A Spicy Perspective

Italian Sausage Stuffed Banana Peppers

Stuffed Banana Peppers Recipe – Tangy banana peppers stuffed with savory Italian sausage and cream cheese, baked, and smothered with marinara and melted cheeses. They are gluten free, low carb, and utterly delicious!

sausage stuffed banana peppers with marinara sauce in pan

Bold, slightly sweet banana peppers are most commonly served pickled in the USA. Often we eat them sliced on Italian-inspired dishes including sandwiches, pizza, and salads. Or enjoy them whole for a snack with some kick!

However, banana peppers are also an amazing chile to stuff and bake!

They offer a unique tangy flavor with mild spicy heat. On occasion, you might get the “surprise” hot pepper, but most of the time the can be enjoyed by all.

marinara sauce on a plate with two peppers covered in cheese

Italian Sausage Stuffed Banana Peppers

Here we’ve stuffed long banana peppers with a tantalizing Italian sausage and cream cheese mixture, then braised them in marinara sauce until soft and silky.

The baked stuffed peppers are then smothered with more melty cheese, so the dish is ultra comforting and irresistible in flavor.

This Italian stuffed pepper recipe is low carb, and gluten-free – and can also be prepared in a slow cooker, if you like! It’s a terrific dinner that is fun, healthy(ish), and really makes your tastebuds happy.

top view peppers in sauce in a baking dish

Ingredients You Need

  • Banana pepperslong and large, but uniform in size
  • Italian sausageor plain ground pork or chicken sausage
  • Butteror olive oil
  • Onionpeeled and diced
  • Garlicminced
  • Cream cheesesoftened
  • Parmesan cheesegrated
  • Egg – for binding
  • Italian seasoning store-bought or homemade
  • Crushed red pepperoptional
  • Marinara saucestore-bought or homemade
  • Italian cheese blendshredded
  • Salt and pepper
  • Parsleyfor garnish
yellow green chiles on a white background

How to Make Banana Peppers Stuffed with Sausage

First, preheat the oven to 350°F. Then set out a 9 x 13 inch baking dish and a large mixing bowl. 

Prep the banana peppers by cutting off the stems. Use a small knife to slice down one side of each pepper from top to tip. Note: You do not want to cut the banana peppers in half, but just create a slit so they’re much easier to stuff. Remove the seeds from inside and discard.

Pro Tip: Make sure to wash your hands well with hot soapy water. Even though banana peppers are usually mild, they may leave oils on your hands that can burn your eyes.

Next, set a small skillet over medium heat. Add the butter, diced onions, and garlic. Salt and pepper liberally, then sauté to soften the aromatics for 3 to 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, combine the Italian sausage, cream cheese, Parmesan cheese, egg, Italian seasoning, and crushed red pepper in the mixing bowl. 

white bowl with ground meat, eggs, spices and cream cheese

Once the onions and garlic have softened, move to the bowl, and mix the sausage mixture by hand until smooth and even. 

Get the Complete (Printable) Gluten Free Sausage Stuffed Banana Peppers Recipe Below. Enjoy!

stuffing mixture combined and in a white bowl

Next, pour the marinara into the baking dish.

One at a time, scoop up the sausage mixture with your hands and press it down into the banana peppers. Use your finger to press it all the way to the tip filling the banana pepper entirely. The peppers do not have to be closed along the seam, but they also shouldn’t be so stuffed that the pepper could crack. 

Place the stuffed banana peppers in the baking dish. Alternate the directions in which they lay so they fit neatly in the dish, like in the photo below.

casserole dish loaded with stuffed chiles in marinara sauce ready to bake

Cover the top of the baking dish tightly with foil. Then bake for 55 minutes undisturbed.

Remove the foil and check that the peppers are very soft. Sprinkle the shredded Italian cheese over the top of the banana peppers and place the dish back in the oven, uncovered, for five minutes to melt.

top view of baked banana peppers in sauce and covered with cheese and parsley sprinkled on top

Sprinkle with chopped fresh parsley, if you like, and serve the sausage-stuffed peppers warm.

metal tongs grabbing a pepper stuffed with Italian sausage from a baking dish

How to Make Slow Cooker Stuffed Peppers

Want that same melt-in-your-mouth tender pepper texture, but as a “set and forget” recipe? Make this dish in the crockpot!

Prepare the sausage filling as directed above and stuff each banana pepper. Pour the marinara in the slow cooker crock, then layer the banana peppers in the slow cooker.

