I just love having fresh vegetables from my garden in the summertime! Gardening brings me so much happiness!! But it’s always so sad when they’re finally done and I have to pull them all up. I always dread that day, and it seems to be right around the corner this year! (Where did summer run off to so quickly??) But for now, I’m fully enjoying every single moment and every single sweet red cubanelle my pepper plants give me!! Though we of course enjoy all of the tomatoes, herbs, and everything else I grow, it’s the crimson-red peppers we wait most anxiously for!! Because their flesh is thinner than bell peppers, they’re much quicker and easier to bake after stuffing with wonderful fillings! After creating Homemade Taco and Philly Cheesesteak-style stuffed pepper recipes for these bejeweled and coveted magic peppers from my garden in the past, this time I decided to do pizza-style in STYLE! I had been secretly BINGEING for a pizza, and this idea sounded perfect for a Friday night!! So, Four Meat Four Cheese Stuffed Pizza Peppers was about to be one of the best recipes I’ve made from those peppers yet! OH, yea. (!!!) 😉
So. Though I have a few ripe tomatoes left in my basket on the hutch, (tons yet to go on my plants but not ready yet), and lots of jars of sauces that I’ve made over the summer with most of them, (now frozen in the back freezer for winter), with ALL THAT tomato “stuff”, I forgot to thaw a jar! So, I went to my own blog, as I actually do a lot for my go-to recipes that I thankfully now have all written down, (and can now make in a flash instead of having to fiddle with them every time I go to make them!), and pulled up my handy, Easy Quick Pizza Sauce that I rely on in a pinch. Wa-lah. Done. I love having a blog! (And I hope that you’re enjoying it, too!!)
This easy pizza sauce simply uses stewed tomatoes, tomato paste and a small gathering of herbs and spices. It’s thick, rich, chunky, and one of the secrets to my pizzas that I’ve been making since my 20’s!! So maybe this was a good thing. Because not everyone has their own garden, and this way, too, you can make this all year long, any time you want!
So, anyways, whip up the pizza sauce, cover it, and set it aside.
Next, dice up some whole pepperoni. I highly recommend using a nice whole one over the thinly pre-sliced. It was a nice-sized sausage, and I only needed half of it! So it’s actually just as economical as the el cheapo stuff! And then, the other 4 ounces will be used in my next recipe! 😉 You could of course wrap it, pop it into a freezer baggie, and freeze it for a later use, too! 😉
Just break up the Italian sausage and lean ground beef WELL into a deep frying pan and give it a good toss and stir to mix it all together. This is a little tedious, but if you just turn some music on and have fun, the smaller you break up eat the meat, then combine them together gently, the better it will be! ALL of that yummy sauce coming will be able to wrap each morsel with flavor, and the sausage and the beef will taste perfect together. Not too strong of just eating gobs of sausage, and NOT bites of hamburger and spicy sausage separately, where one bite is strong, and the other weak, but as one great flavor together! Trust me on this!! It makes a huge difference. And of course, keep breaking up the meats a bit as it cooks. Just as you normally would.
It should look like this (after cooking and simmering with the sauce):
Once you break up the sausage and beef, add the seasonings, sauté until the meats are done, drain the grease, and stir in the pizza sauce, a little water and thickeners. Bring back to a simmer, and simmer just as you would if you were making a batch of tacos. The water is for thinning out and distributing the flour and cornstarch so that the mixture can reduce and thicken into a sauce as the water evaporates, as well as cook the dry herbs, incorporating and fusing together all of the wonderful flavors!
When that’s done, fold in the chopped pepperoni and canadian-style bacon!
The filling when completely finished:
Cubanelles, as I’ve mentioned on my blog many times, are by far my favorite garden pepper. They’re extremely easy to grow, and I simply grow them in large half-barrels right out on my deck! They’re not hot, and actually very sweet and mild originating from Cuba, and Central and South America. You can eat them when they’re still green, but we love them best after they’ve turned their brilliant, crimson red color! They have thinner flesh, so they’re perfect for stuffing! They don’t take nearly as long to bake!
Peppers in general are so easy to grow, that you can find about any kind you want year round right at your local grocery store. If you can’t find cubanelles, just use whatever you enjoy. Bell peppers would be a wonderful choice. They have thicker flesh and make take longer to cook to be crisp-tender and just soft enough that they’re enjoyable, so I would recommend microwaving them a few minutes, letting them cool, then proceeding. Unless you enjoy them a bit crunchy. Delicious that way, too.
So just slice the cubanelles in half lengthwise right through the stems, and clean out the seeds and membranes.
Fill them with your cooked and cooled meat filling…..
…and top with any extra ingredients someone may want such as pineapple, mushrooms, anchovies, jalapeños, or any other topping you enjoy on your pizza!
Pop them into the oven and bake them for 20 minutes….
…then pile them with your cheese mixture of shredded mozzarella, provolone, monterey jack and parmesan!
