Classic Stuffed Peppers are a flavorful combination of seasoned ground beef, diced veggies, and rice, all stuffed inside a hollowed bell pepper, topped with cheese, and baked until fork tender.
This simple recipe is so quick and easy to make and offers plenty of options to pick your own ingredients that meet your dietary restrictions and preferred tastes.
Table of Contents
- Easy Recipe for Stuffed Peppers
- Why we love Stuffed Peppers with Rice
- Stuffed Peppers Ingredients
- Substitutions and Additions
- Recommended Tools
- How To Make Stuffed Peppers with Rice
- Stuffed Pepper Recipe Tips
- Storage Tips
- Stuffed Peppers Recipe with Rice FAQs
- More Great Dinner Recipes
- Stuffed Pepper Recipe with Rice Recipe
Easy Recipe for Stuffed Peppers
This retro Stuffed Peppers recipe contains the classic filling of beef, rice, and cheese, but I’ve updated the traditional version to make it more versatile so you can easily mix up the meat, blend of herbs and spices, grain and cheese.
While many stuffed bell peppers boil the peppers first, I prefer to steam once stuffed and use the colorful, empty veggies as vessels for the flavorful filling and then bake them into the best stuffed peppers that taste absolutely delicious.
Quickly browning the beef before baking and seasoning the meat mixture with some garlic and added spice is the perfect way to complement the sweetness of the bell peppers.
These stuffed peppers with rice and cheese make a complete, balanced, family-friendly meal, featuring plenty of protein, whole grains, and veggies that are loaded with vitamins and fiber (and flavor too!).
Why we love Stuffed Peppers with Rice
- Quick and easy to prepare in 20 minutes.
- Uses simple ingredients that you can swap to meet your personal preferences.
- Gluten-free recipe that can be tweaked to make it vegan, vegetarian, and/or low-carb.
- All-in-one healthy meal the entire family will love.
- Hearty, satiating, delicious dinner that is full of protein, whole grains, and veggies.
- Perfect to serve for a weeknight supper that can be made ahead or prepared as a freezer meal.
More Stuffed Favorites!
Stuffed Peppers Ingredients
- Bell peppers
- Yellow onion diced
- Olive oil
- Lean ground beef
- Minced garlic
- Can petite diced tomatoes
- Long grain white rice
- Kosher salt
- Ground black pepper
- Red pepper flakes
- Parmesan cheese
- Mozzarella cheese
Substitutions and Additions
- Pick Your Pepper: You can use any color of bell peppers that you prefer. I like to use a variety when I make mine; it makes for a really pretty-looking dinner.
- Replace The White Rice: You can substitute the white rice for brown rice, wild rice, or jasmine rice, or make your stuffed peppers without rice and use quinoa, farro, or cauliflower rice(for a low-carb option).
- Choose Your Cheese: I love the parmesan and mozzarella combination in this recipe. They also tend to melt really well. However, you can also use a variety of other cheeses such as cheddar, provolone, Colby jack, or even pepper jack if you want a bit of spice!
- Pick Your Protein: Feel free to swap ground beef for ground turkey, ground chicken, ground pork, or meatless crumbles.
- Make It Without Meat: Don’t eat meat? No problem! You can make a meatless filling mixture with beans, tofu, extra veggies, or your favorite meat alternative.
- Vegan/Vegetarian/Dairy-Free Version: Omit the meat and dairy cheese and make your stuffed pepper mixture with your favorite vegan protein, veggies, and non-dairy cheese. Or you can omit the cheese altogether and top the finished peppers with something saucy or creamy, like guacamole, salsa, non-dairy yogurt, or vegan sour cream.
- Sharp knife
- 9×9 baking dish
- Large skillet
- Wooden spoon
- Aluminum foil
How To Make Stuffed Peppers with Rice
- Prepare The Peppers: Cut the tops off each bell pepper and dice the pepper flesh around the stem. Remove the insides of each pepper and place them standing upright in the baking dish.
Pro Tip: If the bottoms of the peppers do not sit flat, carefully slice a thin amount off the bottoms.
- Cook The Veggies: Sautee the onion and diced pepper tops in olive oil, stirring often for 5-7 minutes, until softened and opaque.
- Brown The Beef: Add the ground beef and garlic to the veggies and cook until the beef has completely browned.
- Make The Filling Mixture: Drain the ground beef mixture and stir in the diced tomatoes and cooked rice. Add the salt, black pepper, oregano, and red pepper flakes, stir to combine, and reduce the heat to low. Allow the ground beef mixture to cook for another 5 minutes before removing it from the heat.
- Fill: Evenly each pepper with the ground beef mixture and top with parmesan cheese and mozzarella cheese on top of the peppers.
- Pro Tip: The cheese should lightly cover the filling so that the filling slightly pops through the gooey cheese.
