Stuffed bell peppers are a flavorful & comforting dish made with ground beef, rice, cheese and bell peppers. This easy stuffed peppers recipe is the perfect weeknight dinner!
Bell peppers are one of the cheapest veggies you can buy (when they’re in season). We like to catch them when they’re $1 each, but sometimes we even find them for less! Everything else this recipe requires is fairly affordable as well, making this a frugal meal full of delicious possibilities for your budget.
Stuffed Peppers With Rice
I originally got this recipe from my beloved Betty Crocker cookbook, but over time I have adapted it to suit my own tastes before finally settling on this winner of a meal. The filling is made from common ingredients I usually have in my pantry, so just a few items are needed from the store. We all enjoy this hearty, flavorful dinner.
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
- This recipe is very versatile. So if you don’t have a certain item on hand, substitute something else! For instance, I rarely buy 15 oz cans of tomato sauce, so I use diced tomatoes instead. Also, you can use garlic powder and even onion powder in place of the fresh items.
- You make them meatless. If you’re not big meat eaters, you’re welcome to add in more vegetables like zucchini and diced tomatoes. You can even use brown rice for a healthier version.
- The filling freezes nicely. I like to make a double batch and freeze half, so that meal prep is that much shorter next time.
Stuffed Peppers Ingredients
Bell peppers– You will need 6 large bell peppers for this recipe. You can use any color you have on hand (or whatever is cheapest).
Ground beef- 1 pound of ground beef will be cooked up and used in the filling.
Onions– You only need 2 tablespoons of finely chopped onion in the filling. You can use 1 tsp onion powder instead, if you prefer.
Rice– To streamline the process, use 1 cup of already prepared and cooked rice. Measure 1/2 cup of dry rice, make according to the package directions, and then use in the filling.
Salt– Use 1 teaspoon of salt to help bring the flavors together well.
Garlic– Adding in 1 clove of finely chopped garlic will give us a nice subtle flavor.
Tomato sauce- You will need one 15-ounce sized can of tomato sauce. I have used diced tomatoes instead and love that too!
Cheese– You’ll want 1 cups of shredded mozzarella cheese for the topping. You can use an Italian Style cheese blend too.
How to Make Stuffed Bell Peppers
Make a circular cut on the top of each pepper, so that the stem is removed and the opening is large enough to be able to clean the inside. Remove seeds and membranes; rinse. Make a thin slice on the bottom, making sure to not cut through the pepper; cutting just enough to give the peppers a flat base, to help the peppers stand up and not fall over.
Cook peppers in boiling water to cover for 5 minutes; drain.
Cook ground beef and onion in a skillet, frequently stirring, until beef is browned; drain.
Stir in salt, garlic, cooked rice, tomato sauce (or diced tomatoes) and half the cheese. Heat through.
Stuff each pepper with ground beef mixture; stand upright in the baking dish.
Cover with foil; cook in 350°F oven for 45 minutes. Uncover; cook 15 minutes longer.
Remove from oven and sprinkle with shredded mozzarella cheese. Return to the oven just until cheese is melted. Enjoy!
Stuffed Bell Peppers
- 6 large bell peppers
- 1 lb ground beef
- 1 TBSP finely chopped onions or 1 tsp onion powder
- 1 cup cooked rice
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 clove garlic finely chopped
- 15 oz tomato sauce or diced tomatoes
- 1 cup mozzarella cheese shredded
- Make a circular cut on the top of each pepper, so that the stem is removed and the opening is large enough to be able to clean the inside. Remove seeds and membranes; rinse. Make a thin slice on the bottom, making sure to not cut through the pepper; cutting just enough to give the peppers a flat base, to help the peppers stand up and not fall over.
- Cook peppers in boiling water to cover for 5 minutes; drain.
- Cook ground beef and onion in a skillet, frequently stirring, until beef is browned; drain.
- Stir in rice, salt, garlic, tomato sauce (or diced tomatoes) and half the cheese. Heat through.
- Stuff each pepper with ground beef mixture; stand upright in the baking dish.
- Cover with foil; cook in 350°F oven for 45 minutes. Uncover; cook 15 minutes longer.
- Remove from oven and sprinkle with shredded mozzarella cheese. Return to the oven just until cheese is melted. Enjoy!
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Should peppers be cooked before stuffing?
Yes, cooking the bell peppers to some degree before adding in the filling is necessary. We choose to boil our bell peppers because it’s quick and easy. This softens the bell pepper just enough so that they are easier to cut and eat. Alternately, you can steam the peppers in the microwave by adding 1/4 cup water to a microwave safe dish with a lid and cooking for 5 minutes on high.
Which bell pepper is best for stuffing?
You can use any color of bell pepper, they’re all fantastic! If I’m serving this dish for my family I often just use whatever peppers are on sale. It is fun to have a variety of colors though, so it might be worth the extra $1 or $2 to get 2 of each color, red, yellow and green.
How do you tell when stuffed peppers are done?
You will know that your stuffed bell peppers have finished cooking when the bell pepper has softened, and the filling has been fully warmed through.
Here are some Main Dish Recipes to add to your collection
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- SLOW COOKER PHILLY CHEESESTEAK SLOPPY JOES
- CHICKEN AND STUFFING CASSEROLE
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Stuffed bell peppers are a delicious and inexpensive dinner option for when you want something filling and healthy. You’ll love this easy stuffed peppers recipe any night of the week.