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Easy Pesto Stuffed Peppers

An image of prepared Easy Pesto Stuffed Peppers made with orzo, bell peppers, chicken sausage, Prego® Creamy Basil Pesto Sauce and mozzarella.
  • prep time: 15 min
  • total time: 50 min
  • serves: 4 people

Stuffed peppers are a classic comfort food.  Easy Pesto Stuffed Peppers is an improvement on the classic, since you use creamy pesto sauce and orzo for the filling, instead of tomato-based sauce and rice.  Creamy sauce and comfort go hand-in-hand!  Sauteed chicken sausage, onion, creamy pesto sauce and mozzarella cheese are stuffed into bell pepper halves and sprinkled with seasoned panko and baked until the panko topping is crispy.  Another perk? It's on the table in under an hour!


  • 3/4 cup uncooked orzo pasta
  • 4 large orange and/or yellow bell pepper, cut in half lengthwise and seeded
  • 12 ounces Italian-style chicken sausage, turkey sausage or pork sausage, casings removed
  • 1 large onion, minced (about 1 cup)
  • 1 jar (14.5 ounces) Prego® Creamy Basil Pesto Sauce
  • 3/4 cup shredded part skim mozzarella cheese
  • 1/4 cup plain panko
  • 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil


  • Tips

    • If using chicken Italian sausage, heat an additional 1 tablespoon olive oil in the skillet before adding the sausage.
  • Step 1

    Cook and drain the orzo according to the package directions.  While the orzo is cooking, heat the oven to 425°F.  Arrange the peppers, cut-side up, on a rimmed baking sheet.  Spray the peppers with cooking spray and season with salt and black pepper.

  • Step 2

    Bake the peppers for 15 minutes.  While the peppers are baking, cook the sausage and onion in a 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat until the sausage is well browned, stirring often to separate meat.  Pour off any fat.

  • Step 3

    Add the sauce to the skillet and heat to a boil.  Stir in the cooked orzo and mozzarella cheese.  Season to taste.  Spoon the sausage mixture into the peppers.  Mix the panko, Parmesan cheese and oil in a small bowl and season with black pepper.  Sprinkle the panko mixture over the stuffed peppers.

  • Step 4

    Bake for 15 minutes or until the stuffed peppers are tender and the panko mixture is golden brown.

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