If there is one thing that we can grow in our garden it is jalapenos. Each year we get a great abundance of them. We make a lot of salsa which uses some of them and I also pickle them because my husband likes them. By far, my favorite way to use them is in this sausage stuffed jalapeños.
Even just a couple of jalapeno plants gives my mom and I more than we can handle. They just seem to really love the soil that we have and produce so many we can barely stay on top of them. They are one of those plants that we have to go pick every day to make sure that none of them go to waste. We prefer to pick them rather small too. Sometimes at the grocery store they have peppers that are the length of my palm! This is too large for us. We prefer to pick them when they are still around, or slightly smaller, than pinky length. We’ve found that the bigger they get the less flavor that they tend to have. Picking them when they are smaller gives them a little more kick to them.
How to Freeze Jalapeños
Once they are ready for picking we sit down with a bowl of them at the patio table and start cutting. We cut the top off, half them, and pull out the middle. The key to making sure that they aren’t too hot is to make sure the seeds are out. The hottest part of the pepper is the seed. Plus, all of that needs to be gone from the middle so that we have room for all of the stuffing. Once cut we throw them in a strainer. A quick rinse helps to get all of the excess seeds off too. Once rinsed we lay them out on a sheet pan. Then just throw that sheet pan in the freezer for 24 hours. You can leave them for a couple of days but if you leave them too long they will shrivel up. Once they are totally frozen you can break them up and put them in a freezer bag. You could use plastic containers too if you want. However, in our experience, bags are better.
The peppers will still let off their smell in the freezer. That means if you leave them in a container for a length of time that container will always smell like peppers. If you are using it year after year for peppers then go for it. The other reason I prefer bags because I can put them off by themselves. I make sure that they aren’t near our ice or bread that could absorb the pepper smell/flavor too. I prefer to keep these in our deep freezer for that reason. The other thing that will happen is freezer burn. No matter how many times we’ve done this we still end up with some freezer burn. I think it’s because I pull the bag in and out of the freezer so many times while I’m prepping them for baking. It would probably work best to just pull out a select amount but you honestly never know how many you will need. This recipe calls for stuffing as many as you have the filling for.
Ingredients for Sausage Stuffed Jalapeños
1lb ground Italian sausage
1 cup grated or shredded parmesan cheese
1 8oz package of cream cheese
1-2 dozen frozen or fresh jalapeños
Cook ground sausage in a skillet until it is no longer pink. Add the cream cheese and parmesan cheese and cook on low until it’s all combined. Preheat the oven to 350.
If you are using fresh jalapenos you need to cut them into halves and remove the “guts.” Make sure all of the seeds are washed out of your halves. If you are using frozen you can skip this because your peppers will already be in halves.
Stuff your pepper halves with the sausage mixture. Arrange them on a baking stone or baking sheet. Once all of the peppers have been stuffed, put them in the oven and bake for 45-60 minutes.
Tips & Tricks
We have found that using a baking stone works best for this recipe. A baking sheet will do the job but not as good. The peppers tend to get a little more mushy on the baking sheet. The stone helps them to hold their shape a little better. Baking stones can be expensive but I was extremely happy when I finally invested in a stone and use it every time for these! These ones from California Pizza Stones are great quality and made in the USA!
I don’t really measure my parmesan! I just dump some in until it looks like enough. In my personal opinion, things can’t have enough cheese. I’ve added quite a bit and I promise these have turned out great every time. I usually use grated parmesan but I have used shredded too. The only difference with the shredded cheese is that the filling is stringy. It was a little more difficult to get the peppers stuffed but I liked the taste even more.
These are the best for a party and I’ve gotten some pretty rave reviews. We like to call it Russian Roulette because sometimes they are savory and sometimes they are hot. Sometimes they are really hot. For a fun weekend meal my husband and I will have a salad with some of these sausage stuffed jalapeños too. However you choose to eat them, I hope you enjoy them!
Sausage Stuffed Jalapeños
- 1 Lb Italian Sausage
- 1 Cup Grated Parmesan
- 8 OZ Cream Cheese
- 2 Dozen Jalapeños
- Cook sausage until no longer pink.
- Add the cream cheese and the parmesan cheese.
- Preheat oven to 350.
- If you are using fresh jalapeños prepare them by washing them, removing the seeds, and cutting them in half.
- Stuff each pepper half with the sausage mixture.
- Place the peppers on a stone baking pan.
- Once all peppers have been stuffed bake them for 45-60 minutes.