Save time in the kitchen with these Unstuffed Banana Peppers. This easy recipe includes everything you love about traditional banana peppers but with an easy to make twist. Plus, the Italian sausage gets extra flavor as it browns in the pan which tastes so good with the other ingredients. Perfect as an appetizer or an easy meal, this recipe is guaranteed to be a family favorite. 

Unstuffed Banana Peppers – Healthyish Foods

Ingredients Needed for Unstuffed Banana Peppers 

Banana Peppers – You’ll need 6-8 banana peppers for this recipe. Be sure to remove the stems and core. You can easily remove the core with a spoon or paring knife. You’ll want to soften the peppers a touch before placing them in the oven. Quickly blanch them in a pot of boiling water for 1-2 minutes depending on size and thickness. They should be slightly firm to the touch when you add them to the baking dish. You do not want them to get soggy. 

Italian Sausage – For this recipe, you’ll need 1 pound of mild Italian sausage. Option to use hot sausage, but keep in mind that the banana peppers can run spicy. Be sure to remove the casing before browning the meat in a pan. Premade Italian sausage will be well seasoned and ready to use, which keeps this recipe quick and easy. 

Butter – This recipe calls for one tablespoon of butter to sauté the onion, garlic and sausage. Option to use olive or avocado oil instead. 

Aromatics – You’ll need one cup of diced sweet onion for this recipe along with two teaspoons of minced garlic. Sauté the onions and garlic in a pan until translucent. Then, add the Italian sausage to the pan, breaking it up with a spatula.

Seasoning – Season the sautéed onion, garlic, and sausage with kosher salt and cracked black pepper. 

Marinara – You’ll need two cups of marinara for this recipe. Store bought is fine. I use Delallo marinara but you can use whatever you enjoy most.

Mozzarella Cheese – You’ll need 1/2 cup of shredded mozzarella cheese. Option to use a few slices of provolone cheese instead if you prefer. 

Unstuffed Banana Peppers – Healthyish Foods

Frequently Asked Questions

What type of sausage should I use? You can use ground Italian sausage or sausage links. If using links, remove the casing first. Sweet, mild or hot sausage will all work well, but keep in mind that the peppers can be spicy. I prefer to use ground mild Italian sausage.

What can I serve these unstuffed peppers with? You can enjoy this recipe as an appetizer or as a light dinner. If enjoying as the main meal, serve alongside my Superfood Salad or my Ultimate Caesar Salad for a light and delicious dinner.

How long should I blanch the peppers? You’ll only need to blanch the peppers for 1-2 minutes tops. You still want the peppers to be firm, but this will help soften them so they cook quickly in the oven.

What if my cheese begins to brown before my peppers are tender? Simply cover the pan with foil and continue cooking.

How to Make Unstuffed Banana Peppers 

Prepare the Peppers 

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Remove the stems from the peppers and quickly blanch them in a pot of boiling water for 1-2 minutes depending on size and thickness. You want them to be firm to the touch, not mushy. Drain well and pat dry with a paper towel.

Next, add half of the marinara sauce to the bottom of a ceramic or glass baking dish. Option to use a quarter baking tray with sides as well. Place the peppers on the bed of sauce and set aside.

Make the Sausage 

Next, heat a nonstick skillet over medium high heat. Add butter and sauté the onions and garlic until translucent. Then, add the Italian sausage. Be sure to remove the outer casing. Use a spatula to break up the sausage and season everything with a touch of kosher salt and cracked black pepper.

Drain off or carefully blot any excess grease. Add the remaining marinara to the sausage mixture. Toss until well combined. Once the sausage is cooked through remove the pan from the heat. 

Assemble the Dish 

Using a spoon, scoop the sausage mixture over the peppers. Top with shredded mozzarella cheese and place in the oven. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until the peppers are fork tender and the cheese is melted. If the cheese begins to brown before the peppers are tender, simply cover with foil and continue cooking.

Unstuffed Banana Peppers – Healthyish Foods

How to Store

Store leftovers in an airtight container for three to four days. Reheat in them microwave until warmed through. Looking for more recipes? Lemon Pepper Shrimp or Air Fryer Lemon Pepper Shrimp.

Unstuffed Banana Peppers – Healthyish Foods

Unstuffed Banana Peppers

Save time in the kitchen with these unstuffed banana peppers. This easy recipe includes everything you love about traditional banana peppers but with an easy to make twist
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Ingredients

  • 6-8 banana peppers, depending on size, remove stem and core
  • 1 lb. mild Italian sausage, ground
  • 1 tablespoon butter, or avocado / olive oil
  • 1 cup sweet onion, diced small
  • 2 teaspoons garlic, minced
  • pinch kosher salt, to taste
  • few turns cracked black pepper, to taste
  • 2 cups marinara, Delallo marinara is my favorite
  • ½ cup shredded mozzarella cheese

Equipment

  • 1 ceramic or glass baking dish
  • 1 nonstick skillet

Instructions 

How to Make Unstuffed Banana Peppers

    Prepare the Peppers

    • Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Remove the stems from the peppers and quickly blanch them in a pot of boiling water for 1-2 minutes depending on size and thickness. You want them to be firm to the touch, not mushy. Drain well and pat dry with a paper towel.
      Next, add half of the marinara sauce to the bottom of a ceramic or glass baking dish. Option to use a quarter baking tray with sides as well. Place the peppers on the bed of sauce and set aside.

    Make the Sausage

    • Next, heat a nonstick skillet over medium high heat. Add butter and sauté the onions and garlic until translucent. Then, add the Italian sausage. Be sure to remove the outer casing. Use a spatula to break up the sausage and season everything with a touch of kosher salt and cracked black pepper.
      Drain off or carefully blot any excess grease. Add the remaining marinara to the sausage mixture. Toss until well combined. Once the sausage is cooked through remove the pan from the heat. 

    Assemble the Dish

    • Using a spoon, scoop the sausage mixture over the peppers. Top with shredded mozzarella cheese and place in the oven. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until the peppers are fork tender and the cheese is melted.
      If the cheese begins to brown before the peppers are tender, simply cover with foil and continue cooking.

    Video

    Notes

    Frequently Asked Questions

    What type of sausage should I use? You can use ground Italian sausage or sausage links. If using links, remove the casing first. Sweet, mild or hot sausage will all work well, but keep in mind that the peppers can be spicy. I prefer to use ground mild Italian sausage.
    What can I serve these unstuffed peppers with? You can enjoy this recipe as an appetizer or as a light dinner. If enjoying as the main meal, serve alongside my Superfood Salad or my Ultimate Caesar Salad for a light and delicious dinner.
    How long should I blanch the peppers? You’ll only need to blanch the peppers for 1-2 minutes tops. You still want the peppers to be firm, but this will help soften them so they cook quickly in the oven.

    Nutrition

    Serving: 1pepper with cheese and sauce, Calories: 339kcal, Carbohydrates: 8g, Protein: 14g, Fat: 28g, Saturated Fat: 11g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g, Monounsaturated Fat: 12g, Trans Fat: 0.1g, Cholesterol: 70mg, Sodium: 1017mg, Potassium: 503mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 5g, Vitamin A: 509IU, Vitamin C: 17mg, Calcium: 81mg, Iron: 2mg