September 24, 2015 by Dominic
My Hot Sausage Stuffed Banana Peppers are an Italian favorite that I look forward to every summer.
My dad has always been a fan of home gardening, and it seems as though his bounties get larger by the year. He’s always planting something new, but what remains consistent are the cucumbers, tomatoes, leaf lettuce and my favorite — the banana peppers.
Growing up, we would eat our stuffed peppers over buttered rice with lots of Parmesan cheese. I often day dream about how the rice soaks up those spicy flavors … it’s amazing.
While rice may not be on the menu for the Keto diet, we can easily substitute with riced cauliflower or broccoli.
Naturally keto-friendly, my Hot Sausage Stuffed Banana Peppers are spicy, juicy and will leave you coming back for more. The best part is the intoxicating flavor they give off — a total Italian classic!
- 6 fresh banana peppers
- 1 lb ground spicy Italian sausage
- 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese
- 1/2 cup tomato sauce
- 2 tbsp water
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.
- Prepare your peppers by cutting off the stems and slicing a slit down the middle of each. Inside will be small bunches of seeds. If you like a lot of heat, leave the seeds inside. If you prefer it a little more mild, remove the seeds.
- Divide the ground sausage into 6 separate, equal portions and stuff one portion into each pepper. It's okay if thee sausage is exposed and doesn't completely fill the contents of the pepper.
- In a baking dish, take 1/4 of the tomato sauce and spread it along the bottom of the baking dish. Add the water and mix it together with a spoon or whisk.
- Lay each pepper, sausage-side-up in the baking dish.
- Top each pepper with a small amount of the remaining tomato sauce
- Cover the baking dish with foil and pop it into the pre-heated oven for roughly 40 minutes.
- At 40 minutes, remove the baking dish from the oven and test the peppers firmness. If a fork easily pierces the pepper, they're ready for the next step.
- Top each pepper with a little bit of mozzarella cheese.
- Turn the oven to broil and put the peppers back in the oven, uncovered.
- Broil until the cheese is golden brown and remove from the oven.
- Let cool for at least 10 minutes before serving. Enjoy!
Stuffed Banana Pepper Variations
Depending on where you live or the time of year, you may not have access to banana peppers. That’s okay! Try switching the pepper type up and seeing what kind of flavors you can create. This recipe would work just as well with jalapenos, bell peppers or another favorite — Hungarian wax peppers.
The type of meat mixture can also be switched up, but the cooking times may vary. I would use a fatty meat over lean meat in this scenario to keep the peppers moist and flavorful.
Different flavors and textures like cream cheese and bread crumbs (use crushed pork rinds if you’re low carb) can be added, but I find that these don’t really need it.
The spice level of most peppers is concentrated in the seeds. If you find a tasty pepper that is just too spicy, try removing all of the seeds.
Use gloves if you know what’s good for you!
Do you have a favorite recipe that you eat at certain times of the year? Comment below!
Dominic Geracia is a passionate web developer and cat dad from Pittsburgh, PA. When he's not motivating the Keto community on Instagram, you can likely find him in the kitchen cooking up something delicious with his husband, Seth.