This Stuffed Peppers Recipe is a classic on our dinner table! Sweet bell peppers are stuffed with, ground beef, rice, and tomato sauce! Easy stuffed peppers couldn’t be simpler!
There is a traditional way to make many ground beef recipes! This beef and rice dish is our favorite way to serve meat with bell peppers! Try our other beef recipes like cheeseburger sliders or the ultimate burger recipe!
Did you know there is a faster way to make stuffed bell peppers? The ground beef doesn’t even get fried and forget about boiling or par-baking the peppers!
This recipe comes together with basic kitchen ingredients that most have in their pantry and don’t be fooled by the simple ingredients–it’s still incredibly tasty! Talk about a fancy-looking dinner but in reality so easy to make!
Stuffed Bell Peppers in Tomato Sauce:
The peppers cook in the tomato sauce which saves you the time to par-bake or use excess grease to soften the bell peppers when baking. Stuffed Peppers in tomato sauce make this homestyle dish so hearty and flavorful!
Stuffed Bell Peppers
This stuffed peppers recipe came from a friend who served me her traditional Moldovian stuffed peppers. I fell in love with the recipe! She uses different tomato sauce variations depending on what she has, such as V8 juice diluted with water.
This recipe is so versatile, and the same applies to the meat and veggies–use pork, sausage, green bell peppers, or any tomato products that you have on hand! It’s easily customizable to what one has in their freezer or pantry!
Six years later it’s still my favorite way to make stuffed peppers and I’ve had them stuffed in mini bell peppers and large green peppers, even if you have picky eaters the filling itself is worth making! It’s simply the best-stuffed peppers recipe in my cookbook! Forever, thankful to my friend Lubasha!
What is Stuffed Peppers?
Stuffed peppers is a casserole dish made with sweet bell peppers and hearty meat and rice filling. Variations include different meat (Italian sausage, pork, or beef), colored bell peppers (mini, orange, yellow, green peppers), and cheese.
A more traditional and homestyle stuffed pepper recipe is usually in tomato sauce. Many low-carb and Keto recipes have rice-free fillings and alternatives to add protein minus the carbs.
Moldavian or Ukrainian stuffed peppers include the addition of veggies to the rice and meat mixture to enhance the beef flavor such as carrots and onion. Although still baked in tomato sauce this version is similar to a traditional style stuffed pepper.
Can I Stuff in Different Peppers?
Any capsicum variety will work! Stuff Poblano peppers or use large green peppers! For more heat use spicy jalapeno peppers and for an extra pop of color use a rainbow of sweet bell peppers (orange, yellow, and red bell peppers.)
How To Make Stuffed Bell Peppers?
This recipe is adaptable by adding ingredients that you have on hand. Use ground pork, different colored bell peppers, or even mini peppers, and any canned tomato product for the tomato sauce.
- Par-cook the rice by boiling 1 1/2 cups of water and 1 cup rice over a low simmer for 5-10 minutes, covered. The water should have been absorbed into the rice.
- In a large mixing bowl combine the uncooked ground beef, par-cooked rice, 1 tsp black pepper, 2 tsp salt, and 1/2 Tbsp Steak seasoning. Mix together and set aside.
- Meanwhile, saute the onions and carrots until soft (7 minutes.) Add half to the meat mixture. To the remaining carrot mixture add 15 oz of tomato sauce diluted in 1 cup of water. Season with 1/2 tsp pepper and 1 Tbsp salt. Set aside.
- Clean the bell peppers by slicing off the tops and removing the stems, seeds, and membranes. Discard the stems.
- Stuff each bell pepper with a mound of rice and beef mixture. Arrange onto a 13×9 baking dish. Pour the tomato sauce mixture evenly over the stuffed peppers.
- Bake in a pre-heated 350°F for up to 2 hours.
Can I Make-Ahead?
Yes! This stuffed bell peppers casserole can be prepared the night before and can keep in the refrigerator for up to 3 days unbaked. When you are ready to bake proceed with the recipe and bake for up to 2 hours.
Can you Freeze Stuffed Peppers?
Shockingly, YES! Stuff the bell peppers with the meat filling and prepare as directed. Reserve the tomato sauce mixture and freeze separately.
To Freeze stuffed peppers: stuff each bell pepper with a heaping mound of the rice and beef mixture. Place into a disposable 13×9 baking dish. Double wrap with aluminum foil and keep frozen for up to 3 months.
