These rich and creamy stuffed mini peppers with sausage and cream cheese are the ultimate healthy appetizer for your next party! Made with simple and easy ingredients, these colorful sweet mini peppers are filled with a cream cheese sausage mixture that is savory and satisfying.
My family loves having appetizer nights. We often have “Family Happy Hour” dinners on a Friday night where we make an assortment of everyone’s favorite appetizer and play a game together.
I’m often looking for healthy appetizers to add to our rotation that isn’t just a plate of raw veggies and dip. Sometimes you just want something a little more exciting than that.
These sausage stuffed mini peppers really fit the bill! They are salty, savory, and creamy all in one. The best part? Each mini pepper boat is only 62 calories!
These are great to bring to any party to have a healthier option among everything else. I even reheat the leftovers to eat with breakfast!
To make these sausage and cream cheese stuffed mini peppers, you need:
- Lean Ground Pork – Choose a ground pork option that is leaner than conventional ground pork. We prefer pasture-raised pork and stock our freezer from a local farm.
- Mini Sweet Peppers – You will want to choose a bag of mini sweet peppers that aren’t too small in size. Some brands sell them very small. We like the Sunset Mini Sweet Peppers we get at Costco. They’re a great size for this recipe, but you can use whatever you’re able to find. We will be slicing them in half the long way, so as you choose your peppers, try to evaluate if they’re big enough to hold a filling when halved.
- Reduced Fat Cream Cheese – Reduced fat cream cheese still gives us a tangy, creamy flavor for this appetizer without making it too greasy. However, you can choose to use regular cream cheese if you wish.
- Homemade Sausage Seasoning – This homemade seasoning consists of garlic powder, onion powder, dried parsley, paprika, Italian seasoning, red pepper flakes, fennel seed, black pepper, and salt.
- Parmesan Cheese – A sprinkle for topping.
To make our savory stuffed mini peppers with sausage, follow the instructions below:
1. Soften Cream Cheese & Make Sausage Seasoning
About one hour before assembling the stuffed sweet mini peppers, take the cream cheese out of the refrigerator and allow it to sit on the counter to come to room temperature. Into a small bowl, combine the Italian seasoning, dried parsley, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, fennel seed, black pepper, salt, and crushed red pepper. Set it aside.
2. Cook Ground Pork & Season
Cook the ground pork in a large skillet over medium heat. Once the pork is cooked through and no longer pink, drain any excess fat. Turn the heat to low. Sprinkle the seasoning mix you made in Step 1 evenly over the pork and stir to combine. Once the meat is evenly seasoned, remove from heat.
3. Prep Mini Sweet Peppers
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Wash and dry your package of mini sweet peppers. Use a knife to slice them in half the long way. You can leave the stem attached. Use a spoon to scoop out seeds as needed.
4. Make Cream Cheese Mixture
Scoop the seasoned pork into a medium mixing bowl and add the block of softened cream cheese. Stir to combine.
5. Stuff Mini Peppers
Use a spoon to scoop your sausage and cream cheese mixture into each mini pepper half. Arrange these stuffed peppers on a baking sheet. Sprinkle each mini pepper with a dash of parmesan cheese.
Place the baking sheet into the oven and bake for 12-15 minutes cook time or until the parmesan topping is lightly toasted. Remove from the oven. These are best served warm.
Tips & Variations
Feel free to make your Italian sausage stuffed peppers with whatever ground meat you have on hand. Lean ground beef, ground bison, ground chicken, or ground turkey also work.
If you want to make this delicious recipe even simpler, you can make these simple 3-ingredient mini stuffed peppers by using preseasoned pork, turkey, or chicken sausage at the grocery store and omitting most of the seasonings in the recipe ]. You may want to add a dash of your favorite seasonings to bring up the flavor more.
Grilled sausage stuffed mini peppers would also be a delicious treat! You can heat up your Traeger or other pellet grill to 375 degrees F and cook for 12-15 minutes.
This is a great appetizer any time of year, but it’s a nice healthy snack to make in January when everyone is back on the healthy train after the holidays.
You might also enjoy serving my healthy chicken ranch poutine alongside this appetizer!
This recipe makes 34 servings. For one serving of this recipe, the nutritional info is as follows:
- Calories: 62
- Protein: 3 grams
- Fat: 5 grams
- Carbs: 2 grams
Store leftover stuffed mini peppers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3-4 days. They reheat well in the microwave for 30-60 seconds. You can also air fry them to reheat. I usually do about 360 degrees F for about 10 minutes.
These peppers are best served hot out of the oven to prevent them from getting cold and soggy. However, if you can’t eat them all right away, you can always reheat them in the oven or air fryer (instead of a microwave) to prevent sogginess. Reheat at 350F for about 10-15 min.
Instead of cutting the top off and stuffing an entire pepper and hoping it stays balanced, cut peppers in half from top to bottom and stuff each half of the pepper. Lay the peppers down with the filling on top. The filling also cooks easier this way!
Did You Make This Recipe?
Mini peppers stuffed with sausage are my favorite healthy appetizer. I hope you’ll give them a try! If you do, please leave a comment and review! It means the world!
Stuffed Mini Peppers with Sausage
- 16 oz Mini Peppers
- 8 oz Reduced Fat Cream Cheese
- 16 oz Lean Ground Pork
Pork Seasoning Blend
- 1 tsp Dried Parsley
- 1 tsp Italian Seasoning
- 3/4 tsp Black Pepper
- 1/4 tsp Fennel Seed, crushed
- 1/2 tsp Paprika
- 1/4 tsp Red Pepper Flakes
- 1 tsp Salt
- 1/2 tsp Garlic Powder
- 1/2 tsp Onion Powder
- 1/2 cup Fresh Grated Parmesan
- Soften the cream cheese to room temperature, either by removing from the fridge an hour beforehand, or carefully soften it the microwave.
- Heat a large skillet to medium heat on the stove top. Add the ground pork and cook, crumbling apart, until no longer pink. Drain any excess fat or liquid.16 oz Lean Ground Pork
- Add the pork seasonings to the skillet of ground pork. Cook an additional 1-2 minutes while you stir the seasoning around to evenly coat. Remove from heat and set aside.1 tsp Dried Parsley, 1 tsp Italian Seasoning, 3/4 tsp Black Pepper, 1/4 tsp Fennel Seed, crushed, 1/2 tsp Paprika, 1/4 tsp Red Pepper Flakes, 1 tsp Salt, 1/2 tsp Garlic Powder, 1/2 tsp Onion Powder
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Slice your mini peppers in half length-wise. Do not de-stem. Arrange the pepper halves cut-side up on a sheet pan.16 oz Mini Peppers
- Into a medium bowl, add the cooked pork and softened cream cheese. Stir until evenly combined.16 oz Lean Ground Pork, 8 oz Reduced Fat Cream Cheese
- Scoop a spoonful into each pepper until they are filled.
- Sprinkle a little bit of grated parmesan onto each pepper half on top of the sausage mixture.1/2 cup Fresh Grated Parmesan
- Bake at 375 degrees F for 12 minutes until the parmesan is lightly toasted.
- Remove from the oven and serve while warm.