This is the quintessential stuffed bell peppers recipe I grew up on, with bell peppers stuffed with seasoned ground beef, rice, and melty cheese, so good!
Stuffed Peppers Recipe
Do you love stuffed peppers? Stuffed bell peppers are the perfect easy-to-make dinner that can be made inexpensively, and are always a crowd pleaser. They're such a nutritional powerhouse, ready for your endless creativity, and they're always on the menu in the Chili Pepper Madness kitchen.
The thick, succulent flesh and hollow insides of the peppers make them the ideal vessels for stuffing and baking with all manner of foods, from ground meats, cheeses, grains, spices, even leftovers.
I grew up on stuffed green peppers, something my mother made regularly. Her stuffed peppers with rice and ground beef is the inspiration for this recipe, which I've adapted to include a flavorful balance of herbs, spices, rice, meat, cheese, and fire roasted tomatoes that I'm sure you'll love.
It's dinner time, my friends! I'm ready to get cooking!
Let's talk about how to make stuffed peppers, shall we?
Stuffed Peppers Ingredients
The full ingredients list with measurements is listed in the printable recipe card at the bottom of the post.
- Bell Peppers. Use any color bells – green, yellow, red, orange. You can also use other larger peppers, like Italian sweet peppers or poblano peppers.
- Olive Oil. For cooking.
- Ground Meat. I am using ground beef today, but you can use ground turkey, ground chicken, ground pork, ground Italian sausage, or a combination. Ground turkey or chicken are great low-calorie options.
- Vegetables. Onion, jalapeno (optional, for spicy), garlic.
- Fire Roasted Tomatoes. Use canned. You can use diced tomatoes or tomato sauce as well, but I recommend the flavor boost of fire roasted tomatoes.
- Shredded Cheese. I love spicy pepperjack cheese, but shredded cheddar or shredded mozzarella are great for stuffed peppers. I used mozzarella today. Try a combination of cheeses for a variation.
- Seasonings. Paprika, oregano, basil, salt and pepper. Try this with a blend of your favorite Italian seasonings.
- Cooked Rice. Use white rice, brown rice, or wild rice. I used white rice here.
- For Garnish. Fresh chopped parsley, red pepper flakes.
How to Make Stuffed Peppers - the Recipe Method
Oven and Pot. Preheat your oven to 425°F (220°C) and bring a large pot of water (enough to cover the bell peppers) to a boil.
Prep the Bell Peppers. Wash the bell peppers, slice off the tops of the peppers, and scoop out the insides (seeds and membranes). You want the inside to be nice and hollow to accommodate your stuffing mixture.
If needed, slice a small part off the bottom of the peppers so they will stand upright.
TIP: Don't throw away those pepper tops! I like to toss the stems, but chop up the tops to cook with the onion later. Nothing goes to waste, and it's a great flavor builder.
Soften the Peppers. Blanch the bell peppers for 5 minutes to slightly soften. Alternatively, you can roast the peppers for 20 minutes to soften.
Set the softened peppers into a lightly oiled baking dish.
Cook the Vegetables. Heat the oil in a large pan to medium heat and add the onions, chopped pepper tops, and jalapeno (if using). Cook for 5 minutes to soften.
Add the garlic and cook 1 minute, or until the garlic becomes fragrant.
Cook the Meat. Add the ground beef and cook 5-6 minutes, breaking apart as you go, until cooked through.
Tomatoes, Rice, and Spices. Add the fire roasted tomatoes, seasonings, and cooked rice mixture. Stir together and remove from heat.
Cheese. Stir in 1/2 cup of the shredded cheese until incorporated. You can add in a bit more if you'd like it more cheesy.
Stuff the Peppers. Stuff each pepper with the meat filling mixture, then top each with the remaining shredded cheese.
Roast the Peppers. Roast the stuffed peppers for 15-20 minutes, or until the peppers are tender to your preference, and the cheese is nice and bubbly. So good topped with cheese! This is a pretty forgiving recipe, so you can usually bake them longer if you want the peppers extra softened up.
Cool slightly, garnish, and serve.
Boom! Done! Your stuffed peppers are ready to serve. Don't they look gorgeous? I love the vibrant colors of the bells. I'm ready to dig in!
Recipe Tips & Notes
- Feel free to use other ground meats for your stuffed peppers, including chicken, pork, turkey, sausage, or others. Use tofu for a vegetarian version.
- You can easily adjust the spices to your preference by using your favorite blends, like Cajun seasonings or a nice Italian seasoning. Worcestershire sauce is a popular addition.
- This recipe is great for any types of pepper, though it is ideal with thicker walled peppers that can hold up to the baking process. I often make this with large Italian peppers that I grow in my garden, like Carmen Italian or Marconi peppers. Try it with jalapenos for awesome poppers!
Leftover stuffed peppers will last up to 5 days in the refrigerator in a sealed container. You can warm them in the oven to enjoy them again.
You can also freeze it for 2-3 months. See my post on How to Freeze Stuffed Peppers.
That's it, my friends. I hope you enjoy my stuffed bell peppers recipe. Let me know if you make it. I'd love to hear how it turned out for you, and if you decided to spice it up!
Got any questions? Ask away! I’m happy to help. If you enjoy this recipe, I hope you’ll leave a comment with some STARS. Also, please share it on social media. Don’t forget to tag us at #ChiliPepperMadness. I’ll be sure to share! Thanks! — Mike H.
Classic Stuffed Peppers Recipe
- 4-6 bell peppers use any color – green, yellow, red, orange
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 lb ground beef 450g - you can also use ground turkey, chicken, pork, sausage, tofu, or other similar
- 1 medium onion chopped
- 1 jalapeno pepper chopped (optional, for spicy)
- 5 cloves garlic chopped
- 14.5 ounces fire roasted tomatoes (canned - or use diced tomatoes or tomato sauce)
- 1 cup shredded cheese cheddar, mozzarella, or a blend – I LOVE pepperjack for myself
- 1 tablespoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 cup cooked rice white, brown, or wild rice
- For Garnish. Fresh chopped parsley, red pepper flakes
- Preheat your oven to 425°F (220°C) and bring a pot of water (enough to cover the bell peppers) to a boil.
- Wash the bell peppers, cut off the tops, and scoop out the insides. If needed, slice a small part off the bottom of the peppers so they will stand upright. (NOTE: Chop the extra bell pepper tops to cook later with the onion - discard the stem.)
- Blanch the bell peppers for 5 minutes to slightly soften. (Alternative, you can roast the peppers for 20 minutes to soften).
- Set the softened peppers into a lightly oiled baking dish.
- Heat the oil in a large pan to medium heat and add the onions, chopped pepper tops, and jalapeno (if using). Cook for 5 minutes to soften.
- Add the garlic and cook 1 minute, or until the garlic becomes fragrant.
- Add the ground beef and cook 5-6 minutes, breaking apart as you go, until cooked through.
- Add the fire roasted tomatoes, seasonings, and cooked rice. Stir together and remove from heat.
- Stir in half of the shredded cheese until incorporated.
- Stuff each pepper with the meat filling mixture, then top each with the remaining shredded cheese.
- Roast the stuffed peppers for 15-20 minutes, or until the peppers are tender to your preference, and the cheese is nice and bubbly.
- Cool slightly, garnish, and serve.