Italian Stuffed Peppers

Sunday dinner at the home of an Italian American family is all about keeping food traditions alive. My husband likes to call the meal “a Sunday feast”.  We often start the meal with a large antipasto platter. This classic is always popular, as each person sitting at the table can choose exactly what they like from a platter arranged with cheese, sliced meats, fresh and roasted vegetables. One item I like to serve on the platter is Italian Stuffed Peppers,  a favorite with both my friends and family.

Italian Stuffed Peppers As Part Of An Antipasto
An  Individual Antipasto Plate Featuring A Stuffed Italian Pepper, Marinated Roasted Peppers, Mozzarella With Fresh Basil, Olives, Hot Capicola, Genoa Salami And Provolone Cheese

The peppers, stuffed with a savory mixture of breadcrumbs, cheese, olives, capers and fresh herbs, are roasted in the oven and then served at room temperature. The stuffed peppers are great for entertaining as they can be prepared a day in advance…their flavors actually improving. Served cold or at room temperature the next day, the stuffed peppers are terrific as part of a large antipasto or as a side dish to your main meal.

 Italian Stuffed Peppers

Serves 4, depending on the size of the peppers. Adjust the recipe accordingly.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

  • 4 Italian Frying Peppers*, tops and seeds removed
  • 3 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil plus more for drizzling
  • 1 or 2 cloves of garlic, finely minced  (I used two)
  • 1/2 tsp. anchovy paste or to taste
  • 3 Tbsp. chicken broth
  • 3/4 c. toasted bread crumbs (I like to make my own but store bought is fine)
  • handful of fresh herbs, chopped (I used oregano, basil and parsley from my garden)
  • 3 Tbsp. grated Pecorino Romano cheese
  • 2 Tbsp. chopped black olives
  • 1 Tbsp. capers, chopped
  • 3 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • a splash of white wine

To prepare the breadcrumbs, heat three tablespoons of olive oil in a sauté pan over medium heat. Add the garlic and anchovy paste. Sauté for about 30 seconds, then add the chicken broth, stir until the anchovy paste is dissolved then remove the pan from the heat to cool. Once the oil and garlic mixture has cooled, add the crumbs to the pan, along with the herbs, grated Pecorino Romano, olives, capers and red wine vinegar. Season with salt and pepper. Mix the ingredients together until well combined and a handful can hold together. If too dry add a little extra vinegar. Taste and adjust the season, if necessary.

Stuff the breadcrumbs into the peppers but not too tightly. Lay the peppers on their side in a lightly oiled casserole dish just large enough for them to fit in a single layer. Drizzle the peppers with a little olive oil and add a splash of white wine. Cover the dish  with foil and bake the peppers for about 25 to 30 minutes until the peppers are tender. Let cool and serve at room temperature or cover and refrigerate until ready to use the next day.

*I grow Italian peppers in my garden each year. I’ve grown both Corno Di Toro Rossa and Marconi but when the growing season is over, I make this dish with peppers that I buy from my local store. Peppers similar to what I grow may be called Italian Frying Peppers, Italianelles, or Cubanelles. They are long, pale green peppers that are sweet, tender and have a thin skin.

**You can double the breadcrumb recipe and store any leftover crumbs in an airtight container in the refrigerator as they are delicious used for stuffing other vegetables or as a nice topping for pasta.


Stuffed vegetables such as these Italian peppers have always been popular not only in Italy but also in other countries where people have relied on making breadcrumbs from stale bread. Using the breadcrumbs is an economical and savory way to stretch a few fresh vegetables, turning them into filling main  course or a side dish to feed their family. Besides serving the stuffed peppers as an appetizer, they are a nice accompaniment to a simple meal of grilled or roasted meat, chicken or fish. Buon Appetito!



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173 thoughts on “Italian Stuffed Peppers

  1. I’ve never stuffed Italian Frying Peppers–only red and green bell peppers, which I love! I will definitely try these! The platter is mouth watering–I wish I had it in front of me now!

    1. Hi Susan, I think you will enjoy the stuffed Italian frying peppers, they are more tender than bell peppers and make a good vessel for this savory breadcrumb filling. That was just an individual plate…you should see the size of the platter. It would make any Italian momma smile. 😀

    1. Hi Roger, I’m glad that you like the stuffed peppers. I can get Cubanelles all year but I have to grow the Italian frying peppers in my garden as I never see them in my local markets.

