Fall is here in the ‘Burgh which means we have an abundance of banana peppers! Today I’m taking the classic stuffed banana pepper and putting an Italian spin on the meat filling and using my Spicy Banana Pepper sauce as well! Perfect for dinner now and dinner later (freezer-friendly!)
Oh Fall how I love you. The cooler weather, hoodies, farmer’s markets with Fall fruits and vegetables and comfort food. For me I’m all about “stocking up” for the winter food-wise. I’ll make huge batches of soups or chili for both dinner and the freezer. Pans of lasagna or stuffed shells make great freezer meals and then stuffed “stuff”. Growing up this time of year, early October was our “busy” season in the house. Mom was a canning madwoman between apple sauce, apple chutney, 87 million stuffed cabbages and pretty much everything else she could stuff. She’d regular stuffed green peppers (which I HATED – still do actually) for the family and my one brother she’d make stuffed banana peppers.
First, I cannot stand green peppers. They taste complete different from red/orange/yellow peppers.. they are more bitter. And of course Mom never grew the ‘fancy’ peppers. LOL And for the banana peppers my brother would get those from a neighbor and only he would eat them. I never had them as I was a wuss and thought they were hot. Yeah I know, idiot. LOL
It wasn’t until years later did I try one at a restaurant and was like “Whoa! These are awesome!”. Now it did take me a few tries to get the heat level right as I will tell you this, the first time I made them they were so hot that I actually had a blister form in the roof of my mouth!
That is not these. *smile*
No these stuffed banana peppers will not make you spew fire (from either end lol) but they do have some heat, naturally from the pepper itself as well as some of the filling ingredients. I’ll be honest, I actually like these peppers better than my traditional hot sausage stuffed peppers. These have a more well-rounded flavor profile. Both recipes freeze beautifully but I would go with these for say a football party or even holiday party. These tend to appeal to more people.
Plus let’s get real here for a minute.
That Spicy Banana Pepper Sauce is AMAZING! I am over the moon in love with the sauce!
When I made these our accountant was at the house helping Mr. Fantabulous with some of the remodeling. Does your account help you? Yeah, it’s not something that is typical of most people’s accountants but we’re fortunate as he’s also a really good friend AND he loves my cooking. The man is a bigger chocolate freak than anyone I’ve ever met. I mean he once ate an entire triple layer pan of brownies filled with chocolate chunks, ganache, chocolate buttercream and each brownie stack was dipped in melted chocolate! He ate the WHOLE THING! I mean I love chocolate but that was even too much for me!
Anyway that day I whipped up a batch of these and OMG he went nuts over these. Like the tray you see below, he ate almost the entire tray (and no, he’s not a bigger guy either!). The few leftovers I had he took them home. And every time after that when we’d see him I’d give him a tray of frozen peppers (plus something chocolate extreme).
So next time you’re at the farmer’s market or your neighbor asks if you want some banana peppers, get them and whip up a couple batches of this – one for dinner and one for the freezer! These definitely will not disappoint!
Three Meat Stuffed Italian Banana Peppers
- Yield: 4-6
Find more fantabulous recipes, tips and tricks at www.thekitchenwhisperer.net. Also, join our TKW Family on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram
- 10–14 banana peppers
- 1lb ground pork
- 1 1/2 pounds ground beef (80/20)
- 1/2 pound loose Italian hot sausage
- 1/2 cup chopped yellow onion
- 1 1/2 tablespoon garlic, minced (~5 cloves)
- 1 tablespoon oregano
- 1/2 tablespoon parsley
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1/4 cup tomato paste
- 1/2 cup tomato puree
- 1 1/4 cups grated mozzarella cheese, divided
- 3 slices bread, torn into pieces
- 1/4 cup milk
- 2 Xl eggs
- 3 – 3 1/2 cups Spicy Banana Pepper Sauce (or favorite marinara)
- Preheat oven to 350F.
- Cut the tops off the peppers and set them aside (throwing away the stem itself reserving the tops for another use). Wearing rubber/plastic gloves, take a knife and chop off the top of the peppers and run the knife on the top about 1/4” from the tip to the top of the pepper. You do not want to split them in half; you want the pepper whole. Remove the rib and seeds; discard.
