Cheesy Italian Stuffed Peppers + Video

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Cheesy Italian Stuffed Peppers start with spicy Italian sausage, fire-roasted tomatoes, and orzo pasta. And it only gets better from there. An easy recipe that goes from prep to plate in 30 minutes makes this Italian stuffed peppers recipe a keeper!!

Titled Image: Cheesy Italian Stuffed Peppers


Italian Stuffed Peppers

I have such fond memories of my childhood.

Anytime food memories pop into my mind, I remember my mom being in the kitchen preparing the most amazing meals for us.

She was way ahead of her time with her creative simplicity (hmmm, maybe that is where it came from).

Every time I even look at a bell pepper, I remember a baking dish filled with Mom’s Italian stuffed peppers… green bell peppers overflowing with her special pepper mixture topped with tomato sauce.

Just the thought makes my mouth water!

Recipe Video

To see us make Italian sausage stuffed peppers from start to finish, watch the video in this post!

This recipe for stuffed peppers with Italian sausage is my tribute to her, and they’re sure to be on your table again and again!

If you’re looking for more rice alternative dishes, try my everyday orzo or this recipe for baked sausage, peppers, and onions with orzo!

cooked rice for stuffed peppers

Ingredient Notes and Substitutions

  • Hot Italian Sausage – Here’s where most of the flavor comes from!

    I love spicy foods, but if you don’t, you can use a milder sausage option for this Italian stuffed peppers recipe.
  • Fire-Roasted Diced Tomatoes with Garlic – Another flavor-packed ingredient! Look for a 14.5-ounce can. 

    In a pinch, you could use regular diced tomatoes and then add some minced garlic to get a similar taste.
  • Cheese – You need shredded Parmesan and mozzarella cheese for these ooey-gooey cheesy stuffed peppers with Italian sausage!
  • Bell Peppers – Choose your favorite color! As you can see in the pictures, I like all three.
  • Chicken Stock – I’m using reduced-sodium stock. Alternatively, you can use regular or even vegetable stock.
adding browned ground beef to rice in skillet

Helpful Tips to Make My Italian Stuffed Peppers Recipe

  • Cleaning and cutting bell peppers.

To quickly clean and cut a bell pepper, cut off the top and bottom of the pepper, then slice it down the side and unfold it into a flat sheet.

Run your chef’s knife along the inside of the pepper to remove the membrane and seeds. Once it is cleaned, you can slice it evenly and chop it into bite-size pieces.

My mom taught me not to waste, so I go back and cut the stem out of the lid, then chop up the top and bottom into bite-size pieces.

  • Pre-cook the peppers in the microwave.

For super tender results, it’s best to cook the bell peppers a bit before you assemble this Italian stuffed pepper recipe.

Simply pop them in the microwave for about 10 minutes after you’ve cut and cleaned them.

This will soften them slightly and make the baking process a whole lot quicker!

  • Add some extra sauce.

If you like your Italian sausage stuffed peppers on the saucy side, pour some tomato sauce or marinara on top before baking!

filling for italian stuffed peppers

Storing and Reheating Leftover Italian Sausage Stuffed Peppers

Make sure to allow the Italian stuffed peppers to cool completely before placing them in an airtight container in the fridge. They will keep for up to 3-4 days.

You can reheat them in the oven at 350°F for 20-25 minutes, or you can microwave them in 1-minute bursts until they are warmed through.

Kitchen Tools You Will Need

  • Skillet –  I have had this pan since 2006.

    It is my go-to large skillet. It heats evenly and quickly, plus the stainless steel cleans up beautifully with a little baking soda so they still look brand new.
  • Microwave-Safe Bowl – Not only does it make heating the bell peppers easier, but you can use it to quickly steam other vegetables too!
italian stuffed peppers in a baking dish

Italian Stuffed Pepper Recipe FAQ

Can I make the filling ahead of time?

You sure can! Simply prepare and cook the filling according to the recipe, then allow it to cool. You can store it in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 24 hours. 

When you’re ready to serve, continue the Italian stuffed pepper recipe to assemble, then bake as directed!

Why are my stuffed peppers soggy?

Overbaking is likely the culprit! Stuffed peppers with Italian sausage will become mushy and soggy if you leave them in the oven for longer than the listed baking time.

Remember that you’re pre-cooking the peppers, so they really don’t need to bake for too long.

Can I freeze Italian stuffed peppers?

Absolutely! Once the Italian stuffed peppers reach room temperature, place them in a freezer-safe container or tightly wrap each pepper in plastic wrap. 

