22 Quick and Easy Recipes in 30 Minutes (or less) + 5 Chef Secrets To Make You A Better Cook!

Stuffed Peppers

Tested & Perfected Recipes

This post may contain affiliate links. Read my full disclosure policy.

Classic stuffed peppers filled with ground beef, rice, tomato sauce, and cheese make an easy weeknight supper.

Stuffed Peppers

Almost every cuisine has a version of stuffed peppers, or hollowed bell peppers filled with meat, tomato sauce, vegetables, rice and cheese. In the US, the dish undeniably retro – in fact, the most popular internet recipe comes from the one and only Betty Crocker. Here, I’ve given the classic recipe a little update by quickly tenderizing the beef before cooking and seasoning it with Southwestern spices, which complement the sweetness of the bell peppers perfectly. That said, the recipe is endlessly versatile; you can change up the meat, spices, grain, or cheese to give the dish a whole new spin. This version goes nicely with cornbread.

The peppers need to be par-cooked before filling so that they cook through. Many recipes call for boiling the peppers first, but I prefer to roast them – more flavor and less cleanup! The best way is to slice the peppers in half from the stem end down through the base, remove all the seeds and membranes, and then roast the halves until they’re tender-crisp.

What You’ll Need To Make Stuffed Peppers
stuffed peppers ingredients

When selecting bell peppers, look for peppers that are bright, shiny and firm. They should not have wrinkled skin, soft spots, or moldy stems. I prefer red, orange, or yellow peppers; green peppers are unripe and have an unpleasant, somewhat bitter taste. (If left to fully ripen, green peppers will eventually turn another color, and the flavor will become increasingly sweet.) Bell peppers keep for up to a week in the refrigerator crisper drawer.

Step-by-Step Instructions

Tenderize the beef: In a medium bowl, add the beef, 1 teaspoon of the salt, and the baking soda.

beef, baking soda, and salt in bowl

Use your hands to mix until evenly combined, and let the mixture sit for 20 minutes while you continue with the recipe. As it rests, the baking soda raises the pH of the meat, helping to lock in moisture and making the beef tender. (I use this tenderizing technique in many ground beef recipes, including beef enchiladas, beef chili, and shepherd’s pie.)

mashed beef

Slice the peppers in half from the stem end down through the base.

cut peppers

Remove all the seeds and membranes.

seeded and cored peppers

Place the peppers, cut side up, in a 9×13-inch baking dish; drizzle with 1 tablespoon of the oil and sprinkle with the remaining salt. Roast the peppers for about 20 minutes, until slightly browned and tender-crisp. A bit of liquid will accumulate in the bottom of the peppers; that’s okay.

roasted peppers

Meanwhile, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil over medium heat in a large nonstick skillet. Add the onion and cook, stirring frequently, until soft and translucent, 3 to 4 minutes.

cooking onions in skillet

Add the garlic and cook 1 minute more; do not brown.

adding garlic to skillet

To the skillet, add the ground beef mixture, chili powder, cumin, and oregano and increase the heat to medium high.

adding beef and spices to skillet

Cook, breaking the meat up with a wooden spoon, until the meat is browned and almost cooked through, 4 to 5 minutes. Add the tomato sauce and bring to a boil.

browned beef with tomato sauce

Reduce the heat to medium low and cook, uncovered, until the meat is cooked through, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the rice and 3/4 cup of the cheese.

adding rice and cheese

Stir until melted and remove the skillet from the heat.

stuffed pepper filling

Remove the peppers from the oven and spoon the meat filling evenly into the peppers. Sprinkle with the remaining 3/4 cup cheese and place back in the oven.

Roast for 10 to 15 minutes, until the filling is hot and the cheese is melted and bubbling, and serve.

You May Also Like

Video Tutorial

Stuffed Peppers

Classic stuffed peppers filled with ground beef, rice, tomato sauce, and cheese make an easy weeknight supper.

