Delicious, protein-packed stuffed bell peppers make for a crowd-pleasing meal the whole family will enjoy! This recipe is easy to make with rice, ground beef, veggies and melty cheese. Add these incredibly flavorful stuffed peppers to your dinner menu or meal prep them for the week ahead!

stuffed bell peppers topped with melty cheese and parsley

yummy stuffed peppers recipe

I am relatively new to the stuffed pepper scene.

I say this like stuffed bell peppers are some sort of new cool thing out there, when in reality the stuffed pepper boom probably hit hardest in the late-80’s. My mom never made them, though, when I was growing up. She was too busy making tater tot casserole and spaghetti & meatballs. Anyway, I only recently started making them because they are the ultimate meal prep meal, in my opinion. I can make this stuffed peppers recipe on a Sunday and have dinner set for myself all week long. Let me just tell you — it’s just lovely to go to an evening yoga class, come home all sweaty, then pour myself a glass of wine, reheat a stuffed pepper from the fridge and watch Grey’s Anatomy on my laptop. 😉

These colorful stuffed peppers make such a great family dinner too. They’re healthy, easy, and quick to make. The bell peppers get stuffed with rice, seasoned ground beef (or use turkey) and tomatoes, then they are topped with Monterey Jack cheese, and baked to perfection. Yes, please!

These are delicious right out of the oven, but even better on the second and third day. Don’t you love that?! Same goes with chili and spaghetti sauce — they just taste better the second time around, after the flavors have a little time to develop.

Let’s get to all of the delicious details!

cooked bell peppers stuffed with ground beef, rice and topped with melted cheese

ingredients for stuffed bell peppers

This stuffed bell pepper recipe uses simple, easy-to-find ingredients that you may already have in your kitchen. Here’s the lineup:

  • White rice. Long-grain white rice is pretty standard in stuffed bell peppers, but you could also use brown rice or any other cooked rice you’d like.
  • Bell peppers. You can use any color of bell peppers that you like. Keep in mind that red peppers are the sweetest, yellow and orange peppers are mild, and green peppers can be somewhat bitter.
  • Onion + garlic. These two are cooked together to add wonderful flavor to the ground beef.
  • Ground beef. I like to use lean ground beef in this recipe, but feel free to use ground sausage, turkey or chicken instead.
  • Spices. A simple mix of oregano, salt and pepper is the perfect blend to bring all the flavors together.
  • Tomato paste. Used to thicken the filling and give it a wonderful Italian flavor.
  • Tomatoes. This recipe calls for a 14.5 ounce can of diced tomatoes. You’ll add the tomatoes with the juices.
  • Cheese. Monterey Jack cheese tastes so good melted over these bell peppers, but you can use any favorite cheese to top the peppers, such as cheddar or mozzarella.
ground beef cooking with rice in a large skillet

how to make easy stuffed bell peppers with rice

You may have tried other stuffed pepper recipes, but this one’s my favorite! It’s so flavorful and super easy! Here’s a quick rundown of how to make these stuffed peppers:

  1. Cook the rice. The rice used in this recipe will need to be already cooked and since this step takes the most time, get that cooking first.
  2. Cook the bell peppers. The empty peppers will need to be softened before you add the filling. Cut off the tops and remove the ribs and seeds. Then, lightly sprinkle the inside of the peppers with salt and place them in a microwave-safe dish with about 1/2-inch of water. Cover and cook for 3-5 minutes or until they start to soften.
  3. Make the filling. Sauté the onion and garlic in tomato paste. Then, add in the ground beef and cook until no longer pink. Finally, stir in the oregano, salt, pepper, diced tomatoes and the cooked rice. simmer for about 5 minutes and until the mixture thickens.
  4. Stuff the peppers. Spoon an even amount of the beef mixture into each bell pepper and sprinkle cheese over the top.
  5. Bake the peppers. Cover the baking dish with foil and bake for 20 to 25 minutes. Then, remove the foil and bake for another 10 to 15 minutes and until the peppers are soft and the cheese is melted and lightly browned.
  6. Serve. Garnish with fresh parsley and enjoy!
spooning ground beef filling into bell peppers for stuffed bell peppers

crockpot stuffed peppers

These stuffed peppers are great cooked in the slow cooker! You won’t need to worry about pre-cooking the peppers, just fill them with the prepared (cooked) filling and slow cook them in a Crockpot on low heat for about 3 1/2 to 4 hours or until tender, add cheese during the last 10 minutes.

tips for the best stuffed peppers

This stuffed pepper recipe really is a breeze to make, but here are some tips to make sure you serve up perfect stuffed bell peppers every time!

  • When grocery shopping for this recipe, choose bell peppers that are about the same size to make sure that each of the peppers takes the same amount of time to cook.
  • If a pepper is wobbly and won’t stand up on its own, cut a thin slice off the bottom of the pepper to make the bottom level.
  • In my opinion, these classic stuffed peppers are best when the peppers are cooked before they are stuffed. This ensures they are nice and tender. If you prefer a crispier pepper, you can omit the pre-cooking step.
stuffed bell peppers topped with shredded cheese before baking

customize your stuffed peppers

We love this stuffed bell peppers recipe as written, but feel free to experiment and switch up some of the ingredients depending on what you have on hand and what flavors you’re craving.

