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Nanny’s Italian Stuffed Peppers - A Family Feast

A few weeks ago, I drove Jack’s mother (our beloved Nanny) to a family baby shower. During our ride, Nanny mentioned that she had recently given her Italian Stuffed Peppers recipe to my nephew Kevin, who had moved across the country to live in California.

Anytime there is talk about family recipes being shared – my ears perk up! And in this case – for years – I’ve heard my husband Jack talk very fondly about Nanny’s Italian Stuffed Peppers. So of course, I asked for the recipe too! Jack grew up with this wonderful recipe, and anytime he walked in the door and smelled the aroma of green bell peppers frying in the kitchen – he knew he was home, and he knew what was going to be served for dinner.

Nanny's Italian Stuffed Peppers - A recipe passed down through generations, these stuffed peppers have a delicious bread stuffing inside tender bell peppers.

This Italian Stuffed Peppers recipe was passed down to Nanny by her Italian mother-in-law. (Jack jokes that his grandmother probably said something to Nanny along the lines of, “You wanna marry my son, then you gotta to learn how to cook my stuffed peppers for him!”) 😉

Nanny’s Italian Stuffed Peppers  are unlike most other stuffed peppers recipes, where instead of a rice and beef mixture inside the bell pepper – the peppers are filled with a super flavorful bread stuffing as well as a little tomato sauce!  The flavors are unique and incredibly delicious, with a slightly sweet, moist bread stuffing that has golden raisins in the mix as well as Italian bread crumbs, Romano cheese and other seasonings.  The bell peppers are caramelized – first from frying them on top of the stove, then even more as they bake until soft and tender.

Nanny's Italian Stuffed Peppers - A recipe passed down through generations, these stuffed peppers have a delicious bread stuffing inside tender bell peppers.

Even now, when these Italian Stuffed Peppers came out of the oven, Jack said to me, “Smells like home!”

But – here’s proof that you’re never too old to learn from your Mom. And like many family recipes, sometimes you need a few extra pointers from the expert!  After our first attempt at recreating Nanny’s Italian Stuffed Peppers and following her recipe, Jack brought some of the peppers over to his parents’ house so Nanny could critique them. She told Jack that his peppers were too big (you want to select smaller bell peppers) and stuffed too densely (don’t over pack the stuffing in the peppers). She also told him that he didn’t fry them long enough, and gave him a few additional pointers which we’ve included in the recipe below.  (But she did tell Jack, “Good first effort!”) 🙂

Nanny's Italian Stuffed Peppers - A recipe passed down through generations, these stuffed peppers have a delicious bread stuffing inside tender bell peppers.

So taking all of the constructive criticism, Jack made batch two (photographed here in this post) which was much closer to Nanny’s version of Italian Stuffed Peppers – and it got thumbs up. Yeah!

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Nanny’s Italian Stuffed Peppers - A Family Feast

Nanny’s Italian Stuffed Peppers

  • Prep Time: 15 mins
  • Cook Time: 1 hour 30 mins
  • Total Time: 1 hour 45 minutes
  • Yield: 5-6 peppers


Note: When selecting your green bell peppers for this recipe, try to select smaller peppers with smooth sides and no large ribs. If small, the stuffing will fill six, if medium-sized, it will fill five. Try to avoid the very large bell peppers.


  • 56 green bell peppers, see note
  • ½ pound Italian bread, crusts removed, cut into small pieces
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 ½ cups golden raisins
  • 2 whole eggs, slightly beaten
  • ¾ cup Romano cheese, grated, plus more for serving
  • ½ cup Italian bread crumbs
  • 2 ½ cups tomato sauce, divided
  • 1 ½ teaspoons garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ cup extra virgin olive oil, divided


  1. Cut tops off of peppers and remove all seeds and ribs, set aside.
  2. Place bread in a large bowl and cover with milk, making sure the bread gets all soaked. Let sit 10 minutes.
  3. With your hands or a wooden spoon, mash bread and milk to form a thick wet mash.
  4. Add raisins, eggs, cheese, bread crumbs, ½ cup of the tomato sauce, garlic powder, Italian seasoning and black pepper and mix to combine.
  5. Spoon a tablespoon of oil in each pepper and swirl around, then place a tablespoon of sauce in the bottom of each cavity.
  6. Divide the filling between the peppers, loosely packed.
  7. Heat a cast iron skillet over medium heat and add all but two tablespoons of the olive oil to the pan.
  8. Once hot, place peppers into oil on their sides and over 25-30 minutes, cook and turn until all of the skin has been browned, including the bottoms.
  9. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  10. In a casserole dish large enough to hold the peppers, place a cup of tomato sauce on the bottom and as each pepper is browned, place face up into the prepared casserole dish.
  11. Drizzle about a teaspoon of olive oil over each and top with the remaining sauce.
  12. Cover with parchment and foil and bake for one hour.
  13. Serve immediately with additional tomato sauce and grated Romano cheese.