Servings: 4 to 6
Prep Time: 30 Minutes
Cook Time: 45 Minutes
Total Time: 1 Hour 15 Minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 pound 90% lean ground beef
  • 1¼ teaspoons salt, divided
  • Heaping ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • 3 large red, yellow, or orange bell peppers, cut in half from the stem to the bottom and cored
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1½ teaspoons chili powder
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • ¼ teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 (8-oz) can tomato sauce
  • 1 cup cooked rice, quinoa, or any grain
  • 1½ cups shredded Monterey Jack or Cheddar Jack cheese

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 425°F and set an oven rack in the middle position.
  2. Tenderize the beef: In a medium bowl, using your hands, mash the beef with 1 teaspoon of the salt and the baking soda. Let sit for 20 minutes while you continue with the recipe.
  3. Line a 9x13-inch baking dish with aluminum foil for easy clean-up, if you like. Place the peppers, cut side up, in the baking dish; drizzle with 1 tablespoon of the oil and sprinkle with the remaining ¼ teaspoon salt.
  4. Roast the peppers for about 20 minutes, until slightly browned and tender-crisp. A bit of liquid will accumulate in the bottom of the peppers; that's okay.
  5. Meanwhile, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil over medium heat in a large nonstick skillet. Add the onion and cook, stirring frequently, until soft and translucent, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the garlic and cook 1 minute more; do not brown. Add the ground beef mixture, chili powder, cumin, and oregano and increase the heat to medium high. Cook, breaking the meat up with a wooden spoon, until the meat is browned and almost cooked through, 4 to 5 minutes. Add the tomato sauce and bring to a boil; reduce the heat to medium low and cook, uncovered, until the meat is cooked through, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the rice and ¾ cup of the cheese, and stir until melted. Remove the skillet from the heat.
  6. Remove the peppers from the oven and spoon the meat filling evenly into the peppers. Sprinkle with the remaining ¾ cup cheese and place back in the oven. Roast for 10 to 15 minutes, until the filling is hot and the cheese is melted and bubbling, and serve.
  7. Make-Ahead Instructions: The peppers can be partially cooked and filled with the beef mixture up to 2 days ahead of time and refrigerated, or frozen in an airtight container for up to 3 months. When ready to serve, defrost overnight in the refrigerator if frozen, cover the dish with foil, and bake in a 425°F-oven for about 15 minutes. Remove the dish from the oven and remove and discard the foil. Top the peppers with the cheese and place back in the oven for about 5 minutes, or until the filling is heated through and the cheese is melted.

Pair with

Nutrition Information

Powered by Edamam

  • Per serving (6 servings)
  • Serving size: One 1/2 pepper
  • Calories: 381
  • Fat: 24 g
  • Saturated fat: 9 g
  • Carbohydrates: 17 g
  • Sugar: 6 g
  • Fiber: 3 g
  • Protein: 24 g
  • Sodium: 646 mg
  • Cholesterol: 74 mg

This website is written and produced for informational purposes only. I am not a certified nutritionist and the nutritional data on this site has not been evaluated or approved by a nutritionist or the Food and Drug Administration. Nutritional information is offered as a courtesy and should not be construed as a guarantee. The data is calculated through an online nutritional calculator, Edamam.com. Although I do my best to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures should be considered estimates only. Varying factors such as product types or brands purchased, natural fluctuations in fresh produce, and the way ingredients are processed change the effective nutritional information in any given recipe. Furthermore, different online calculators provide different results depending on their own nutrition fact sources and algorithms. To obtain the most accurate nutritional information in a given recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe, using your preferred nutrition calculator.

Gluten-Free Adaptable Note

To the best of my knowledge, all of the ingredients used in this recipe are gluten-free or widely available in gluten-free versions. There is hidden gluten in many foods; if you're following a gluten-free diet or cooking for someone with gluten allergies, always read the labels of your ingredients to verify that they are gluten-free.

See more recipes:

Comments

  • So delicious! Why have I been steaming or boiling my bell pepper shells all these years?! Game changer to roast them first! I roasted an extra 10 minutes, but of course all depends on pepper size and varying oven temps. and preference. Filling was fantastic as well.
    Thanks for this great recipe!

    • — christine wilson on February 23, 2024
    • Reply
  • Made these for my family of five with three kids (age 9 and under) and they were a hit. I only had green bell peppers and it was delicious. We had just enough with no leftovers. I may consider doubling the recipe in the future! Thank you!

    • — Nicole on February 22, 2024
    • Reply
  • This recipe was delicious! I mostly followed it with just a few additions. My favorite tip you gave was roasting the peppers in the oven while I prepared the filling! I usually par-boil them, but this way I didn’t have to boil water or wash a pot! I’ve been doing the baking soda tip for quite a while, and it’s a good one. The only things I changed were to add 1/2 cup of salsa to the filling, and I used sharp cheddar since I didn’t have Monterey Jack. I also poured about half a cup of chicken broth into the pan around the peppers before I put them in the oven. My family absolutely loved this dish, and I will definitely be making it again. Thank you so much!

