Wild Rice and Sausage Stuffed Peppers with Pesto

Easy wild rice and sausage stuffed peppers, with basil pesto and parmesan, are healthy, full of flavor, and make a wonderful weeknight dinner.

Easy Wild Rice and Sausage Stuffed Peppers with Pesto via forkknifeswoon.com | @forkknifeswoon

After reading this article (ignoring the accompanying snarky comments), I was reminded that sometimes it’s important to  just cook. From scratch. Or mostly. Even on those nights when we’re tired and overwhelmed and don’t particularly feel like cooking dinner at all. That trying new recipes and cooking wholesome, homecooked meals is something to be proud of.

And while whipping up a spatchcocked chicken in gravy isn’t a realistic weeknight dinner option for most people, myself included, I appreciate the sentiment of just saying yes to cooking simple, satisfying, healthy meals, at home.

These rice and sausage stuffed peppers, are totally do-able on a weeknight. I bet you already have most of the ingredients on hand, you can assemble them in advance, and the filling is super flexible – i.e. great for using up leftovers.

Easy Wild Rice and Sausage Stuffed Peppers with Pesto via forkknifeswoon.com | @forkknifeswoon

If peppers aren’t your thing, the rice and sausage filling would also be delicious stuffed inside tomatoes, zucchini, or mushrooms; simply adjust the cooking time as needed. The peppers fit right into the seasonal transition we’re in right now; the dish utilizes vibrant, end-of-Summer produce, but still feels comforting and hearty enough for these cooler first days of Fall.

Also, at the gentle (and not so gentle) prodding from many of you over the last year, including my own Aunt (Jane, I’m lookin’ at you!), I have decided to start adding the nutritional information for all new Fork Knife Swoon recipes. Please think of these calculated estimates as guidelines, until we can all cook together with the exact same ingredients! I will also be slowly updating older recipes with nutritional info as well. It’s a bit of a laborious process so please bear with me, and hopefully you’ll find this a welcome addition!

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Easy Wild Rice and Sausage Stuffed Peppers with Pesto via forkknifeswoon.com | @forkknifeswoon

Wild Rice and Sausage Stuffed Peppers

  • Author: Fork Knife Swoon
  • Prep Time: 30 mins
  • Cook Time: 30 mins
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 6 Servings 1x


  • 2 cups (cooked) long grain or wild rice
  • 6 bell peppers
  • olive oil, for the baking dish
  • 1 lb (5-6 links) sweet or hot Italian-style chicken sausage
  • 1 small yellow onion, minced
  • 2 tsp fresh garlic, minced
  • 1/41/2 cup basil pesto (store-bought or homemade)
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan, plus more for serving
  • kosher salt and freshly-ground black pepper, to taste


  1. Cook the rice, according to package directions. Set aside. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Cut the tops off of the peppers, and remove the seeds and white pith. Rinsing under water can help to remove stubborn seeds. Drizzle the bottom of a large oven safe casserole dish with olive oil, just enough to coat. Arrange the peppers in the dish. Set aside.
  3. Cook the sausage in a large skillet over medium heat until browned and cooked through. As the sausage cooks, use a spatula to break it into small pieces. Drain excess grease, as needed; the sausage will brown faster in less liquid. Add the onion and garlic, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion softens, about 2-3 minutes.
  4. Remove from the heat, add the rice and the pesto, and stir to combine. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
  5. Fill the peppers with the sausage/rice mixture, and top with a sprinkling of Parmesan. Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 15 minutes. Remove the foil and bake uncovered for an additional 15-20 minutes, until the cheese is melted and golden, and the peppers are cooked through (Think fork tender, not mushy). Serve warm.


  • Serving Size: 1 Stuffed Pepper
  • Calories: 240
  • Sugar: 7g
  • Fat: 10g
  • Carbohydrates: 23g
  • Fiber: 3.75g
  • Protein: 15g


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  1. 4.20.15
    sarah said:

    made these for dinner tonight. huge hit, we all loved them!

    • 4.20.15
      Laura said:

      Thanks, Sarah! So glad you loved them!!

  2. 11.26.14
    Emily said:

    These were great, but I made some modifications: I made white rice along with the wild rice, because, although I was sure the wild rice would taste like boiled twigs, I still wanted to give it a fair turn. The whole lot went directly in the trash, and I stuck with white rice. I also used an entire cup of pesto, as I kept testing the flavor as I added more and more pesto, and it just wasn’t pesto-y enough for me! Next time, I won’t add salt to the mixture either, because with the addition of the Parmesan, the saltiness was like WHOA. Good stuff, though! Thanks for sharing. 🙂

  3. 9.25.14

    These stuffed peppers look incredible! I do 90% of my cooking from scratch, if not all of it. I guess there are times I rely on good ‘ol Trader Joe’s for pre-made fried rice and tater tots. My weaknesses 😉

  4. 9.25.14
    Laura said:

    Thank you, Rachel! I find cooking relaxing too, especially with a nice glass of wine! 🙂

  5. 9.24.14
    Jaclyn said:

    Your peppers look gorgeous! You should totally teach food photography classes (if you don’t already), I would love to go!

    • 9.25.14
      Laura said:

      You are so sweet, Jaclyn! Thank you!

  6. 9.24.14

    Beautiful Laura! I’ve toyed around with the idea of adding nutritional information as well…Haven’t taken the plunge yet!

    • 9.24.14
      Laura said:

      Thanks, Nicole! I held off on the nutritional info for a looong time… It’s kind of a pain to do, but I’ve had so many readers ask for it, I decided to finally take the plunge.

  7. 9.24.14

    This is a perfect transition food into fall… looks so comforting! And love that you are adding in nutritional info too… I totally gotta look into doing that!

Hi! I'm Laura, the food-obsessed cook, writer, and photographer behind Fork Knife Swoon, where you'll find mostly sweet, seasonal recipes and stories from my Northern Virginia kitchen.

All photography and content copyright Laura Bolton ©2021.