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Kale and Sausage Stuffed Peppers

by | Nov 27, 2023 | Recipes

These Kale and Sausage Stuffed Peppers are the perfect weeknight meal anytime you need something quick, easy, and filling. Low in carbs and high in protein, they’re stuffed with a savory combination of Italian sausage, curly kale, mushrooms, onions, and fresh garlic.

closeup photo of kale and sausage stuffed peppers topped with melted cheese

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Growing up, my Grandma loved to make us stuffed peppers for dinner. You know the kind…filled with rice, ground beef, tomato sauce, and topped with cheese and ketchup. I get why they were on the rotation–they’re a really affordable dish to make since rice is cheap and makes up the bulk of the stuffing.

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INGREDIENTS    TIPS & TRICKS    HOW-TO    RECIPE

But as someone who loathes the taste of ketchup, stuffed pepper night was the least of my favorites. Sad to say, it took me until sometime in my mid-20s to realize that the pepper is just a conveyor for whatever tasty fillings you want. Since then, I’ve loved making all kinds of stuffed peppers because they’re quick, easy, and typically reheat well if there are leftovers.

closeup photo of kale and sausage stuffed peppers without cheese

These Kale and Sausage Stuffed Peppers came about when I was on a low-carb kick several years ago. Because the kale cooks down to virtually nothing, you’ve got to use quite a bit. Kale’s natural bitterness balances the stuffing because it cuts through the rich, fattiness of the Italian sausage.

The mushrooms add bulk to these stuffed peppers in the way that rice does in the kind my Grandma made; they’re a cheap alternative to rice that adds very few carbs to the dish and provides a meaty texture to the filling that’s similar to the sausage.

Gonna try out this recipe?

Leave a star rating or review in the comments to let me know what you think!

Ingredients For Kale and Sausage Stuffed Peppers

overhead photo of ingredients to make kale and sausage stuffed peppers. ingredients include mozzarella cheese, kale, mushrooms, italian sausage, onion, bell pepper, garlic, pepper, and salt

…some notes about ingredients and making these Kale and Sausage Stuffed Peppers…

As mentioned before, this recipe uses a LOT of kale. But don’t worry, the bitterness of the kale doesn’t overpower the taste of the filling. When adding the kale into the dish, do so in several portions. If you try to add it all at once to the skillet, you’ll have an overfilled skillet and likely be flinging kale all over the place. Don’t be that person.

The stems and large veins in kale leaves are extremely fibrous and bitter. These parts of the kale take a very long time to cook down; if they are not cooked through, they remain unpleasantly bitter and fibrous. In this recipe, the cooking time is only enough to wilt the softer parts of the kale leaves. So it’s critically important that you de-stem/de-vein the kale before adding it to your skillet.

I like to break the sausage into little pieces as I’m adding it to the skillet to brown. I feel like it gives me a better control over the size of each crumble. But if you don’t have that level of patience, just add your sausage to the skillet and break it up with your spatula as it’s cooking.

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graphic for pinterest pin of kale and sausage stuffed peppers recipe

Recipe Notes, Tips & Tricks

Ingredient Swaps & Variations – These stuffed peppers are savory and delicious, but admittedly a bit high on fat content per serving. So if you’re looking for a low-fat, high-protein option, swap out the Italian sausage with either ground chicken or ground turkey. Both alternatives are lower in fat, so you’ll want to add in a little olive oil or vegetable oil when browning the meat and sautéeing the veggies.

Hate kale? No worries–they’re lots of other ingredients you can swap in and still make a tasty stuffed pepper. For a low-carb filler, I’d recommend your favorite leafy green, shredded cabbage, riced cauliflower, or roughly chopped broccoli. If you’re down with upping the carbs, swap the kale out for some high-fiber, complex carbs like brown rice, quinoa, or farro.

Recipes That Go Well with Kale and Sausage Stuffed Peppers – Because there’s a decent portion of meat per serving, these peppers are pretty filling. However, if you need a side dish to go with these peppers, I’d suggest these garlicky green beans or this roasted broccoli with feta.

close up photo of a kale and sausage stuffed pepper topped with melted cheese

How to Make Kale and Sausage Stuffed Peppers

Step 1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Arrange the bell pepper halves on a small baking sheet. Once the oven has come up to temperature, place the baking sheet in the oven on the center rack to roast the peppers. Roast the peppers for 14 minutes, then remove from the oven and set aside to cool to touch. Once cooled, use a paper towel to remove any excess moisture that has been released by the peppers.

overhead photos of steps to make kale and sausage stuffed peppers. top photo shows raw red pepper halves on a small baking tray. bottom photo shows ground italian sausage being browned in a skillet

Step 2. While the peppers are roasting, add the Italian sausage to a large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook approximately 4-5 minutes to brown the meat. As the meat is cooking, break it up into bite-sized pieces with a spatula.

