Stuffed Bell Peppers {easy recipe!} - Belly Full (2024)

These easy Stuffed Peppers start with gorgeous multi-colored bell peppers, filled with a hearty mix of ground beef, rice, tomatoes, and seasonings, then finished with cheese and baked until tender. It’s a perfect all in one healthy, delicious dinner that your family will love!

If you’re craving Mexican food and other stuffed peppers, you’ll also love our classic Chile Relleno recipe made with poblano peppers.

Stuffed Bell Peppers {easy recipe!} - Belly Full (1)

I have always loved stuffed peppers – the taste, that is, but not all the work that seems to go into making them. Par-boiling the peppers before baking, making up the rice and beef separately, etc. By the time dinner is ready, you’ve been on your feet for two hours and have a mountain of dishes to clean. No thanks! These stuffed bell peppers are none of that.

We tinkered with our ever-popular easy Mexican Rice Skillet and used that filling for Mexican stuffed peppers. And we’re in love.

Stuffed Peppers Recipe

Truly one of the best stuffed peppers recipes. Here’s why:

  • All in one meal: these peppers are stuffed with lean ground beef, vegetables, and rice, so it’s a complete, hearty and satisfying meal.
  • Super flavorful: using diced tomato and chopped green chiles, with just the right seasonings makes these peppers so flavorful.
  • Eat more veggies: this is a great way to include more vegetables into your diet.
  • Minimal dishes: these peppers are pre-baked (in the same baking dish you’ll be using to bake the stuffed peppers) while you cook the filling, eliminating extra dishes and saving on time.
  • It’s cheap: All the ingredients are simple, available at common grocery stores, and affordable.
  • Gluten free: this dish is a great option for anyone with gluten sensitives.
  • Versatile: You can easily change out the meat, cheeses, and rice to suit different tastes.
  • Make it ahead of time: Prep and serve right away or cook and freeze for later.
  • Leftovers: this recipe makes 8 peppers, so if you have a small family, you’re guaranteed to have leftovers for lunch the next day.
  • Everyone loves it! A classic combination of beef, rice, tomatoes, and cheese is always a hit with the family.
Stuffed Bell Peppers {easy recipe!} - Belly Full (2)

Ingredients for Stuffed Bell Peppers

Here are all the ingredients you’ll need for these Mexican stuffed peppers with uncooked rice and ground beef.

  • Bell peppers: the star of the show. Use all the same color or a variety. Purchase ones that are uniform in size, so they cook at the same rate.
  • Beef: we use lean ground beef, but ground Italian sausage is delicious, too. Or you can use lean ground turkey for a healthier option. All good!
  • Rice: (uncooked) long grain white rice is our preference. Brown rice may be substituted, but it will require more cooking liquid and a longer simmer time.
  • Onion: sweet diced onion with the diced pepper tops, sautéed in olive oil, is the base of the filling.
  • Tomatoes and Chiles: a combination of canned petite diced tomatoes and canned Rotel (which is diced tomatoes and chiles) with their liquid, takes the flavor up a level. Rotel comes in original, mild, and hot, so you can control the spiciness to suit your taste.
  • Chicken Broth: the filling simmers in low sodium chicken broth, adding an extra layer of flavor.
  • Cheese: these are Mexican stuffed peppers, so we use shredded Mexican blend cheese. You can certainly replace this with all cheddar or kick it up a notch with Pepper Jack.
  • Olive Oil: the vegetables sauté in extra-virgin olive oil.
  • Seasonings: taco seasoning, Worcestershire sauce, brown sugar, salt, and pepper are combined to knock the flavor out of the park.
  • Parsley and/or Scallions: We love finishing this dish off with fresh chopped parsley (or cilantro) and scallions, for color and additional flavor.
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How to Make Stuffed Peppers

Nothing complicated here! These easy stuffed peppers are on the table in 45 minutes and the majority of that time is hands-off. Here’s a brief summary of the steps needed:
*You can find the complete printable recipe and video tutorial below.

