Stuffed Peppers are bell peppers filled with rice and ground beef mixture, topped with seasoned tomato sauce and mozzarella cheese. You get your vegetables, protein, and carbs all in one delicious dish! You might also want to try my Chicken Mushroom Stuffed Peppers and Southwest Anaheim Stuffed Peppers, too!
Bell peppers are perfect for filling with meats, sauces, and cheeses for a satisfying and well-rounded meal, all in one. They were named for their bell-like shape and are a mild pepper (even though they are part of the same family as hot chili peppers). A fun fact is that bell peppers are the only peppers in that family of peppers that do not contain capsaicin (the heat-causing component in peppers).
What is Blanching?
Blanching is a method to cook vegetables so they end up being crisp and bright in color. It also helps them cook more evenly. All it takes to blanch peppers is a pot of salted boiling water and a bowl of ice water nearby.
I recommend blanching the peppers for this recipe, but if you don’t have time and are not going to freeze the peppers, you can also make this recipe without blanching.
How to Store Stuffed Peppers
Stuffed Peppers can be stored in the refrigerator for 3-4 days. When ready to reheat, put them in the oven for 15-20 minutes at 350°F.
Can I Freeze Stuffed Peppers?
Yes! Stuffed Peppers are a great meal that you can make ahead of time and freeze. Once the stuffed peppers have been cooked, let them cool completely before freezing them. If they are still warm, they will probably end up soggy when they thaw.
The easiest way to freeze the peppers is in a freezer-safe casserole dish with a lid on it. If you don’t have a casserole dish, you can double wrap (in plastic wrap) each stuffed pepper individually and put them in freezer-safe bags. Be sure to label and date the bags. The peppers can be frozen for up to a year, but best eaten within 6 months.
How to Reheat Frozen Stuffed Peppers
When you are ready to heat up the peppers, you can let them thaw in the refrigerator overnight, or simply take them from the freezer directly to the oven. Preheat the oven to 350°F and place the frozen (or thawed) stuffed peppers in the oven. Bake them until they are warm. The bake time will depend if they have been thawed or not.
Can I Make Stuffed Peppers in an Air Fryer?
Absolutely! It has actually become my new favorite way to enjoy this dish.
- Stuff peppers with the beef mixture. Place into the Air Fryer.
- Cook the peppers at 360°F (or 375°F if you don’t have 360°F) until tender for 10 minutes. Top with shredded mozarealla cheese and then cook for 2-3 minutes
- 6 bell peppers, any color
- ice water, for blanching
- ½ cup long-grain white rice, uncooked
- 1 cup water
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- ¾ cup (1 small) onion, chopped
- 1 pound ground beef
- 2 teaspoons garlic, minced
- 1 can (15 ounces) tomato sauce, divided
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- 1 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded, divided
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
Blanching Peppers (Optional, See Notes)
- Cut off the tops of the peppers and remove the seeds only.
- Fill a large pot with water and bring to a boil.
- When the water gets to a boil, put in the peppers and let them cook for 3 minutes. They should be bright green (or yellow, or red, whatever color peppers you are using) after a few minutes.
- As the peppers are cooking, fill a large bowl with ice water.
- With a slotted spoon or tongs, transfer the peppers into the ice water immediately. This ‘shocking’ will stop the peppers from cooking any longer.
- After the peppers have cooled completely, drain them from the ice water and pat them down with a paper towel.
- Remove the membranes from the peppers and discard. Then, place the peppers in a baking dish while you prepare the ground beef stuffing mixture.
- Place the rice and water in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover, and cook 10 minutes (rice will be slightly firm).
- In a skillet over medium heat, add oil. When oil is hot, add onions, cook 2-3 minutes or until translucent. Add beef and cook until browned. Add garlic, cook 1 more minute or until fragrant.
- To the skillet, add the cooked rice, ½ can of the tomato sauce, Worcestershire sauce, salt, and pepper.
- Spoon an equal amount of the mixture into each hollowed pepper. Mix the remaining tomato sauce and Italian seasoning in a bowl and pour over the stuffed peppers.
- Top with mozzarella cheese.
- Bake 1 hour, basting with sauce every 15 minutes until the peppers are tender.
Did you make this recipe?
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