These easy Stuffed Peppers start with gorgeous multi-colored bell peppers, filled with a hearty mix of ground beef, rice, tomatoes, and seasonings, then finished with cheese and baked until tender. It’s a perfect all in one healthy, delicious dinner that your family will love!
If you’re craving Mexican food and other stuffed peppers, you’ll also love our classic Chile Relleno recipe made with poblano peppers.
I have always loved stuffed peppers – the taste, that is, but not all the work that seems to go into making them. Par-boiling the peppers before baking, making up the rice and beef separately, etc. By the time dinner is ready, you’ve been on your feet for two hours and have a mountain of dishes to clean. No thanks! These stuffed bell peppers are none of that.
We tinkered with our ever-popular easy Mexican Rice Skillet and used that filling for Mexican stuffed peppers. And we’re in love.
Stuffed Peppers Recipe
Truly one of the best stuffed peppers recipes. Here’s why:
- All in one meal: these peppers are stuffed with lean ground beef, vegetables, and rice, so it’s a complete, hearty and satisfying meal.
- Super flavorful: using diced tomato and chopped green chiles, with just the right seasonings makes these peppers so flavorful.
- Eat more veggies: this is a great way to include more vegetables into your diet.
- Minimal dishes: these peppers are pre-baked (in the same baking dish you’ll be using to bake the stuffed peppers) while you cook the filling, eliminating extra dishes and saving on time.
- It’s cheap: All the ingredients are simple, available at common grocery stores, and affordable.
- Gluten free: this dish is a great option for anyone with gluten sensitives.
- Versatile: You can easily change out the meat, cheeses, and rice to suit different tastes.
- Make it ahead of time: Prep and serve right away or cook and freeze for later.
- Leftovers: this recipe makes 8 peppers, so if you have a small family, you’re guaranteed to have leftovers for lunch the next day.
- Everyone loves it! A classic combination of beef, rice, tomatoes, and cheese is always a hit with the family.
Ingredients for Stuffed Bell Peppers
Here are all the ingredients you’ll need for these Mexican stuffed peppers with uncooked rice and ground beef.
- Bell peppers: the star of the show. Use all the same color or a variety. Purchase ones that are uniform in size, so they cook at the same rate.
- Beef: we use lean ground beef, but ground Italian sausage is delicious, too. Or you can use lean ground turkey for a healthier option. All good!
- Rice: (uncooked) long grain white rice is our preference. Brown rice may be substituted, but it will require more cooking liquid and a longer simmer time.
- Onion: sweet diced onion with the diced pepper tops, sautéed in olive oil, is the base of the filling.
- Tomatoes and Chiles: a combination of canned petite diced tomatoes and canned Rotel (which is diced tomatoes and chiles) with their liquid, takes the flavor up a level. Rotel comes in original, mild, and hot, so you can control the spiciness to suit your taste.
- Chicken Broth: the filling simmers in low sodium chicken broth, adding an extra layer of flavor.
- Cheese: these are Mexican stuffed peppers, so we use shredded Mexican blend cheese. You can certainly replace this with all cheddar or kick it up a notch with Pepper Jack.
- Olive Oil: the vegetables sauté in extra-virgin olive oil.
- Seasonings: taco seasoning, Worcestershire sauce, brown sugar, salt, and pepper are combined to knock the flavor out of the park.
- Parsley and/or Scallions: We love finishing this dish off with fresh chopped parsley (or cilantro) and scallions, for color and additional flavor.
How to Make Stuffed Peppers
Nothing complicated here! These easy stuffed peppers are on the table in 45 minutes and the majority of that time is hands-off. Here’s a brief summary of the steps needed:
*You can find the complete printable recipe and video tutorial below.
- Prep the peppers: slice off the tops of the peppers. Remove the seeds and membranes; discard. Dice up the tops of the peppers and reserve those for the filling.
- Cook the filling: the ingredients for the filling is sautéed and simmered on the stovetop.
- Roast the peppers: at the same time the filling is cooking, you’ll roast the peppers in the oven.
