In the summer when peppers are in season, stuffed peppers are a great and healthy snack, side dish, or even a full meal!
There are so many ways to make your very own stuffed peppers whether it’s something meaty, cheesy, or packed with veggies. But because they’re not always in season, you might want to prepare a big batch for a later day.
If you’re wondering if you can freeze stuffed peppers to make them last longer, the answer is YES! You definitely can.
Read on to find out how long stuffed peppers last in the freezer, the best ways to store them, defrost them, and some extra tips and tricks for making them extra delish.
How Long Do Stuffed Peppers Last in the Freezer?
When stored properly, stuffed peppers can last several months in the freezer, even up to a year! It’s important to follow some key steps to ensure that they stay fresh and still taste delicious when it’s finally time to heat or cook them.
How to Freeze Stuffed Peppers
The first thing to consider if you want to freeze your stuffed peppers is whether you want to store them uncooked or cooked. I personally like to cook them through before storing but you might also prefer to freeze them uncooked. Follow the steps below to keep your peppers fresh.
Freezing Cooked Stuffed Peppers
For this method, make sure your peppers are fully cooked. No half-cooking, especially with meats! Once the stuffed peppers are ready, make sure to cool them fully before placing in the freezer.
Once they’ve cooled, you can store either in a baking dish or wrapped individually. Placing them in a baking dish makes it quicker to reheat in the oven later on but wrapping them individually makes it last much longer and you can also just reheat one or two at a time.
To store all your stuffed peppers in a single dish, place them neatly upright with some space between each pepper. Next, wrap the entire baking dish with plastic wrap. Two layers is recommended and make sure everything is wrapped, not just the top of the dish!
Once you’ve done this, place a sheet of aluminum foil over the baking pan and tuck it in the sides. This way, no moisture gets in and your peppers will stay fresh for longer.
To store cooked stuffed peppers individually, wrap each of them snuggly in plastic wrap. Two layers is recommended!
Next, place all the wrapped peppers into a freezer-safe airtight plastic bag. Make sure to squeeze out any excess air before sealing.
Freezing Uncooked Stuffed Peppers
If you want to freeze uncooked stuffed peppers, you still need to do some preparation with the stuffing. Cook all the stuffing ingredients according to your recipe and set them aside.
As for the peppers, blanch them in boiling water for a few minutes to get them soft. Once they are cool, you can start to put in the cooked stuffing ingredients.
The process for preparing your uncooked stuffed peppers for freezing is the same as with the cooked stuffed peppers. You may place them in a baking pan, wrap the entire pan with two layers of plastic wrap and cover with foil. Make sure the pan is fully sealed.
You can also wrap them individually. Simply wrap the individual stuffed peppers with two layers of plastic wrap and place them all in one Ziploc or airtight bag.
How to Defrost Stuffed Peppers
When it’s finally time to enjoy those delicious stuffed peppers, there are some things to keep in mind when you defrost them.
For frozen cooked stuffed peppers, bake them at 350 degrees F for 30 minutes or until they are completely thawed and warm. If you want a shorter baking time, you can thaw them in the refrigerator overnight.
As for the frozen uncooked peppers, the process is the same but you’ll need to add an extra 20 minutes to your baking time.
Tips and Tricks
Before prepping your stuffed peppers, here’s a few tips to keep in mind.
- If your stuffing recipe includes adding cheese, save it for later. Cheese won’t do well with freezing so it’s better to add it on later before baking.
- Unless you’re in a rush, it’s best to cook your stuffed peppers before freezing. This will save you a lot of time later on when it’s time to bake them.
- If you’re just eating one or two peppers at a time, then wrap them individually before freezing. This makes it super easy to make a quick dinner for two.
- Frozen stuffed peppers will last up to a year, but they’re best when eating within six months.
And here are some unique ways to spice up your stuffed peppers with some fun new flavors!
- Cajun Flavors – cajun-seasoned shrimp with cheddar cheese and cilantro
- Mexican Style – ground beef with rice, black beans and queso
- Vegetarian – quinoa stir fry with corn, peas, and carrots
- Thai Curry – shredded curried chicken, rice, potatoes, and carrots