Stuffed Mini Peppers make for a super simple, but elegant appetizer, with Italian sausage, mozzarella cheese, and a tomato dipping sauce.
These mini peppers stuffed with sausage are like mini pizza bites without the crust. Serve them as a starter to dinner or as part of The Ultimate Snacky Dinner. They’d be super fun served alongside Mini Pizzas, too.
Appetizers make for fun food. Appetizers make for fun and easy entertaining. Some nights, appetizers make for a quick dinner.
It’s true. I am not afraid to serve snacks for dinner when life is busy — or even when it’s not. In fact, serving up a meal of appetizers or tapas can be cause for celebration or just a simple way to get people fed.
Either way, it’s absolutely delicious. Especially when these Stuffed Mini Peppers are included in the spread.
Why Make This
It’s easy. With just six ingredients, these stuffed mini peppers come together quickly and easily — in less than 15 minutes!
It’s delicious. The combination of tender peppers, creamy mozzarella, spicy sausage, and tangy tomato sauce just can’t be beat.
It’s fun! Appetizers are always cause for celebration, even when you make them on a Wednesday night to sit on the couch in sweats and watch TV.
This is a short and sweet ingredients list. For this recipe you’ll need:
mini peppers – available by the bagful in the produce section of the grocery store. You can use mini bell peppers, spicier yellow banana peppers, or the even spicier jalapeno.
bulk Italian sausage – mild, sweet, and hot Italian sausage will all work in this recipe. For a slightly different flavor, you can use bulk country sausage as well. If you only have sausage links, be sure to remove the casings first.
shredded mozzarella cheese – Mozz gives it that pizza feel, but you can also use jack cheese or another favorite melting cheese if you prefer.
tomato sauce, garlic powder, dry basil – This trio becomes a quick dipping sauce. If you like, you can use any jarred or homemade marinara sauce for dipping the cooked peppers.
While these sausage stuffed mini peppers are delicious, there are plenty of other ingredients you can stuff them with, such as:
- herbed cream cheese
- bacon and shredded cheese
- cooked rice and cream cheese
- cooked quinoa and tomato sauce
- tuna salad, topped with cheddar cheese
This recipe is super simple to prepare!
1. Slice each pepper in half lengthwise, through the stem. Trim the stem short. Core and seed the pepper, but leave the cap in place to hold the filling.
2. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and spray it with nonstick cooking spray. Place the pepper halves on the prepared baking sheet.
3. Divide the sausage among each pepper half and stuff each half with the sausage.
4. Divide the cheese among the pepper halves, sprinkling it over the sausage. Bake the peppers for 20 minutes at 400 degrees.
5. While the peppers are baking, prepare the dipping sauce. Combine the tomato sauce, garlic powder, and basil. Heat this in the microwave or atop the stove until warm.
6. Serve the baked peppers with the dipping sauce.
Store any leftovers in a covered dish in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. Reheat in the microwave or oven as desired.
Sweet mini peppers are a hybrid of regular peppers, sold in three colors: red, yellow, and orange.
The seeds of mini bell peppers are edible, but if you prefer, you can remove the seeds.
For this recipe, I prefer to cut out the core and seeds, but leave the stem end in place so that the filling doesn’t leak out when cooked.
Mini peppers are fairly tender when they are fresh, so you don’t need to cook them prior to stuffing. After baking, they still have a bit of crispness which helps them hold the filling.
This recipe is delicious made with yellow banana peppers, which are a bit spicier—and harder to find—than mini sweet peppers. They are worth the hunt, though.
If you like really spicy, you can use jalapeños in place of the sweet peppers.
These are pretty mellow sausage stuffed mini peppers, thanks to the mild Italian sausage. If you’d like to ramp up the heat a notch, you can use hot Italian sausage instead.
Knowing how much it costs you to prepare a recipe can help you decide if it’s the type of recipe to make regularly or one you might want to save for special occasions. Let’s crunch some numbers and see how this recipe pencils out.
- mini peppers – $2.00
- Italian sausage – $3.00
- mozzarella cheese – $2.00
- tomato sauce – $0.79
- herbs – $0.08
Mini peppers tend to be a bit pricier than other peppers as does Italian sausage. Shopping at a mid-range grocery store at non-sale prices, you can expect to pay about $7.87 for the ingredients for these Stuffed Mini Peppers. This works out to be 98 cents a serving. Not bad for an elegant, high quality appetizer.
Save more on this recipe.
Reduce the recipe costs on this recipe by shopping the sales and clearance. When you see mini peppers on sale, put this dish on the menu!
When you find sausage and cheese on sale or markdown, load up on those ingredients and stash them in the freezer.
Shopping this way, I’ve been able to reduce the cost of this recipe by half!
More Great Appetizers
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Good Cheap Eats we should be dishing out more often.
Sausage Stuffed Mini Peppers
- 8 to 10 mini peppers
- 1 lb bulk Italian sausage
- 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese (shredded)
- 1 cup tomato sauce
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp dried basil
- Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Coat the foil with nonstick cooking spray. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
- Slice the peppers in half, lengthwise, leaving the stem intact. Trim the stem short. Remove the seeds and membrane from the peppers. Place the pepper halves on the prepared tray.
- Divide the Italian sausage among the pepper halves, stuffing each one with as much sausage as it will hold.
- Sprinkle the mozzarella over the sausage.
- Bake the peppers in the preheated oven for 20 minutes until the sausage is cooked and the cheese is melted and browned in spots.
- While the peppers are cooking, prepare the dipping sauce. Combine the tomato sauce, garlic powder, and basil. Warm in the microwave or atop the stove.
- Serve the peppers with the dipping sauce.
This post was originally published on December 23, 2020. It has been updated for content and clarity.