These Italian Stuffed Peppers are a family favorite and I know they will be for you too! With my tips and tricks, this will be an easy meal you adore.
My kids absolutely love this stuffed pepper recipe. In fact, they know the smell! They have been known to come into the kitchen as I’m cooking them, fists pumping in the air, yelling, “Pizza Stuffed Peppers!!”
They aren’t wrong. This easy stuffed pepper recipe is an amazing dinner.
This is one of the best recipes for stuffed peppers. Our family loves it. Turkey making it pretty healthy too.
Italian Stuffed Pepper Ingredients
This stuffed pepper recipe comes together with simple ingredients. I have more information about each lower in the post.
- Ground Turkey: Read below on how to swap this for ground beef.
- Bell Peppers: While red, yellow, and orange peppers are more expensive than green, I think they are worth the cost. They make this recipe a lot more delicious than green bell peppers.
- Cooked Rice: Using cooked rice is key in this recipe. There are a number of different ways to do that, and they are laid out below.
- Seasonings: The seasonings are delicious as listed, but for an added layer of flavor, you could swap out the dried herbs for 2 tablespoons of my Homemade Italian Seasoning.
- Pasta Sauce: Homemade sauce is great in this recipe, but you should definitely feel free to use a jarred sauce. It’s a great way to cut some time.
- Cheese: I urge you to grate your own cheese for this recipe. The melted cheese on top is amazing, but if you buy pre-shredded cheese, it won’t melt nearly as well as if you grate your own.
Tips and Tricks to Make this Easy
Italian Stuffed Peppers doesn’t have to be a long recipe that you slave over. There are a few things that can speed things along.
- Pre Cook the Peppers: Step three of this recipe has you microwaving the peppers. This will soften them and make the time in the oven shorter. They will be done in the microwave by the time you are ready to fill them. If your family doesn’t microwave things, you can pop them in the oven. See how in my Chicken Fajita Stuffed Pepper recipe.
- Cut Cooking Rice Out: Cooking rice can add a lot of time to a stuffed pepper recipe. I have a few different options that bring pre cooked rice to the party listed below under What Rice to Use.
Ground Turkey vs. Sausage or Beef
We make this recipe with ground turkey. Occasionally, I will use Italian seasoned ground turkey which my family loves. Though the seasonings in this recipe make it delicious with just lean ground turkey.
Making these Italian Sausage Stuffed Peppers by using Italian pork sausage is a wonderful way to add another layer of flavor. Just make sure that you drain the grease from the pan at the end of step five before adding the pasta sauce.
You could also replace the ground turkey with ground beef. I would use 90% lean, and make sure to drain it of any fat at then end of step five.
Buying Bell Peppers
When you are buying bell peppers for this recipe there are a few things to look for:
- Buy bell peppers that are all the same size.
- Make sure they are firm.
- Look for any soft spots, that is an indication of a pepper that is moldy inside.
- Pick what your family likes! We love a variety of yellow, red, and orange. But green bell peppers are less expensive and work great!
What Rice to Use
As mentioned above, we want to start this recipe with rice that is already cooked. There are a couple ways to make this happen:
- Use Minute Rice: This instant rice comes in a large box at the grocery store. It cooks up in your microwave, and works well here.
- Use Uncle Ben’s Seasoned Rice: These come in a 8 ounce microwaveable pouch. They are done and 90 seconds and work great!
- Make Rice the Night Before: This is what I do most often. I pop some rice in the Instant Pot while I’m making dinner the night before and then the left over rice is ready to be tossed in with the sauce at the end. It warms up perfectly.
Making Ahead of Time
This recipe can be made the night before for a really easy dinner done in 30 minutes when you get home from work.
- Make through Step 6.
- Cover and put in the refrigerator overnight.
- Uncover before baking and bake for 30 minutes instead of 25.
Other Stuffed Pepper Recipes
Our family loves stuffed peppers so much, that we have a lot of spins on this.
- Taco Stuffed Peppers
- Ground Turkey Stuffed Peppers
- White Chicken Chili Stuffed Peppers
- Stuffed Pepper Casserole
- Quinoa Stuffed Peppers
If you make this Italian Stuffed Pepper recipe, leave me a comment and let me know what you think!
Italian Stuffed Peppers
- 6 bell peppers
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 garlic cloves minced
- 1 pound ground turkey 93% lean (read about substituting pork and beef here)
- 2 cups cooked rice (read about what rice to use)
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 tablespoon dried parsley
- 1 tablespoon dried basil
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 1/2 cups spaghetti sauce (read about what sauce to use)
- 2 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese divided
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
- Cut the tops off of the peppers, remove the ribs and seeds, and then dice the tops of the peppers.
- Place the hallowed out peppers in a large bowl and drizzle with a little olive oil. Cover with a plate and microwave for 7 to 10 minutes. Be very careful when you remove the plate as there will be a lot of steam.
- While the peppers cook, heat a large skillet over medium heat, add olive oil. Add the chopped bell pepper tops and garlic. Sauté until soft, about five to seven minutes.
- Add the ground turkey and break up as you cook it. Season with onion powder, parsley, basil, salt, and pepper. Cook until the meat is no longer pink.
- Stir in the cooked rice, pasta sauce, and one cup of the mozzarella cheese. Taste the mixture and add more salt and pepper to taste. Divide the mixture between the hollowed out bell peppers. Top with the remaining cheese.
- Bake uncovered for 25 minutes. Serve immediately.