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My Hubby called from work the other day and with much excitement he said,”Guess what I got today?”so I’m thinking WOW!, maybe he got a raise or something! Instead he said, ” A gigantic bag of Melrose peppers!! I could see how happy he was so I said, “Great!!” It just so happens, my Hubby did a favor for some nice Italian man who grows tons of them in his backyard, and to say Thanks, he brought him a huge bag.

I previously wrote a post on Melrose Peppers a while back just because my Hubby loves them so much, and as I said before, he would just eat that for dinner with some good Italian bread. I normally just saute them in a pan with olive oil, a little garlic and salt and pepper, then add a little red sauce at the end. So, because there were so many, I did a bunch like that, and the ones that were really big, I decided to stuff them. I happen to have a big hunk of Fontina cheese in the frig, and some Italian sausage in bulk. So all I did was cook up the sausage, cube up the cheese, and stuffed the peppers, I also had some leftover marinara, that I layered in also.

There were pans of peppers everywhere!!! So I made a quick call to my Son,( who’s taking after his Dad in the Melrose Pepper department) to stop by on his way home from work for a care package to take home. And without hesitation he said, “I’ll be there”!! So ,as you can see , although they are a very simple dish they are one of my family’s favorite!!

For those of you who never heard of Melrose Peppers, they look like a Cubanelle, banana shaped, very sweet and tender. I wonder if any of you heard of them, or is it just a Chicago thing? I hope my pictures do them justice!!

Buon Appetito!!
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  1. Just bought a basket of Melrose Peppers and want to freeze them. Can you freeze them whole, without taking the seeds out?
    Any suggestions? Thank you.

  2. Thanks for all the great recipes! I grew up in a big Italian family with my grandmother making all these wonderful. Foods. Now I am in So. Cal and trying to create some memories with my kids. Thank you.

  3. Melrose Peppers are my husbands favorite. I’m looking for seeds to start in the house. My mother-in-law would stuff them with a bread crumb stuffing, like you would use for baked clams, all my kids loved them and even now they make them for their families. I was able to get some plants at Caputo’s in DesPlaines & at Meinke on Touhy & Lehigh in Niles, which is where I live.

  4. I tried to make something inspired by this last night. I used local (WA) Sweet Anaheim peppers instead, and a mozzarella/feta cheese mix with my Italian sausage instead of provolone, and a basil/garlic red sauce and they turned out great! Thanks for the article!

  5. These look amazing, Marie! I think stuffed peppers are in my future this week! Wish we could get some Melrose peppers, but I will substitute garden variety red, yellow, orange. Thanks! Beautiful photos!

  6. Well, I’m in Indiana, almost 4 hours from Chicago and found Melrose plants by chance at a local nursery. They were described as a sweet Italian pepper but no one there really knew what to do with them. I grew up in a small Italian town and figured I’d give them a try. My plants have been producing wonderfully and so I’ve been searching for recipes online and wanted to find out if I could freeze them, I found this site and love it! I’m also curious though about how long and how hot you cook the stuffed peppers. I’m a novice in the kitchen and am looking for a little guidance, your pictures look wonderful and the descriptions sound delicious! If you don’t mind helping me out, please post more detailed cooking instructions or you could email me at
    Thanks! 🙂 Bre

  7. Anonymous says

    yes, all of us here in Melrose Park grow melrose peppers. This is a very common dish in this neighborhood. Melrose peppers are the most commonly used peppers around here, we usually dont use regular bell peppers for anything except salads

  8. I hope you are still around cause I want to ask a question ab0out your Melrose Stuffed peppers. After you stuff them, I am assuming that you bake them so how long do you bake them for. Yes I too grew up on Melrose Peppers but I have been trying to find a good recipe for stuffing them and this look like it,.
    If you want you can e-mail me at

  9. Hey…your pepper recipe looks just like mine. I’ve finally got what I was looking for after two years of trying…I use Provolone rather that Fontina and my favorite sauce. It takes time to stuff them but if you cut off the tips it’s easier……R

  10. Christa, He better share with you!!
    Last time he didn’t!

  11. Your son actually shared these with me! 🙂 They were great!


  12. Maryann, Thanks! I still have so much to learn about the Blog world!!!

    Lorraine,I’m finding out they are not so common all over, they might just be a Chicago thing!! Lori Lynn’s comment makes a lot of sense, since we lived close to Melrose Pk.

    UJ, I’m sure you will!!

    Lori Lynn, Loved that article, Thanks! Maybe thats why they are in all the Italian stores here. We were brought up not far from Melrose Pk. I wonder what they were called in Italy?? I do know that all the old school Italians like to grow them out here. Thanks again! I saved the article!

  13. Marie – you got me wondering because Chicago sure has some of its own unique foods, so I found this about Italian Beef and melrose peppers at Devotees, such as my South Side Italian-American wife, say it should only be topped with Melrose peppers, a long slender, thin-walled sweet green pepper that was brought over from Italy and was named for the suburb of Melrose Park, home to many immigrants. Virtually no restaurants make it with Melrose peppers because they are not grown commercially.

    It’s fun to learn about Chicago foodlore. Thanks!

  14. To the great Proud Italian cook and last. WOW!! I love all your plates. Thank you for 25 years of greatest italian meals. Lets go another 25.

    Love, UJ

  15. I’ve never heard of these peppers but they look lovely!! Fontina cheese is pretty hard to come by here:( I really like this combination, really tasty!! Dido on the photos:)

  16. Your photos look wonderful. great job 😉

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