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Stuffed Bell Peppers

The secret to making your most delicious Stuffed Bell Peppers ever.

The secret to making your most delicious Stuffed Bell Peppers ever!

There isn’t much not to love about Stuffed Bell Peppers. Make a filling of whatever you like, be it spicy Mexican, loaded entirely with veggies or something like these Ground Beef Stuffed Bell Peppers with rice. Then simply fill up your peppers, top ’em with cheese if you like (and I definitely like!) and toss in the oven until their bubbling hot. They’re your main course and side dishes all in one which means simple prep and only one pan to clean!

I make a homemade sauce to top my Stuffed Bell Peppers with rice. It’s one of my go-to Italian sauce recipes that I use for all kind of things (even just to top mashed potatoes). You could easily sub your favorite jarred pasta sauce in its place to keep things even simpler. I also choose to grind my own beef, which might seem extravagant but it only takes a couple of minutes with my KitchenAid attachment and cleanup is a breeze. I like knowing that my ground beef is just that – ground beef – without fillers. I just buy whatever quality beef is on sale and take it from there. It definitely helps take my Stuffed Bell Peppers up a couple of delicious notches.

I also like to double the filling whenever I make this dish. It’s simple to freeze the extras so I can make it when I’m in one of those “I don’t feel like cooking” moods. The sauce freezes well, too, so go for them both to make it super simple on yourself. Then all you’ll have to do is fill your bell peppers.


Making stuffed bell peppers is really quite simple. For this recipe, you’ll make your own filling AND sauce, but you could use a jarred sauce in a pinch. It doesn’t take much time to make both, and you can either use the same pan and make them consecutively or use two and do both at once. Once those are made, you’ll stuff your peppers with the filling:

The secret to making your most delicious Stuffed Bell Peppers ever!

Top with your sauce:

The secret to making your most delicious Stuffed Bell Peppers ever!

Add some cheese and bake!

The secret to making your most delicious Stuffed Bell Peppers ever!


Stuffed Bell Peppers are going to take about 45 minutes in the oven to get the peppers nice and soft. The longer cooking time also helps the flavors to meld, which means your peppers will be delicious straight from the oven. Keep in mind that this doesn’t include the time it takes to make the filling and sauce, but oven time is hands-off time, so it’s really pretty easy!


These peppers are really their own complete meal: vegetable, starch and meat all in one pan. If you still want to serve them with something, I’d suggest a simple green salad. Another vegetable would be a good compliment as well, such as cooked whole carrots or asparagus.


If you’d like to freeze your peppers, my suggestion would be to freeze the filling and sauce separately. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator then simply fill your peppers and bake. Stuffed peppers can be frozen whole, too. Just be sure to wrap each pepper tightly before freezing.

I like to use a pretty baking dish that will go straight from oven-to-table and several colors of peppers to turn this delicious dish into something gorgeous. I have a few variations of this recipe that I’ll be posting for you, including a spicy Mexican version that is knock-your-socks-off good (and easy)!

Stuffed Bell Peppers

Stuffed Bell Peppers

Yield: 6
Prep Time: 35 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes

Stuffed bell peppers with rice, ground beef, and red, yellow and orange bell peppers are a delicious way to enjoy these veggies.


For the filling

  • 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 large onion, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 1/2 pounds ground beef, try grinding your own!
  • 3/4 cup rice, cooked to package directions
  • 1 10 oz can tomato sauce
  • 1-2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • kosher salt & freshly ground black pepper, to taste

For the sauce

  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 6 oz can tomato paste
  • 1 28 oz can petite-diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper


  • 6 large bell peppers, any color
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1/4 chopped parsley


  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. Preheat a large skillet over medium heat; add oil. Add onions and cook about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until soft. Add garlic and cook for one minute more. Add ground beef, cook until browned and no pink remains. Drain off any fat, then add cooked rice, tomato sauce and worcestershire sauce. Cook a few more minutes until mixture is hot, then taste and add seasonings.
  3. Preheat a skillet over medium heat; add olive oil. Add onion and saute about 5 minutes or until soft, stirring occasionally. Add basil, oregano and minced garlic, cook 1-2 minutes more. Stir in tomato paste and cook an additional 2-3 minutes. Add petite-diced tomatoes, stir well and bring to a simmer. Allow to simmer, stirring occasionally, for another 10 minutes.
  4. Cut off tops of peppers and remove seeds and membranes. Slice a small amount off the bottom of each pepper, if necessary, to make each stand upright. Place peppers in a baking dish just large enough to fit them all. Spoon filling into peppers, mounding it over the top. Spoon sauce over the top of each pepper, allowing excess to fall over the sides. Cover and bake for 45 minutes.
  5. Remove cover from peppers and top each pepper with shredded cheese. Place back in oven and cook another 15 minutes, until cheese is melted and gooey and peppers are soft and cooked through. Sprinkle with chopped parsley and serve.


  1. This recipe is easily adaptable. Double the sauce if you prefer more sauce with your peppers or simply use marinara or jarred spaghetti sauce to make it quicker and easier. Double the filling ingredients and freeze half to make these anytime!
  2. This dish is on the "sweeter" side - not spicy at all - so feel free to add some crushed red pepper to the sauce or filling ingredients if you prefer.
  3. Substitute ground turkey or ground chicken for a leaner version of this recipe.
  4. Use cooked rice, not raw.
  5. Find bell peppers with a flatter bottom so they better stand up right while cooking.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 514Total Fat: 27gSaturated Fat: 10gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 13gCholesterol: 110mgSodium: 819mgCarbohydrates: 32gFiber: 6gSugar: 14gProtein: 39g

This data was provided and calculated by Nutritionix.

Kristy Bernardo
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Tuesday 5th of January 2016

these look So good! I have neer tried stuffed peppers, but I know it's a dish I would love

Kristy Bernardo

Saturday 9th of January 2016

OH, you definitely need to try them!

Michelle | A Dish of Daily Life

Monday 4th of January 2016

These look amazing! I love stuffed peppers but my oldest son hates peppers (he is my only junk food junkie) so I haven't made them in forever. He's in college now though...and along comes your recipe! Perfect timing! I need that meat grinder too. I grind my own lamb when I make Coosa or grape leaves but mostly because I can never find ground lamb. But you make a good point about getting a better quality of meat. I needed that nudge. :)

Kristy Bernardo

Saturday 9th of January 2016

Oh yeah, grinding your own meat is life-changing! At least in the kitchen :) Thanks, Michelle!


Monday 4th of January 2016

I'm coincidentally sitting at my desk eating a leftover stuffed bell pepper as we speak! I haven't made them in years, but am so happy to have rediscovered them since they're great for meals and leftovers. Yours look especially delicious!!

Kristy Bernardo

Saturday 9th of January 2016

ha! What are the odds of that? They do make great leftovers. Thanks, Sues!

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