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.