This stuffed bell peppers recipe is a classic comfort food dish made with rice, ground beef, a few savory seasonings, and topped with tomato sauce.
Growing up, stuffed peppers were 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!
Not only are stuffed bell peppers a nostalgic meal, but it’s also on the fancier side!
But just because it’s fit for a king doesn’t mean it requires a top chef to make it. This recipe is actually incredibly easy to make!
How to Make Stuffed Bell Peppers
- The first step in this recipe 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 of 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.
Tips & Tricks
- 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! It 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. It’s 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 peppers a Mexican flair by flavoring them 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.
- Top the filling with basil and oregano before baking for some extra flavor.
- Instead of garlic powder and onion powder, why not use the real thing? Saute chopped onion and minced garlic and then add the beef.
Can You Make Stuffed Peppers Ahead of Time?
Yes, you sure can! If you opt to make stuffed bell peppers ahead, you will follow the recipe steps but omit adding the cheese on top until you’re ready to bake them.
Refrigerate the peppers until it’s time to cook them. Top with the cheese, and bake according to the recipe instructions, but add 10 minutes of cook time.
How to Freeze Stuffed Peppers
In the event that you have leftovers after dinner, portion your stuffed peppers into individual servings and place them in air-tight containers.
Store in the freezer and enjoy them for up to 3 months.
When you’re ready to reheat your stuffed bell peppers, you can heat them in the microwave for approximately 2 minutes.
You can also bake them covered in the oven for 15 to 20 minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
Can Stuffed Peppers be Made in a Crockpot?
Yes, for sure! To make stuffed bell peppers in your Crockpot or slow cooker, spray it with cooking spray and place your filled peppers inside.
Cook on low for 5-6 hours or high for 3-4 hours, depending on how big your peppers are. Wait to top with cheese until the last 30 minutes of cook time.
What to Serve With Stuffed Peppers
Since this meal is on the hearty side, stuffed peppers are best paired with something light.
You could make a simple side salad full of mixed greens and your favorite toppings. Sauteed greens, such as spinach, kale, or collard greens also work well as a side dish.
If you want something more filling, opt for a side of hot, cooked white rice, polenta, or mashed potatoes.
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