Sausage Stuffed Mini Peppers

Mini peppers may be the breakout vegetable of the season! Perfect in this 4 ingredient Italian Sausage Stuffed Mini Peppers appetizer!  Sausage stuffed mini peppers on tray
I love fall appetizers!  It seems to be the one time of the year when seriously tasty meets up with actually healthy.  Zero fighting in the room. 

Yes just stuff a cute little pepper half with some decadently juicy Italian sausage and you have the start of something special.  Top with a sprinkle of cheese and dollop of pizza sauce and it’s over the top.

The appetizer has an air of both fun and elegance.  So whether it’s a cocktail party or a tailgate party, Sausage Stuffed Mini Peppers should be on the menu! 

What are Mini Peppers?

It’s hard to think that there was a time when mini peppers weren’t everywhere!  But growing up, it seemed to there were bell peppers (in all colors) and hot peppers. Period.  But hooray for the (relative) newcomer which is so tasty and versatile!

Specialty produce says “Mini sweet peppers, botanically classified as Capsicum annuum, are small, edible fruits that are members of the Solanaceae or nightshade family. Originally from Central and South America and believed to be a hybrid from the wild bird pepper and bell peppers, Mini sweet peppers are grown on small bushes and are favored for their small size, bright colors, and sweet flavor.”

When the new mini peppers started showing up in the CSA box, I realized I liked them even more than ripe bell peppers. Can’t beat their sweet crunch and beautiful color assortment! It was time to dip them in hummus,  sprinkle on salads, and add them to quiche

peppers in basket

Why You’ll Love This!

Tasty.  Every ingredient from the savory peppers to the juicy sausage to the flavorful cheese and pizza sauce gives it’s all.

Easy.  Just cut the peppers in half, stuff, bake and top with cheese and pizza sauce.  And did I mention it’s just 4 ingredients?

Healthy.  How often do you get a meal’s worth of protein and a veggie from your appetizer!

Versatile.  Go fancy, go casual.  Works everywhere.  You could probably even use a meatless sausage and serve vegans!

Ingredients - peppers, sausage, pizza sauce, cheese

What You’ll Need

Ingredient Notes

  • Italian Sausage. This provides a rich savory flavor.  You can use homemade sausage, bulk sausage or remove sausage links from their casings.
  • Mini peppers. These form the base of the appetizer and add flavor and nutrition.
  • Grated mozzarella or other meltable cheese. This adds a creamy overtone.  I like to use something that would go on pizza like mozzarella or provolone.
  • Pizza sauce. This adds another flavor hit. 

Special Tools

  • No special tools are needed.

Step by Step Directions

Cut mini peppers in half.

cut pepper in half

Top with about a tablespoon of sausage.

top with saausage

Bake until cooked through.  Top each pepper with a sprinkling of cheese, then return to oven until melted.

Top with cheese

Top with a dollop of pizza sauce.

add sauce

Serve

served on tray

How to Serve

These are a seriously tasty appetizer and would be at home served elegantly on a nice platter or tossed helter skelter into Tupperware for a tailgate. 

They’d be beautiful on a buffet table and personally, I’d eat them for brunch (especially a game day brunch)!

But can you keep a secret?  If you just want to serve a table of appetizers for dinner, this is a great candidate!  With protein in the sausage and a vegetable in the pepper, there are entrees with less nutrition! And don’t forget a little cheese for calcium and some bonus pizza sauce. 

ssausage stuffed pepper with beer

Variations

If you like the flavor of stuffed peppers, consider my Unstuffed Banana Pepper Soup.  It’s one of my most popular fall recipes. 

Of course there’s always the classic stuffed bell pepper that I do in traditional meat or vegan quinoa stuffed pepper versions.

Before and After

Make Ahead Tips  If you were in a time crunch, you could stuff these with sausage the day before, keep airtight in the refrigerator, then finish them when you need them.  Don’t forget to check the temperature.

Leftovers.  Truthfully we’ve never had even one of these left!  But they can be kept covered in the refrigerator for a few days, then reheated.     

sausage stuffed mini peppers

Tips & FAQs

The flavor of pizza sauce can vary a lot from a bland glorified tomato paste to kick ass tasty.  Try to go with the latter.  My favorite is Pastorelli  (affiliate link).

 

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sausage stuffed mini peppers

Sausage Stuffed Mini Peppers

Mini peppers may be the breakout vegetable of the season! Perfect in this 4 ingredient Italian Sausage Stuffed Mini Peppers appetizer!
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Total Time 25 mins
Servings 4

Ingredients
  

  • 2 Italian Sausage links or about 1/2 lb lean bulk Italian sausage - see note
  • 1 pint mini peppers
  • ¼ cup grated mozzarella or other meltable cheese
  • 3-4 T pizza sauce

Instructions
 

  • Cut mini peppers in half, leaving stem or discarding if you prefer.
  • Top with about a tablespoon of sausage (depending on pepper size).
  • Place in a baking dish and bake at 400 for about 10 minutes until sausage is cooked through.
  • Top each pepper with a sprinkling of cheese, then return to oven until melted (about 2 minutes).
  • Place on a serving plate, then top with a dollap of pizza sauce.
  • Serve warm

Notes

For the meat filling, you can use Italian sausages with the casing removed, or bulk Italian sausage (or make your own!)

Originally published on Sep 25, 2016

16 thoughts on “Sausage Stuffed Mini Peppers

  1. Ecca Anderson

    may I replace the mini peppers with big peppers?
    I saw green and big peppers used for this appetizer in a cooking game ^_,,^π but I’m not really sure about the shape when I used big one -.-
    Only 1 word for your Italian sausage stuffed mini peppers is, Sugoiiii ! (is mean ‘Great’ in Japanese)

  2. cheri

    Hi Inger, love these beautiful colorful mini peppers, I think this is the perfect football food, my husband would go crazy for these.

    1. Inger Post author

      Aren’t they cute–I was so glad to see so many of them this year! You know depending on your team, you might be able to do matching colors 😉

    1. Inger Post author

      I love good sausage too–making more of my own is on my bucket list. And isn’t it exciting to see charcuterie really coming into its own now!!

  3. David

    So beautiful, Inger! Great minds must think alike because I made something similar a couple of weeks ago. Wishing I had added cheese on top!

    1. Inger Post author

      Thanks Freeda. And I love the small size of these peppers too–not intimidating at all to work with!

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