  1. Prep the peppers: slice off the tops of the peppers. Remove the seeds and membranes; discard. Dice up the tops of the peppers and reserve those for the filling.
  2. Cook the filling: the ingredients for the filling is sautéed and simmered on the stovetop.
  3. Roast the peppers: at the same time the filling is cooking, you’ll roast the peppers in the oven.
  4. Fill the peppers: stuff the partially cooked peppers with the filling.
  5. Finish baking: top with cheese and place back in the oven to finish baking until peppers are tender. Easy!
  6. How long to cook stuffed peppers? For these stuffed bell peppers, the peppers bake in a 400 degree F oven for 20 minutes at the same time the filling cooks on the stovetop. Then after they’re filled, they go back in the oven for another 10 minutes or so, for a total of 30 minutes.
Stuffed Bell Peppers {easy recipe!} - Belly Full (4)

How do you keep stuffed peppers from falling over?

Bell peppers have bumps on the bottom and are rarely level. To keep them from falling over, you can slice a little bit off the bottom of each pepper to create a flattened base (being careful not to slice into the pepper itself or the stuffing will leak out.) This helps them sit upright. Another way to keep the peppers from falling over is to place them in a smaller baking dish with taller sides so they’re somewhat snug (but not completely crowded.)

Do You Have to Pre-cook Peppers Before Stuffing Them?

You certainly don’t have to, but the texture will be more like a crispy raw bell pepper if you don’t pre-cook them. For this recipe, we don’t boil them (because what a hassle!) – we simply pre-bake in the oven at the same time the filling simmers on the stove. Then finish them off in the oven once stuffed, so they’re tender. Easy!

Can you make Stuffed Peppers in a Slow Cooker?

Yes, these can also be cooked in a slow cooker, if you prefer. Skip pre-baking the peppers and just stuff them with the cooked filling. Cook in the slow cooker on low for about 3 1/2 hours (or until tender), then sprinkle with the cheese during the last 10 minutes or so.

Leftovers and Freezer Storage

Allow any leftover peppers to cool completely, then store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

Can you freeze stuffed peppers? Yep! Allow to cool completely, then place peppers in an airtight freezer-safe container, cut side up. You can freeze them all together in one single container or freeze individually wrapped in plastic wrap and then in a freezer-safe bag. They will keep frozen for up to 2 months. Thaw in the fridge overnight before reheating.

How to reheat stuffed peppers: Reheat in the microwave or oven. To microwave, cut the peppers in half and loosen up the filling a little bit to ensure they warm through evenly. For the oven, place the peppers in a baking dish (cut side up) and warm at 350 degrees F until heated through.

Watch them Being Made

What to Serve with Stuffed Peppers

These Mexican stuffed bell peppers are a meal in itself and don’t really need anything else, but a nice crisp side salad would round out the dinner nicely. Some of our favorites include this Simple Side Salad, Cucumber Tomato Salad, or a Three Bean Salad.

I hope you love this delicious and easy recipe – be sure to give it a review below! Also don’t forget to follow Belly Full onFacebook,Instagram,Pinterest, andYouTube!

Stuffed Bell Peppers {easy recipe!} - Belly Full (5)

Stuffed Bell Peppers

4.99 from 61 Ratings

These easy Stuffed Peppers are filled with a hearty mix of ground beef, rice, tomatoes, and seasonings, then finished with cheese and baked until tender.

Print Recipe Rate Recipe Pin Recipe

Prep Time 15 minutes minutes

Cook Time 30 minutes minutes

Total Time 45 minutes minutes

Servings: 8 stuffed peppers

Ingredients

  • 8 bell peppers (any colors)
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 1 small sweet onion , diced
  • Salt and pepper , to taste
  • 15 ounce can petite diced tomatoes , undrained
  • 10 ounce can Rotel , undrained (choose from original, mild, or hot)
  • 1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
  • 3/4 cup uncooked long grain white rice
  • 3 teaspoons brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon taco seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 cup shredded Mexican blend cheese , divided
  • Fresh chopped cilantro(or parsley) , for serving
  • Diced scallions , for serving

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Coat a square or round 3-quart baking dish with nonstick spray.

