The Best Stuffed Peppers Recipe (2024)

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by Mike Hultquist · · 39 Comments · Jump to Recipe

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!

The Best Stuffed Peppers Recipe (1)

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?

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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!
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Storage

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!

Cookbook Recommendation

If you enjoy spicy cooking, I hope you'll check out my cookbook! 75 easy recipes with big, bold flavor.

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Tools Used For This Recipe

Amazon Affiliate links, my friends!

HexClad 12 Inch Hybrid Stainless Steel Wok Pan with Stay-Cool Handle - I've been loving this wok, makes stir frying and clean up so easy.

Try Some of My Other Popular Recipes

  • Vegetarian Stuffed Peppers
  • Crockpot Stuffed Peppers
  • Taco Stuffed Peppers
  • Stuffed Banana Peppers
  • Stuffed Anaheim Peppers
  • Stuffed Cubanelle Peppers
  • Stuffed Poblano Peppers
  • Stuffed Pepper Soup
  • Stuffed Pepper Casserole
  • See all of my Stuffed Peppers Recipes
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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.

The Best Stuffed Peppers Recipe (11)

Print

Classic Stuffed Peppers Recipe

This is the quintessential stuffed bell peppers recipe I grew up on, with bell peppers stuffed with seasoned ground beef, rice, and melty cheese, always a hit! They bring back so many memories.

Save Recipe

Course: Main Course

Cuisine: American

Keyword: bell peppers, ground beef

Calories: 534kcal

Author: Mike Hultquist

Servings: 4

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5 from 13 votes

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Ingredients

  • 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

Instructions

  • 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.

Notes

Bell pepper sizes can vary, so you may need more bell peppers for filling, or save any leftover filling for another use. It freezes nicely.

Worcestershire sauce is a nice flavor addition.

Nutrition Information

Calories: 534kcalCarbohydrates: 29gProtein: 30gFat: 33gSaturated Fat: 13gPolyunsaturated Fat: 2gMonounsaturated Fat: 14gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 103mgSodium: 419mgPotassium: 712mgFiber: 5gSugar: 9gVitamin A: 5233IUVitamin C: 162mgCalcium: 236mgIron: 4mg

The Best Stuffed Peppers Recipe (12)

Did You Enjoy This Recipe?I love hearing how you like it and how you made it your own. Leave a comment below and tag @ChiliPepperMadness on social media.

Reader Interactions

Comments

    Leave a Reply

  1. Sandra riley says

    If made a day ahead. How long to bake right out of frigerator and temperature. ? I like to pour my tomotoe sauce over the top. Thanks

    Reply

    • Mike Hultquist says

      Sandra, you can use the same cooking time - 15-20 minutes - but check them first for softness. You can leave them in 5-10 minutes longer if needed, until done to your preference. Enjoy!

      Reply

  2. Laurie Mann says

    The Best Stuffed Peppers Recipe (13)
    This turned out really great, I went Mexican flavours, cumin, chilli, spicy hot chilli mix I had half an envelope of, the fire roasted tomatoes add so much to it.
    The garlic quantity sounded like a lot but it really makes it nice. I used marble cheese in really small cubes added as I filled the peppers then more grated on top. The hot oven makes them bake to perfection nice and brown on top. I will make these again for sure.

    Reply

    • Mike Hultquist says

      Yes!! Glad you enjoyed it, Laurie!

      Reply

  3. Cate says

    The Best Stuffed Peppers Recipe (14)
    Oh, yeah! This is a keeper. Family loved it! Thank you.

    Reply

    • Mike Hultquist says

      Thanks, Cate!

      Reply

  4. Wanda says

    The Best Stuffed Peppers Recipe (15)
    Perfect! I didn’t change a thing. Wonderful flavor!! Thanks for the recipe.

    Reply

    • Mike H. says

      You are very welcome. Wanda. Thank you!

      Reply

    • Mike Hultquist says

      Glad you enjoyed it, Rhonda.

      Reply

  5. Willow says

    Do you drain the can tomatos?

    Reply

    • Mike Hultquist says

      Willow, no, I did not drain the tomatoes. If you feel it is too soupy/wet, keep cooking it down to reduce any excess moisture. Enjoy.

      Reply

  6. Tom says

    The Best Stuffed Peppers Recipe (17)
    This is a home run, Mike! Thank you so much for the recipe. I followed your instructions as indicated, but did throw in extra jalepeño because we like it spicy! Looking forward to the next time I make my friends happy with this yummy dish.

    Reply

    • Mike H. says

      I am glad to hear that, Tom. Enjoy!

      Reply

  7. Eric H says

    Tried this recipe tonight! It turned out wonderful!

    Reply

    • Mike Hultquist says

      Excellent! Thanks, Eric!

      Reply

  8. Bob Oh says

    The Best Stuffed Peppers Recipe (18)
    These are not intended to be cooked from a frozen state!

