Since football season is NEVER-ending, let’s keep the snacks coming, shall we? These peppers are based on somewhat of a family recipe! This is a sweet potato stuffing twist on the original, recreating it to hit on some of the same flavor combos and retain its awesomeness.
So, the original recipe calls for hot banana peppers stuffed with a combo of sausage, Stove Top Stuffing, and lots of cheddar cheese. I KNOW RIGHT? I’m not sure if my dad made up the recipe or if someone told him about them or what, but they are SO GOOD! And get ready, because ZB actually said that he likes these ones better than the originals.
So the key things I kept in mind to be sure I was hitting on the same flavors AND textures were:
Recreating that signature Stovetop Stuffing seasoning. It has such a very prominent, can-only-be-described-as-stovetop-stuffing flavor.
Finding a suitable stuffing substitute that is still super satisfying and also binding.
And I gotta say, SUCCESS on all fronts! Sweet potatoes pull double duty in this recipe; their sweetness pairs perfectly with the spicy sausage and peppers, and their texture gives a great hearty “stuffing” vibe and also provides binding action.
A few notes before we dive in:
I used Italian pork sausage patties in this recipe, but you could also use turkey sausage or chicken sausage.
If you can only find Italian sausage as links, just remove the casings and cook it as ground sausage!
I used inferno peppers for this recipe (shout out, AGAIN, to Lois at the Bellefonte Farmer’s Market for always hooking me up with the best peppers!). If you’re not super into hot stuff, go with a more mild banana pepper.
If possible, pick peppers that aren’t super curved. You cut them in half before stuffing them so a straight-ish banana pepper that’s kind of big (lots of room for stuffing) works perfectly. But we can work with whatever ya got!
How many peppers you need really depends on the size of your peppers! I used 7 peppers so I got 14 halves and had extra stuffing which we enjoyed with eggs!
If you don’t do dairy, just leave out the cheese.
Sausage & Sweet Potato STUFFED BANANA PEPPERS
8-15 hot banana peppers (quantity really depends on the size)
1 lb ground Italian sausage (remove from casings if you are using links)
1 sweet onion, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, finely minced
2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and diced into 1/2 inch cubes
1 rib celery, finely chopped
1 Tbsp dried parsley
1 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp dried sage
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup chicken stock or water
1 cup cheddar cheese (optional, but why not?)
olive oil or avocado oil
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Heat 1 Tbsp olive oil or avocado oil over medium high heat in a medium pot.
Add the onions, garlic, and ground sausage; breaking up the sausage as it cooks.
While the sausage is browning, peel and dice your sweet potatoes and chop your celery.
Once the sausage is cooked through, add in the sweet potatoes, celery, parsley, thyme, sage, pepper, and salt. Stir to evenly coat everything in the spices, then add 1/4 cup water or chicken stock. Bring the liquid to a boil then reduce to a simmer and cover with a lid.
Cook for 15 to 20 minutes, stirring every so often, until the sweet potatoes are tender.
While the “stuffing” cooks, prep your banana peppers by cutting them in half. Scrape out the seeds and ribs using a small spoon. Arrange peppers on parchment paper lined baking sheet.
TIP: Wear gloves to protect your hands if you are using hot peppers.
Remove from heat and use a potato masher or chopper thing to slightly mash some of the sweet potatoes.
TIP: You still want some texture to them, but mashing them slightly will help to hold everything together.
Stir in one cup of cheddar cheese (if using), then scoop the filling into the banana pepper halves.S
Bake for 10-15 minutes or until the peppers are crisp tender. Broil for 3 minutes to brown the tops. Then dig in!