Stuffed Peppers Italian Style with Sausage and Mozzarella

melrose peppers Normally when you see a recipe for stuffed peppers you’ll see the bell shaped variety being used but I look forward to this time of year because a very special pepper starts to show up in Italian markets around Chicagoland, they’re called Melrose Peppers. I’ve done posts on them in the past like this one.

They came to be called Melrose peppers because as the story goes, many years ago a family from Calabria, Italy eventually settled into a suburb of Chicago called Melrose Pk. They brought with them the seeds of this very special, delicious thinned skinned pepper.They quickly became popular among gardeners in the Italian community and then soon after that they started appearing in all the fruit and vegetable stands, and the rest is history.

stuffing peppers Even though I’m featuring and stuffing my favorite Melrose peppers for this recipe, you can honestly use any type of elongated pepper such as a cubanelle or the sweet and long red pepper variety.

All you’re going to do is cut off the top then take a knife and make a slit down one side but not all the way, you still want the pepper to remain in tact, then just scoop out the seeds.

Then buy the best Italian sausage available, mine always has fennel and red pepper flakes for a little heat. If you can buy it in bulk go ahead, if not just remove it from the casing. Place it into a bowl then add a good amount of shredded mozzarella and mix well, that’s your stuffing!

stuffed peppers Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil, then drizzle all over with olive oil and place your peppers onto it after you stuff them with the mixture.

stuffed peppers Then it’s a quick drizzle all over the top, add salt and pepper and place them into a 400 degree oven for about half an hour, depending on what type of pepper you’re using.

stuffed peppers You’re aiming for soft and tender and of course the sausage being fully cooked as well as seeing the cheese has melt.

stuffed peppersstuffed peppers When you’re ready to serve spoon some warm marinara over the top and onto the serving plate.

stuffed peppers The flavor combination is divine, this is stuffed peppers at it’s finest!

stuffed peppers

Add some crusty bread with a nice green salad and dinner is served!

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Comments

  1. Ever since I saw this on Instagram I couldn’t wait to see the post. Wow, Marie! My mouth is watering and my breakfast bagel is looking pretty boring. We made a big pot of marinara sauce last week. I think there are stuffed peppers in our future. Buona giornata!!

  2. Carol (LaBanco) Szafalowicz says

    Talk about mouth watering just reading this recipe….never tried Melrose Peppers before and this is a fantastic way to
    try them. This is definitely one of the dishes I’m making Sunday when the kids come over. Yum
    Thanks Marie

  3. Why have I never made these?!! And I have Anaheim peppers coming out my ears in the garden! What a fabulous recipe! thank you!

  4. RICH DI LALLO says

    THESE ARE WONDERFUL, BUT SINCE MOVING TO TUCSON, AZ WE CAN’T FIND MELROSE PEPPERS OUT HERE. WE HAVE TO HAVE THEM SHIPPED IN FROM CHICAGO. WE HAD THESE FIRST AT THE FEAST IN MELROSE PARK AT THE STAND THAT THE DIVISION LOUNGE HAD. WE WENT TO THE DIVISION LOUNGE & HAD THESE MANY TIMES WITH PASTA. LIKE I DIED & WENT TO HEAVEN.

    FOR MIMI ABOVE, ANAHEIM PEPPERS AREN’T AS GOOD. SKIN IS TOO THICK, & FLAVOR ISN’T THERE.

    MY DAD WOULD ALSO MAKE A PEPPER & TOMATOE SALAD WITH OIL & OREGANO, GARLIC CHUNKS & SALT TO TASTE. WHAT A GREAT SALAD WITH CRUNCHY ITALIAN BREAD FOR DIPPING. GREAT WITH JST ABOUT ANYTHING WHERE YOU HAVE A SALAD.

  5. Hi Marie, I have been out of commission for a while, and so I apologize for my absence. WOW! But these peppers look wonderful. I am not familiar with Melrose peppers, but I bet my Jimmy Nardello peppers would be fab for this dish. All the best to you and yours, and I hope you are all having a terrific summer!

  6. Yummy! This may sound funny but these stuffed peppers remind me of a type of dim sum that I love: small peppers stuffed with shrimp. A whole world away, but it’s basically the same culinary idea…

  7. I made a variation of this recipe in my large crock pot this afternoon. Our local supermarket makes their own broccoli rabe sausage and it is really good. I combined the sausage and shredded mozzarella and stuffed it into bell pepper halves. Cooked the peppers on a layer of tomato sauce and six hours later dinner was done. While they cooked I whipped up a loaf of Italian garlic bread. What a great dinner! Thank you so much!

  8. Best stuffed peppers ever! I always grow Melrose peppers in my garden. Last night we made them this way and they were heavenly! Yum! There is nothing like the flavor of a melrose pepper.

  9. We don’t have Melrose peppers in my neck of the woods, but I do grow a thin-skinned type of pepper similar to these. I wonder if these go by any other name? Your stuffing looks phenomenal. Must try.

  10. Dick Tracy says

    Hello Marie,
    I grow Melrose Peppers in my garden, I grew up in Melrose Park and was introduced to them a LONG time ago.
    I have a batch I just picked and will try this recipe using Italian sausage I made with my Brother-in-law. I cant wait!

    BTW your stuff is AWESOME! I was turned on to your website by my Sister Colleen. Please keep up the great work.
    My best to you & yours,
    Dick Tracy

  11. I made these Tuesday with cubanelle peppers and Hungarian wax peppers. SO GOOD! I added Parmesan cheese and some garlicky, sauteed broccoli rabe to the stuffing. Even the husband liked them and he claims he doesn’t like stuffed peppers.

  12. Googled these peppers-found the seeds and ordered so I will be ready to plant next summer!

  13. Hi Marie!
    Yes , I have heard this story before. And it sounds about right, Melrose Park use to have a very large produce market called” Naples produce Market”. I live in Melrose Park, Illinois, yes it is very difficult to find melrose peppers but not here! Anyone that grew up in Italian or even lived close by has had a melrose pepper., when the growing season starts here that is the first thing everyone buys, they sell out fast. A lot of people here save their seeds. Our town once was predominantly italian and german, now it is very diverse. But you can always tell the long time residents by their garden you will see melrose pepper plants like myself we have 14 melrose pepper plants, we cook them like you do, we put a little in our gardinera, we fry them with italian sausage, we put some in gravy ( pasta sauce) , salads, along with a old recipe from my husbands family: dry them out, clean the seeds out, deep fry them in oil and sprinkle them with salt, excuse my spelling we call that “pepper brisch” we also do that same recipe with cayenne peppers and at christmas time we have “hot pepper brisch” and “sweet pepper brisch”.
    Rich is correct. They are now served at the taste of melrose park. And are wonderful ! We eat your recipe minus the cheese on french bread heavily dipped with gravy ( marinara sauce). Enjoy!

  14. Renee T. / eyetalgal says

    Have to grow my own melrose peppers, being 100+ miles from their origin, and had a tough decision: do I save my bounty for pepper ‘n egg sandwiches…or appropriate some for stuffed peppers? The fact that I had some outstanding homemade Italian sausage made from a freshly butchered hog in my freezer helped tip the scales in favor of your recipe. Delicious!!! I did garnish the marinara with a bit of grated Parm, but otherwise followed your instructions completely, and everything was perfect. Thank you for another great recipe and inspiration!