These stuffed green peppers are tender bell peppers filled with ground beef, rice, tomatoes and cheese. An easy and hearty comfort food classic that always is a hit with both kids and adults.

I happen to love bell peppers, and I feature them in many recipes including Thai basil chicken, stuffed pepper soup and these traditional stuffed green peppers.

Stuffed green peppers on serving plates garnished with parsley.

My mom always used to make stuffed green peppers when I was growing up, and I just loved them! The beef and rice filling has the perfect texture and seasoning, and of course you can never go wrong with melted cheese. Best of all, this dish can be made in advance which makes it great for busy days.

Stuffed Peppers Ingredients

Ingredients including green peppers, rice, meat, cheese and seasonings.

This recipe consists of green bell peppers, olive oil, ground beef, salt, pepper, onion, garlic, rice, tomatoes, tomato sauce, Italian seasoning, mozzarella cheese and parsley.

How do you make stuffed green peppers?

Start by slicing the tops off the peppers and removing the ribs and seeds inside. Place the cut sides of the peppers in a dish of water, then cover and bake until the peppers have just started to soften. While the peppers are in the oven, make the filling by cooking ground beef with onions and garlic. Add cooked white rice, tomatoes, tomato sauce and seasonings to the pan. Finally, stir in some cheese. Drain the water from the pan of peppers, then flip the peppers over and fill them with the meat mixture. Sprinkle cheese over the top of the peppers, then bake until the cheese is melted and browned and the peppers are tender. Add a little fresh parsley, then serve and enjoy.

Step by step shots showing how to cook bell peppers and brown meat.

Tips for the perfect dish

  • I look for green peppers that are similar in size and shape so that they cook at the same rate. If your peppers don’t stand up on their own, you can cut a thin slice off the bottom to make them more stable.
  • This recipe calls for cooked rice. Do not attempt to make it with raw rice as it will not have enough liquid to cook through. Leftover rice will also work just fine.
  • I use 90% lean ground beef because it has plenty of flavor without a lot of grease. If you use meat with a higher fat content, be sure to drain off any excess grease after it is cooked.
  • Skip the store bought shredded cheese and grate your own. I find that the bags of pre-shredded cheese contain a lot of preservatives and anti caking agents and do not melt as well.
  • Leftovers of stuffed green peppers will stay fresh in the fridge for up to 3 days.
  • You can assemble this recipe in advance by cooking the peppers and preparing the meat filling, then adding the filling to the peppers. Cover and refrigerate for up to one day. When you’re ready to eat, add the cheese and bake.
Process shots showing a meat and rice mixture being cooked and stuffed into peppers.

Recipe FAQs

Do you have to boil peppers before stuffing them?

I don’t boil my peppers before stuffing them, simply because it dirties up an extra dish. I prefer to pre-bake the peppers in the baking pan to get the same effect. You can also boil them if you prefer.

What do you eat with stuffed peppers?

I find that stuffed green peppers are practically a whole meal on their own because you’ve got your veggies, meat, rice and cheese all in one place. That being said, I typically serve my peppers with a loaf of crusty bread or a green salad.

Should stuffed peppers be covered when baking?

Stuffed peppers should be covered during the majority of the baking time, this will help to soften the peppers as well as ensure that the filling doesn’t get dry. I do uncover the peppers during the last few minutes of the baking time so the cheese can brown.

Stuffed green peppers topped with cheese in a baking dish.

Stuffed green peppers flavor variations

This recipe is great as-is, but there are many different ways to customize it to your tastes.

  • Peppers: You can use other colors of bell peppers such as red, orange or yellow.
  • Protein: Instead of ground beef, try ground turkey, ground chicken or Italian sausage.
  • Grains: Try brown rice, orzo pasta or quinoa instead of white rice.
  • Veggies: Add some cooked vegetables to the filling such as finely diced carrots, celery or mushrooms.
  • Spices: Feel free to swap out the Italian seasoning for other herbs and spices such as chili powder, cumin or smoked paprika.
  • Cheese: Swap out the mozzarella cheese for cheddar, Monterey Jack or Fontina. You can also use a blend of different types of cheese.

