that can be adapted to suit various dietary preferences, making them a popular choice for family dinners or special occasions.

Prep time 20 minutes
Cook time35-40 minutes
CourseAppetizer, Side dish
Servings4 persons

Kitchen Tools Needed

  • Cutting Board
  • Chef’s Knife
  • Skillet (for cooking the sausage and sautéing any vegetables)
  • Mixing Bowl (for combining the filling ingredients)
  • Measuring Cups and Spoons
  • Spoon or Scoop (for filling the peppers)
  • Baking Dish (to hold the peppers for baking)
  • Aluminum Foil (optional, for covering while baking)
  • Oven Mitts
Sausage Stuffed Peppers

Ingredients for Sausage Stuffed Peppers

  • 4 large Bell Peppers (any color)
  • 1 lb Ground Sausage (Italian, chicken, or turkey)
  • 1 cup Cooked Rice (white or brown)
  • 1/2 cup Onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves Garlic, minced
  • 1 cup Tomato Sauce
  • 1/2 cup Shredded Cheese (mozzarella or cheddar)
  • 1 tsp Italian Seasoning
  • Salt and Pepper, to taste
  • 2 tbsp Olive Oil (for cooking)
  • Fresh Parsley, chopped (for garnish)

How To Make Sausage Stuffed Peppers?

Preparing the Peppers

  • Preheat the Oven: Start by preheating your oven to 375°F (190°C) to ensure it’s ready for baking.
  • Prepare the Peppers: Cut the tops off the bell peppers and remove the seeds and membranes. If necessary, slice a tiny portion off the bottoms to help them stand upright in the baking dish without tipping over.

Cooking the Filling

  • Cook the Sausage: In a large skillet over medium heat, cook the sausage, breaking it apart with a spoon, until it’s no longer pink and is starting to brown. This should take about 5-7 minutes.
  • Sauté Vegetables: To the same skillet, add the chopped onion and minced garlic. Cook with the sausage until the onion is translucent and fragrant, about 3-5 minutes.
  • Combine Ingredients: Stir in the cooked rice, diced tomatoes with their juice, Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper into the skillet. Cook until everything is well combined and heated through, approximately 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat and let it cool slightly. Stir in half of the shredded cheese into the sausage mixture.

Stuffing the Peppers

  • Fill the Peppers: Spoon the sausage mixture into each bell pepper, pressing down to make sure they’re filled all the way. Place the stuffed peppers upright in a baking dish.


  • Bake: Cover the baking dish with aluminum foil and bake in the preheated oven for about 35 minutes. Then remove the foil, sprinkle the remaining cheese over the top of each pepper, and bake uncovered for an additional 10 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and bubbly.


  • Rest and Serve: Let the peppers stand for a few minutes after taking them out of the oven. This allows the filling to set, making them easier to serve. Garnish with fresh chopped parsley or basil for a burst of color and freshness before serving.
Sausage Stuffed Peppers

What To Serve With Sausage Stuffed Peppers?

  • Garlic Bread: A classic side that’s perfect for soaking up any delicious juices from the peppers.
  • Mixed Green Salad: A light and refreshing salad with a simple vinaigrette complements the richness of the stuffed peppers.
  • Roasted Vegetables: Seasonal vegetables like zucchini, squash, and carrots roasted to perfection offer a healthy and colorful side.
  • Quinoa Salad: A hearty quinoa salad with lemon dressing and fresh herbs adds a nutritious and flavorful touch.
  • Couscous: Fluffy couscous seasoned with olive oil and fresh herbs pairs well with the flavors of sausage stuffed peppers.
  • Sauteed Spinach: Spinach sautéed with garlic and a splash of lemon juice provides a quick and easy green side.
  • Polenta: Creamy polenta serves as a comforting base that complements the bold flavors of the peppers.
  • Cauliflower Rice: For a low-carb option, cauliflower rice seasoned with herbs and spices makes a great accompaniment.
  • Sweet Potato Fries: Baked sweet potato fries with a hint of rosemary offer a sweet and savory contrast to the dish.
  • Caprese Salad: Fresh tomatoes, mozzarella, basil, and balsamic glaze create a light side dish that balances the hearty peppers.

Making Ahead, Storage and Reheating

Make Ahead Tips

Prep the Peppers: You can cut and clean the bell peppers a day in advance, storing them covered in the refrigerator.