    • — Laura C. on February 21, 2024
    • Reply
  • I wonder if using buckwheat would be good for this recipe? I have some leftover from a couple of days ago.

    • — Inga on February 19, 2024
    • Reply
    • Hi Inga, I’ve never cooked with buckwheat, but I suspect any grain should work here. Please LMK how the peppers turn out if you try it!

      • — Jenn on February 20, 2024
      • Reply
  • These were delicious and easy to make. I used grated Kraft cheddar and Habenero cheese. Adds a little spice and it was sooo good. Also used my homemade tomato sauce which makes it a little more personal. 😁

    • — Gayle Marie May on February 11, 2024
    • Reply
    • i used ground turkey (93/7) and had to substitute cumin with a southwest fajita seasoning and it came out incredible. thank you for the recipe!! loved every bite.

      • — josh reas on February 16, 2024
      • Reply
  • Incredibly spicy! I recommend easing into the full allotted amount of chili powder. I blindly used the whole amount noted and I don’t think I can eat this – will need to gift to a friend or toss! Flavor is good otherwise so would make again sans spice

    • — Madison on February 6, 2024
    • Reply
  • Probably the best recipe I ever used. I will probably make this a couple times a month.

    I am a fan.

    • — Christina on February 4, 2024
    • Reply
  • Can I use poblano peppers and ground lamb with your recipe for stuffed peppers ? That’s what I have in the fridge.

    • — Frances Lumbard on February 1, 2024
    • Reply
    • Hi Frances, I’ve never made this with poblano peppers, but a few people have and have been happy with the results. I’ve also not used lamb, but I think it should work nicely. Please, LMK how they turn out!

      • — Jenn on February 1, 2024
      • Reply
  • Soooo delicious. Not one of your recipes ever fail this mediocre cook. My whole family enjoyed and they are picky! Thank you, will make again.

    • — Lynne T. on January 27, 2024
    • Reply
  • It was tasty.

    • — Kathy C on January 22, 2024
    • Reply
  • I pretty much followed your recipe. Never made stuffed peppers before (or not for many years). Turned out Great! Thank you 😊

    • — Marilyn Dobosh on January 13, 2024
    • Reply
  • Home run! Used ground turkey instead of beef and it was fantastic. The whole family loved it. It has been added to the regular rotation.

    • — Tony on January 12, 2024
    • Reply
  • Wonderful recipe, Cheff Jenn! Somehow I always thought stuffed peppers were for super healthy folks. But, these are so tasty! Used Lundberg Wild Rice Blend and small amount of Jasmine rice like 80/20 ratio. My husband has a chili rub with cumin and chili powder, plus other spices. Oiled peppers as you instructed and dusted with husband’s chili rub instead of salt. Husband thanked me several times for stuffed pepper dinner we had tonight. Thank you!

    • — Carrie Johnson on January 11, 2024
    • Reply
  • my wife was never a fan of stuffed peppers
    Until I made this one !

    • — Anthony on January 6, 2024
    • Reply
  • my wife was never a fan of stuffed peppers ………….Until I made this recipe

    She absolutely Loved it. !!

    • — Anthony De Paquale on January 5, 2024
    • Reply
    • I made it with ground turkey, and added couscous with the rice for a bit of texture. My family loved it!! Will be making again. So quick and easy

      • — Shell on January 9, 2024
      • Reply
  • Started dinner too late, so sacrificed some of the flavor because I microwaved the peppers first, rather than cooking in the oven. We don’t use beef, but substituted ground turkey which we prefer. Otherwise made as written, and it was super delicious! Will make this again for sure! Thank you!

    • — Gail on January 4, 2024
    • Reply
  • So bland, and so disappointing! My family is not picky and these became an obligation to eat. I love the chicken curry salad recipe but this one was a flop. Find another recipe.

    • — Alexandra on December 21, 2023
    • Reply
    • First time I’ve made them and thank you! They turned out amazing super stoked 💯 added a little here changed a little there for what i had . Keep it up really helped me have a great dinner 🙂

      • — Trevor M. on January 5, 2024
      • Reply
      • Totally agree with your comment. Made them for the first time tonight.

        • — Another Trevor M. on January 9, 2024
        • Reply
  • We loved this recipe. We are eating GF and DF, so we skipped the cheese, this
    has great flavor. I’ve printed it, so its a keeper.

