Dinner is ready in a flash with this Easy Stuffed Peppers Recipe! Filled with hearty ground beef, tender rice and topped with melty cheese, these classic stuffed peppers are an instant family favorite!
I’m a huge fan of stuffed peppers! I’ve made them in the slow cooker, filled with macaroni, and even deconstructed in a skillet. But what I haven’t share with you yet, is the base of my inspiration – the original stuffed pepper casserole!
Easy Stuffed Peppers Recipe
This is the OG of stuffed peppers. The classic. And honestly, one of the easiest comfort food dinners out there.
It’s perfect for a busy weeknight, having company over, or served for Sunday supper. You can’t go wrong with this dish!
Grab these ingredients and let’s get going! Keep in mind, a lot of these ingredients can be interchangeable to customize the recipe to your preference.
- Large Bell Peppers – use a variety of colors to brighten up the dish.
- Ground Beef – you can swap in ground turkey
- Diced Onion
- Cooked Rice – works great with brown rice, wild grain, quinoa, bulgar, or any small cooked grain!
- Petite Diced Tomatoes – use the Italian seasoned tomatoes for extra flavor
- Tomato Sauce – add in extra sauce if you like it saucier
- Shredded Zucchini – my favorite way to sneak in extra veggies! A cheese grater works great!
- Italian seasoning – use my homemade blend for the BEST flavor
- Mozzarella Cheese – try swapping 1/4 cup of the mozzarella with parmesan cheese for extra flavor
How To Make Them
- Start by bringing a large pot of water to a boil. Cut the tops off of your peppers and pull out the seeds and membranes, creating a nice cavity inside.
- Dip the peppers into the boiling water, letting them cook for just 2 minutes, then pull them out and drain on paper towels.
- Meanwhile, brown the ground beef and onion in a skillet, then drain any fat.
- Add in the garlic and stir until fragrant. Next, toss in the cooked rice, half of the tomato sauce (save the other half for later), diced tomatoes, shredded zucchini, Italian seasoning and salt.
- Spoon the ground beef and rice mixture into each of the prepared bell peppers.
- Top the stuffed peppers with the remaining tomato sauce, then cover casserole dish with foil.
How Long To Cook Stuffed Peppers?
Since we’ve already par-boiled the peppers and cooked the filling on the stove top, it really doesn’t take much longer to finish these peppers off in the oven!
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- Bake for 10 minutes, then remove foil and continue baking for 15 more minutes.
- Top with cheese and continue baking until cheese has melted, about 3 minutes.
Tips, Variations & More
Can I Use Brown Rice – Yes, definitely! This recipe uses cooked white rice, but you can easily substitute in cooked brown rice or any other cooked grain.
Can I Use Ground Turkey – Yes, you can! Substitute in equal amounts ground turkey, sausage, pork, etc. for the ground beef.
Slow Cooker? – Using the slow cooker is a great way to prep this recipe ahead of time and let it cook during the day. You can skip the pre boiling of the peppers and just go right into stuffing! Cook on LOW for 6 to 8 hours.
How To Freeze Stuffed Peppers – These are great for making ahead of time and freezing. Freeze them prior to baking, then just pop them into the oven from frozen (covered in foil) and cook until heated through. Finish the rest of the way as stated in the recipe below.
How To Make Peppers Stand Up – Sometimes the peppers don’t want to stand up on their own. Simply trim a little off the bottoms until they are even and they should stand perfectly!
Side Dishes To Serve With
This Easy Stuffed Peppers Recipe is almost a meal in itself, but we love to pair them with these easy side dish options too.
- Caesar Salad
- 2 Ingredient Dough Garlic Breadsticks
- Classic Mashed Potatoes
- Parmesan Roasted Brussels Sprouts
Craving More? Try These Stuffed Pepper Recipes –
Here are some more delicious and easy Stuffed Pepper recipes to try!
