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Make this easy recipe for Stuffed Peppers, and feed the whole family a comfort food meal they will love!
This is a yummy weeknight meal with fresh Italian flavors, that is done in under an hour (less if you prep ahead)
After visiting a farmer’s market and getting a screaming deal on peppers (and green beans, tomatoes, cucumbers, and other things), I brought home around 10 yellow, orange, green and red bell peppers.
After eating plenty of them in recipes, chopping and freezing some – I decided to make this epic stuffed peppers recipe.
I consider them to be comfort food, that isn’t too bad for you. Plus, they are so pretty!! They are great to make ahead, and freeze well too.
This is an Italian style filling, but you can change up any or all of the ingredients according to personal preference.
Check out these mini stuffed peppers for a yummy appetizer!
Why you’ll love this recipe
- You can easily double, triple or quadruple for a crowd.
- Can be a main dish, or a side.
- This is a great recipe for the whole family. It can be served deconstructed for little ones if need be!
- Easily found ingredients. You will find everything you need at most local grocery stores.
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes! I wrap them individually in plastic, and then foil – and freeze them.
Thaw, reheat in the oven and devour.
No, you don’t HAVE to – but I think blanching them is the best way to get the max flavor.
You don’t have to, but I do like to have the ability to drain the fat off the meat! If you choose not to precook, don’t worry -the meat will cook right in the peppers in the oven. As long as you don’t stuff them too tightly, it cooks pretty quickly. Increase the time by 20 minutes to 55 minutes.
I like to mix it up and use as many different ones I can find, but if I have to choose one color, I’d choose red bell peppers for their sweetness!
You sure can. Just cut the bell peppers in half the “other” way – and stand them up in the slow cooker. Cook on high for about 3 hours. Then add the cheese, pop the lid on until the cheese if fully melted.
The full list of ingredients and quantities is found in the printable recipe card below.
- Diced Tomatoes. I use regular, but fire-roasted tomatoes are awesome in this. They give a really good smokey flavor.
- Tomato Sauce. This is pureed tomatoes, also known as passata in some parts of the world!
- Garlic. Fresh garlic is best, (or sub in some garlic powder)
- Italian Seasoning. Make your own Italian seasoning or grab it at the store.
- Red Pepper Flakes, Worcestershire Sauce Salt and Pepper
- Egg. This helps bind the rice mixture.
- Ground Beef. I use lean ground beef. You could use hot Italian sausage, ground chicken or lean ground turkey. Any ground meat will work well in this recipe.
- Cooked White Rice. Leftover long grain white rice is perfect! You’ll need about 1 1/2 cup cooked rice. Brown rice or cauliflower rice can be substituted if you prefer.
- Cheese. I like cheddar, but mozzarella cheese, and/or parmesan cheese combined is awesome too.
How to make Stuffed Peppers
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The full list of ingredients, quantities and instructions can be found in the printable recipe card below.
Cut the peppers in half and remove the ribs, stem and seeds. Chop any edible tops of the peppers, set aside.
Blanch the Peppers
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil – add the pepper, reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 5 minutes. Drain peppers and set aside.
Make the filling
In a large skillet, brown the ground beef, drain fat and remove beef to a plate.
In a large skillet, brown the ground beef, drain fat and remove beef to a plate. Heat olive oil and butter over medium-high heat tin the same skillet, then cook the peppers (from tops) and onion for about 5 minutes, or until softened.
Add tomatoes, tomato sauce, Worcestershire sauce, garlic, Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper. Simmer for 10 minutes.
In a large bowl combine the egg, cooked ground beef, cooked rice, and 1 cup of the tomato mixture.
Set the peppers in a baking dish. Stuff peppers with the rice and meat mixture.
Pour remaining tomato mixture over the stuffed peppers.
Cooking the peppers
Bake at 350° for 25-30 minutes – top with cheese during the last 5 minutes, and bake until cheese is melted.
What to do with leftovers
Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. Reheat until piping hot! You could use the microwave, or the oven. If using the oven, cover with aluminum foil and bake until fully heated.
You can use any color peppers for this delicious recipe. I like green bell peppers, orange peppers, yellow or red peppers. Or all of them!!
Adding some fresh basil or parsley (any Italian herbs, really) at the end, or in the filling is a great way to bump up some different flavors.
This recipe can be frozen prior to cooking, or after cooking. Cover tightly with foil, then place in a freezer safe bag or container. Freeze up to 3 months.
Want some more comfort food? Of course you do!
- Pasta Fazool (aka Pasta e Fagioli) – A yummy one-pot meal that is super easy to make! Pasta Fazool is healthy comfort food that satisfies the whole family using commonly found ingredients!
- Instant Pot Chicken & Rice – is a family friendly dinner! Grab your electric pressure cooker and some basic ingredients and dinner will be SUPER fast (and really tasty, too).
- Skillet Lasagna – A delicious lasagna that is made in a cast-iron skillet. This comfort food classic is perfect for weeknights and pleases the whole family!
- Chicken Divan Casserole – with broccoli, chicken, cheese and a crunchy topping. You will make this family favorite over and over!
Italian Stuffed Peppers
- 3 bell peppers (halved longways)
- 1 Tbs butter
- 1 Tbs olive oil
- 1 cup onion (chopped )
- 14.5oz can diced tomatoes
- 8 oz tomato sauce
- 2 cloves garlic (minced)
- 2 tsp italian seasoning
- Pinch red pepper flakes
- 2 tsp salt ( )
- 1/2 tsp cracked pepper ( )
- 1 egg (lightly beaten)
- 1 1/2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
- 1 lb lean ground beef
- 1 1/2 cups white rice (cooked )
- 1/2 cup cheddar cheese (grated)
- Cut the peppers in half and remove the ribs, stemp and seeds. Chop any edible tops of the peppers, set aside.
BLANCH THE PEPPERS
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil – add the pepper, reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 5 minutes. Drain peppers and set aside.
MAKE THE FILLING
- Brown the ground beef, drain fat and remove beef to a plate.
- Heat olive oil and butter in the same skillet, then cook the peppers (from tops) and onion for about 5 minutes, or until softened.
- Add tomatoes, tomato sauce, worcestershire, garlic, italian seasoning, salt, and pepper. Simmer for 10 minutes.
- In a large mixing bowl combine the egg, cooked ground beef, cooked rice, and 1 cup of the tomato mixture.
- Set the peppers in a baking dish. Stuff each pepper with the rice and meat mixture.
- Pour remaining tomato mixture over the stuffed peppers.
- Bake at 350° for 25-30 minutes – top with cheese during the last 5 minutes, and bake until cheese is melted.
Nutritional information is an estimate and provided to you as a courtesy. You should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe using your preferred nutrition calculator.