    Made a batch 2 weeks ago and pulled one from the freezer per instructions here.

    The pepper is draining water all over the place and center of pepper is still frozen rock hard after 40 minutes on 350 degree oven.

    I love this recipe to death but I either won't freeze them again or will thaw them in fridge for several days before re-heating

    Reply

    • Mike Hultquist says

      Sorry to hear about the issues, Bob. It CAN take longer, which was mentioned in that post about freezing stuffed peppers, as size if a big factor: "...bake them straight from frozen at 350 degrees F until they are thawed and warmed through, about 20-30 minutes. This could take longer with larger peppers, up to 1 hour or longer. You can also thaw them in the refrigerator for several hours before cooking and they will heat through faster." I'm glad you enjoy the recipe overall.

      Reply

  9. Penny Lirette says

    This recipe is easy and very flavorful. I used 3/4 lb ground beef and 1/4/lb fresh Italian Sausage.Added a few drops of my fresh made Cayenne Pepper Sauce I made from your recipe. With fresh grown peppers from my garden I will certainly be making this again,

    Reply

    • Mike Hultquist says

      Great!! Glad you enjoyed it, Penny!

      Reply

    • Leah says

      very good recipe. I will definitely save this recipe for my go to stuffed peppers. tastes alot like my moms. and that say alot. thank you for sharing

      Reply

      • Mike H. says

        It does say a lot, Leah. Thank you and enjoy!

        Reply

  10. Hope Morony says

    The Best Stuffed Peppers Recipe (19)
    Excellent combination of ingredients. Looking forward to reviewing other recipes.

    Reply

    • Mike H. says

      Thank you, Hope. Enjoy!

      Reply

  11. Anne says

    The Best Stuffed Peppers Recipe (20)
    I made these for dinner tonight with ground turkey. We loved them! We found the red pepper tastiest, and little taste in the orange and yellow peppers but they are all very festive together so am sure I'll make them again as pictured...thanks!

    Reply

    • Mike Hultquist says

      Glad you enjoyed them, Anne! Thanks for sharing!

      Reply

  12. Carol says

    The Best Stuffed Peppers Recipe (21)
    I made your bell peppers, but I cheated. I didn't want to blanch and bake, so I cut the peppers into large bite size pieces and put them in the 12 inch skillet with the oil first then followed the rest of your recipe except that I omitted the cheese and added about 1 teaspoon of pepper flakes to the spices. The result was delicious!! Thank you for a great meal.

    Reply

    • Mike Hultquist says

      Excellent, Carol! I love it! Glad you enjoyed it!

      Reply

  13. Lynn Frederick says

    The Best Stuffed Peppers Recipe (22)
    Being a short cut cook, I use the microwavable rice that comes in the 2 portion package. No need to blanch or pre roast the peppers. Just stuff them, put the cheese on top and bake at 400 for 35 minutes.

    Reply

    • Mike Hultquist says

      Great tip, Lynn!

      Reply

  14. Josh Crawford says

    The Best Stuffed Peppers Recipe (23)
    Basically the same recipe I've used for years, though I use less tomato sauce (about half) and leave out the jalapeno but add chili powder, Cayenne pepper and paprika, and cumin, along with a dash of cinnamon. Takes it in more of a Mexican direction (even with the 1/4 c of grated parmesan cheese I add).

    One tip on blanching the peppers: shock them in an ice bath after blanching. Helps the texture a lot (they don't get as mushy) and helps keep the color(s) bright.
    And if you cut off the bottom to make a flat base but cut too far and make a hole in the bottom, take the piece you cut off (or part of it) and put it inside the pepper over the hole, then stuff.
    I ate stuffed peppers for 4 of my last 6 meals, breakfast, lunch and dinner! Wish I'd made more...

    Reply

    • Mike Hultquist says

      Sounds great to me, Josh! Thanks for sharing your tips!

      Reply

  15. John Rutherford says

    The Best Stuffed Peppers Recipe (24)
    I saw this recipe and decided to make it for dinner. Unfortunately, I did not have ground beef, but I did have chorizo. It was delicious. I'm sure you could adapt the recipe for chorizo with much more finesse than I did, but I have to say they were the best stuffed peppers I've ever had.

    Reply

    • Mike H. says

      I am so glad! Enjoy!

      Reply

    • Angie says

      What a super idea! I’m going to make a blend of chorizo and burger next time!

      Reply

  16. Robert says

    The Best Stuffed Peppers Recipe (25)
    Those look delicious Mike.
    Cheers!

    Reply

    • Mike H. says

      Thanks, Robert - enjoy!

      Reply

  17. Ramya says

    Cant wait to make this soon for me can i use tofu and vegan cheese i never stuffed peppers before perfect for my after office meals love your recipes as always brightens up my day everyday after work

    Reply

    • Mike Hultquist says

      Thanks, Ramya.

      Reply

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