Stuffed Peppers packed with a saucy ground beef, onion and rice mixture, and smothered in melty cheese is an easy family favorite!
This Stuffed Pepper recipe is simple enough for an easy weeknight meal but flavorful and fancy enough to serve at your next dinner party. Pair it with rotel dip on the side and instant pot rice pudding for dessert!
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Why you’ll love this recipe!
📌 Delicious bold flavors that the whole family will love.
📌 Easy to make ahead or pop in the freezer for an easy meal later!
📌 A great way to use up leftover rice or veggies that are on their way out.
Stuffed Pepper Ingredients
- Peppers – Sweet bell peppers of any color.
- Ground meat – We used ground beef but you could also use ground sausage, ground chicken, or ground turkey.
- Onion – Sweet onion, white or yellow, diced.
- Garlic – Minced garlic. Fresh will give you the best flavor, but you can substitute for jarred, paste, or powdered as well. Check the package label for swapping ratios. Do not swap for garlic salt.
- Seasonings – Dried Italian seasoning, salt, ground black pepper, worcestershire sauce.
- Sauce – Canned tomato sauce
- Rice – White or brown rice, cooked.
- Cheese – We used shredded mozzarella cheese and cheddar cheese but you can use any mixture of shredded cheese you have on hand.
How do you make stuffed bell peppers? (step-by-step directions)
⭐ First, cut the tops off the bell peppers and remove seeds and membranes. Boil peppers in a large pot of salted water. Remove and set aside.
⭐ Next, brown onion and ground beef together in a large skillet. Drain any excess grease. Add garlic, worcestershire sauce, Italian seasoning, salt and pepper and cook until fragrant. Turn off heat.
⭐ Then, stir in the tomato sauce, rice and some of the shredded cheese. Place peppers in an oven safe dish and spoon ground beef mixture into each pepper until full.
⭐ Finally, sprinkle remaining cheese on top of each pepper and bake in the oven until peppers are tender and cheese is melted.
Scroll down to the printable recipe card toward the bottom of this article for ingredient measurements and detailed cooking instructions.
Do I need to cook or boil the peppers ahead of time?
Boiling the peppers first before stuffing them helps reduce bake time. You could skip this step but the peppers will take longer in the oven.
If you plan to skip parboiling, we recommend waiting to add the shredded cheese on top of the peppers until the last 10-15 minutes of baking.
What kind of cheese should I use?
We used half shredded mozzarella and half shredded cheddar cheese but you could use any variety of shredded cheese that you have on hand. Try pepper jack cheese for an added kick!
Can I make this ahead of time?
Yes! This can be made 1 day in advance and stored in the refrigerator. Add about 10 minutes to the bake time.
What kind of rice should I use?
You can use any kind of rice you have on hand. This recipe calls for cooked rice so as long as it is cooked ahead of time, any variety will work fine.
Storage and leftovers
How long do stuffed peppers last?
The leftovers will keep in the refrigerator for 3 – 4 days. Keep in an air tight container for best results.
Can you freeze stuffed peppers?
Yes! You can freeze before or after baking. If freezing after baking, allow the stuffed peppers to cool to room temperature and then store in a freezer safe, air tight container for up to 3 months.
For best results, freeze before adding the cheese.
How do you cook from frozen?
Cover with foil and cook for 1 hour. Remove foil, add shredded cheese, and continue cooking until heated all the way through (20 – 30 more minutes).
Tips and tricks
✅ Spice it up by using spicy Italian sausage, adding red pepper flakes, or diced jalapenos.
✅ Try with other meats like ground Italian sausage, ground chicken, ground pork, ground turkey, or leftover grilled steak or grilled pork chops.
✅ Do a double batch in a disposable casserole pan and gift to a friend or freeze for later.
✅ Make it vegetarian by swapping the ground beef for vegetarian beef crumbles, or drained and rinsed cannellini beans.
Frequently asked questions
Can I use a different type of ground meat?
Yes, you can substitute ground beef with ground turkey, chicken, pork, or even a vegetarian meat substitute like crumbled tofu or tempeh.
Can I use a different type of pepper?
While the recipe calls for bell peppers, you can experiment with other types of peppers such as poblano, Anaheim, or even spicy peppers if you enjoy heat. Just keep in mind that different peppers may have varying cooking times and flavors.
Can I omit the rice or use a different grain?
If you prefer a low-carb option, you can omit the rice altogether or replace it with cauliflower rice. Alternatively, you can try using quinoa, couscous, or any other cooked grain of your choice.
Can I add other vegetables or ingredients to the filling?
Absolutely! Stuffed peppers are versatile, and you can add various vegetables like diced zucchini, mushrooms, or corn kernels to the filling mixture. You can also incorporate herbs like parsley, cilantro, or basil for added freshness.
Can I make this recipe vegetarian or vegan?
To make this recipe vegetarian, you can replace the ground beef with a meat substitute or use a combination of vegetables and legumes like black beans or lentils. For a vegan version, ensure that the Worcestershire sauce and shredded cheese are vegan-friendly or omit them altogether.
What to eat with stuffed peppers (serving suggestions)
Stuffed peppers are bursting with flavor and one of my go-to recipes for crazy weeknights. We like serving it with air fryer frozen french fries, garlic noodles, and no bake monster cookie bars for dessert!
More Stuffed Pepper Recipes to Try
- Mexican Stuffed Peppers
- Stuffed Pepper Soup
- Stuffed Pepper Casserole
- Sausage Stuffed Breakfast Peppers
Other awesome ground beef recipes
- Slow cooker chili mac
- Cheeseburger quesadillas
- Big mac meatloaf recipe
- Sheet pan meatloaf
- Mexican cornbread casserole
- Beef stroganoff sloppy joes
- See all our recipes made with ground beef!
Tools we love
- High walled pan – This one from Le Creuset is my personal favorite. And I love that it comes with a lid which makes bringing things to a boil faster. It’s also oven safe.
- Spatula – This spatula is epic. Also, it’s red so that makes me happy!
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How to Make Stuffed Peppers
- 4 to 6 bell peppers
- 1 pound ground beef
- 1 yellow onion diced
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 1 tablespoon worcestershire sauce
- 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- 1 can 15 ounces tomato sauce
- 1 cup cooked rice
- ½ cup shredded mozzarella cheese divided
- ½ cup shredded cheddar cheese divided
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cut the tops off the bell peppers and remove the seeds and membranes from inside. Add the peppers to the boiling water and cook for about 3 minutes. Remove peppers and set aside.
- In a large skillet, cooke the ground beef and the onion until the beef is browned and the onion is tender. Drain excess grease.
- Add the garlic, worcestershire sauce, Italian seasoning, salt and pepper to the skillet. Cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Turn off heat.
- Stir in the tomato sauce, rice, and half the mozzarella and half the cheddar cheese.
- Place peppers upright in a small casserole or oven safe dish, and carefully spoon the ground beef and rice mixture into each pepper, until full. sprinkle the remaining cheese on top of each pepper.
- Cook in a preheated 350℉ oven for 30 minutes.
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