Cover and slow cook on low for 5-6 hours. Sprinkle with cheese and cover again for 10 minutes until the cheese has melted.

view of white plate with two stuffed peppers and marinara sauce with casserole dish in the background

Frequently Asked Questions

What other peppers can I use to make this low carb and gluten-free recipe?

Try this recipe with mild pepperoncini or sweet Italian red peppers.

What dishes go well with stuffed banana peppers?

Enjoy saucy, tangy stuffed peppers with traditional or gluten-free pasta, or steamed rice. For a low carb dinner serve over fluffy cauliflower rice or zucchini noodles.

How long do leftovers last?

Leftovers will keep well for up to 4 or 5 days in a sealed container in the refrigerator. I recommend that you reheat in the oven by baking at 350 degrees F for 15 minutes or so, until warm.

Can I freezer these Italian stuffed peppers?

Yes, this recipe freezes very well. I often make a double batch and freeze one (uncooked) pan for later use. You can also place the stuffed banana peppers in a freezer bag and leave off the marinara sauce to add later. If baking from a frozen state, bake for 80-90 minutes.

close view of sausage and tomato sauce banana peppers

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sausage stuffed banana peppers with marinara sauce in pan
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Italian Sausage Stuffed Banana Peppers

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
Tangy banana peppers are stuffed with savory Italian sausage and cream cheese, baked, and smothered with marinara and melted cheeses. They are gluten free, low carb, and utterly delicious!
Servings: 10 peppers

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F. Set out a 9 x 13 inch baking dish and a large mixing bowl.
  • Prep the banana peppers by cutting off the stems. Use a small knife to slice down one side of each pepper from top to tip. (You don’t want to cut the banana peppers in half, but just create a slit so they’re much easier to stuff.) Remove the seeds inside and discard. Make sure to wash your hands well with hot soapy water. Even though banana peppers are usually mild, they may leave oils on your hands that can burn your eyes.
  • Next, set a small skillet over medium heat. Add the butter, diced onions, and garlic. Salt and pepper liberally, then sauté to soften for 3 to 5 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, combine the Italian sausage, cream cheese, Parmesan cheese, egg, Italian seasoning, and crushed red pepper in the mixing bowl.
  • Once the onions and garlic have softened, move to the bowl, and mix the sausage mixture by hand until smooth and even.
  • Pour the marinara into the baking dish.
  • One at a time, scoop up the sausage mixture with your hands and press it down into the banana peppers. Use your finger to press it all the way to the tip filling the banana pepper entirely. The peppers do not have to be closed along the seam, but they also shouldn’t be so stuffed that the pepper could crack.
  • Place the stuffed banana peppers in the baking dish. Alternate the directions in which they lay so they fit neatly in the dish. Cover the top of the baking dish tightly with foil. Bake for 55 minutes undisturbed.
  • Remove the foil and check that the peppers are very soft. Sprinkle the shredded Italian cheese over the top of the banana peppers and place back in the oven for five minutes to melt.
  • Serve warm, with marinara and a sprinkling of chopped parsley

Notes

Can’t find banana peppers? Try this recipe with mild pepperoncini or sweet Italian red peppers.
Want To Make Slow Cooker Stuffed Peppers?
Prepare the sausage filling as directed above. Pour the marinara into the slow cooker. Then layer the banana peppers in the slow cooker. Cover and slow cook on low for 5-6 hours. Sprinkle with cheese and cover again for 10 minutes
Leftovers will keep well for up to 4 or 5 days in a sealed container in the refrigerator. I recommend that you reheat in the oven by baking at 350 degrees F for 15 minutes or so, until warm.

Nutrition

Serving: 1pepper, Calories: 292kcal, Carbohydrates: 8g, Protein: 15g, Fat: 23g, Saturated Fat: 8g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g, Monounsaturated Fat: 8g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 63mg, Sodium: 833mg, Potassium: 428mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 4g, Vitamin A: 466IU, Vitamin C: 15mg, Calcium: 118mg, Iron: 2mg
Course: Main, Main Course
Cuisine: Italian
Author: Sommer Collier

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4 comments on “Italian Sausage Stuffed Banana Peppers”

  1. I made this exactly as described and my only gripe is that I only had 4 large banana peppers, so I had to make a small batch :( They were SO good! My husband raved about them all night, and I’m so glad to have found a new recipe to mix things up. Can’t wait to make these again, thank you!

  2. Tried this stuffed banana peppers recipe for my family and it turned out to be a huge hit! So delicious and also healthy too!

  3. This hearty stuffed banana peppers recipe is so delicious and easy to make! Love making this as a weeknight dinner recipe!

  4. this recipe is so good! I almost feel like it is a healthier way of making enchiladas!