This classic Stuffed Peppers recipe is a quick, easy, delicious, and versatile dinner option. They’re made from tender roasted peppers filled with ground beef, rice, tomato sauce, and seasoning, then topped with gooey melted cheese.
Easy Stuffed Bell Peppers
This Stuffed Pepper recipe is a retro classic that never disappoints. The bell peppers are first parbaked to ensure that they will be fork-tender. They are then filled with a simple mixture of ground beef, cooked white rice, tomato sauce, and simple Italian seasoning.
Just before returning to the oven, we top it with shredded cheese and bake until it’s gooey, golden brown, and totally irresistible. Feel free to swap the ground beef with ground turkey, substitute a different kind of cheese, use brown rice, or season however you’d like. Think of this recipe as a starting point for you to create all sorts of Stuffed Peppers variations. To get your wheels turning, we have a Southwest Stuffed Pepper Recipe and a stuffed pepper soup.
Ingredients in Best Stuffed Peppers Recipe
- Ground Beef - I like to use lean ground beef, like 80/20, to keep the dish less greasy. To make things even healthier, you could also substitute ground turkey
- Onion - either white or yellow onions work great.
- Olive Oil - you can also substitute avocado oil if you prefer.
- Bell Pepper - green pepper is what I typically use because it gives a nice contrasting color. However, you could use red pepper or any other color of bell pepper that you want.
- Garlic Powder - this adds a nice sweet garlic flavor. If you want to substitute fresh garlic, you can use about 2 teaspoons of minced garlic instead.
- Italian Seasoning - you could also use dried oregano, dried basil, or other dried herbs.
- Salt and Pepper
- Rice - I’ll usually use cooked long grain white rice for this recipe. But especially since you are adding cooked rice, feel free to use brown rice or wild rice if you prefer.
- Tomato Sauce - use your favorite kind of tomato sauce, pasta sauce, marinara sauce or even pizza sauce. You’re only adding a bit to moisten and flavor the filling.
- Shredded Cheese - mozzarella cheese is what I usually use, but cheddar, Monterey Jack, or pepper jack work great, too.
How to Make Stuffed Peppers
- Parbake the peppers. Place the peppers cut side up in a 9" by 13" baking dish. Add about ½ cup water to the bottom of the dish, cover with foil and bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 15 minutes.
- Cook the meat mixture. While the peppers are cooking, prepare the filling by heating the olive oil in the bottom of a large skillet over medium high heat. Add the ground beef, chopped onion, garlic powder, Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper. Cook while stirring occasionally until the meat is cooked through and the onion has softened.
- Mix the filling. Remove from the heat and stir in the cooked rice and tomato sauce. Fold in half of the shredded mozzarella cheese.
- Add filling to the peppers. Once the peppers are tender, remove from the oven and drain off any excess water. Spoon filling into each pepper, filling to the top. Sprinkle the remaining shredded cheese over the top of each pepper.
- Bake. Return to the oven and bake again for about 10 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and golden.
- Serve. Remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly before serving. Enjoy!
Frequently Asked Questions
You don’t absolutely have to pre-cook the peppers. But, if you choose not to, they will be very crisp since they will only have baked for about 10 minutes.
At 350 degrees F, your bell peppers should take between 15-20 minutes to soften. It helped to add about ½ cup of water to the bottom of your baking dish and cover with aluminum foil so they can gently steam as they cook.
Yup! You can par-cook the peppers, make the filling, and even fill the peppers the day before. Just cover and store in the fridge overnight. The next day, remove it from the fridge while you preheat the oven. Top with cheese, bake as directed, and enjoy!
You can also make certain components ahead of time, such as cooking the rice, pre-cooking the peppers or making the meat mixture.
Storing and Reheating
- Refrigerator: store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.
- Freezer: both baked and unbaked Stuffed Peppers can be frozen for up 2 months. Make sure to cover well with plastic and aluminum foil. To thaw, transfer to the fridge overnight or pull to room temperature for about 1 hour.
- To reheat: pull the baking dish from the fridge while you preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Cover with aluminum foil and bake for about 15 minutes or until warmed through.
Stuffed Peppers Recipe
- 4 large Bell Peppers sliced in half with stems and seeds removed
- 1 medium Onion chopped
- 2 teaspoons Olive Oil
- 1 ½ pounds Ground Beef
- 1 teaspoon Garlic Powder or 2 teaspoons minced garlic cloves
- 2 teaspoons Italian Seasoning
- 1 ½ teaspoons Salt
- ½ teaspoon Pepper
- ½ cup Tomato Sauce or 4 ounces
- 1 ½ cups White Rice cooked
- 2 cups Shredded Mozzarella Cheese
- Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Place the peppers cut side up in a 9" by 13" baking dish. Add about ½ cup water to the bottom of the dish, cover with foil and bake for 15 minutes.
- While the peppers are cooking, prepare the filling by heating the olive oil in the bottom of a large pan over medium heat. Add the ground beef, chopped onion, garlic powder, Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper. Cook while stirring occasionally until the meat is cooked through and the onion has softened.
- Remove from the heat and stir in the cooked rice and tomato sauce. Fold in half of the shredded mozzarella cheese.
- Once the peppers are tender, remove from the oven and drain off any excess water. Spoon filling into each pepper, filling to the top. Sprinkle the remaining shredded cheese over the top of each pepper.
- Return to the oven and bake again for about 10 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and golden.
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly before serving. Enjoy!
More Easy Weeknight Dinner Recipes
- Slow Cooker Spare Ribs
- Copycat Chipotle Chicken Burrito Bowl
- Korean Beef Stir Fry
- Combination Pizza
- Crockpot Cheesy Chicken and Rice
- Chicken Quesadillas
- More Easy Weeknight Meals
- More Beef Recipes
If you’ve tried this recipe, please rate it and leave a comment on this post. I love hearing feedback from you. It helps me and other readers too! If you love Pinterest, feel free to leave a comment and photo there too. Also, if you like to share, use the hashtag #thecarefreekitchen on Instagram and tag me @thecarefreekitchen so I can find you and give your post some love. You can also find me on Facebook at The Carefree Kitchen. Thank you!!
Stuffed Peppers are a classic dinner option that's as versatile as it is delicious. These are filled with a mixture of ground beef, rice, tomato sauce and seasoning then topped with melted cheese.