Stuffed bell peppers are a classic comfort food with rice, ground beef, a few savory seasonings, topped with tomato sauce.
Growing up, this was one of my favorite meals. Now that I’m an adult, it’s one of my go-to recipes whenever I need something quick, easy, and delicious!
It’s a complete meal wrapped in a sweet bell pepper. But just because it’s fit for a king doesn’t mean it requires a top chef to make it. It’s actually incredibly easy to make!
How to Make Stuffed Peppers
- The first step is to cook the rice. Add half a cup of long-grain white rice and a cup of water to a saucepan. Cook the rice over high heat until it boils. Reduce to low heat and cook for another 20 minutes. You’ll know it’s done once the rice has absorbed all the water.
- Next is the beef. Saute 1 pound of ground beef over medium heat until brown. Drain off excess liquid. Set aside.
- Now it’s time to prepare the bell peppers. Slice the tops off and remove the membranes and seeds. Place them in a baking sheet, with the hollowed sides up. If they’re lopsided, slice off the bottom so they stand upright.
- Step four: Make the filling! In a bowl, combine the cooked rice, browned beef, 1 can tomato sauce, Worcestershire sauce, onion and garlic powder, salt, and pepper.
- Next, fill the peppers with the filling to the brim.
- In a bowl, mix together the remaining tomato sauce and Italian seasoning. Pour as a topping
over the stuffed peppers.
- Last, it’s oven time. Bake the peppers at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for one hour. Baste each pepper with sauce every 15 minutes in order to keep it moist.
1 pound ground beef
1/2 cup long grain white rice (uncooked)
1 cup water
6 green bell peppers
2 (8 oz) cans tomato sauce
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
salt and pepper to taste
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
2. Place the rice and water in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover, and cook for 20 minutes.
3. In a skillet, cook the beef over medium heat until browned.
4. Cut out the tops of the bell peppers. Clean out the seeds and any membranes. Then arrange the peppers in a baking dish with the hollowed sides face up. (If needed, you can slice off the bottom so they stand upright.)
5. In a bowl, combine the cooked rice, browned beef, 1 can tomato sauce, Worcestershire sauce, onion and garlic powder, salt, and pepper.
6. Fill each bell pepper to the top. In a bowl, mix together the remaining tomato sauce and Italian seasoning. Pour as a topping over the stuffed peppers.
7. Bake for 1 hour in the preheated oven until the peppers are tender. Baste each pepper with sauce every 15 minutes in order to keep it moist.
Tips & Tricks for Making the Best Stuffed Peppers
- While this recipe calls for green bell peppers, you can use any color you like, depending on your preference. Red, orange, and yellow peppers are sweeter, while green is zestier. But there’s something about the combination of beef, rice, and tomato that tastes amazing with green bell peppers.
- Want softer peppers? Simmer them for 5 minutes before baking! Alternatively, you can blanch the peppers in boiling water for 1-2 minutes and place them in a bowl of ice water.
- You can even pre-cook them in the microwave for 5 minutes. Just be sure to place the peppers in a microwave safe baking dish, sprinkle the inside with a bit of salt, and add 1/4 cup water to the bottom of the dish. But, if you prefer firm and crisp tenders, no need to pre-cook or blanch them.
- Everything’s better with cheese, including stuffed peppers. Top your peppers with shredded cheddar cheese at the last 10 minutes of baking and pop them back into the oven. Cook until the cheese bubbles. Heaven.
- To avoid the peppers from drying out, cover the baking dish with foil.
- This recipe is perfect to make ahead. Just assemble the peppers and the filling and refrigerate. You can prepare it up to one day in advance. Add 10 minutes to the cooking time if baking straight from the fridge.
- Want a healthier option? Use ground turkey and brown rice, quinoa, or cauliflower rice instead! Tastes amazing while cutting down a few calories.
- Soak the rice in water for 30 minutes before cooking to make it more tender.
- While the dish is already a complete meal, you can serve it with salad or garlic bread to make it more filling. Also perfect for when you have guests over!
- No oven? No problem! You can cook the peppers in a slow cooker instead. Place the peppers in a slow cooker and cook on low heat for 3 ½ to 4 hours. Easy peasy.
- Give your bell peppers a Mexican flair by flavoring it with taco seasoning. Add some black beans to the filling as well. Last, top the peppers with cheddar or Monterey Jack.
- You can bake the tops of the bell peppers as well and use them as lids for a better presentation.
- You can add the seasonings to the beef as you saute it, instead of doing so during the filling preparation phase. That way, the beef gets all the flavor as you cook it.
- Instead of garlic powder and onion powder, why not use the real thing? Saute chopped onion and minced garlic and then add the beef.
- Top the filling with basil and oregano before baking for some extra flavor.
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