  • Meat. You can use ground sausage, turkey, or chicken instead of ground beef. Italian seasoned sausage or turkey would be delicious!
  • Grains. Any type of cooked rice works. You could even try another grain, like quinoa, couscous or orzo.
  • Veggies. Bulk up the filling with other vegetables, such as diced zucchini, corn, or roasted sweet potato.
  • Cheese. Try topping the peppers with different cheeses. Varieties that melt well are mozzarella, provolone or mild cheddar.

what to serve with stuffed bell peppers

When I serve these easy stuffed bell peppers, I like to keep the sides simple because they are pretty much a complete meal — they have plenty of protein, veggies, and carbs. I typically pair this dish with a fresh salad or veggies on the side. Here’s some side ideas:

My favorite Italian salad – this irresistible Italian salad goes especially well with these Italian-flavored stuffed peppers.

Fresh green salad – simply toss mixed greens with lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper. Feel free to add toppings to your salad such as red onion, cherry tomatoes, and croutons.

Roasted broccoli – bakes up tender, crisp and golden brown. A healthy side dish that pairs great with any main dish!

Seasoned roasted vegetables – use any vegetable medley with my favorite seasoning mix and you’ve got a flavorful side dish.

Best Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies – don’t forget a little something sweet to enjoy after dinner!

make ahead options

Stuffed peppers are a great make ahead meal! Simply follow all the steps in the recipe except topping the peppers with cheese, then refrigerate the peppers. When you are ready to cook and enjoy the stuffed peppers, top them with cheese and bake them at 350ºF for 35 minutes. Remove the covering and bake them for an additional 10 minutes.

storing & reheating leftover stuffed bell peppers

  • Storing leftovers. Place any leftover stuffed peppers in an airtight storage container in the refrigerator for up to about 5 days.
  • To reheat. Pop individual servings in the microwave and cook for about 2 minutes and until hot. To reheat in the oven, bake the peppers in a covered dish at 350ºF for 15-20 minutes or until heated through.
  • Freezing. Make sure that the stuffed peppers are completely cooled. Place in a freezer-safe container, seal, label, and date. Use within about 3 months of freezing.
stuffed bell peppers in a baking dish

If you’re looking to amp up dinnertime at your house, you should definitely give these easy stuffed bell peppers a try! They’re SO delicious! Always a hit when I make them!

more favorite dinner recipes

Best Baked Mac and Cheese

Grandma’s Spaghetti & Meatballs

Mom’s Easy Meatloaf

Layered Taco Casserole

If you try this easy stuffed bell peppers recipe, let me know! Leave a comment and if your family loves it as much as mine does, be sure to give it a five star ⭐️ rating! Also, tag @kimscravings on Instagram with a picture of your creation. It’s so fun to see what you’re cooking! Be sure to subscribe to our mailing list to receive more healthy delicious recipes straight to your inbox.

stuffed bell peppers topped with melty cheese and parsley
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Stuffed Bell Peppers

Delicious, protein-packed stuffed bell peppers make for a crowd-pleasing meal the whole family will enjoy! This recipe is easy to make with rice, ground beef, veggies and melty cheese. Add these incredibly flavorful stuffed peppers to your dinner menu or meal prep them for the week ahead!

Ingredients

  • ½ cup uncooked long-grain white rice
  • 6 medium to large bell peppers (any combination of colors)
  • 1-2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 small yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 pound lean ground beef (or ground turkey)
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes, with juices
  • 1 cup shredded Monterey jack cheese
  • optional: freshly chopped parsley for garnish

Instructions 

  • Preheat oven to 350ºF.
  • In a saucepan, follow package instructions to prepare the rice.
  • Meanwhile, cut off the tops of the peppers and remove the ribs and seeds, then rinse. Lightly sprinkle the inside of the peppers with salt and place them in a microwave safe dish with about 1/2-inch of water. Cover and cook for 3-5 minutes or until they start to soften. Alternatively, you can cover with foil and bake 20 minutes to soften the peppers.
  • While the peppers are precooking, make the meat filling. In a large skillet, over medium heat add extra virgin olive oil and sauté the chopped onion for 5 minutes, or until translucent. Then, stir in garlic and tomato paste and cook for another 2 minutes. Add in ground beef and cook until beef is no longer pink. Drain the excess fat.
  • Then stir in oregano, salt, pepper, diced tomatoes and the cooked rice. Let the mixture simmer for about 5 minutes and until the liquid reduces some.
  • Scoop the beef mix into each pepper and sprinkle the shredded Monterey jack cheese over the tops.
  • Cover the baking dish with aluminum foil and bake for 20 to 25 minutes. Then, remove the foil and bake for another 10 to 15 minutes and until the peppers are soft and the cheese is melted and lightly browned. Garnish with parsley and enjoy!

Notes

  • Storing leftovers. Place any leftover stuffed peppers in an airtight storage container in the refrigerator for up to about 5 days.
  • To reheat. Pop individual servings in the microwave and cook for about 2 minutes and until hot. To reheat in the oven, bake the peppers in a covered dish at 350ºF for 15-20 minutes or until heated through.
  • Freezing. Make sure that the stuffed peppers are completely cooled. Place in a freezer-safe container, seal, label, and date. Use within about 3 months of freezing.
 
 
 
Recipe slightly adapted from delish.com.
Photos by Sasha at Eat Love Eats.
Serving: 1pepper, Calories: 299kcal, Carbohydrates: 22g, Protein: 24g, Fat: 12g, Saturated Fat: 6g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 64mg, Sodium: 393mg, Potassium: 626mg, Fiber: 3g, Sugar: 6g, Vitamin A: 3959IU, Vitamin C: 154mg, Calcium: 172mg, Iron: 3mg

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