Prepare the Filling: The sausage mixture can be cooked ahead of time and kept in the refrigerator for up to 2 days, allowing flavors to meld beautifully.

Assemble Before Baking: Stuff the peppers with the filling and refrigerate overnight. When ready to bake, let them sit at room temperature for about 20 minutes before putting them in the oven.

Storage Suggestions

Refrigerate: Cool the cooked stuffed peppers completely before transferring them to an airtight container. They can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days.

Freeze for Later: For longer storage, place the cooled stuffed peppers in a single layer on a baking sheet to flash freeze. Once frozen, transfer them to a freezer-safe bag or container. They can be frozen for up to 3 months.

Reheating Instructions

Oven Method: Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C). Place the refrigerated or thawed peppers in a baking dish, cover with foil to prevent drying, and reheat for about 20-25 minutes or until heated through.

Microwave: For a quick option, microwave refrigerated peppers on high for 2-3 minutes or until hot. If frozen, defrost in the microwave before heating thoroughly.

Thawing: If frozen, it’s best to thaw the stuffed peppers in the refrigerator overnight before reheating to ensure even warming.


  • Quinoa or Couscous: Replace rice with quinoa or couscous for a different texture and added protein.
  • Vegan Sausage: Use plant-based sausage and dairy-free cheese to make the dish vegan-friendly.
  • Spicy Kick: Incorporate spicy Italian sausage or add chili flakes to the filling for those who love heat.
  • Mediterranean Twist: Add feta cheese, olives, and spinach to the filling for a Mediterranean-inspired version.
  • Mexican Flavors: Mix in black beans, corn, cilantro, and top with pepper jack cheese for a Mexican flavor profile.
  • Breakfast Version: Create a breakfast version with breakfast sausage, egg, and diced potatoes as the filling.
  • Seafood Delight: Substitute sausage with shrimp or crab meat, and add breadcrumbs for a seafood-stuffed variation.
Sausage Stuffed Peppers


  • Ground Turkey or Chicken: For a leaner option, replace sausage with ground turkey or chicken.
  • Different Peppers: Try using poblano or mini sweet peppers instead of bell peppers for a change in flavor and size.
  • Rice Alternatives: Substitute rice with cauliflower rice, lentils, or barley for a lower carb or more fiber-rich meal.
  • Cheese Options: Swap out mozzarella or cheddar for goat cheese, ricotta, or any cheese you prefer for a different taste.
  • Herb Varieties: Instead of Italian seasoning, experiment with fresh herbs like basil, parsley, or dill to suit the flavor profile you’re aiming for.
  • Gluten-Free: Ensure the sausage is gluten-free and use gluten-free breadcrumbs if adding them to the filling for a completely gluten-free dish.

Health Benefits

  • Rich in Vitamins and Minerals: Bell peppers, the main ingredient, are high in vitamins C and A, which support immune function and vision health, respectively. They also provide a good source of potassium, essential for heart health.
  • High Protein Content: Sausage provides a hearty source of protein, which is crucial for muscle repair, growth, and overall body function. Choosing leaner sausage options can also help maintain muscle mass while minimizing excess fat intake.
  • Fiber Boost: If whole grain rice or quinoa is used in the stuffing, the dish becomes a good source of dietary fiber, promoting healthy digestion and contributing to a feeling of fullness, which can aid in weight management.
  • Antioxidant Properties: The colorful bell peppers contain antioxidants such as beta-carotene and lycopene, which help fight free radicals, reducing the risk of chronic diseases.
  • Low in Calories: By choosing lean sausage and adding plenty of vegetables to the mix, sausage stuffed peppers can be a relatively low-calorie meal option that still satisfies hunger.
  • Versatile for Diet Preferences: This dish can be easily adapted to fit various dietary needs, such as using plant-based sausage for a vegetarian option or adjusting the fillings to be gluten-free.
  • Mood Boosting: The combination of complex carbohydrates from the rice and the protein from the sausage can help stabilize blood sugar levels, which may have a positive impact on mood and energy levels.
  • Heart Health: Incorporating ingredients like olive oil, garlic, and tomatoes with the sausage and peppers can contribute to a heart-healthy diet by providing healthy fats, which are beneficial for cardiovascular health.
Sausage Stuffed Peppers

