See my guide on how to use an Instant Pot.


These Stuffed Peppers are filled with seasoned ground beef, rice and tomato sauce. They’re a healthy dinner idea, perfect for any night of the week!

If you love stuffed bell peppers try one of these stuffed peppers recipes next: Quinoa Stuffed Peppers, Stuffed Pepper Soup and Unstuffed Bell Pepper Skillet.

Six baked stuffed bell peppers in baking dish.

Best Stuffed Peppers Recipe

Classic stuffed peppers are a comforting meal that the whole family will love. The hearty and flavorful filling is stuffed into fresh bell peppers, topped with cheese and baked until hot and bubbly. With meat, rice and veggies, stuffed peppers can be a meal on their own or you can serve a salad or garlic bread on the side.

These were delicious and definitely something I’ll be making again!

Maranda

Ingredients You’ll Need

Ingredients for stuffed peppers recipe.
  • Rice: I like to use brown rice to sneak some healthy whole grains into the meal, but white rice works well, too. You can replace the brown rice with protein-packed quinoa, or use cauliflower rice for a low-carb option.
  • Bell Peppers: Use any color of bell peppers that you like in this stuffed pepper recipe. I like to use a mixture of colors so that everyone at the table can choose their favorite.
  • Onion and Garlic: For flavor.
  • Ground Beef or Ground Turkey: Use whichever you prefer.
  • Diced Tomatoes & Tomato Sauce: Adding tomatoes to the filling brings out the Italian flavors.
  • Seasonings: You’ll need Italian seasoning, garlic powder, salt and pepper for this Italian stuffed peppers recipe.
  • Cheese: Use shredded mozzarella or cheddar, or a combination of the two. Half of the cheese is mixed into the filling and the other half is melted on top of the peppers.

How to Make Stuffed Peppers

This easy stuffed peppers recipe requires just a few simple steps.

Cook the rice. See my recipes for How to Cook Brown Rice, How to Cook White Rice, Instant Pot Brown Rice and Instant Pot Rice.

Prep the bell peppers. Use a knife to cut the tops off of the peppers. Use your fingers or a small knife to remove any membranes and shake out the seeds.

Bell pepper with top cut off and ribs and seeds removed.

Make the stuffed pepper filling. Sauté the onion in olive oil, then add the ground beef and cook until browned. Add the garlic, diced tomatoes, tomato sauce and the seasonings to the skillet. Simmer for 5 minutes, just to get the flavors blending together. Stir in the cooked rice and half of the cheese.

Spoon the filling into the bell peppers, then top with more cheese.

Spooning meat and rice filling into raw bell peppers.

Bake. Pour 1/2 cup of water into the baking dish and then add the peppers. Bake, covered with foil for 30 minutes. The water will create steam which will help to soften the peppers. The steam will also keep the peppers and filling from drying out. Then uncover and bake for 5 more minutes, until the cheese is lightly browned.

Side view of stuffed peppers in baking dish.

Do you need to pre-cook peppers for stuffed bell peppers? No, the peppers will cook and soften enough as they bake with the filling in the oven. There is no need to partially cook your bell peppers before stuffing them.

Instant Pot and Crockpot Instructions

  • Crockpot: Add 1/2 cup of water to the bottom of the slow cooker. Then add the stuffed peppers, cover and cook on low for about 6 hours or high for 3 hours.
  • Instant Pot: Try this Instant Pot Stuffed Peppers recipe.
Close up of stuffed bell pepper topped with melted cheese and a sprinkle of fresh parsley.

Make Ahead and Freezer Instructions

If you’re wondering if you can freeze stuffed peppers, the answer is yes! I tested this recipe as a freezer meal and it worked well. The only difference that I noticed is that the filling of the frozen peppers had a bit more liquid in it after baking. This recipe is perfect for meal prep!

  • To Freeze: Prepare the stuffed peppers as directed in the recipe card below, but do not bake. Let them cool completely and then place them in a baking dish in the freezer. Freeze for 1-2 hours, then transfer to a zip-top plastic freezer bag (or other airtight container) and store in the freezer for up to 3 months. Before cooking, thaw the peppers in the refrigerator for 24 hours and then bake as directed in the recipe.
  • To Refrigerate: You can assemble the peppers, cover the dish, and then refrigerate them for up to one day before baking and serving.

How to Store and Reheat

Once baked, stuffed peppers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat them in the microwave (I find that cutting the peppers in half helps the filling to heat through better) or in a covered dish in a 375° F oven, until steaming hot.

Like this recipe? Pin it to Pinterest!

Six baked stuffed peppers in baking dish.
5 from 10 ratings

Stuffed Peppers

Servings: 6 servings
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
These Stuffed Peppers are filled with rice, ground beef or turkey, tomato sauce and Italian seasonings. They're a healthy meal that's make ahead and freezer-friendly.

Ingredients

  • ¾ cups uncooked brown rice, or white rice, 1 ½ cups cooked
  • 6 bell peppers, any color
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • ¾ cup finely chopped yellow onion
  • 1 pound ground beef, or ground turkey
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 15 ounce can diced tomatoes
  • 8 ounce can tomato sauce, ¾ cup
  • 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese, or cheddar cheese, 4 ounces, divided

Instructions
 

  • Cook rice according to package directions or your preferred cooking method. Set aside to cool.
  • Meanwhile, preheat oven to 400° F.
  • Cut the tops off the peppers and remove seeds and membranes.
  • Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until it starts to soften, 2-3 minutes.
  • Add the ground beef (or ground turkey) to the pan and cook, crumbling, until browned and cooked through. Drain off any excess grease. Add the garlic and cook, stirring for 30 seconds.
  • Add the diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, Italian seasoning, garlic powder, salt and pepper to the pan. Reduce heat to low and simmer, stirring for 5 minutes.
  • Remove pan from the heat and stir in the cooked rice and half of the cheese.
  • Pour ½ cup of water into a baking dish. Fill bell peppers with the meat and rice mixture and place in the baking dish. Sprinkle on the remaining shredded cheese.
  • Cover with a piece of aluminum foil that you have lightly sprayed with cooking spray to prevent sticking. Bake for 30 minutes, uncover, and bake 5 minutes more, until cheese is lightly browned and filling is hot. Serve.

Notes

  • To Freeze:
  1. Prepare the peppers as directed in the recipe. Do not bake.
  2. Let peppers cool completely and then place them in a baking dish in the freezer. Freeze for 1-2 hours, then transfer to a zip-top plastic freezer bag and store in freezer for up to 3 months.
  3. To bake, thaw completely in the refrigerator (this will take about 24 hours). Then, bake as directed above.
  • You can assemble the stuffed peppers and refrigerate them for up to one day before baking.
  • Once baked, stuffed peppers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat them in the microwave (I find that cutting the peppers in half helps the filling to heat through better) or in a covered dish in a 375° F oven, until steaming hot.
Serving: 1pepper, Calories: 381kcal, Carbohydrates: 33g, Protein: 23g, Fat: 18g, Saturated Fat: 7g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 7g, Cholesterol: 66mg, Sodium: 649mg, Potassium: 833mg, Fiber: 5g, Sugar: 9g, Vitamin A: 4111IU, Vitamin C: 164mg, Calcium: 165mg, Iron: 4mg
Nutrition information is an estimate.
Cuisine: Italian
Course: Main Course
Tried this recipe?Mention @kristines_kitchen on Instagram or tag #kristineskitchenblog.
This site contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase through these links, I may receive a small commission, at no extra cost to you. Thank you for supporting Kristine's Kitchen!