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24 August 2015

My Italian stuffed peppers recipe stuffs succulent green bell peppers with ground meat and traditional Italian ingredients – fresh Parmesan, basil, tomatoes and more.

This recipe is an ode to the underappreciated green bell pepper. When people think of chili peppers, they tend to think more about the spicy sting of the serrano, the happy jolt of the jalapeno, the blasting bite of the bhut jolokia, but usually not the bell pepper.

Bell peppers have no heat, measuring in at “0” – that is ZERO – on the Scoville Heat Unit scale. Nothing wrong with that. You may not know this, but bell peppers are actually vital to Cajun cuisine.

While the French have their mirepoix – a mixture of onion, carrot and celery – the Cajuns have their Holy Trinity – a mixture of onion, bell peppers, and celery. These form the base for many a dish.

Even in the bell pepper world, the poor green bells are eschewed for the more attractive red, yellow, and orange varieties. I get it. The green versions may not be so pretty and vibrant, but I’m here to give the green bell pepper some LOVE! In the form of a stuffed green pepper.

Italian style! We’re talking Italian Stuffed Peppers.

Bell Peppers are Perfect for Stuffing

Green bell peppers aren’t as sweet as their more colorful varieties, and that’s OK. Sometimes you’ll want to tamp that flavor aspect down in order to highlight your other ingredients.

Bell peppers are the ideal stuffing pepper. They’re just the right size for a satisfying meal. Their thick walls stand up to all sorts of cooking methods, and their flavor is complimentary to a wide variety of ingredients. Particularly, Italian ingredients.

We’re growing basil like crazy right now, so I’m constantly looking for ways to bring them into dishes. Cheers to the awesome green bell pepper!

Let’s talk about how we make the recipe, shall we?

Italian Stuffed Green Peppers

Italian Stuffed Peppers Ingredients

  • 4 green bell peppers – Red bell peppers are good, too, or you can use larger Italian sweet peppers, like the Carmen Italian Sweet Pepper or the Corno di Toro. Realistically, any larger stuffing pepper will work for this recipe.
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion chopped
  • 2 jalapeno peppers chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic – garlic powder is good to use as well
  • 1 pound ground turkey – or use ground beef, ground chicken, or ground Italian sausage.
  • 1 large tomato chopped
  • 1 can stewed tomatoes – tomato sauce can be used as well
  • 1 cup chopped basil + extra for garnish
  • 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning blend
  • 1 cup shredded Parmesan cheese + extra for garnish

How to Make Italian Stuffed Peppers – the Recipe Method

  1. Heat a large pan to medium heat and add olive oil. Heat. Add onion and jalapeno peppers. Cook about 5 minutes to soften.
  2. Add garlic and cook about a minute.
  3. Add the ground turkey (or whatever ground meat you are using) and break it apart. I am using ground turkey for this particular recipe. Mix and cook about 8 minutes, or until turkey is cooked through.
  4. Add tomato, stewed tomatoes, basil and Italian seasonings. Stir and reduce heat to low. Simmer for at least 10 minutes, but 30 minutes or more is better.
  5. While sauce is cooking, bring a large pot of water to boil.
  6. Chop off tops of the green peppers and scoop out the insides – seeds and membranes. Boil the peppers 3-5 minutes to soften. Remove and drain.
  7. Add 1 cup shredded Parmesan cheese to the meat mixture and stir. This will get the cheese melted through, a huge flavor builder.
  8. Stuff each pepper with the stuffing mixture. You can stuff them directly from the meat mixture in the pan, or transfer it to a large bowl to make things easier for you.
  9. Bake the peppers on a lightly oiled baking sheet at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes. Some people like to cover the stuffed peppers with foil at this stage.
  10. Remove, cool slightly, remove foil (if using) and top with extra basil and Parmesan cheese. Serve!

Boom! All done! Quite an easy recipe, right? And hugely flavorful. Once you bake the peppers and remove them from the oven, just let them cool enough, then garnish them up and serve. Such a great recipe. Italian stuffed peppers are always a hit.

Recipe Tips & Notes

  • The Peppers. The amount of ingredients used will depend on the size of the peppers, so choose accordingly. They do tend to hold more than you might think, though.
  • Cooked Rice. Cooked rice is a nice addition or filler for this recipe. Rice is nutritious and you can either replace some or all of the meat in this recipe with cooked rice, or you can add it in to stretch the filling for more peppers.
  • Heat Factor. Mild-Medium. This isn’t meant to be a hot and spicy recipe. You’ll get a bit of heat from the jalapeno peppers. However, if you’re looking to up that heat factor, add in more jalapeno peppers or toss in a spicier pepper, like the serrano pepper, or hotter. You can also add in spicy chili flakes, powders or hot sauce when you add the Italian seasoning blend.

Check Out Some of My Other Popular Stuffed Chili Pepper Recipes

Italian Stuffed Peppers on a plate, ready to serve

Got any questions? Ask away! I’m happy to help. If you enjoy this recipe, I hope you’ll leave a comment with some STARS. Also, please share it on social media. Don’t forget to tag us at #ChiliPepperMadness. I’ll be sure to share! Thanks! — Mike H.

Italian Stuffed Peppers Recipe

My Italian stuffed peppers recipe stuffs succulent green bell peppers with ground meat and traditional Italian ingredients - fresh Parmesan, basil, tomatoes and more.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time1 hr 20 mins
Total Time1 hr 35 mins
Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: American
Keyword: recipe, stuffed peppers
Servings: 4
Calories: 328kcal

Ingredients

  • 4 green bell peppers
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion chopped
  • 2 jalapeno peppers chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 pound ground turkey
  • 1 large tomato chopped
  • 1 can stewed tomatoes
  • 1 cup chopped basil + extra for garnish
  • 1 cup shredded Parmesan cheese + extra for garnish
  • 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning blend

Instructions

  • Heat a large pan to medium heat and add olive oil. Heat. Add onion and jalapeno peppers. Cook about 5 minutes to soften.
  • Add garlic and cook about a minute.
  • Add turkey and break apart. Mix and cook about 8 minutes, or until turkey is cooked through.
  • Add tomato, stewed tomatoes, basil and Italian seasonings. Stir and reduce heat to low. Simmer for at least 10 minutes, but 30 minutes or more is better. Lets those flavors develop, baby!
  • While sauce is cooking, bring a large pot of water to boil.
  • Chop off tops of the green peppers and scoop out the insides. Boil the peppers 3-5 minutes to soften. Remove and drain.
  • Add 1 cup shredded Parmesan cheese to the meat mixture and stir. Stuff each pepper with the stuffing mixture.
  • Bake the peppers on a lightly oiled baking sheet at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes.
  • Remove, cool slightly, and top with extra basil and Parmesan cheese.
  • Serve!

Nutrition

Calories: 328kcal | Carbohydrates: 17g | Protein: 38g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 79mg | Sodium: 692mg | Potassium: 926mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 1490IU | Vitamin C: 119.9mg | Calcium: 369mg | Iron: 3.2mg

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