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Crockpot Sausage-Stuffed Banana Peppers Recipe

My husband and I are kind of homebodies, but as our children’s schedules get busier and busier we are quickly realizing the importance of scheduling time for us.  When we moved to Pittsburgh a few months ago one of the first things my brother and sister-in-law said to us was, “Let’s swap date nights!”  With free, built-in babysitters, we have no excuse but to explore our fair city, grown-up style!

Our first night out happened to coincide with our friends’ band, Brewer’s Row, 10th anniversary show at Moondog’s in Blawnox, PA.  Just a few doors down, the owner also runs the Starlite Lounge, which was featured on the popular Food Network show Diners, Drive-ins & Dives.  So, dinner that night was a no-brainer.  The menu options were plentiful; it was difficult to decide what to order.  We settled on stuffed banana peppers, pierogies, a fish sandwich AND a steak salad.  Needless to say we had lots of leftovers!

Everything was yummy, but the banana peppers really stood out.  We knew we had to create our own crockpot version.  I think you’ll love the simple sauce flavored by the cooked peppers and sausage and the melted cheese on top. So yummy.

Crockpot Sausage-Stuffed Banana Peppers Recipe

Crockpot Stuffed Banana Peppers Recipe

Yields 4-6 serving

Ingredients

  • 28oz can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 pound mild banana peppers (about 10 peppers), tops taken off and seeded (it’s OK if you can’t get all the seeds out)
  • 1 pound ground sweet Italian sausage (if you can only find links, squeeze the meat out of the casing)
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 small yellow onion, diced (one cup)
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 cup panko Japanese-style breadcrumbs
  • 1 large egg
  • 6 slices of provolone cheese

Directions

  1. Pour crushed tomatoes into crockpot.
  2. Place all other ingredients, except for banana peppers and provolone cheese, in a large bowl and mix well (I recommend using your (clean) hands).
  3. Place mixture in a pastry bag or large storage bag with one corner snipped off.
  4. Pipe sausage mixture into banana peppers and use your fingers to push the filling to the bottom of the peppers so they’re completely filled with sausage.
  5. Stack peppers in crockpot on top of crushed tomatoes.
  6. Cover and cook on “low” for 6-8 hours.
  7. Place provolone cheese on top of peppers and cook additional 10 minutes or until melted.

To Freeze and Cook Later

  1. Label a gallon-sized plastic freezer bag with the name of the recipe, cooking instructions, and use-by date (three months from the prep date).
  2. Stuff peppers and add to freezer bag with crushed tomatoes.  (Cheese can be frozen separately if desired.) Remove as much air as possible, seal, and lay flat in your freezer for up to three months.
  3. When ready to cook, thaw overnight in refrigerator.  Pour the contents of freezer bag into crockpot and cook on “low” setting for 6-8 hours. Place provolone cheese on top of peppers and cook additional 10 minutes or until melted.

Serve over rice or pasta with a fresh garden salad.

Crockpot Sausage-Stuffed Banana Peppers Recipe


Jill Petrush Rogers is a full-time working Mama to two very active little boys. After becoming a Mama, she realized that her mission is to help others meet and/or exceed their own personal breastfeeding goals.  And so, she became a Certified Lactation Counselor.  You can follow Jill’s personal journey on her blog The Galactagoddess and on Facebook.

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Bob Gettings
Bob Gettings
6 years ago

I too grow my own banana and jalapeno peppers for stuffing with spicy Italian sausage. Yea, we kick it up a notch. I use a cookie gun to stuff the peppers. I learned quickly to snip the bottoms off the peppers because the cookie gun was making them blow up. Anyhow, with a vented bottom all works well. We were using the oven at 375 for 45 minutes but we’re going to a Steeler party and the crock pot sounds a whole lot better to take along with us. If you’re ever up north Zelienople way try Herb Brittners Smoke… Read more »

bucy
bucy
3 years ago
Reply to  Bob Gettings

The peppers would taste better at a SAINTS game!!!

Melissa
Melissa
5 years ago

Hi, this recipe sounds yummy, but I have red bell peppers that I need to use up, and don’t have any banana peppers. Do you think it would work well enough to sub red bell peppers for the banana peppers? Also, I have ground pork to use instead of the Sweet Italian Sausage. I know that there is a recipe on this site for converting other kinds of ground meat into sausage, but do I need to add a anything to make it more Sweet Italian-like? Thanks for your help!

Kelly McNelis
Admin
5 years ago
Reply to  Melissa
Melissa
Melissa
5 years ago
Reply to  Kelly McNelis

Thanks!

StephVG
StephVG
5 years ago

Any thoughts on a gluten-free substitute for the panko?

Kelly McNelis
Admin
5 years ago
Reply to  StephVG

I’m sure you could omit it altogether.

Lindsey
Lindsey
5 years ago
Reply to  StephVG

StephVG,

You can take some gluten-free bread, break them up, bake them at 400 degrees for maybe 10 minutes (may want to eye it so it doesn’t become charcoal), and then throw them in a food processor.

Kathy Donofrio
Kathy Donofrio
2 years ago
Reply to  Lindsey

I use the gluten free japanese panko (seasoned) crumbs. Publix, WalMart or Winn Dixie

Chelsea
Chelsea
5 years ago

I had a difficult time with this one. Either my banana peppers were too small or my stuffing skills suck, because I was left with over half of the sausage after filling up the peppers. Maybe 2lbs of peppers would have done the trick.

Josh | Oakhurst Kitchen

This is such an intriguing dish. I have to admit I was super skeptical about liking it, but I absolutely loved it. So so good. We had a couple of ideas for modification of this if you’re interested. The first one was to add about a tablespoon of sugar to the sauce. The sugar helped cut the acidity of the tomatoes and round out the flavor a bit. The other modification we kind of did by accident, and that was to make meatballs out of the meat that goes into the peppers. We had a bunch of meat mixture leftover… Read more »

Forrest
Forrest
4 years ago

I made this the other night, served it with pasta. My store didn’t have banana peppers so I used the snack peppers. YUM! The juices mad a tasty sauce…it was a runny sauce but OH so good. I will be keeping this on my Winter Hibernation list for sure. Yes, I am a Landscape Horticulturist in Michigan…I don’t work in the winter. So I fill my freezer up (and canning shelves).
Thanks for the recipe