  • Slice off the tops of the peppers. Remove the seeds and membranes; discard. Dice up the tops of the peppers; set aside.

  • If necessary, slice a little bit off the bottom of each pepper to create a flattened base so they can sit upright without falling over (being careful not to slice into the pepper itself or the stuffing will leak out.) Transfer peppers to the prepared baking dish, making sure they're somewhat snug, but not completely crowded. Season the insides with a dash of salt and pepper.

  • In a large ovenproof saute pan (with a lid), warm olive oil over medium-high heat. Add in the beef, onion, and reserved diced up bell peppers. Cook, breaking up the beef with a wooden spoon, until browned and no pink remains, about 3-5 minutes. Drain off grease and season with salt and pepper, to taste.

  • Stir in the diced tomatoes, Rotel, chicken broth, rice, brown sugar, Worcestershire sauce, taco seasoning, salt, and pepper. Bring to a boil; stir once, then cover tightly. Reduce heat to medium-low and let cook for about 20 minutes undisturbed.

  • Simultaneously, transfer baking dish with the peppers to the preheated oven and roast for 20 minutes.

  • Uncover pan, stir 1/2 cup of the cheese into the beef mixture until melted.

  • Spoon mixture into the partially baked peppers and top with remaining 1/2 cup cheese.

  • Place stuffed peppers back into the oven for another 10 minutes until cheese has melted and peppers are tender.

  • Sprinkle cilantro (or parsley) and scallions over the top and serve!

Video

Nutrition

Calories: 299kcal | Carbohydrates: 30g | Protein: 19g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 48mg | Sodium: 539mg | Potassium: 735mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 11g | Vitamin A: 3925IU | Vitamin C: 162mg | Calcium: 151mg | Iron: 3mg

Nutritional information given is an automatic calculation and can vary based on the exact products you use and any changes you make to the recipe. If these numbers are very important to you, I would recommend calculating them yourself.

Other Notes

Course: Main Course

Cuisine: Mexican

Keyword: stuffed bell peppers, stuffed peppers, stuffed peppers recipe

Did you make this recipe?Snap a picture and mention @bellyfullblog!

Stuffed Bell Peppers {easy recipe!} - Belly Full (6)
Stuffed Bell Peppers {easy recipe!} - Belly Full (2024)

FAQs

Should I cook my bell peppers before stuffing them? ›

You don't need to cook the peppers before stuffing them. Budget-Friendly. Stuffed peppers turn humble, affordable ingredients like rice and ground beef into a well-rounded meal (don't miss these other Ground Beef Dinner Ideas for more wallet-friendly meals).

How do you make bell peppers digest easier? ›

We recommend peeling them as they'll be yummier and easier to digest. Also, the skin is often burnt, so you should remove it. What is the difference between red peppers and green peppers?

How to stop stuffed peppers from being watery? ›

Bell peppers contain more than 90% water, much of which is released during the cooking process. If you cook your stuffed peppers in one fell swoop, that moisture will release and end up in the final dish. Give them a jump start and prevent them from falling apart by roasting them for a short time in a hot oven.

How to make stuffed peppers not watery? ›

How to Prevent Watery Peppers
  1. Pre-cook Peppers. When you bake peppers that are not pre-blanched or cooked, it is normal that they release their natural water – which can be easily avoided by pre-cooking beforehand. ...
  2. Use Leftover Rice. Does this tip sound familiar to you? ...
  3. Save Cheese for the Topping.

Should I cover my stuffed peppers when I bake them? ›

Pour a small amount of water into the bottom of the baking dish and drizzle the peppers with a little olive oil. Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Uncover and bake until the peppers are soft and the cheese is melted and lightly browned, another 15 to 20 minutes.