    • — Marissa on December 21, 2023
    • Reply
  • This recipe is FANTASTIC! I have made stuffed peppers countless times but this one truly stands out. I used farro as our grain and bumped up the cumin. Added some hot chile from New Mexico for fun too. Will put this in the regular rotation for sure!

    • — Brooke on December 18, 2023
    • Reply
  • I love your recipes and could not wait to give this a try. Used turkey and quinoa instead of beef and rice and it tasted amazing. The flavors were fantastic. I froze half of what I made and just had it for dinner tonight. It froze extremely well.

    Will definitely make this again.

    • — Cheri T on December 11, 2023
    • Reply
  • Absolutely scrumptious!! I skipped tenderizing the meat, used 80/20 meat and cooked first (and drained the fat), then cooked the onions and garlic and added back the meat and spices to simmer with the tomato sauce, but otherwise followed the recipe and it still came out great. Will definitely make again. Thanks for posting!!

    • — Mandi B. on December 7, 2023
    • Reply
  • Very simple and tasty recipe. I only had 1/2 lb of beef so I simply added a can of black beans to keep the proportions correct. It made the filling somewhat creamy as the beans broke up during cooking. Forgot to add the cheese to the meat mixture so just used it on top and it was enough for my taste. I’ve gotten used to saying, “My friend Jenn shared this recipe with me and she’s a chef and you’re gonna love it.” My husband chuckles but he knows that means something good is coming. Thank you for making cooking such a joy, Jenn!

    • — Joanna on December 6, 2023
    • Reply
  • My daughter cannot have beef. Would you recommend ground chicken or pork as a substitute? Or a combination?
    Your recipe is similar to one I used to make for my hubby. But that called for blanching the peppers first. What a pain.
    So, I’m excited to do the oven roasting. That should add way more flavor than boiling them did.

    Thank you!

    • — Joanne Kuhn on December 5, 2023
    • Reply
    • Hi Joanne, either one will work. Regardless of whether you go with pork or chicken, you can skip the tenderizing step. Hope you enjoy!

      • — Jenn on December 6, 2023
      • Reply
  • My family loves this recipe! I made it exactly as written and it came out with a great flavor. Thank you

    • — Liz on December 4, 2023
    • Reply
  • Very easy to veganize, which is wonderful! This is the recipe I keep coming back to whenever I feel like stuffing my face with, well, stuffed peppers.

    • — Sophie on December 3, 2023
    • Reply
  • I’m not a big fan of cumin but I trust Jenn so I left in the recipe. It was delicious. I wouldn’t change a thing in this recipe. One family member said “this is the best meal you’ve cooked lately”. Thanks Jenn.

    • — Sandy on December 2, 2023
    • Reply
  • a tad salty otherwise good

    • — Marney on November 18, 2023
    • Reply
  • Yummy!

    • — Patricia H Moore on November 15, 2023
    • Reply
  • Lady!!! This recipe is Wonderful. Thank you so much for sharing.

    • — Lynn on November 14, 2023
    • Reply
  • I just made this today and waiting for it to cool down. I hope I got the directions right!

    • — Mare on November 13, 2023
    • Reply
  • I made this for my family. It was delicious I will make again.

    • — Denise Davis on November 10, 2023
    • Reply
  • This was so easy to make and turned out DELICIOUS! I added some corn to the mix and served it with a baked potato! Thank you for sharing this recipe, Jenn!

    • — Julie on November 9, 2023
    • Reply
  • Absolutely delicious and so easy to make!! Thank you for another wonderful recipe.

    • — Taylor on November 5, 2023
    • Reply
  • These were delicious!! I used a 50/50 mix of ground beef and ground pork. I couldn’t find any Monterey jack cheese, so used a medium gouda.

    • — pattyf on November 5, 2023
    • Reply
    • Quick question have you or anyone tried this recipe with cauliflower rice instead of regular rice? This recipe is on the agenda for this week. 5 stars as all of your recipes are wonderful. Thanks Dawn

      • — Dawn on November 7, 2023
      • Reply
      • Hi Dawn, I’ve not used cauliflower rice here, but I’ll let others weigh in if they have. 🙂

        • — Jenn on November 8, 2023
        • Reply
  • A bit bland, and too much cheese for my personal taste. Next time, I’d omit the cheese in the beef mixture and add a bit more tomato sauce and additional seasoning. I found it needed a bit of salt and pepper.