- Slow Cooker Meatloaf Stuffed Peppers with Mashed Potatoes
- Steakhouse Stuffed Peppers
- Easy Ground Beef Stuffed Peppers Skillet
- Beef and Macaroni Stuffed Peppers
- Couscous Stuffed Peppers
Easy Stuffed Peppers Recipe
- 6 bell peppers, variety of colors
- 1 lb. lean ground beef
- ½ cup onion, diced
- 2 tsp minced garlic
- 1 cup cooked white rice
- 1 tsp salt
- 14 oz. petite diced tomatoes
- 8 oz. tomato sauce, divided
- 1 cup shredded zucchini
- 2 tsp Italian seasoning
- 1 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Cut the tops off of your peppers and pull out the seeds and membranes, creating a nice cavity inside. Dip the peppers into the boiling water, letting them cook for just 2 minutes, then pull them out and drain on paper towels.
- Meanwhile, brown the ground beef and onion in a skillet, then drain any fat. Add in the garlic and stir until fragrant. Next, toss in the cooked rice, half of the tomato sauce (save the other half for later), diced tomatoes, shredded zucchini, Italian seasoning and salt. Stir to combine and cook until heated through.
- Spoon the ground beef mixture into each of the prepared peppers and then place in a casserole dish. Top each pepper with about a tablespoon of the tomato sauce and cover the dish with foil.
- Bake for 10 minutes, remove foil and continue baking for an additional 15 minutes. Top with the shredded mozzarella cheese and bake 3 more minutes, or until cheese is melted. Enjoy!
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I love this recipe. The only thing I change is to add Minnesota grown native wild rice. It adds so much more flavor than white rice.
Fabulous and truly easy, thanks! It also got rid of the dreaded turkey meatballs that no one wanted. I cut them up and voila…also, it’s a great use for leftover steamed rice from our fav Chinese takeout, or leftover quinoa!
Yay! I’m so glad you enjoyed the recipe. Great job using up leftovers… repurposing leftovers is one of my favorite things to do!
We could eat this every week. It’s so tasty and full of flavor. The kids love it and that’s a win in my book.
Yay! I’m so glad you enjoyed it Cathy!
I want to share with you my mother’s “Passed-on wisdom” about Bell Peppers. It is particularly important that I share this with someone now as my mother passed on 10 days before her 93 birthday this year. Here’s what she passed on to me about Bell Peppers. She believe that Bell Peppers had unique properties that were not shared with very many other vegetables – That they made the perfect storage container for freezing ANY leftover food. I have tested her wisdom and found it true. She would buy Bell Peppers (any color, but mostly Green — because of the lower cost), remove the tops (throwing away the stems and dicing the edible part of the top to be frozen for use in other recipes), removing the veins and seeds, placing the pepper on a sheet of plastic wrap, folding the edges inside the pepper and freezing them for future use. Whenever she had leftovers like spaghetti, mashed potatoes, really, almost any casserole or other thing that could be stuffed into a pepper, she would remove the required number of bell pepper “bowls” from the freezer, remove the wrapper and stuff that pepper with what she wanted to save for later. It turns out that almost anything that you can freeze in a bell pepper can be later removed from the freezer and re-heat in the microwave (without prior thawing) and it will most often taste as though you had prepared, whatever it was, right then. The bell pepper has an almost unique cell structure that provides just the right amount of moisture to the frozen leftover to restore it to its original freshness. Thank you for taking the time to let me pass this on to someone, as it has worked well for me for the 50 years since she told me about it. I know that I can no longer buy 5 or 6 peppers for a dollar on sale, but since I eat the pepper along with or beside the contents, whatever I have spent on this “edible bowl” is not wasted. BTW, I will be trying this recipe very soon. As you can tell, I have a special link through my Mother with Bell Peppers.
That’s awesome Pat! I never thought about that, but I’m totally going to try it. I really appreciate you passing on this wisdom, and I hope many will find it as useful as I do! 🙂
Loved this story!!! I too will have to give it a try
Thank you for passing on your mother’s wisdom on all things Bell pepper. I will most definitely be trying this out with the leftovers I have on a daily basis.
Again thank you so very much..