      1. How different our circumstances; I call these ‘banana peppers’ in Australia – they seem to be available most of the year here and are oft half the price of ‘real’ ones at every supermarket!! Love them and also oft stuff them!!

      2. Hi Eha, A banana pepper is a different variety of pepper from the Italian pepper I grow but it would certainly work in this recipe. 🙂

  2. Like the fact that this stuffed peppers can be served cold or at room temperature. Another plus, can be made the day before and the flavors improved. Great tip about doubling stuffing recipe and storing in fridge, perhaps even tripling and storing extra in the freezer, will that work?

    1. Hi Norma, The stuffed peppers do improve if made a day in advance which is great for entertaining. Yes, the stuffing does freeze well. I have toasted some up and used it as a topping on pasta…delicious.

  3. The Hungarians use a similar pepper for a pepper stew dish, which makes me wonder if the big green bell paper is a North American thing. Once I had asked my husband to pick up the groceries for the cottage and the store placed hot light green peppers along side of the Cubanelles and I didn’t notice until we started eating them! Man, that was a hot dish!
    I’ve never seen peppers stuffed like this on an antipasto platter but you can bet I’ll be adding it to my repertoire for sure! I love a dinner like this (only I always eat too much!)

    1. Hi Eva, You are right, there is a similar pepper that Hungarians often use. One thing about an Italian meal, especially those served on Sundays or holidays is that you always eat too much…but it is so good. 😀

    1. Hi John, When traveling in Italy, many of the restaurants will have a whole table of cooked and stuffed vegetables that are served at room temperature. I think you would enjoy the peppers served this way.

    1. Hi Monique, I believe you would enjoy the peppers, they would be perfect for when you are having your family over for a meal. Thank you for your compliment.

    1. Thank you for your nice compliment, Darryl. I’m happy to know that you like my version of Italian stuffed peppers. Hopefully you will find some of the peppers at your farmers market. 🙂

  4. I love platters like this. I eat my favorites and leave what I don’t enjoy so much of. No waste and everyone’s happy. These stuffed peppers would be on my ‘take’ list. 🙂

    1. Hi Maureen, That is exactly what happens when I serve a large antipasto platter. You can look at everyones plate and they will all have chosen a different combination of goodies…usually the peppers are one of them. 😀

  5. I will absolutely make place for your pepper next time I serve such a plate! I love antipasto platters. I also always prepare it as I find it so sociable and informal.

    1. Hi Didi, I’m happy to know that you will be making the stuffed peppers. You are right, an antipasto platter passed around to table for everyone to choose exactly what they want is an informal and enjoyable way to share dinner with friends.

    1. Thank you for your lovely compliment, Donna. I’m happy that you like the sound of my Italian stuffed peppers. I hope you will enjoy them as much as our family and friends do. 😀

  6. That picture is making me feel hungry and I simply adore stuffed peppers. We often have Antipasto for lunch when travelling, with a selection of salamis, French sausisson and Spanish Chorizo and Jamon Serrano (similar to Parma Ham) and, of course, delicious cheeses. Thank you for the recipe. Another one I must try.
    Good news: got my own home-made Lasagna for tea tonight!

    1. Hi Fatima, I’m sorry to have made you hungry but I’m happy to know that you like the recipe for the stuffed peppers. I have noticed your antipasto lunches on your travels…one of the pleasures of traveling. 🙂

    1. Thank you for your nice compliment, Gerlinde…I’m happy to know that you like the peppers. I agree with you, I always have a large bag of homemade breadcrumbs in my freezer as well. 🙂

  7. What a dazzling antipasti plate, Karen. So appealing. And the recipe for the stuffed peppers looks intriguing–I love the hint of anchovy.

    1. Hi Vicki, I’m glad you like the assortment on the antipasto plate and the pepper recipe, thank you. I believe the anchovy adds a nice depth of flavor to the stuffing.

    1. Thank you Sam, for your nice compliment. My husband and I have had this antipasto as our lunch or dinner many times. A glass of wine, crispy bread and some good olive oil for dipping and we’ve been very happy. I’m with you about dishes that can be made in advance, it does make for easy entertaining. 😀

    1. Hi Dedy, Yes, adding sausage would definitely get the peppers a nice flavor. I think if I was going to add meat to them, I would probably serve them warm.