You simply can’t go wrong with these stuffed peppers, they’re fit for almost any occasion!

More pepper recipes to try

5 from 15 votes

Stuffed Green Peppers

AuthorSara Welch
Stuffed green peppers on serving plates garnished with parsley.
These stuffed green peppers are tender bell peppers filled with ground beef, rice, tomatoes and cheese. An easy and hearty comfort food classic that always is a hit with both kids and adults.
Time
Prep Time20 minutes
Cook Time1 hour 5 minutes
Total Time1 hour 25 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Serves 6

Ingredients 

  • 6 green bell peppers look for similar sized peppers
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 1/2 pounds ground beef I use 90% lean
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2/3 cup yellow onion finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon garlic minced
  • 1 1/2 cups long grain white rice COOKED, do not use raw
  • 8 ounce can tomato sauce
  • 14 1/2 ounce can petite diced tomatoes do not drain
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese divided use
  • 2 tablespoons parsley chopped

Instructions 

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  • Slice the tops off the peppers. Use a small knife to remove the seeds and ribs inside, then discard the seeds and ribs.
  • Arrange all the bell peppers cut side down in a 9"x13" baking dish. Pour 1 1/2 cups of water into the dish.
  • Cover the dish with foil, then bake for 30 minutes.
  • While the peppers are in the oven, make the filling. Warm the olive oil in a large pan over medium heat.
  • Add the ground beef and season with the salt and black pepper.
  • Cook for 5-6 minutes, breaking up the meat with a spatula, until meat the meat is finely crumbled and cooked through.
  • Add the onion to the pan and cook for 3-4 minutes or until soft. Add the garlic and cook for an additional 30 seconds.
  • Stir in the rice, tomato sauce, canned tomatoes and Italian seasoning. Add 3/4 cup of the cheese and stir to combine.
  • Take the dish of peppers from the oven and drain off the water. Carefully flip the peppers over and fill them with the rice mixture.
  • Sprinkle the rest of the cheese on top of the peppers. Cover the dish with foil and bake for 20 minutes.
  • Uncover and bake for another 10 minutes or until cheese is melted and starting to brown. The peppers should be tender at this point too.
  • Sprinkle with parsley. Let stand for 5 minutes, then serve and enjoy.

Notes

  1. Look for green peppers that are similar in size and shape so that they cook at the same rate. If your peppers don’t stand up on their own, you can cut a thin slice off the bottom to make them more stable.
  2. This recipe calls for cooked rice. Do not attempt to make it with raw rice as it will not have enough liquid to cook through.
  3. I use 90% lean ground beef because it has plenty of flavor without a lot of grease. If you use meat with a higher fat content, be sure to drain off any excess grease after it is cooked.

Nutrition

Calories: 394kcal | Carbohydrates: 27g | Protein: 30g | Fat: 21g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Cholesterol: 99mg | Sodium: 618mg | Potassium: 912mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 3335IU | Vitamin C: 160mg | Calcium: 126mg | Iron: 4.1mg

Hello! I’m Sara!

Learn more about Sara

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Recipe Rating




Comments

  1. 5 stars
    I love everything green peppers! and more especially stuffed ones! def gonna try them out next week for dinner! Thanks for the recipe!

  2. 5 stars
    These stuffed peppers were a huge hit with my family. I used minced chicken instead of beef and it turned out great.

  3. 5 stars
    I love everything about these amazing stuffed green peppers! I even put them in one of my cast iron skillets and it worked well! Thank you for another awesome recipe!

  4. 5 stars
    I love stuffed peppers, so I knew that I would be obsessed with this! Thank you so much for sharing this recipe, it’s so good đŸ™‚

  5. 5 stars
    These stuffed peppers were so easy to make! I had extra large peppers and the filling turned out delicious. Can’t wait to make them again!

  6. 5 stars
    This was a hit with my family! They loved it so much they want me to make these stuffed green peppers again. This is going to be on my dinner rotation list!

  7. 5 stars
    These stuffed peppers look so impressive but they’re actually so easy to make! Love it for a quick and unique meal!

  8. 5 stars
    Stuffed peppers are one of my favorite easy dinners, and this is my favorite version of them! Thanks so much for this recipe!