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Nanny's Italian Stuffed Peppers - A recipe passed down through generations, these stuffed peppers have a delicious bread stuffing inside tender bell peppers.

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  • Arlene M. Puliafico wrote:

    This was the best stuff pepper recipe I’ve ever made. I did not have raisins, but I did have raisins bread. I also added some pizza cheese. I did not think the frying first part would make a difference, boy was I wrong. The peppers were so tender and sweet. I used red, orange, and green. Thanks for sharing a “treasured” recipe.

    • Martha wrote:

      You’re very welcome Arlene! So glad you enjoyed the recipe as much as we do! <3

  • Anthony C Falcone wrote:

    The bread stuff pepper recipe is like my mother’s recipe. I’m going to try them tonigjt.

    • Martha wrote:

      We hope our version is as good as your mother’s recipe Anthony!

  • Richard Kunta wrote:

    The only thing I could think to say is AMAZING! I felt like I was a kid again standing on grandma’s kitchen . THANK YOU

    • Jack wrote:

      Richard, this is Jack. Appreciate the reply. I grew up with these peppers and even today, my mother, who is in her 80s, still makes it for my father who is also in his 80s.

  • joseph stengal wrote:

    you left out chopped parsley to the stuffing mix, ANY italian would NEVER leave out parsley

    • Jack wrote:

      That is because my mother is French Canadian and Canadian Indian and this is her recipe. My dad is Italian and if I was making his recipe for stuffed peppers, I would pick fresh Italian parsley which grows in a pot on my kitchen window in the winter.


  • Margaret Davis wrote:

    Hi there not sure if me and three others don’t see how much meat to use? I am guessing with a half pd per pepper maybe twos odd per four pepper

    • Martha wrote:

      Hi Margaret – In this recipe, there isn’t meat in the stuffing – just bread!

  • Gale wrote:

    I recently made these peppers for my family. They were picture perfect and so delicious they disappeared in no time at all with many requests that we have them again soon, very soon!

    • Martha wrote:

      Thank you so much Gale! We’re so glad you enjoyed the recipe (and we’ll be sure to let Nanny know too!) 🙂

  • Tina wrote:

    My Mother made stuffed peppers with red bell peppers, green olives, Italian bread, capers, Italian seasonings olive oil and topped it with a little sauce. Your recipe is very close to Hers, I enjoyed it very much. Brought back so many good memories. Thanks you.

    • Martha wrote:

      You’re very welcome Tina! Such nice memories! So glad you enjoyed the recipe.

  • Carol wrote:

    I can’t wait to try these stuffed peppers. I always loved them but since nobody else in my home likes them I’ll be able to have them all to myself. Thanks for Nanny’s recipe. Oh, by the way, I thought you would be interested to know my grandchildren call me “Nanny” as well.

    • Martha wrote:

      We hope you love the peppers Carol! 🙂

  • Victor Mollozzi wrote:

    My grandparents from each side came from Italy in about 1905. My grandmother used to make meatballs with ground beef and ground Italian pork sausage, golden raisins and roasted pine nuts. (plus eggs, Italian bread crumbs, etc)

    I modified your recipe and included one pound of ground mild Italian sausage and a half a cup of roasted pine nuts.

    I had some friends over for dinner and they loved it so much they took the recipe home with them. I hope someone will try it with the sausage and pine nuts. It’s great !!

    Thank you for posting this !!!


    • Martha wrote:

      Your grandmother’s version sounds wonderful Victor! We will definitely try that the next time we make the recipe! Thank you for sharing!

  • Kody Loveless wrote:

    This looks so good. I am going to stop by the market and get myself some fresh bell peppers on the way home from work. I bet my wife will love these. I like how I can just through them in the oven once I am done as well. Seems like a great way to go. I will have to try this out, and see if it is any good. If it is I am sure I will add it to my weekly meal list.

    • Martha wrote:

      Thanks Kody! Hope you enjoy the recipe!

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