- Bake: Pour water into the bottom of the pan, cover with foil and bake at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 35 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for an additional 10 minutes.
- Serve: Serve while hot. Enjoy!
Stuffed Pepper Recipe Tips
- When selecting bell peppers, look for peppers that are bright, shiny and firm. They should not have wrinkled skin, soft spots, or moldy stems.
- Make sure to add water into the bottom of the pan to help steam the stuffed peppers.
- Don’t overbake your peppers! They will get mushy and soggy if cooked too long.
- To Store: Leftover peppers should be stored in a shallow, airtight container in the fridge. When properly stored, they will last for 3 to 5 days.
- To Freeze: Place your unbaked stuffed peppers in an airtight container in the freezer or wrap them individually in plastic wrap and store them in a freezer bag for up to 3 months.
- To Reheat: Thaw overnight in the refrigerator and bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for about 20-30 or until heated to your desired doneness.
Stuffed Peppers Recipe with Rice FAQs
Yes, this dish is easy to make in advance. You can cook the filling and cut and core the bell peppers up to 1 day in advance. Then, refrigerate in separate airtight storage containers.
Fill and bake the peppers according to instructions just before serving. You could even assemble the peppers completely and refrigerate, covered, until you’re ready to bake, although they will likely need a few extra minutes in the oven to warm through.
While you don’t want your peppers soggy, you certainly don’t want them underdone. When properly baked, you should be able to easily pierce the peppers with a fork. If the peppers aren’t fork-tender by the time the cheese is melted and the filling is hot, you can re-tent the pan with foil and continue baking until they are.
If you prefer, you can split your peppers from top to bottom, then lay them flat on their backs in the baking dish and stuff them.
No, you will bake the peppers after they are stuffed with all of the ingredients.
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Stuffed Pepper Recipe with Rice
- 6 bell peppers
- 1 small yellow onion diced
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 lb lean ground beef
- 1 tbsp minced garlic
- 14.5 ounce can petite diced tomatoes
- 1 cup long grain white rice cooked
- ½ – 1 tsp kosher salt
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 2 tsp oregano
- ½ tsp red pepper flakes
- ¼ cup grated parmesan cheese
- 1 cup shredded mozzarella
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Wash and dry the outside of the bell peppers.
- Start cooking your rice according to the package directions and set aside once done while prepping the rest of the dish.
- Carefully cut the tops off each of the bell peppers. Discard the green stem, but keep the top pepper flesh around the green stem. Dice the pepper tops.
- Remove the seeds and the membranes from the peppers. Place the empty bell peppers in a 9×9 baking dish. If the bottoms of the peppers do not sit flat, carefully slice a thin amount off the bottoms.
- In a large skillet, over medium to medium high heat, add the olive oil, diced yellow onion and diced pepper tops. Using a wooden spoon stir often, and cook uncovered for 5-7 minutes, until softened and opaque.
- Add the 1 lb of lean ground beef and the tablespoon of minced garlic. Continue using the wooden spoon to stir often and break up the ground beef as it cooks. Cook uncovered until ground beef is cooked completely.
- Remove the ground beef mixture from the heat and drain. Return the ground beef mixture to the skillet and the stovetop.
- Reduce the heat to medium, add the can of petite diced tomatoes and the cup of cooked rice. Stir.
- Add the kosher salt, black pepper, oregano and red pepper flakes. Stir to combine. Reduce the heat to low.
- Allow the ground beef mixture to cook for another 5 minutes. Remove from the heat.
- Evenly fill the peppers with the ground beef mixture. Sprinkle 2 teaspoons of the grated parmesan cheese over the top of the ground beef mixture.
- Sprinkle 1 ½ tablespoons of the mozzarella cheese on top of the peppers. (we want enough cheese to lightly cover the filling but we still want the filling to slightly pop through the gooey cheese)
- Pour ½ cup of water into the bottom of the pan to help steam the stuffed peppers. Spray the foil with cooking spray and cover with foil and bake at 400 degrees for 35 minutes. The cooking spray will help preventing the cheese to stick to the foil as it bakes.
- Remove the foil and bake for an additional 10 minutes. Serve while hot.
These were EXCELLENT!
So yummy and easy to make!
Made this for dinner tonight. Loved it. Will definitely make it again.
This was my first time making loaded bell peppers and they were a hit! Will definitely be making them again. Wondering though, do they freeze well?
Yes, they freeze great!! Just place them in an airtight container in the freezer or wrap them individually in plastic wrap and store in a freezer bag for up to 3 months. When ready to eat, bake them at 350 degrees for about 20-30 or until heated to your preference!
Awesome, made them twice already.
I enjoyed this dish, thank you.
these were awesome
This is such a easy and tasty recipe. My mom had seconds and she never does. I cant wait to make it again.
Awesome recipe! Awesome detailed notes! Thank you for making cooking easier!!