These sausage stuffed peppers are simple to make and packed with flavor from the Italian sausage, cheddar cheese, tomatoes, and garlic. They make a fun and colorful family meal!
If you don't have cooked rice, make some (this step can be done a day or two ahead). I usually just make 1/2 cup uncooked rice which ends up making a bit more than you need for this recipe, and then I use the rest for other things.
Preheat the oven to 400F and move the rack to the middle position. Meanwhile, prep your ingredients. Cut the tops off the peppers as if you were carving a pumpkin (try to do it as evenly as possible so the filling doesn't fall out). Remove any seeds. Chop up the usable stuff from the pepper tops (you'll add it to the filling).
Place the peppers cut-side up in a baking dish (mine was a 9x13). Pour one cup of water into the bottom of the dish (the peppers will steam and cook faster).
Add the oil, onion, and chopped up pepper tops to a skillet. Sauté over medium-high heat for 5 minutes.
Add the sausage meat to the skillet. Cook it, breaking up the sausage meat as you go along, until it's browned and cooked through (about 8 minutes). Spoon out most of the fat.
Stir in the garlic and diced tomatoes and give it a good stir. If there's lots of liquid, let some of it cook off, but we do want some moisture in the peppers, so don't let it go dry.
Stir in the cooked rice and 1/2 of the cheese. Season the mixture with salt & pepper as needed. Spoon the mixture equally into each pepper.
Cover the baking dish with foil. Place it in the oven and bake for 40 minutes.
Take the dish out of the oven. The peppers should be still a little bit firm to the touch (we don't want them going limp and falling apart). Sprinkle the rest of the cheese over top. Return the peppers to the oven for another 5-10 minutes or until the cheese is melted.