3 Larwin Road, Cherry Hill, NJ

For the Love of Food: Sweet Italian Peppers and Hot Italian Sausage

Posted on by Alycia

I stumbled upon a bag of mini sweet Italian peppers at Wegmans. They were on sale, and they looked so darn cute, so I had to buy them!

Here’s a VERY simple recipe that I made twice in one week – they were that good.

1. Cut the tops off of about 30-35 mini peppers and clean out any seeds inside. Rinse the peppers and dry them.

2. In a bowl, mix together 4 Wegmans Hot Italian Pork Sausage patties, 1/2 of a diced onion (red or white), some oregano, basil, garlic powder and black pepper.

3. Stuff the peppers with the sausage filling by hand, leaving some sticking out of the top. (Most of the peppers will be so tiny that not much will actually make it into the pepper)

4. Bake on parchment paper on a baking sheet at 350 for 40 minutes or until the outsides of the peppers begin to wrinkle slightly.

Eat straight out of the oven, or save for quick snacks throughout the week!

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22 Responses to For the Love of Food: Sweet Italian Peppers and Hot Italian Sausage

  1. Jamie DePolo says:

    This looks delicious! I just found out the wife of a web programmer I work with has a primal food recipe blog: http://thisprimallife.com/.

    It’s not all strictly paleo, but I’m interested to try her primal pizza recipe.

  2. Alycia says:

    Good find! thanks for the resource. I love looking at these sites to get inspiration.

  3. Shamus says:

    The small peppers are also sold at Costco, and a bit cheaper than Wegmans, for those who have membership there. I like to use the turkey sausage, too, just out of old habit.

  4. Alycia says:

    Cool, thanks for the tip. I don’t have a Costo membership, but if I keep hearing about good things from there, I may have to get one. Jamie and Steve say that their Salmon burgers ( 100% salmon, no filler) are great as well.

    Yeah, i’m thinking about changing up the filling for my next batch. I can’t use Turkey sausage though. Justin is strictly against eating turkey when it pretends to be other things ( Turkey bacon, Turkey sausage, etc). hehe.

    I bet ground lamb seasoned with oregano, cumin and lemon juice would be good in there, too.

  5. Steve says:

    I am with Justin on the no-turkey-posing-as-pork bandwagon. At least in the instance of turkey bacon, the way they make it seem (kinda sorta) like real bacon is by salting the crap out of it. Check the label and you’ll see that turkey bacon is one of the biggest sodium bombs out there. Your blood pressure goes up ten points just holding the package. I suspect the same is true of turkey sausage.

  6. Leigh says:

    Awesome and adorable! gotta try them!

  7. Shamus says:

    OK, since the spam filters prevent this from going all in one post, I’ll break it up. Here is the turkey bacon I have:

  8. Shamus says:

    Here are common stats for pork bacon:
    Total Fat 3.6g 5%
    Sat. Fat 1.2g 6%
    Trans Fat 0g
    Cholesterol 9mg 3%
    Sodium 196mg 8%
    Total Carbs. 0.1g < 1%
    Dietary Fiber 0g 0%
    Sugars 0g
    Protein 3.1g
    Calcium 0.9mg
    Potassium 48mg

  9. Shamus says:

    As you can see, the turkey bacon has much more proties and less fat, especially less saturated fat. The sodium is greater in turkey bacon, with 200 mg per slice as compared to between 158 mg and 196 mg per slice for different kinds of pork bacon. The manufacturer states that turkey bacon has 21 mg of sodium per cooked gram, while pork bacon has 16 mg per cooked gram. The big difference comes from the reduction in size due to cooking. Turkey bacon retains much more of its size compared to pork bacon (58% yield as opposed to a 28% yield, though why you wold want to buy something that you have to waste 72% of is beyond me).
    As for the idea that turkey is “posing” as real bacon, please remember that wild turkey was part of the diet of the earliest hunter-gatherer societies. Early man would then cure the turkey meat into bacon to preserve it. So, turkey was around for thousands of years before pigs were domesticated and eaten in this way. Actually I just made that last part up. Turkey bacon was invented in 1991 as a way to reduce saturated fat in your diet. But those of you who like the grotesque fat of pork bacon over turkey bacon can suck my butt.

  10. Steve says:

    “Pork bacon’s got a bad rap for wreaking havoc on your cholesterol. But is turkey bacon really any better?

    The truth: Stick with the pig. As far as calories go, the difference between “healthy” turkey bacon and “fatty” pig is negligible—and depending on the slice, turkey might sometimes tip the scales a touch more. Additionally, while turkey is indeed a leaner meat, turkey bacon isn’t made from 100 percent bird: One look at the ingredients list will show a long line of suspicious additives and extras that can’t possibly add anything of nutritional value. And finally, the sodium content of the turkey bacon is actually higher than what you’ll find in the kind that oinks—so if you’re worried about your blood pressure, opting for the original version is usually the smarter move.”

    And Wegmans uncured bacon (the peppered kind is particularly great) has only 1g of sat fat per slice and only 55mg of sodium. So all talk of grotesqueness, particularly of the butt-sucking variety, ends up just being butt-ugly wrong.

