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Stuffed bell peppers is an easy dinner with tender peppers stuffed with ground beef, onions, seasonings, and rice, then topped with tomato sauce and cheese. It’s an easy meal with protein and vegetables all in one dish!
Stuffed Bell Peppers
This stuffed peppers recipe is a family favorite that has been handed down to me. I love how easy this recipe is to make, but looks complicated.
My mom used to make stuffed bell peppers for us and it has always been one of my favorite meals. Now that I’m a mom, I understand why it’s such a great dish because it’s a meal in one dish.
I’ve always gone simple and had stuffed green peppers, but now I like to use red and yellow peppers to add color. This meal is such a beautiful dish when you add the colors.
- 6 large bell peppers – use any color combo you want! You can also use less peppers, and just put the “stuffing” in a casserole dish
- ground beef – lean
- onion – just two tablespoons, chopped
- white rice – you’ll cook the rice before it gets baked in the dish
- salt – to taste
- garlic – minced
- tomato sauce – any brand of tomato or spaghetti sauce will work. You can make it homemade or use a jar
- mozzarella cheese – this added a layer of cheesiness in the dish
How to make stuffed peppers?
Making stuffed peppers with ground beef is super easy. Start by blanching the peppers so they are tender.
Start with the peppers. We’re going to clean them out and boil them so tey are nice and tender before they are baked in the oven.
Next, slice the top off of each pepper and remove the stem and membranes from insides. Rinse them out.
In a large stock pot or saucepan, place peppers in pan and add enough water to cover all of the peppers. Bring to boil and cook for about five minutes.
With tongs, remove peppers from boiling water, drain, and put peppers in baking pan, open side up.
In medium-sized skillet, brown the ground beef and onion over medium heat until beef is brown. This will take about 8 to 10 minutes. Drain excess grease.
Add cooked rice, salt, garlic, and one cup of the tomato sauce to the beef and cook until warmed through.
Spoon meat and rice mixture into each pepper, filling to the top.
Pour remaining tomato sauce on top of peppers.
Cover and bake 45 minutes and then uncover and bake about 15 more minutes, or until peppers are tender.
Finally, sprinkle with mozzarella cheese.
Tips for the Best Stuffed Peppers
Extra meat — If you need less peppers, you can cook just a couple and put the remainder of the beef mixture and sauce around the outside of the peppers before cooking. Just make a big casserole of it.
Use the tops of the peppers — we cut the tops off, but be sure to dice around the stem and incorporate them into the ground beef mixture. It will add more color inside the peppers.
Combination of ground beef and sausage – you could use turkey meat, or you could do a combination of ground beef and sausage. Just brown it before you add the rice and sauce.
Be creative – this dish can have so many variations. Change up the cheese. Use more sauce.
Skip the whole peppers — if you’re low on time, just chop the peppers and incorporate them into the meat mixture and put it in the casserole dish and bake as you would if the peppers were whole. Just be sure to saute the peppers with the onions so they are tender when baking.
Can You Freeze Stuffed Peppers?
While technically you can freeze the stuffed peppers, the rice may become dry and the peppers will become soggy, so we don’t recommend it for this recipe.
If you want to make it ahead, we recommend you make the stuffing ingredients as directed and store in an air tight container in the refrigerator. Then, start at the beginning of the recipe and blanch the peppers, stuff them, and add the cheese and sauce and bake as directed.
- 6 large bell peppers
- 1 lb. lean ground beef
- 2 Tbsp. chopped onion
- 1 cup white rice cooked
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 clove garlic minced
- 1 can 15 oz. tomato sauce
- ¾ cup shredded mozzarella cheese
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees
- Spay 9×13 pan with cooking spray.
- Slice the top off of each pepper and remove stem and membranes from insides. Rinse peppers.
- In a large stock pot or sauce pan, place peppers in pan and add enough water to cover all of the peppers. Bring to boil, about 5 minutes.
- With tongs, remove peppers from boiling water, drain, and put peppers in baking pan, open side up.
- In medium-sized skillet, brown the ground beef and onion over medium heat until beef is brown (about 8-10 minutes). Drain excess grease.
- Add cooked rice, salt, garlic, and 1 cup of the tomato sauce to the beef. Cook until warmed through.
- Spoon meat and rice mixture into each pepper, filling to the top.
- Pour remaining tomato sauce on top of peppers.
- Cover and bake 45 minutes. Uncover and bake about 15 more minutes, or until peppers are tender.
- Sprinkle with mozzarella cheese.