They will keep in the freezer for 2-3 months. Make sure to thaw them in the fridge overnight before reheating. 

cooked stuffed peppers

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cheesy Italian stuffed peppers on a plate

closeup of Italian stuffed peppers

Cheesy Italian Stuffed Peppers Recipe + Video

Donna Elick
Cheesy Italian Stuffed Peppers with savory sausage, fire-roasted tomatoes, and orzo pasta go from prep to plate in just 30 minutes!
5 stars from 2 reviews
Tried this recipe?Please comment and review!
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course Main
Cuisine Italian
Method Oven
Servings 8


  • 16 ounces bulk hot Italian sausage
  • 14.5 ounce can fire-roasted diced tomatoes with garlic
  • 2 ounces shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 8 ounces dried orzo pasta
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • 2 cups reduced-sodium chicken stock
  • 4 ounces shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 8 bell peppers, whichever color you prefer
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 8 basil leaves, chopped (optional garnish)


  • Preheat oven to 450°F.
  • Warm 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a medium (10-inch) skillet over medium heat, approximately 2 minutes. Add orzo, stir to coat. Cook until orzo is golden brown, stirring occasionally. Add chicken stock and bring to a boil, cook for 7-10 minutes until liquid is absorbed, stirring occasionally.
  • Meanwhile, wash peppers. Cut the tops off and remove seeds and veins. Pat peppers dry with a paper towel. Place peppers (lids and bottoms) in a microwave-safe bowl and toss with 1 tablespoon oil and kosher salt. Cover bowl with plastic wrap or microwave-safe lid. Microwave until peppers are soft (about 10 minutes). Remove peppers from bowl and stand up (cut side up) in a 9”x9” baking dish.
  • In the meantime, heat a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add sausage to skillet and cook until browned.
  • In the orzo pan; combine sausage, tomatoes, mozzarella, and cheeses. Stir to combine. Stuff mixture into peppers, using a spoon. Set tops aside.
  • Bake for 7-10 minutes, until the top is lightly browned. Place tops on peppers and serve.
  • Enjoy!



Serving: 1 | Calories: 455cal | Carbohydrates: 32g | Protein: 20g | Fat: 27g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Cholesterol: 59mg | Sodium: 866mg | Sugar: 7g | Fiber: 4g | Calcium: 199mg | Iron: 2mg

All nutritional information is based on third party calculations and is only an estimate. Each recipe’s nutritional value will vary depending on the ingredients used, measuring methods, and portion sizes.

Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
Cheesy Italian Stuffed Peppers - PIN

Originally published May 2013, updated and republished August 2023

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  1. Stuffed bell peppers were one of my favorite recipes that my mother would make and they are a favorite of mine to make now. This one seems like a keeper since it cuts a lot of the time out from mine.

    1. I get it at our market (Sprouts) or you could even use the one from Walmart made by Johnsonville (I think it is 4 cheese or something). Cut it out of the casing. Enjoy and let us know how it goes.

  2. Stuffed peppers remind me of my mom, too. She made these because my dad loved them—years later I found out that she didn't even like peppers! Thank goodness, I do—and filled with cheesy Italian sausage and pasta sounds fabulous.

  3. Made these stuffed peppers and was somewhat disappointed. They were very tasty, but lacked an ingredient to keep the meat together. I will work on this next time.

    1. I am sorry you had difficulty with the recipe. The mozzarella cheese will hold it all together. You can add an egg next time, but the cheese does just fine. Give it another go and try it using cheese that is NOT preshredded, that will help.

      Enjoy and let us know how it goes next time.

  4. For those of us who don't buy pre-shredded cheese, will you please show the recipe in cups. Not everyone is so high tech that they have a scale at the ready. Same with meat. Ground meat is show by pounds or if over pounds and ounces. Your recipe calls for a pound of Italian sausage, for those who don't remember the conversions. Thanks.

  5. I have never heard of orzo pasta. Someone mentioned cheesy sausage. I don’t understand. Please explain. I really want to make this recipe. Thanks. Dee

  6. I made something very similar last week, by accident. I planned to make regular stuffed peppers and found only Italian chopped tomatoes in my pantry. LOL.
    Used a 90 second rice pilaf and sprinkled the cheese on top. Cooked it covered, and took the foil off for the last ten minutes. Worked great

  7. Great recipe. We had to make a few adjustments. Our store only sold unsalted chicken stock, so I had to add a good deal of salt. I also felt it needed italian seasoning, but that could be a result of the rather bland sausage available. Overall, will make again.

  8. 5 stars
    These are really good! Delicious!! Only thing We think too much Pasta ! 8 ounces all pasta according to the ratio . Next time will cut in half !! My son asked for them again !!! Delighted 😀.new recipe sometime don’t go over so well !!! Thanks

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