Looking for a hearty and family pleasing make ahead dinner recipe? Looks no further! Sausage Stuffed Bell Peppers with rice and vegetables will be your new go-to.
Sausage Stuffed Bell Peppers are a classic Italian dish using stuffed peppers with rice, sausage and lots of colorful vegetables. This make ahead dinner recipe will be a family favorite.
Who doesn’t love a stuffed pepper recipe? A bell pepper pocket overflowing with a tasty mixture of meat, veggies and cheese. The mixture possibilities are endless and it truly is the ultimate one-dish meal.
You can use ground, shredded or chopped sausage, beef, chicken, turkey. Virtually any vegetable you can find leftover in your vegetable crisper can be tossed in to make your own personalized creation. I call these my “kitchen sink stuffed peppers” because I throw in everything except the kitchen sink!
Other days I plan a little better and when I do, sausage stuffed bell peppers are my pick. While some like using ground beef in their stuffed peppers, I prefer Italian sausage.
I make my own blend of ground pork with fennel, garlic and red wine. A delicious sausage base for this recipe. You can usually find ground sausage meat or Italian sausage links and just cut them out of the casing. You can also use turkey sausage, if you prefer.
I also have no idea why people limit themselves to stuffed green peppers. Why only green? Why not use the rainbow and make a variety of red, yellow and orange peppers?
Some also like to saw off the tops so they sit upright, but I find that cutting them lengthwise makes a little boat suitable for really piling in the stuffing.
My stuffing is made with rice, either make a small batch or use leftovers from another meal. Sometimes I get those 90 second rice packets to cut time.
Then I add colorful vegetables like yellow squash, carrots, and onion. Top it off with marinara sauce and mozzarella cheese and bake it in a small amount of white wine, which essentially steams the pepper and infuses it with flavor. If you don’t use or drink wine, feel free to omit this completely.
If you are making this dish ahead of time, prepare it all the way to stuffing the peppers, then cover and refrigerate until you are ready to cook. Since it will be chilled, add an additional 5 minutes to the cooking time.
If you like this stuffed bell pepper recipe, you’ll also love these other easy Italian recipes:
Tools for making Stuffed Bell Peppers:
9 x 13 Glass Baking Dish– an absolute essential for any kitchen! Use it for baking, marinating or storing. Get one with a lid, you’ll thank me later.
Wood cutting board – wood won’t dull your knives like plastic and if treated properly, has natural antimicrobial properties.
Heavy Bottom Frying Pan– this will be one of your most used kitchen tools. Having something that is heavy bottom will distribute heat better and prevent burning whether you are using an electric or gas range.
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Sausage Stuffed Bell Peppers
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1/3 cup yellow squash , minced
- 1/3 cup carrot , minced
- 1/2 cup yellow onion , minced
- 3 cloves garlic , minced
- 8 ounces ground Italian sausage
- 3 bell peppers
- 1 cup rice , cooked
- 2 tablespoons fresh Italian parsley , chopped
- 1/2 cup white wine , or water
- 1/2 cup Parmesan reggiano cheese , finely grated
- 1 1/2 cups marinara sauce , divided
- 1/2 cup mozzarella , shredded
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Heat olive oil in a large frying pan to medium heat. Add yellow squash, carrots, onion and garlic. Saute until onions turn opaque, approximately 3-5 minutes.
- Add sausage meat. Break apart as it cooks. Cook fully, approximately 5 minutes.
- Remove mixture from frying pan using a slotted spoon, trying to strain as much liquid and grease as possible. Set aside and allow to cool for 5 minutes.
- Meanwhile, prepare your bell peppers by cutting them in half lengthwise and removing the seeds and membranes from the interior. Wash and place on a paper towel upside down to drain excess liquid.
- Stir chopped parsley, cooked rice, 1/2 cup marinara sauce and grated Parmesan reggiano cheese into the sausage mixture.
- Place halved bell peppers in a large baking dish. Fill each one with sausage mixture.
- Pour white wine or water into the bottom of the baking dish.
- Bake, uncovered, for 20 minutes. Meanwhile, heat remaining marinara sauce in microwave or over low heat on range.
- Remove from oven and transfer to serving dish. Top each pepper with marinara sauce and mozzarella cheese. The residual heat from hot marinara sauce and the pepper stuffing should be enough to melt the cheese.
- If you've tried this recipe, come back and let us know how it was!