Stuffed Peppers are bell peppers filled with a 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! For another stuffed recipe, try my Taco Stuffed Shells.
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). Bell peppers are also loaded with nutrition, the red peppers being the highest because they have been on the vines the longest. But, they all are good for you which is why this stuffed pepper recipe is not only delicious but nutritious!
Stuffed Peppers Recipe
This recipe is the classic stuffed peppers recipe. You can use any color bell pepper, but the green peppers will give you a little more bitterness to the taste (which I like). Or, get a variety of colors for a nice display!
Ingredients (full recipe below)
- Bell peppers
- White rice
- Olive oil
- Ground beef
- Tomato sauce
- Worchestershire sauce
- Italian seasoning
- Mozzarella cheese
How to Make Stuffed Peppers
Once you have decided on the color of the bell peppers you want to use, it’s time to get them stuffed! First, blanch the peppers. Blanching is a method to cook vegetables so they end up being crisp and bright in color. It also helps them cook more evenly.
How to Blanch Bell Peppers
All it takes to blanch peppers is a pot of salted boiling water and a bowl of ice water nearby. When blanching peppers to stuff, cut off the top and remove the seeds only. 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. With a slotted spoon or tongs, transfer the peppers into the ice water immediately. This ‘shocking’ will stop the peppers from cooking any longer. When they have cooled completely, drain them from the ice water and pat the peppers down with a paper towel. Remove the membranes from the peppers and place them in a baking dish while you prepare the ground beef stuffing mixture. If the peppers are a little wobbly, simply slice a little bit off the uneven bottom to help them stand up. (If you don’t have time and are not going to freeze the peppers, you can also make this recipe without blanching the peppers.)
Stuffing the Peppers
To get started, first cook the rice by combining the rice and water, bringing it to a boil, reducing the heat and covering it to let it cook for 10 minutes. The rice will still be slightly firm. While the rice is cooking, get out a skillet and cook the onions for a few minutes before browning the beef. Next, cook the garlic for about a minute. Then, add the cooked rice, half the can of the tomato sauce, Worchestershire sauce, salt, and pepper. Fill each hollowed out pepper with the ground beef mixture. Then, to top them all off, mix the other half of the tomato sauce with the Italian seasoning in a small bowl, and pour it over the stuffed peppers. Sprinkle on the shredded cheese and bake for about 1 hour. Every 15 minutes or so, baste the peppers with the sauce.
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 thaw 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 the 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.
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.
Looking for More Stuffed Recipes?
This classic Stuffed Peppers recipe is filled with a ground beef and rice mixture, topped with a seasoned tomato sauce and cheese!
- 6 bell peppers, any color, top cut off, seeded and membranes removed
- 1/2 cup long-grain white rice, uncooked
- 1 cup water
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 3/4 cup (1 small) onion, chopped
- 1 pound ground beef
- 2 teaspoons garlic, minced
- 1 can (15 ounces) tomato sauce, divided
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- 1 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
Preheat oven to 350°F.
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.
Arrange peppers in a baking dish with the hollowed sides facing upward. (Slice the bottoms of the peppers if necessary so that they will stand upright.)
To the skillet, add the cooked rice, 1/2 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 in the preheated oven, basting with sauce every 15 minutes until the peppers are tender.