Nutritional Facts

  • Calories: 515 kcal
  • Protein: 31.8 g
  • Fat: 26.3 g
  • Carbohydrates: 37.5 g
  • Fiber: 6.7 g

Tips and Tricks

  • Choose the Right Peppers: Opt for large, evenly shaped bell peppers that can stand upright on their own. This ensures they cook evenly and hold the filling well.
  • Parboil Peppers: To ensure the peppers are perfectly tender by the time the filling is cooked, consider parboiling them for about 3-5 minutes before stuffing. This step can reduce the overall baking time and ensure a consistent texture.
  • Season the Inside: Lightly season the inside of the peppers with salt and pepper before adding the filling. This small step enhances the flavors of the entire dish.
  • Drain Excess Fat: After cooking the sausage, drain any excess fat to prevent the filling from becoming too greasy. This keeps the flavors balanced and the texture pleasant.
  • Pack the Filling Tightly: When stuffing the peppers, press down the filling gently to pack it tightly. This allows for more filling to fit inside and ensures even cooking.
  • Bake Covered, Then Uncovered: Start by baking the stuffed peppers covered with foil to cook them through without drying out. Remove the foil towards the end and bake for a few more minutes to melt the cheese topping perfectly and add a slight crispness to the peppers.
  • Add a Splash of Liquid: Place a small amount of water, broth, or tomato sauce in the bottom of the baking dish. This generates steam during baking, which helps cook the peppers evenly and keeps them moist.
  • Let Them Rest: After removing the peppers from the oven, let them rest for a few minutes before serving. This allows the flavors to meld together and makes them easier to handle.
  • Experiment with Toppings: Before serving, consider adding fresh toppings like chopped herbs, sour cream, or a sprinkle of grated cheese to add an extra layer of flavor and texture.
  • Freeze for Later: If you have leftovers or want to prep ahead, stuffed peppers freeze well. Cool them completely, then freeze on a baking sheet before transferring to a freezer-safe bag. Reheat in the oven or microwave for a quick and tasty meal.
Sausage Stuffed Peppers

Suggested Recipes

Delicious Stuffed Bell Peppers without Rice Recipe

Creamy Chicken Ramen

Frequently Asked Questions – FAQ’s

Yes, you can use any type of sausage that suits your taste preferences. From spicy Italian sausage to milder chicken or turkey sausage, the choice is yours. Each type will impart a different flavor profile to the dish, so feel free to experiment with various options to find your favorite.

To make a vegetarian version of sausage stuffed peppers, substitute the sausage with a plant-based sausage alternative or a mixture of beans, lentils, and vegetables. Many stores offer vegetarian sausage options that mimic the texture and flavor of traditional sausage, making it an easy swap.

If your peppers tend to tip over in the baking dish, you can slice a small, flat layer off the bottom of each pepper to create a stable base. Be careful not to cut into the cavity of the pepper, which would cause the filling to leak out. Alternatively, you can use balls of foil or small oven-safe ramekins to help keep them upright during baking.

Absolutely! Sausage stuffed peppers are an excellent make-ahead meal. You can prepare and stuff the peppers a day in advance, cover, and refrigerate. When you’re ready to cook, simply bake them according to the recipe instructions, adding a few extra minutes to the baking time if they’re cold from the fridge.

Leftover sausage stuffed peppers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days. To reheat, place them in a preheated oven at 350°F (175°C) for about 15-20 minutes or until heated through. Alternatively, you can microwave them for 2-3 minutes, but this may soften the peppers further.


Sausage stuffed peppers stand as a testament to the creativity and versatility that can be achieved with simple ingredients. This dish marries the robust flavors of sausage with the sweet and vibrant notes of bell peppers, creating a harmonious blend that delights the palate. Whether you opt for spicy Italian sausage, a milder chicken version, or even a plant-based alternative, the result is a comforting, satisfying meal that caters to a variety of dietary preferences and taste buds.

The addition of grains like rice or quinoa, coupled with the gooey goodness of melted cheese, further elevates the dish, making it a balanced, nutritious option for any meal. Perfect for weeknight dinners, meal prep, or special occasions, sausage stuffed peppers embody the essence of home-cooked comfort food, inviting experimentation and personalization in every bite.

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *