Stuffed Banana Peppers


These stuffed banana peppers are filled with spicy sausage, tender spinach and Pecorino Romano cheese, with zippy chopped hot cherry peppers to sharpen the flavor. A layer of tomato sauce at the bottom adds a hint of sweetness. If you want to tame the heat, use sweet Italian turkey sausage in place of hot.

Stuffed Banana Peppers
Photo: Photography / Caitlin Bensel, Styling / Ruth Blackburn
Active Time:
20 mins
Total Time:
1 hrs 10 mins


  • 1 (8-ounce) can no-salt-added tomato sauce

  • 1 (10-ounce) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed

  • 8 ounces sweet or hot Italian turkey sausage (2 links), casings removed

  • cup stemmed, seeded and chopped pickled hot cherry peppers

  • cup thinly sliced fresh basil, plus basil leaves for garnish

  • 3 tablespoons whole-wheat panko

  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped garlic

  • cup grated Pecorino Romano cheese, divided

  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided

  • 8 medium fresh banana peppers (1 1/2 lbs.)


  1. Position oven rack 8 inches from heat source; preheat to 350°F. Spread tomato sauce in the bottom of a 9-by-13-inch broiler-safe baking dish.

  2. Squeeze spinach over the sink to remove as much liquid as possible. Transfer to a medium bowl; pull apart clumps. Add sausage, cherry peppers, basil, panko, garlic, 1/3 cup cheese and 1 tablespoon oil; mix well with your hands.

  3. Trim and discard tops from banana peppers. Cut a lengthwise slit into each pepper; do not cut all the way through. Remove and discard seeds. Stuff the peppers evenly with the sausage mixture (about 3 tablespoons each). Arrange the peppers, slits-down, in the prepared baking dish. Drizzle evenly with the remaining 2 tablespoons oil. Cover the baking dish tightly with a double layer of foil.

  4. Bake until the peppers are tender, 45 to 50 minutes. Uncover and sprinkle with the remaining 1/3 cup cheese. Set oven to broil; broil until the cheese is melted and golden brown, 2 to 3 minutes. Garnish with basil leaves, if desired.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

169 Calories
11g Fat
11g Carbs
9g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 8
Calories 169
% Daily Value *
Total Carbohydrate 11g 4%
Dietary Fiber 5g 18%
Total Sugars 5g
Protein 9g 18%
Total Fat 11g 14%
Saturated Fat 3g 15%
Cholesterol 24mg 8%
Vitamin A 4751IU 95%
Sodium 377mg 16%
Potassium 395mg 8%

Nutrition information is calculated by a registered dietitian using an ingredient database but should be considered an estimate.

* Daily Values (DVs) are the recommended amounts of nutrients to consume each day. Percent Daily Value (%DV) found on nutrition labels tells you how much a serving of a particular food or recipe contributes to each of those total recommended amounts. Per the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the daily value is based on a standard 2,000 calorie diet. Depending on your calorie needs or if you have a health condition, you may need more or less of particular nutrients. (For example, it’s recommended that people following a heart-healthy diet eat less sodium on a daily basis compared to those following a standard diet.)

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a special diet for medical reasons, be sure to consult with your primary care provider or a registered dietitian to better understand your personal nutrition needs.

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