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!!
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!
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!
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.
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.
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 Pepper Recipe FAQ
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!
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.
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.
With love, from our simple kitchen to yours.
Other 30 Minute Meal Recipe Links
Cheesy Italian Stuffed Peppers + Video
- 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.
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.
Originally published May 2013, updated and republished August 2023
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