- In a small bowl add the milk and bread. Press the bread down to ensure all of the pieces are wet. Let sit for 2 minutes.
- In a large bowl combine the pork, beef, sausage, onion, garlic, oregano, parsley, pepper, salt, red pepper flakes, tomato paste, tomato puree, eggs, 3/4 cup of cheese and milk/bread mixture. Gently mix just to combine. The mixture should be wet but hold a shape
- Using a large piping bag or plastic bag filled with the meat mixture (with large hole cut in the corner) pipe the mixture into the peppers. Fill the peppers up completely taking the meat to the tips of the peppers.
- In a large baking dish ladle half of the Spicy Banana Pepper Sauce on the bottom. Lay each pepper down into the sauce. If needed make another row of peppers with sauce in between the layers or use a second tray. Spoon the rest of the sauce over top of the peppers.
- Cover with foil tightly and bake for 40-50 minutes or until the pepper is tender and the temperature reads 165F inside the meat.
- Remove the foil, add the rest of the cheese over top of the peppers and bake for an additional 5-10 minutes or until melted.
- Store any leftovers in the fridge.
I cook mine then freeze them. Some folks freeze raw. I don’t care for the way the pepper turns when it’s frozen raw. It gets an almost slimy texture.
To freeze, once baked and cooled put some Spicy Banana Pepper Sauce in a freezer pan, add the cooked (cooled) peppers, top with some more sauce and double wrap in plastic then foil. Freeze for up to 3 months.
To cook later on, unwrap to remove the plastic wrap, re-cover with foil and stick the cold pan in the oven. Set the oven to 350F and bake for 30 minutes or until the center is hot.
Recipe Reviews & Comments
Tammy Nichols says
Delicious! We had hot and sweet banana peppers and they just keep coming! It’s so great to have a go to recipe that is more than an appetizer. My peppers may have been smaller as I found I have some leftover tomato sauce and meat filling. That’s ok by me! We will use it with the next batch of peppers. I made a few extras with jalapeno peppers and wow! They were alot hotter but still delicious. Just a heads up if anyone likes the heat. I did not have any ground pork but I did have ground turkey so I used that and it was really good. I also did not have the tomato puree so I used 2 14oz cans of diced tomatoes and used an emulsion blender to ‘puree’ them in the pot. Next time I’ll try the recipe as written because if it was this delicious with my substitutions I can’t wait to try it as written. Yum!
mobasir hassan says
Truly appreciate the way you made this wonderful recipe. Everything is so nicely described that really helped me.
This recipe is absolutely to DIE for. I made them, using Italian sausage not hot, and it was the perfect heat. This will be the recipe I use for life, thank you Lori for your secret recipe, cause it’s not safe with me 😂!
Marian Gaines says
Easy recipe. We grew sweet banana peppers in our garden so I have been looking for different recipes to use them. I substituted the tomato paste and seasonings with pizza sauce, mild salsa and italian seasoning because I didn’t have the other ingredients and it turned out very tasty. My husband told me he really liked it. We will be having more another time. because I also have some on the freezer.
Jacqueline Debono says
These stuffed banana peppers sound so delicious. Sadly, these peppers aren’t widely available here in Italy. But they are very popular in Hungary, Serbia and other Baltic countries. I normally buy them in Serbia as we go pretty regularly but obviously that’s not possible with the Covid-19 travel restrictions. So going to pin this recipe for later as I really want to try it!
Jagruti's Cooking Odyssey says
I have seen banana peppers in the market but did not buy as didn’t know what to do with it, now I’ve seen your recipe I can get it next time. Such a flavourful recipe.
I have never tried banana peppers and I am so intrigued. Where can I get it ? Any idea?
I’m in Pittsburgh and they are pretty common. I looked them up and found that they are also known as yellow wax pepper or banana chili. Most grocery stores and farmer’s market have them here.
Best Kitchen Wishes!
Paula Montenegro says
I hadn’t heard about banana peppers, but my grandfather made something similar with red peppers. But I never got the recipe. Thanks for sharing this one, I can’t wait to try it! It looks delicious!