Sweet Italian Frying Peppers are stuffed with Italian sausage, spinach, breadcrumbs and Parmesan. An absolutely addicting recipe for using Italian peppers.
What Are Italian Frying Peppers?
Italian sweet frying peppers are a type of pepper that are also referred to as cubanelles, marconi peppers or sweet long Italian peppers. They’re called “sweet” because unlike many unripe peppers that are bitter in flavor, the Italian frying pepper is sweet at every stage. They are a medium fleshed pepper, making them ideal for frying.
Whenever Italian sweet peppers are available at our Farmer’s market I don’t hesitate to grab a few to make this Italian stuffed peppers recipe.
I love these peppers. Offering a sweet yet intense “pepper” flavor, something about them screams “It’s Amore”.
Stuffed with a savory combination of Italian sausage, fresh spinach and parmesan cheese come together for this delightful version. One bite of these delicious Italian Stuffed Peppers and you’ll feel like you’re in Italy.
Ingredients You’ll Need
- Italian Frying Peppers: Can also be labeled as Cubanelle peppers.
- Italian Sausage: Hot or sweet, your preference.
- Fresh Spinach
- Tomato Sauce
- Chicken Broth
- Egg and Bread Crumbs: For binding
- Tomato Paste
- Red Onion
- Fresh Mozzarella Cheese: I like to buy the packages of little balls of mozzarella.
Step by Step Instructions
- Step 1: Heat a large skillet over medium high heat. Add the spinach and drizzle with 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil. Cook the spinach over medium high heat just until wilted, about 1 minute.
- Step 2: In a large bowl combine the chopped bread with the milk, egg and cheese and stir until well combined.
- Step 3: Add the onion, sausage, spinach and tomato paste. Using hands, gently knead the mixture until well combined. Let this stand in the refrigerator 30 minutes.
- Step 4: Using a fork, gently pack the sausage mixture into the pepper halves. Press chunks of fresh mozzarella here and there into the sausage mixture.
- Step 5: In the skillet, heat 1/4 cup olive oil until shimmering. Add the stuffed peppers, filling side down, and cook over medium high heat until well-browned, about 4 minutes.
- Step 6: Using a spatula, turn the peppers over and cook until the skins are browned and blistered, about 4 minutes longer.
- Step 7: Add the tomato sauce and chicken broth, cover and simmer until the sausage filling is cooked through and the peppers are tender, 5 to 6 minutes.
- Step 8: Serve immediately over pasta or polenta.
Can’t find Italian peppers? You can most certainly substitute a regular bell peppers, a sweet variety such as Yellow Bell, Red Bell, or Orange Bell and turn them into Italian Stuffed Peppers. Just slice them lengthwise and continue with the recipe. I would avoid a green bell pepper. The strong flavor will distract and the skin is too tough for frying.
Aside from stuffing, the Italian pepper is most well known for the classic Italian sausage and Pepper sandwich. They can also be used simply sliced and added to salads.
The sausage filling for the peppers can be made up to two days in advance. The frying peppers are best fried, served and eaten once cooked. The peppers can become a bit soggy if stored for a length of time.
Yes. There are so many plant based sausage substitutes available these days. Just substitute for the Italian Sausage. Swap white wine or vegetable stock for the chicken stock. And omit the mozzarella cheese.
You might be wondering why there’s no traditional basil or garlic in this traditional Italian recipe. Both are strong flavors … try it without first for some pure delicious flavor that showcases the sweet Italian peppers.
- Use ground beef or ground chicken in place of the Italian sausage.
- Try Italian Chicken Sausage in place of pork sausage.
Store any leftover stuffed peppers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to three days. Preheat any leftovers in the microwave in 15 second increments, until heated through.
Recipe for Italian Stuffed Peppers
These Italian Stuffed Frying peppers make a mighty fine family dinner. I hope you give the recipe a try. Enjoy!
Pro tip: Once the Italian Stuffed Peppers are plated, sprinkle on some red pepper flakes and more grated Parmesan cheese.
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Italian Sausage Stuffed Sweet Italian Frying Peppers
- 5 ounces baby spinach
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 2 slices sandwich bread finely chopped
- 1/4 cup milk
- 1 large egg
- 2 tablespoons Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese grated
- 2 tablespoons red onion small chop
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1 pound Italian sausage hot or sweet, ground
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 4 large Italian frying peppers halved lengthwise and cored, stems left intact. or 8 small peppers.
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 cup canned tomato sauce
- 1 cup chicken broth
- A few chunks of fresh mozzarella cheese to poke here and there into the stuffed peppers
- Heat a large skillet over medium high heat. Add the spinach and drizzle with 1 teaspoon olive oil. Cook the spinach over medium high heat just until wilted, about 1 minute. Remove the spinach and coarsely chop.
- Cut the peppers in half lengthwise and clean out any large pieces of veins and shake out seeds.
- In a large bowl combine the chopped bread with the milk, egg and cheese and stir until well combined. Add the onion, sausage, spinach and tomato paste. Using hands, gently knead the mixture until well combined. Let this stand in the refrigerator 30 minutes.
- Using a fork, gently pack the sausage mixture into the pepper halves. Press chunks of fresh mozzarella here and there into the sausage mixture.
- In the skillet, heat 1/4 cup olive oil until shimmering. Add the stuffed peppers, filling side down, and cook over medium high heat until well-browned, about 4 minutes.
- Using a wide spatula, turn the peppers over and cook until the skins are browned and blistered, about 4 minutes longer. If you loose any filling while turning, just use a fork to replace it.
- Add the tomato sauce and chicken broth, cover and simmer until the sausage filling is cooked through and the peppers are tender, 5 to 6 minutes. Transfer to plates and serve over pasta or polenta.
Sausage Stuffed Italian Frying Peppers … It’s What’s For Dinner
Why Trust These Recipes? Lea Ann Brown has lived, worked and played in Colorado for 45 years. She has immersed herself in the Colorado Culinary space, is a Culinary School Graduate and publishes her Colorado food Blog, Cooking On The Ranch.