Cornbread Stuffed Bell Pepper Rings – National Cornbread Finalist Recipe!


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On April 28th I was honored to serve as a judge at the National Cornbread Festival in South Pittsburg, Tennessee. Little did I know, this would be one of the most difficult jobs I’ve ever had. I’m sure all of the judges would agree with me on that, though!

Each and every dish was truly amazing, blending new and classic flavors together in fresh and fun ways. We finally narrowed it down to three finalist but I really and truly wanted everyone to win!

Linda Carman, head of Martha White Test Kitchens, and myself as I look very serious and try to figure out how I can possibly choose a favorite recipe...

Tim Gladdish from Oliver Springs, TN developed this recipe and I'm so glad he did!

Martha White has graciously given me permission to share with you some of my favorite recipes from the competition. So I’ll be doing that the rest of the week and then sending out an exclusive recipe in my email newsletter on Friday. If you don’t subscribe by email and would like to, just click here.

Today’s recipe didn’t end up in the top three but it did make the initial top ten and was my personal favorite. I love stuffed peppers and I love cornbread. This recipe replaces the traditional rice with cornbread batter and adds in a wonderful blend of cheeses along with a really fun way to bake it.

I love how Tim made stuffed pepper rings rather than just stuffed peppers, the rings make a perfect sized side dish and allow for a yummy crust to form on the bottom when it’s cooking. The peppers themselves were cooked just enough to bring the sweetness out and soften them without letting them get mooshy.

In each of the recipes you’ll be seeing from the Cornbread Festival you’ll notice that they use a Lodge Cast Iron skillet and Martha White Cornbread mix because these were the requirements for the competition. Each recipe is so creative and delicious, I know you’re going to enjoy them!

Lets start with these stuffed pepper rings, my favorite!

Italian Sausage Stuffed Bell Pepper Rings
  • 4 tablespoons Crisco® Pure Vegetable Oil
  • 4 large green bell peppers
  • 1 (7 oz.) package Martha White® Sweet Yellow Cornbread and Muffin Mix
  • ½ cup buttermilk
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 pound ground sweet Italian sausage, browned and drained
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 2 jalapeño peppers, seeded and diced
  • 1 (10 oz.) can diced tomatoes and green chilies
  • ½ cup shredded Colby and Monterey Jack cheese blend
  • 8 slices or ½ cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  1. HEAT oven to 400°F. Put vegetable oil into 15-inch Lodge® cast iron skillet. Place in oven to heat for 7 to 8 minutes or until hot.
  2. CUT tops and bottoms off each bell pepper. Remove ribs and seeds. Cut each pepper shell into two rings.
  3. STIR together cornbread mix, buttermilk and egg in large bowl just until blended. Add sausage, onion, jalapeños, tomatoes and green chilies and shredded cheese blend. Stir until combined.
  4. PLACE pepper rings in bottom of hot skillet. Spoon sausage stuffing mixture into each pepper ring until well rounded. Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until stuffing is set and golden brown. Top each pepper with a slice of mozzarella or sprinkle shredded mozzarella on top. Bake 5 to 7 minutes until cheese is melted. Remove pepper rings from skillet with spatula. Cool 5 minutes before serving.
Makes 8 servings
*Images and recipe courtesy of Martha White


My work philosophy:
1. If you’re gonna do a job, do it with joy. 
2. If you can’t do it with joy, don’t do it. 
3. If #2 isn’t an option, see #1. 

~Source, Me :)


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  1. Delbert Hammons says

    Well I fixed it for supper as I said I would, however instead of using the sasuage I used Bufflo burger. Ummmmm was it ever good. Thanks again Christy for sharing

  2. Ginny K says

    I just participated in the “Get it Free coupons” on your website and after completing survey received a phone call pandering a product. Is this typical for this webiste?

  3. Valerie says

    I’m with Jackie, I’m ashamed to say I don’t have an iron skillet and a friend of mine recently made these and said she didn’t hav e that cornbread mix so she used jiffy and it worked just fine. She said they were delicious. She said she felt the iron skillet was important. What do you think Christy, any suggestion? Be going to my Mom’s house in West Virginia soon and I’m gonna beg for one of her skillets or go by one. Need it for a pineapple upside down cake too! 😉

    • says

      I didn’t use an iron skillet either. I just used a cake pan, but I cooked the bell peppers in the pan where I browned the meat for a couple minutes to give it a little bit of a charred taste. They turned out great!

    • Jo Woodiel says

      The local flea markets are the best places to buy good old cast iron skillets that are already seasoned and well used, Look for one with a smooth surface inside, not a pebbled finish. Many people throw them aside when the outside gets baked-on grease accumulated, Either heat in your outdoor grill and scrape off with a sharp knife, or spray oven cleaner on outside and scrape. Then wash in hot soapy water,,rinse, dry and grease lightly; never put your cast iron in the dishwasher. If your cast iron begins to rust or stick, wash and dry, rub with unsalted shortening or cooking oil with a wad of paper towel, place in medium or low heated oven for a while to re season your cast iron skillet.

  4. Carole says

    My husband loves stuffed bell peppers so I know I have to try this recipe. I make a cornbread with Sauage, tomatoes and chiles, onions, jalapenos and cheese. all done in an iron skillet. I have just about any iron skilled you could want. I cook in them everyday, love them…

  5. Amy says

    I am making these tonight, smells sooo good!! I used hot breakfast sausage, and partially drained my rotel, My corbread pack was 6.5 oz, so I added a few tablespoons of cormeal mix. I am not sure if my mixture was a little runnier than it should be or not, but I can see why you would preheat the skillet, to seal the bottom?? I think it will taste delicious, cant wait to try it! Your recipes are always awesome Christy, so I know this will be great!

  6. says

    I am so thankful I found this recipe! We have an abundance of peppers from our garden and I was looking for a stuffed pepper recipe and found the article about the contest and this recipe. Printed the recipe and immediately got the ingredients that I did not have on hand. Cooked the peppers and they were great success, everyone enjoyed them. Shared recipe with daughters and with friends. Recipe definitely a keeper and has already been enjoyed at my house on four occassions. Thanks for a great recipe!


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