    1. You gave me a big smile, Tin Man…I appreciate your lovely compliment. I’m glad you like the antipasto plate I put together. The peppers are a big hit with everyone that tries them.

  8. Hi Karen, I’d be happy having that platter for my dinner! I love those peppers and your combination of filling sounds really good; the olives and a touch of anchovy paste add a nice touch!

  9. First of all, the antipasto looks outstanding and the stuffed pepper sounds delicious. Rather than starting the meal with this, I believe I’d make it the meal.

    1. You gave me a chuckle, Larry…that is exactly what my husband and I have done many a night. The antipasto is a little bit of everything we like and it makes a nice meal all on its own. Thank you for your nice compliment.

  10. Delicious – I’d be very satisfied with the antipasto platter, no other courses needed, however I suspect your next course will have been equally good 😉

    1. Hi Mad Dog, I’m glad you like the peppers, thank you. An antipasto platter loaded with lots of goodies makes us happy all by itself. That being sad, my family and friends been know to enjoy a plate of pasta and a meatball or two after. 😀

  11. Sunday night dinner is such a fantastic tradition – one of my favorites – and it’s one that families lovingly keep up despite modern life schedules etc.! The antipasti look delicious, Karen.

    1. Hi Ksenia, I agree with you…I wish we could get more families to carry on the tradition for Sunday dinners with their families. I’m happy to know that you like the antipasto plate, thank you!

    1. Hi Lynda, I’m happy that you like the antipasto that I made. Yes, an antipasto is a great way to use some of Italian deli meats and cheeses that you might have leftover from a previous meal during the week along with some fresh and roasted vegetables.

    1. Thank you for your nice compliment, Kelli. I’m happy that you like the stuffed peppers and want to try them. I hope you will enjoy them as much as my friends and family do.

    1. Hi Ronit, I totally agree with you about a breadcrumb stuffing being a light alternative to the meat stuffings that we often use. I’m happy that you like my version and appreciate your nice compliment…thank you.

  12. These do sound delicious and I like that they can be made ahead of time. I also love the idea of a Sunday feast. That sounds like the perfect way to spend a Sunday. 🙂

    1. Hi Kristy, I’m glad you like the stuffed peppers…they really are better if you make them a day ahead of time. I love the traditions that I was introduced to when I married my husband…a day where family and food are very important. I think it is a tradition that we should all have…one day where we spend time together around the dinner table.

  13. Although not Italian, my mother would make an antipasto dish like that when it was just too hot to turn the stove on. I don’t remember her doing any of the stuffed peppers but that a great addition. Oh I do love those marinated roast peppers too! Nice selection Karen.

    1. Hi Diane, I’m not Italian either…just married to a wonderful husband that is. 🙂 I think once someone has had an Italian antipasto, we love it and make it our own, no matter our heritage. 😀

  14. These long type of peppers are what my Romanian mom used to make HER stuffed peppers. The stuffing, of course, was totally different but delicious. I have yet to maker hers but after I FINALLY get around to it, I can spread my wings and try this very novel (to me) version. I bet it’s great. 🙂

    1. Hi Boleyn, I think this type of pepper is very much a part of many countries dishes throughout Europe. I do hope you get to prepare your mother’s stuffed peppers and after that this Italian version…I think you would enjoy them. Of course, I know that you would want to eliminate the olives as I know you don’t care for them. 🙂

  15. This sounds like fun. Delicious, too! We’ve never served and antipasto like this and I just know it will be a big hit for a family dinner. I’m just unsure as to what sort of pepper to buy. I’ve never heard of either but we do have a market that has a great variety of veggies so I’ll check there. Can’t wait to get on it! Thanks, Karen!

    Jane xx

    1. Hi Jane, I do think an antipasto that includes these peppers would be prefect for when you have one of your family dinners. If your family is anything like mine…the platter of Italian specialties will disappear quickly. Tell the manager of the produce department at your market that you want a pepper that is equivalent to an Italian frying pepper…a thin walled, mild tasting pepper. I’m sure that they will at least have a Cubanelle pepper as it is always available in our rural area of New Hampshire.