  11. Shamus says:

    Steve, thanks for the reccomendation for the bacon. Maybe I’ll try it, expecially since Michelle hates turkey bacon. But the ingredients in the turkey bacon I mentioned are:
    Turkey, Water, Contains Less Than 2% Of The Following: Sea Salt, Celery Powder, Maple Sugar, Onion Powder, Spices.
    Nothing artificial there, no chemicals or suspicious additives. As I said, probably a premium brand.
    Also, the stats posted online for the “uncured pepper bacon” are quite different than what you mentioned. Maybe you have a different kind? I’ll put the Wegmans bacon in a follow-up post so you can check.
    And as far as the sodium goes, I’m not really worried about that. We sweat way too much for that to be a problem unless you’re drinking from the salt container.

  12. Shamus says:


    There’s the link to the Wegmans uncured pepper bacon. Hopefully it’s the wrong one, because the stats show double the fat and one quarter the protien of the turkey bacon. Also, there are a couple ingredients that I don’t really recognize, if you were worried about additives.

  13. Justin says:

    The clear solution here is to make your own bacon from pork belly, and/or to smoke a turkey leg and eat it. Both are made in similar ways. You bring the meat, dry it off, and then smoke it.


  14. Justin says:

    And my other contribution to this conversation:

    Bacon > no bacon.

    (And on a serious note, the only bacon Alycia and I buy anymore is the one at the butcher counter at Whole Foods. It is not packaged. It is wonderfully good, think slices of pork belly, and the flavor is out of this world better than any packaged bacon I’ve had.)

  15. Steve says:

    Those stats are two-slice stats, so the sat fat is only 1 g. Sodium for one slice is 70mg, not 55, apparently, but still way below turkey bacon. (I read the stats off the pkg in our fridge and thought it said 110mg sodium for two slices, but site says 140).

    As for weird ingredients, I’m not thrilled with brown sugar, but the amount is so small that the carbs are listed as 0 g for two slices, so it’s negligible. The celery juice is how it gets naturally “cured” without adding nitrates (nitrites? I always mix those two up). Sodium lactate is an anti-microbial that gets added because, without all the nitrates it’d spoil in your fridge otherwise. If it were in there in any kind of significant amount, the sodium figures would be much higher, like turkey bacon for example. And the lactic-acid starter culture works, i believe, with the sodium lactate.

    As for protein, I’m not really looking to bacon to provide protein. Meat/fish/eggs do that already. It’s more of just a way to make things taste better. That’s why I am more concerned about keeping the bad stuff (sodium, sat fat, nitrates) to a minimum. The Wegmans uncured bacon is the best I have found in all those categories.

  16. Alycia says:

    I LOVE, love, love the bacon we get from the Whole Foods deli counter. Everyone should try that out, in my opinion. It’s much meatier and all around more delicious than any other bacon I’ve tried.

    I’m really glad that you guys are enthusiastic about the food you consume. Keep researching and talking to one another.

    Our Nutrition Guide is coming out soon, and should raise some more questions/comments.

    Happy eating!

  17. Shamus says:

    Steve, the listed fat for two slices is 6g, not 2g, although the saturated fat is only 2g. So 3g each compared to 1.5g each for the turkey bacon. The turkey bacon I have does not have any additives, either, so I’m confident it has as much purity as any pre-packaged item can.
    Anyway, I had to run to the store to grab a couple things so I decided to spend a few minutes comparing all the packages of bacon of all types side by side in Wegmans. The result of all the mean glares I got for monopolizing the bacon section is that I am now positive that no pork bacon can compare favorably to turkey bacon in any category other than sodium content. You may want to re-read the packages the next time you go. And to that end, I think that we’re going to Whole Foods later, so I may try the bacon there, as Justin and Alycia suggested.
    And, of course, there is one unarguable point that makes pork bacon better. It’s the one Michelle uses all the time: I like it more. Can’t really argue with that. It’s much the same thing Steve said about flavoring and if that’s the case than go for it. However, I prefer the taste of the turkey bacon and I know that I’m in the minority when I say that. It’s similar to how most chefs believe that fatty steak that is not fully cooked tastes better than lean steak that is cooked through. I can’t find a chef that doesn’t think marbled steak cooked medium is the best thing in the world, and I hate the taste. So maybe my taste buds are just different than everyone elses…

  18. Jamie DePolo says:

    That last YouTube bit is our dogs exactly!

  19. Leigh says:

    Just made the stuffed mini peppers….OMG, soo addicting. Sent some home with my mom bc she kept peeking in the oven. She bought a bag of the peppers, too! AND, I sent her home with some kale sauteed with whole foods TURKEY bacon. My preference is def pork, but that’s the package we had open. =)

  20. Steve says:

    We just made this tonight. It has no vegetables in it, but that’s easy to remedy by making a big side of something. We opted for broccoli. Double-pork stuffed chicken:

  21. Leigh says:

    Nice Steve! Paul and I actually came across this exact recipe pre-stuffed and wrapped in your choice of pork or turkey bacon at our favorite Amish market in Williamstown. We love it in the crock pot with some root veggies and then covered with a bottle of white wine! Yum!

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