Everyone needs this recipe for Easy Stuffed Peppers!
This classic dish is easy enough for every day, but elegant enough for company. Colorful bell peppers are filled with a savory meat sauce mixed with rice. Then they are topped with deliciously melty cheddar cheese. Stuffed peppers are a quick, healthy, and hearty, recipe the whole family loves. Plus they have a colorful presentation that makes them look beautiful on a potluck or buffet table. Serve these up as a Thanksgiving side dish for something new!
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Easy Stuffed Peppers
- Short on time and tight on the budget? Easy stuffed bell peppers can be on the table in less than 45 minutes! And they are portable lunches for school or work.
- A great way to use up leftover meat and veggies! Just mix, fill, and bake.
- Meal prepping has never been easier. Keep assembled stuffed peppers covered in the refrigerator and bake throughout the week! They’re freezer-friendly, too!
Ingredients and Variations
PEPPERS Easy stuffed peppers are so popular because they are so versatile! Choose fresh red, green, yellow, or orange bell peppers for an eye-catching entrée!
PROTEIN Ground beef is economical and tastes great with everything! But ground chicken, turkey, even ground Italian sausage will taste great in the seasoned tomato sauce. Vegetarians can switch out the meat for quinoa or black beans and for a low-carb version, eliminate the rice and double up on the meat—or use a package of cauliflower rice.
SAVORY ADD-INS Minute Rice is a real time-saver in so many recipes! Use a package of pre-made Italian seasonings or double up on DIY Italian Dressing Mix and have extra on hand for sauces, soups, and stir-fries. For a boost of extra tasty nutrition, add some mixed veggies, chopped mushrooms, water chestnuts, sliced black olives, or jalapenos!
CHEESY TOPPING Shredded cheddar makes for a super easy browned cheesy topping. It’s the secret ingredient! If another type of cheese is preferred, it’s hard to go wrong.
How to Make Stuffed Peppers
- Prepare bell peppers as directed.
- Cook ground beef with onion. Add sauce, water, and seasoning as per recipe below. Stir in rice.
- Fill peppers and place in a casserole dish with remaining sauce on the bottom. Top peppers with cheese. Cover and bake until tender.
PRO TIP: Place finished easy stuffed peppers under the broiler until the cheddar cheese is brown and bubbly! Garnish with extra sauce or a dollop of sour cream.
In the Crock Pot
Prep and cook stuffed peppers in the Crockpot! Just set it and forget it!
- Prepare bell peppers as directed (no need to microwave them).
- Mix all of the ingredients together except for the shredded cheddar cheese (reserve some pasta sauce) and fill the bell peppers with the meat and rice mixture.
- Place them in the bottom of a Crockpot with a half cup of water. Cover and cook on high for 3 hours or low for 6 hours.
- Remove the lid, sprinkle the cheese on top, cover, and cook until the cheese is melted.
- Garnish with extra sauce or a dollop of sour cream.
What Sides Go with Stuffed Peppers?
Easy stuffed peppers need easy side dishes! Make the oven do double-duty with these low-carb side dish ideas! Oven Roasted Asparagus, or Parmesan Roasted Broccoli would be delicious with these sweet stuffed peppers. Or serve them with a delicious bowl of steaming hot Vegetable Soup. And for dessert? Blueberry Crisp is a family favorite that everyone loves!
Keep leftovers in an airtight container and reheat in the microwave. You can reheat in the oven, but be sure to cover with foil to avoid drying out.
To freeze cooked stuffed bell peppers, be sure that they are completely cooled. Once properly cooled, wrap with plastic wrap and place in a zippered bag with the date labeled on the outside. Stuffed peppers can be frozen for up to 8 weeks.
To thaw, store peppers in the refrigerator overnight. Or simply reheat from frozen in a covered Dutch oven with a half cup of water in the bottom. Cook on low until peppers are heated through.
Other Meat and Veggie Mains!
- Instant Pot Corned Beef and Cabbage – so flavorful.
- Kung Pao Chicken Recipe – quick 15 minute prep!
- Slow Cooker Beef Stew – a hearty meal.
- Broccoli Chicken Divan – creamy and delicious!
- Unstuffed Cabbage Roll Casserole – so simple to make.
Easy Stuffed Peppers
- 4-6 bell pepper * any color
- 1 pound ground beef
- 1 cup chopped onion
- 15 ounces tomato pasta sauce divided (1 jar), or tomato sauce
- 1 ¼ cups water divided
- 1 ½ Tablespoons Italian dressing mix or 1 Tablespoons Italian seasoning, ¼ teaspoon pepper, and ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup uncooked converted rice like Minute Rice
- 1 cup cheddar cheese shredded
- Preheat oven to 400°F.
- Cut off tops of peppers, and remove seeds. If needed, cut a thin slice off the bottom (without going all the way through) so the peppers stand. Place peppers in a dish and microwave on high for 5 minutes.
- Optional step: dice edible portion of the pepper tops (discard insides and stems of peppers) to be added with the beef.
- Meanwhile, add beef and onion (and diced peppers if using) to a medium skillet. Cook until browned, breaking up meat with meat chopper or a wooden spoon, about 5 minutes. Add 1 cup tomato sauce, 1 cup of water, and Italian dressing mix. Bring to a boil.
- Remove from heat. Add rice, stir, cover, and allow to rest for 5 minutes.
- Mix together remaining tomato sauce and ¼ cup water in bottom of a 3 quart or 9 inch casserole dish.
- Fill peppers with rice mixture and add to baking dish. Top peppers with cheese.
- Cover and bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until peppers are tender. Broil for 1-2 minutes to brown cheese if desired.
- Top peppers with sauce and serve!
Nutrition information does not include optional ingredients or garnish and is an estimate. It may change based on actual ingredients and cooking methods used.
Recipe slightly adapted from Minute Rice