  16. What an appetising platter! I cannot even imagine how good the rest of the meal must have been. I love stuffed peppers but have never had a cold Italian version (I keep on cooking Hungarian stuffed long peppers). It sounds and looks fantastic. (Thank you for writing in full “pecorino romano”… by the way, this year I tasted another type of pecorino : pecorino sardo; didn’t like it as much). Thank you for sharing this tempting recipe!

    1. Thank you for your kind words, Sissi…I’m happy to know that you like the recipe. I know your Hungarian stuffed peppers are delicious but I do think that you would enjoy this Italian version. I love the flavor of Pecorino Romano. It is delicious…I always have it in my refrigerator.

  17. Yum! Love a good colourful antipasto platter. We’re heading into Spring here, and platters like this often appear around here on warm evenings. Your stuffed peppers sound brilliant (and I especially love that they can be made a day in advance). Your tip to double the breadcrumb mix and sprinkle it on pasta is brilliant!

    1. Hi Saskia, I know that you enjoy making a dish that can be used more than one way and the breadcrumb stuffing is wonderful in lots of vegetables and oh so good as a topping for pasta. I appreciate your nice compliment, thank you!

  18. This is the kind of pepper that I usually grill to blacken the skins, then peel and marinate in a rich garlicky olive oil with a splash of balsamic. Must look at stuffing them! Great recipe Karen.

    1. Hi Lizzy, I like to prepare the Italian frying peppers the same way. The last of my peppers will be picked this week and those that aren’t frozen for use this winter will be prepared just that way. I believe that you would enjoy stuffing them with the breadcrumb mixture…they are delicious.

    1. Thank you Uru, for your nice compliment. Yes, this is an easy recipe for you to make a few adjustments to make it totally vegetarian. I hope that you will enjoy them. 🙂

    1. Thank you Cheri, I’m happy to know you like the antipasto with the stuffed pepper. An Italian pepper has a mild taste like a bell pepper but the walls of the peppers are thinner. I have grown two different varieties in my garden over the years. If you can’t find them in your market you can use any think skinned mild pepper such as a Cubanelle.

    1. Hi Darlene, Thank you for stopping by for a visit and your nice compliment. Vegetable broth is a perfect substitute…the broth is used to make sure they are moist enough while baking. 🙂

  19. Karen, I would push anyone in the path of that beautiful antipasto platter out of the way to get to it! It is making me salivate. Living in the middle of nowhere with very few good grocery stores it may be hard to find the Italian frying or Cubanelle peppers…how do you think an Anaheim would work?
    Have a wonderful week.

    1. You gave me a chuckle, Marigene, I’m glad you like the antipasto. I have a feeling that you will be able to find Cubanelle peppers in your market as I live in a rural area and our market usually has them. If not, any mild thin skinned pepper will work. Thank you for your wish, I hope you have a nice week as well.

    1. Thank you Tanya, for your nice compliment. I agree with you, this type pepper is very good and can be prepared in so many ways. I’m getting ready to pick and freeze the last of mine.

  20. Your spin on stuffed peppers looks amazing, how all those Italian flavors melting together. I really appreciate how I can make these up in advance, so much easier when you’re entertaining. And the flavors actually get better than way……really wonderful!!

    1. Hi Laura, I’m glad you like my version of Italian stuffed peppers. They really are great for entertaining…easy to make ahead of time and everyone enjoys them. Thank you for your nice compliment.

  21. I’ll have to look into growing these kind of peppers myself next year. I grew serranos this year to make salsa with my tomatoes and I was pleasantly surprised I got so many in our short growing season here. I figure if you can grow them in New Hampshire, I can surely grow them in Oregon! A lovely antipasto plate full of food you have there, Karen!

    1. Hi Kathryn, I’ve grown the peppers both at our garden in Maine as well as here in New Hampshire. I’m sure they will do well in Oregon and your growing season will probably be a little longer than ours. I’m glad you like the antipasto plate, thank you!

  22. I think I will be coming back to your recipe. I visited a restaurant where we had a mezze platter and one of options was a stuffed pepper with a home-made cheese. I have been wanting to recreate the platter in my own way and I think your pepper would be perfect.

