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Italian Stuffed Cubanelle Peppers

Cubanelle peppers make the perfect vessel for stuffing with savory filling! Packed with flavorful, Italian-inspired sausage and rice mixture and baked until tender, these peppers will become a favorite.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time50 mins
Total Time1 hr
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Italian
Servings: 4 peppers
Author: The Kitchen Prep


  • 4 cubanelle peppers topped & seeded
  • 1 pound ground Italian pork sausage see notes
  • 1 small yellow onion diced
  • 4 garlic cloves minced or grated
  • cups marinara sauce or crushed tomatoes
  • 1 cup vegetable or chicken stock divided
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh basil
  • 1 cup pre-cooked rice see notes
  • ¼ cup grated mozzarella cheese
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • salt to taste


  • Preheat the oven to 400°F. Prepare a baking dish by lightly spraying with oil. Set aside.
  • Place sausage in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Using a wooden spoon or potato masher (my favorite tool for this task), break up the sausage and allow it to start browning.
  • Add the chopped onion to the pan and cook until the sausage is no longer pink and the onion begins to soften, about 4-6 minutes. Stir in grated or minced garlic and cook for another minute.
  • Add marinara sauce (or crushed tomatoes) and ¾ cup vegetable or chicken stock; stir to combine. Bring to a bubble and allow to simmer for about 5 minutes or until the liquid has reduced and thickened a bit.
  • Stir in rice until fully combined. Mix in mozzarella cheese and cayenne pepper. Taste and season with salt if needed.
  • Using a small cookie scoop or a spoon, fill each pepper to the top. You may have extra filling depending on the size of your peppers. See notes in post for other uses.
  • Place each pepper carefully on its side in prepared baking dish. Pour remaining ¼ cup stock in the dish -- this will help steam and soften the peppers as they cook. Cover tightly with foil and bake for 40-45 minutes or until peppers are tender.


  • To prep peppers: Slice off the tops, then using a knife or your fingers, remove the seeds and core and discard. Peppers may also be cut long ways and served as "boats" if prefered.
  • This recipe calls for bulk Italian-style ground pork sausage, but you can use any type - ground chicken sausage or even tofu "sausage" crumbles would work! Feel free to use your preferred type of sausage and experiment with different types and flavors. 
  • Both canned crushed tomatoes or jarred marinara sauce will work for this recipe. It's a nice way to use up leftover marinara. 
  • Leftover or frozen rice is a great shortcut and ensures that the rice will be fully cooked when the peppers are done, but I have seen similar versions of this using uncooked rice. If you do use uncooked rice, add it right before you pour in the tomatoes and stock and proceed with the recipe as directed. Bake for an additional 10 minutes or until the rice is tender. 
  • This recipe can be made with other grains as well -- quinoa, farro,
  • Omit cayenne pepper if you prefer a milder version.