Step 3. Once the sausage is browned, add the onions and mushrooms to the skillet. Stir well to thoroughly combine all ingredients. Cook the meat and veggie mixture until the onions begin to turn clear. This should take approximately 7-10 minutes.

overhead photos of steps to make kale and sausage stuffed peppers. top photo shows italian sausage, mushrooms, and onion in a skillet. bottom photo shows the mixture from the top photo topped with kale and garlic

Step 4. Add the fresh garlic and 1/3 of the kale to the meat mixture in the skillet. Stir well to mix the kale in to the meat mixture. Add 1/2 of the remaining kale and again stir to incorporate it into the meat mixture. Finally, add the remaining amount of kale and continue cooking for another 5 minutes. Stir the mixture occasionally to ensure that all of the kale is fully wilted. Remove the skillet from the heat and set aside.

Step 5. Fill each pepper with 1/4 of the the sausage and kale mixture. Each pepper will be overstuffed if you use all of the sausage and kale mixture. Top each stuffed pepper with 1/2 cup of the mozzarella cheese.

overhead photos of steps to make kale and sausage stuffed peppers. top photo shows roasted red peppers stuffed with kale and sausage mixture in the process of being topped with mozzarella cheese. bottom photo shows kale and sausage stuffed peppers topped with melted cheese.

Step 6. Place the stuffed peppers back into the oven and continue roasting for another 12 minutes, or until the mozzarella is melted and begins turning golden brown.

If you make this recipe, tag me in your photos on Instagram—I love seeing what you guys decided to make!

Frequently Asked Questions

What’s the best way to reheat these kale and sausage stuffed peppers?

I recommend that you reheat these stuffed peppers in the oven. Add the leftover peppers to a baking sheet and lightly cover with aluminum foil so that the cheese doesn’t burn. Reheat for 15-20 minutes at 375 degrees.

If my peppers were small and I have leftover filling, can I freeze it?

Absolutely! Make sure to place the leftover filling in an airtight, freezer safe container. For best results, use the frozen filling within 3 months.

Can I freeze leftover stuffed peppers?

Freezing any leftover peppers that have been stuffed isn’t recommended. The texture of the cooked pepper will change after it’s been frozen. Also, when the pepper is thawed, it will be very watery.

Other Recipes You May Enjoy

Kale and Sausage Stuffed Peppers

Kale and Sausage Stuffed Peppers

Yield: 4 servings
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes

These savory Kale and Sausage Stuffed Peppers are low-carb, high-protein, and ridiculously easy to make.

Ingredients

  • 2 red bell peppers, halved
  • 16 oz sweet Italian sausage
  • 1 bunch of kale, de-stemmed and roughly chopped
  • 8 oz mushrooms, roughly chopped
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese

Instructions

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Arrange pepper halves in a single line on a baking sheet. Roast pepper halves for 14 minutes, then remove from oven and set aside to cool to touch. Use a paper towel to remove any excess moisture the peppers may release.

2. Add sausage to a skillet over medium-high heat and brown for 4-5 minutes. As sausage is cooking, break into bite-sized pieces using a spatula.

3. Add onions and mushrooms to sausage in skillet. Stir well to thoroughly combine. Cook mixture for 7-10 minutes, or until onions begin to turn clear.

4. Add the fresh garlic to the skillet, along with 1/3 of the kale. Stir well to thoroughly combine. Then add 1/2 of the remaining kale to the skillet and stir again. Finally add the remaining amount of kale into the skillet and stir again. Cook kale and sausage mixture for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, then remove from heat and set aside.

5. Fill each pepper half with 1/4 of the kale and sausage mixture; note that peppers will be overstuffed. Top each pepper half with 1/2 cup of the mozzarella cheese.

6. Return the peppers to the oven and continue roasting for 12 minutes, or until the mozzarella is melted and begins turning golden brown.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 356Total Fat: 19gSaturated Fat: 9gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 8gCholesterol: 62mgSodium: 955mgCarbohydrates: 18gFiber: 3gSugar: 7gProtein: 32g

This nutrition data is provided and calculated by Nutritionix. Please keep in mind that your specific nutritional values may vary based on the brand of ingredients you use to make this recipe.

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Hey there! I’m Krystal, the sassy-mouthed, self-taught, home cook behind the content here at Sweet, Savory & Sassy. I have a deep love for sharing food with people and showing folks just how easy it really is to make dishes that will bring a little extra joy to those you love. There’s nothing like making something special for friends and family and seeing their face light up in delight during that first bite!
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