  23. I love to start a meal with an antipasto platter and it’s definitely something I do more often in the warmer months. The stuffed peppers look amazing and these are a great inspiration for the upcoming summer party season xx

    1. Hi Charlie, I’m glad that you like the idea of adding the stuffed peppers to an antipasto platter. I hope you and your family will enjoy them. Thank you for your nice comment.

  24. I love stuffed peppers, particularly if the filling includes cheese! This looks like a gorgeous platter Karen. So envious that you grow the peppers yourself! I am a terrible gardener… you could possibly call me a ‘brown thumb’ as everything shrivels in the Aussie sun on our balcony 😦

  25. I love a good antipasti, and the stuffed pepper would be a nice addition I don’t typically see. I’m not sure about the pepper. We have many varieties of peppers, but the ones you’ve mentioned are unfamiliar to me. I am sure I can find something very similar, I’m just a little intrigued to see “new” ones! I’m definitely eager to experiment. 🙂

    1. Hi Debra, We enjoy the stuffed peppers as part of an antipasto and they make a nice side dish as well. You can use any mild, thin skinned pepper for the recipe but perhaps you will find one of the ones I mentioned.

  26. Mmmmm, I love capers and anchovies (yeah, I’m a little weird lol). It’s often just me for dinner, so this antipasto could make an easy meal for one with little mess to clean up afterwards 🙂

    1. Hi Liz, The capers, olives, and grated cheese really does create a flavorful stuffing for the peppers. I’m glad you like them as part of the antipasto plate and appreciate your nice compliment.

  27. I am not sure how I missed this one, but I have a load of peppers a friend gave me from her garden and this is exactly what I am going to do with them. They look just like yours so I think they will work. It is really hard to figure out what to do with a lot of large peppers! thanks for posting this at just the right time.

  28. We often order an antipasto platter when we eat out, it’s one of my favorite appetizers. I’ve made a stuffed pepper before, but never anything like this recipe.. I’ll keep this one in mind, I love the different sort of peppers, I’ll have to see if we get them here.

  29. Your platter looks so inviting. I want to dig right in… I love your version of stuffed peppers with so many delicious flavours it just has to be good. I bet you could also serve this at room temperature. Have a super weekend

  30. You know, it’s not all that easy to find Italian Frying Peppers here in Denver, and when I do, I grab them up. Can’t wait to try this recipe and what a great idea for an antipasto platter.

    1. Hi Lea Ann, I know what you mean, it is why I grow the peppers myself. Cubanelle are very similar for those who can’t find the Italian ones. I hope you will enjoy the peppers and appreciate your nice compliment.

    1. Thank you Meg, I’m glad you liked the photo. Wouldn’t it be nice if we could sample the things we see on our computers. At least you have the recipe. 😀

  31. When I first looked I was hoping these would be stuffed with some vegetarian-ish mixture and it looks like they are! Yum…Karen this seems like a winner to try.

    1. Hi Kathy, I’m happy that the peppers are what you were looking for. I hope you like them as much as our family and friends do. Thank you for your nice compliment.

  32. I love the idea of starting the meal with an antipasto plate! Although, like another commenter said, I’d probably turn it into the full meal 🙂

    1. Hi Emilie, My husband and I have made an antipasto our main meal many times…all you need is a nice bottle of wine and a loaf of crispy bread to go along with it and you have a nice meal. 😀

  33. Stuffed peppers … that is something I haven’t come across for years – something I really enjoy … but I have never eaten them cold. I can feel the smell from the pan … all the intense Italian flavors.
    Have a love Sunday … *smile – take time and kick around in the leafs.

    1. Hi Viveka, I did have a nice Sunday…thank you. I’m just now answering your comments because I found all your comments in my spam file. I can’t imagine what trigger that. These peppers are very different from most in that they are much better when served chilled or a room temperature than hot.

      1. Karen, no problem with coming back to me … you’re so lucky because over there you have so much different vegetables and products to what we have here – wired and wonderful. We only have one kind of peppers in our supermarket – but I’m quite okay with it .. because less waste in the supermarkets and easier for me to make up my mind. I like stuffed peppers, we eat them mostly warm with a spicy tomato sauce. Great recipe, Karen.

    1. Hi Kiran, I love making stuffed peppers…there are so many ways of preparing them. I’m happy to know that you like this Italian version.

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