Stuffed Banana Peppers with Hot Sausage are a summertime dinner staple in our household that I continue to obsess over.
Growing up, we would eat our stuffed banana peppers over buttered rice with lots of Parmesan cheese.
There’s something so magical about the way rice soaks up those spicy flavors that is purely sinful!
While rice may not be on the menu for the Keto diet, we can easily substitute with riced cauliflower or Miracle Rice for those same flavors.
Naturally Keto-friendly, my Hot Sausage Stuffed Banana Peppers are spicy, tender and will leave you coming back for more!
Stuffed pepper variations
Depending on where you live or the time of year, you may not have access to banana peppers.
Try switching up the pepper and seeing what kinds of unique flavors you can create.
Great recipes like this works just as well with jalapenos, bell peppers, cubanelle, or another favorite — Hungarian wax peppers.
Sometimes, I use ground beef or or mild sausage in the meat mixture for something a little different.
Definitely use a fatty meat over lean meat in this scenario to keep your peppers moist and flavorful.
Crushed pork rinds add a texture similar to bread crumbs and can be added to lighten up the meat mixture.
Some other interesting add-ins:
- cream cheese
- bacon bits
- chopped nuts
- fresh herbs
The spice is in the seeds
The spice level of the pepper is concentrated in the seeds.
If you find a tasty pepper that is just too spicy for your liking, try removing all of the seeds.
And most importantly, please use gloves when preparing your peppers.
You do not want to get the heat into your eyes, trust me.
While the banana pepper isn’t a super hot pepper, they can pack a surprising amount of heat!
Can I freeze my stuffed peppers?
Absolutely, and it’s one of the reasons I love this recipe so much.
I often make huge batches and freeze in aluminum trays or plastic bags.
That way, we get to enjoy them all year round!
Preparing Stuffed Banana Peppers
This recipe is fairly easy and straight-forward.
For me, the hardest part is making sure I don’t touch my eyes when working with the peppers!
Step 1. Prepare the peppers
While wearing disposable gloves, use a knife to cut the tops and large ribs from inside the peppers.
I like to do this over a baking sheet so I don’t make a huge mess.
Any size of banana pepper will do, but I do try to get medium sized ones at similar sizes.
I try to keep them as consistent as possible so that they cook evenly and the amount of ingredients match the recipe.
Step 2. Stuff your pepper with the sausage
If the meat doesn’t all fit into the pepper, it’s totally fine if it hangs out of the side.
If you’re adding your own seasonings to the meat, add everything to a large bowl & combine before stuffing.
Step 3. Layer and cover in pan with tomato sauce
Pour half the sauce in the baking dish and layer your stuffed pepper. Pour remaining sauce over the top.
Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste.
Step 4. Wrap and bake your stuffed banana peppers
Cover your baking dish with aluminum foil and bake until peppers are fork-tender.
Step 5. Top with cheese and bake until golden brown
To make this faster, I turn the oven to 400 degrees to get it brown and bubbly.
This recipe calls for 1/2 cup of cheese, but I usually add more.
Crispy mozzarella cheese mixed with the tomato sauce and banana peppers is such a tasty combination.
Hot Sausage Stuffed Banana Peppers
- disposable gloves
- 8 fresh banana peppers
- 1 lb spicy Italian sausage ground
- ½ cup mozzarella cheese
- ½ cup tomato sauce
- 2 tbsp water
- salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.
- Start by preparing your peppers. While wearing disposable gloves, cut tops of the peppers and remove any large pieces of the Inside rib. There will be small bunches of seeds inside. If you like a lot of heat, leave them. If you prefer a more mild pepper, remove the seeds.
- Divide the ground sausage into 8 separate, equal portions and stuff one portion into each pepper. It's okay if the sausage is exposed and doesn't completely fill the contents of the pepper.
- In a baking dish, take half 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.
- In a single layer, lay each pepper in the sauce in the dish.
- Pour the remaining tomato sauce over the peppers.
- 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 carefully remove the foil. There will be hot steam released. If a knife easily pierces the pepper, they're ready for the next step.
- Top each pepper with 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!
Do you have a favorite recipe that you eat at certain times of the year?