To Reheat Stuffed Peppers: thaw the sauce and stuffed peppers completely in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. Before baking pour the tomato sauce mixture over the peppers and bake for up to 2 hours.
How Long To Cook Stuffed Peppers?
If baking large bell peppers with raw meat you will need anywhere from 1 1/2-2 hours. The rice should be par-cooked to ensure it cooks thoroughly. Once the peppers have cooked thoroughly they should be firm and slightly resemble the texture of roasted red peppers.
Ingredients To Make The BEST Stuffed Peppers?
- Bell Peppers- this recipe fills 6 large bell peppers or 2 lbs of mini bell peppers.
- Beef- ground beef, pork, or sausage can be substituted. Adjust seasoning to taste if using seasoned meats.
- Rice- Uncle Ben’s brown rice or white rice can be used.
- Tomato Sauce- dilute 1 cup of water with canned tomato sauce! Use any tomato product like spaghetti sauce, V8 tomato juice, crushed tomatoes, or diced (pureed.)
- Veggies- carrots and onions.
- Seasoning- basic spices like salt and ground black pepper are the main spices although steak seasoning adds more flavor!
What to Serve With Stuffed Peppers?
A stuffed pepper recipe is a hearty meat and rice dish by itself! However, if you want to make it a complete dinner or serve an additional side, here are some ideas:
- serve with sour cream
- dip in hot sauce
- make a side green salad
- serve with a hearty side of wheat bread
- make a summer slaw recipe
How To Store Stuffed Bell Peppers?
Leftovers keep in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. I do not recommend freezing already baked stuffed peppers.
Storing: Store baked peppers in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
Reheat leftovers in the microwave or toast in a skillet or toaster oven until heated thoroughly.
- Ruffled Casserole Dish Set
- Country Checkered Oven Mittens
- Large Mixing Bowl
- 2-quart saucepan
- Large Frying Pan
- Don’t have beef? Use any ground meat like chicken or turkey!
- For upright bell peppers choose bell peppers that stand nicely. They’re still as good laying too!
- Use disposable foiled pans for freezing or to make ahead for a friend.
- Mix and match the bell peppers for mini peppers or different colors.
- For healthy or keto stuffed peppers switch the rice to a healthy grain like quinoa or couscous.
- Make Mexican peppers by adding Black beans (more protein!)
Need More Bell Pepper Recipes?
- Peppers and Eggs
- Pickled Mini Bell Peppers
- Savory Crepes With Chicken
How To Make Stuffed Peppers:
- 12-inch skillet
- 13x9 or 11x8 baking dish
- 6 bell peppers (stems and seeds removed)
- 1 lb ground beef (raw)
- 1 cup rice (uncooked)
- 3 carrots (grated)
- 2 onions (diced)
- 15 oz tomato sauce diluted in 1 cup of water
- salt and pepper
- 1/2 Tbsp steak seasoning
- Bring 1 1/2 cups of water and rice to a boil. Reduce and simmer over low, covered for 10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, saute the onions and carrots in 7 Tbsp of oil for about 10 minutes.
- In a large bowl, combine the rice, raw meat, 1 tsp pepper, 2 tsp salt, and 1/2 Tbsp steak seasoning. Add half of the carrot mixture. Set aside.
- Return the remaining carrot mixture to a simmer and add the tomato sauce, 1/2 tsp pepper, and 1 Tbsp salt. Set aside for pouring over the peppers later.
- Stuff each bell pepper with a mound of rice and beef mixture. Arrange onto a 13x9 baking dish. Pour the reserved tomato sauce mixture evenly over the stuffed peppers. Bake in a pre-heated 350°F for 1 1/2-2 hours.
- Best served with a side of sour cream.
- For Stuffed Mini Peppers: use 2 lbs of Mini Sweet Bell Peppers.
- If using boxed par-boiled rice omit step 1.
- Add an extra can of tomato sauce, 1 Tbsp Vegeta, 2 teaspoons of sugar if you want to add tomato sauce to the meat filling. Omit steak seasoning and half the water.
- Tomato Sauce option #2: omit the tomato sauce and mix together 2 cups water, 1/4 cup ketchup, 2 tsp salt, 1 tsp sugar, and 1 Tbsp vinegar. Can also add 3 Tbsp of heavy cream or sour cream. Pour over stuffed peppers.
Nutrition per serving