Sprinkle them with a tiny bit of garlic salt and a few pinches of dried oregano, and any last ingredients you’d like on top of the cheese. One of our favorites is sliced black olives!
Then just pop them back into the oven and bake until the cheese is nice and melty! This should only take another 10 – 12 minutes, and supper is ready!! Serve this with garlic bread and a tossed salad with one of my homemade salad dressings (19 so far on my blog for you!), and you’ve got a whole pizzeria-style dinner fit for a Friday night or tailgating party!
Don’t they look delicious?!!!!
Full-flavor pizza taste, without the crust!! Four cheeses! Four meats! GREAT sauce! All piled into garden fresh, sweet red peppers! What’s not to love?? 🙂
Be sure to save this recipe to Pinterest to make SOON!
These were a “grand slam” as my hubby put it!
Other stuffed pepper recipes you might like!
* Mexican Stuffed Cubanelle Peppers Grande
* Easy Philly Cheesesteak Stuffed Cubanelle Peppers
* Cheesy Chicken Enchilada Stuffed Peppers
* Pizzeria-Style Sausage & Pepperoni Goulash Stuffed Peppers Smothered with Five Italian Cheeses
- For Meats:
- 1 lb. mild or spicy ground italian sausage
- 1 lb. lean hamburger
- 2 tsp. dried oregano
- 1 tsp. dried basil
- 1 tsp. whole fennel seed
- ½ tsp. garlic salt
- ½ tsp. coarse ground black pepper
- ½ tsp. garlic powder
- ¼ tsp. cayenne
- ¼ lb. pepperoni, small diced or chopped
- 4 slices (2 oz.) canadian-style bacon, cut into small squares
- For Pizza Sauce:
- 1 (14.5 oz) can Hunt's Stewed Tomatoes (with the juice), break up with your hands
- 1 (6 oz.) can Hunt's paste
- 1 tsp. ground 100% REAL parmesan cheese (or very finely grated from a wedge), or asiago
- ½ tsp. dried basil
- ½ tsp. dried oregano
- ¼ tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
- ⅛ tsp. garlic powder
- ⅛ tsp. regular table salt
- ⅛ tsp. coarse ground black pepper
- 1/16 tsp. sugar
- Rest of Ingredients:
- 1 Tbl. flour
- 1 Tbl. cornstarch
- 1½ cups water
- 1 (16 oz.) bag quality shredded mozzarella and provolone blend cheese such as Sargento's
- 1 cup grated monterey jack cheese
- ¼ - ½ cup fresh-grated real parmesan or asiago cheese, to taste
- garlic salt and dried oregano
- 6 - 8 sweet red cubanelle peppers, sliced in half lengthwise, membranes and seeds cleaned out
- To Cook Meats:
- In large deep frying pan, add sausage and hamburger, breaking up into very small pieces and tossing together well to mix. Sprinkle evenly with oregano, basil, fennel, garlic salt, pepper and garlic powder. Toss to mix. Can do in bowl or right in pan, then heat and sauté over medium-high, lowering to medium as it cooks, and sauté, breaking up as you cook, until done. Remove from heat. Drain grease, leaving spices and fennel seeds behind with meat. Sprinkle meat mixture evenly with flour and cornstarch, stir to coat. Stir in pizza sauce and water. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and simmer (stirring) for 15 minutes until thick, rich and saucy. Stir in diced pepperoni and canadian-style bacon. Remove from heat, cover, and set aside.
- For Pizza Sauce:
- In medium bowl, add stewed tomatoes with the juice. Break up tomatoes into small pieces just using your hands. Sauce will resemble salsa. *Size of tomato pieces are up to you. (*Sauce will be thick after you add the tomato paste).
- Add tomato paste on top in dollops, add rest of ingredients.
- Stir well until combined. Sauce should be thick, rich, and still full of small to medium-sized chunks of tomato.
- To Finish:
- Preheat oven to 350º F (making sure rack is in the center of oven).
- Slice peppers in half lengthwise right through stems. Clean out seeds and membranes and place onto baking sheet. (Only prepare as many as going to be eaten at the time). Fill peppers with meat filling. Top with any additional toppings such as pineapple. When oven is done preheating, pop into oven and bake for 20 minutes. Remove from oven, top each with cheeses pre-tossed together in a bowl, sprinkle with a little garlic salt if desired. Top with additional toppings such as sliced olives, jalapeños, etc., sprinkle with a little dried oregano if desired. Place back into oven and bake another 10 - 12 minutes until cheese is fully melted.
- Serve hot with garlic bread, and a tossed salad with one of my homemade salad dressings! Enjoy!
fresh pineapple chunks, sliced black and/or pimiento-stuffed green olives, coarse-chopped fresh mushrooms, onions, hot peppers, anchovies (or *any other ingredient you enjoy on your pizza!)