Why does my stomach hurt after eating bell peppers? ›

The skin of bell peppers is hard to break down.

"As a result, remnants can end up in the stool," she said. It can also cause stomach pain or gas for some people. But if you still want to enjoy peppers at meal time, McDowell said to remove the skin before eating.

Are bell peppers good for bowels? ›

Keep your colon healthy

“Red bell peppers have an excellent amount of fiber with few calories, so they're a great way to up your fiber intake,” notes Whitson. “Fiber helps prevent digestive problems like constipation, and it may even help prevent colon cancer.”

What do peppers do to your stomach? ›

Stomach health: Multiple studies have shown that capsaicin inhibits acid production in the stomach, which may help prevent ulcers. Gut health: Perhaps surprisingly, spicy foods can have a calming, anti-inflammatory effect in the gut and improve the microbiome.

Why do my stuffed peppers taste bland? ›

The thing about most stuffed bell pepper recipes is 3that they call for salt in the filling, not for the peppers themselves. Without salt, the peppers are flabby and bland, merely a filling case. With a sprinkle of salt, they transform into a sweet and powerfully savory part of the dish.

How to prevent stuffed peppers from getting soggy? ›

No moisture in, no moisture out

Following the logic of precooking your peppers to safeguard against sogginess, you should also avoid watery ingredients in your stuffing. Let's say your filling calls for tomato sauce. Rather than spooning it directly into your hollowed peppers, reduce it on the stove until it's thick.

How do you fix too much pepper in stuffing? ›

6 Tips to Fix Dishes That Are Too Spicy
  1. Add Dairy. There's a lot of hype about using milk to help provide relief from spicy foods, and for good reason. ...
  2. Use Citrus. ...
  3. Add Nuts or Nut Butters. ...
  4. Sprinkle in Sugar. ...
  5. Add Starch or Grains. ...
  6. Dilute It.
Apr 14, 2022

Do you have to boil peppers before stuffing them? ›

The peppers need to be par-cooked before filling so that they cook through. Many recipes call for boiling the peppers first, but I prefer to roast them – more flavor and less cleanup!

Why do stuffed peppers take so long to cook? ›

For Uncooked Fillings in Whole Peppers:

It's possible to stuff peppers with a raw filling. If you're stuffing a whole pepper, it takes awhile to cook because the filling needs to reach a safe temperature. Out of all the stuffed peppers, this one takes the longest to cook because of its size.

How much water needed for peppers? ›

Do pepper plants need a lot of water? Peppers actually like to dry out a bit between watering. That said, during the longest hottest days of summer, especially in pots, that may be every day. With cooler weather and during the spring and fall you may only need to water them every 2-3 days.

Should you cook or raw bell peppers? ›

Bell peppers, whether raw or cooked, are packed with vitamin C and various antioxidants. Eating them raw provides maximum vitamin C content, but cooking bell peppers can increase the availability of other nutrients. Roasting or grilling bell peppers enhances their natural sweetness and offers a delightful flavor.

Do you have to cook bell peppers before eating them? ›

Do You Need to Cook Bell Peppers? Bell peppers are safe to eat cooked or raw. They are crunchy and crisp with a very mild spicy bite when raw. Cooking tends to enhance the pepper's natural sweetness.

Do you have to cook peppers before canning? ›

Instructions for Canning Sweet Peppers: The skins of bell peppers or sweet peppers are more tender, so they generally do not need to be blistered and peeled (thank goodness). Simple quarter or roughly chop bell peppers and cover them with water in a pot. Boil for 3 minutes, then transfer to pint or half-pint jars.

How long to boil bell peppers to soften? ›

To boil bell peppers: Cook peppers, covered, in a small amount of boiling salted water for 6 to 7 minutes or until crisp-tender. To sauté bell peppers: Heat a skillet with 2 to 3 tablespoons of cooking oil over medium-high heat. Carefully add bell peppers and cook until just tender, about 10 minutes.

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