    • — Toni on November 1, 2023
    • Reply
  • Love your recipes!

    • — Linda ramsey on October 26, 2023
    • Reply
  • Can you please clarify the make-ahead instructions? Assuming I should roast the peppers for 20 min and afterwards fill them with the meat mixture but don’t cook for the remaining 15 minutes? Can you please confirm?

    • — Nancy on October 26, 2023
    • Reply
    • Actually, you’d fill them with the meat mixture and then freeze them. After thawing, you’d bake in a 425°F-oven for about 15 minutes. Remove the dish from the oven and remove and discard the foil. Top the peppers with the cheese and place back in the oven for about 5 minutes, or until the filling is heated through and the cheese is melted. Hope that clarifies and that you enjoy!

      • — Jenn on October 27, 2023
      • Reply
    • You never say what the oven temperature should be! Please confirm.

      • — Kathy on November 4, 2023
      • Reply
      • They should be baked at 425°F/220°C. Hope you enjoy!

        • — Jenn on November 5, 2023
        • Reply
      • This filling is amazing! We just moved 2 months ago so maybe it’s just my oven, but it took longer for mine at the end to get that cheese on top to brown more (also could just be my personal choice). Also, next time I’m gonna roast the peppers in the air fryer! I hate babysitting the oven and they got mushy, cause kid distracted me lol

        • — Ashli D. on November 17, 2023
        • Reply
  • Way too much preprep . Just core stuff, and roast . My gramother did it that way . And I guarantee it was better than your recipe.

    • — Kent Littlejohn on October 23, 2023
    • Reply
    • No need to be so harsh. Just as easy to be kind. I bet your gramother (your spelling) would not like you to be mean.

      • — Margaret on October 29, 2023
      • Reply
      • Kindness always wins

        • — Joanne H on November 11, 2023
        • Reply
    • Pre-cooking the peppers is a game changer, which is what makes this version of stuffed peppers so great. Go ahead and don’t spend the extra time pre-roasting the peppers, but it definitely changes the flavors of the dish and in my opinion these are the best stuffed peppers I’ve ever made. Oh, and stop being such a douche.

      • — Doug on January 19, 2024
      • Reply
  • Question… if I replace with ground Turkey do I still need to add the baking soda?

    • — Stacy on October 22, 2023
    • Reply
    • No, the baking soda isn’t necessary with ground turkey.

      • — Jenn on October 23, 2023
      • Reply
  • Family liked this one. The filling was delicious.

    • — MelisendePF on October 17, 2023
    • Reply
    • My teenage granddaughter has asked me to make the recipe doubled, so she can have more the next day. Big success in our house!

      • — Ellie on February 2, 2024
      • Reply
  • Delicious. What a great idea to cut them in half rather than try to stand them up to roast. A friend have me lovely peppers from her garden. I wound up using 4 and had just the right amount of stuffing and perfect for 2 nights. I thought they were even better reheated. Based on the comments I doubled the spices and found that to be just right for us. My husband has request this be part of the regular rotation.

    • — Kathie on October 15, 2023
    • Reply
  • It was okay! If just going by the recipe measurements of the spices the filling is a bit bland. Next time I will add some hatch chilis and perhaps double the seasonings.

    • — Kay on October 14, 2023
    • Reply
  • Very nice. Not a goopy or overly sauced recipe, which I liked. I followed the recipe but added more cooked brown rice (so I added 1/2 cup more sauce too) and subbed cheddar. Peppers were from my favourite farmer’s market vendor. I haven’t eaten stuffed peppers very often as I don’t particularly care for them but this recipe turned out very well. The peppers were the right level of done – still a little crunchy. I have frozen the extras (before being baked) as well as the leftover filling. I am already looking forward to future easy, tasty meals.

    • — Carol on October 13, 2023
    • Reply
  • I made this recipe using ripe carmen peppers and doubled the minced garlic. It was the best stuffed pepper recipe that I have used. Will definitely make again.

    • — Retired German loves to cook on October 7, 2023
    • Reply
  • This was my first time trying stuffed peppers and we loved it. Bell peppers were never a favorite of mine but this was delicious.

    • — Michele on October 5, 2023
    • Reply
    • What’s the baking soda for?

      • — Toni on October 7, 2023
      • Reply
      • Hi Toni, The baking soda raises the pH of the meat, helping to lock in moisture and make the beef more tender.

        • — Jenn on October 9, 2023
        • Reply

Add a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.