- Fill the peppers: stuff the partially cooked peppers with the filling.
- Finish baking: top with cheese and place back in the oven to finish baking until peppers are tender. Easy!
- How long to cook stuffed peppers? For these stuffed bell peppers, the peppers bake in a 400 degree F oven for 20 minutes at the same time the filling cooks on the stovetop. Then after they’re filled, they go back in the oven for another 10 minutes or so, for a total of 30 minutes.
How do you keep stuffed peppers from falling over?
Bell peppers have bumps on the bottom and are rarely level. To keep them from falling over, you can slice a little bit off the bottom of each pepper to create a flattened base (being careful not to slice into the pepper itself or the stuffing will leak out.) This helps them sit upright. Another way to keep the peppers from falling over is to place them in a smaller baking dish with taller sides so they’re somewhat snug (but not completely crowded.)
Do You Have to Pre-cook Peppers Before Stuffing Them?
You certainly don’t have to, but the texture will be more like a crispy raw bell pepper if you don’t pre-cook them. For this recipe, we don’t boil them (because what a hassle!) – we simply pre-bake in the oven at the same time the filling simmers on the stove. Then finish them off in the oven once stuffed, so they’re tender. Easy!
Can you make Stuffed Peppers in a Slow Cooker?
Yes, these can also be cooked in a slow cooker, if you prefer. Skip pre-baking the peppers and just stuff them with the cooked filling. Cook in the slow cooker on low for about 3 1/2 hours (or until tender), then sprinkle with the cheese during the last 10 minutes or so.
Leftovers and Freezer Storage
Allow any leftover peppers to cool completely, then store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
Can you freeze stuffed peppers? Yep! Allow to cool completely, then place peppers in an airtight freezer-safe container, cut side up. You can freeze them all together in one single container or freeze individually wrapped in plastic wrap and then in a freezer-safe bag. They will keep frozen for up to 2 months. Thaw in the fridge overnight before reheating.
How to reheat stuffed peppers: Reheat in the microwave or oven. To microwave, cut the peppers in half and loosen up the filling a little bit to ensure they warm through evenly. For the oven, place the peppers in a baking dish (cut side up) and warm at 350 degrees F until heated through.
Watch them Being Made
What to Serve with Stuffed Peppers
These Mexican stuffed bell peppers are a meal in itself and don’t really need anything else, but a nice crisp side salad would round out the dinner nicely. Some of our favorites include this Simple Side Salad, Cucumber Tomato Salad, or a Three Bean Salad.
Stuffed Bell Peppers
- 8 bell peppers (any colors)
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 pound lean ground beef
- 1 small sweet onion , diced
- Salt and pepper , to taste
- 15 ounce can petite diced tomatoes , undrained
- 10 ounce can Rotel , undrained (choose from original, mild, or hot)
- 1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
- 3/4 cup uncooked long grain white rice
- 3 teaspoons brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
- 1 teaspoon taco seasoning
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 cup shredded Mexican blend cheese , divided
- Fresh chopped cilantro (or parsley) , for serving
- Diced scallions , for serving
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Coat a square or round 3-quart baking dish with nonstick spray.
- Slice off the tops of the peppers. Remove the seeds and membranes; discard. Dice up the tops of the peppers; set aside.
- If necessary, slice a little bit off the bottom of each pepper to create a flattened base so they can sit upright without falling over (being careful not to slice into the pepper itself or the stuffing will leak out.) Transfer peppers to the prepared baking dish, making sure they're somewhat snug, but not completely crowded. Season the insides with a dash of salt and pepper.
- In a large ovenproof saute pan (with a lid), warm olive oil over medium-high heat. Add in the beef, onion, and reserved diced up bell peppers. Cook, breaking up the beef with a wooden spoon, until browned and no pink remains, about 3-5 minutes. Drain off grease and season with salt and pepper, to taste.
- Stir in the diced tomatoes, Rotel, chicken broth, rice, brown sugar, Worcestershire sauce, taco seasoning, salt, and pepper. Bring to a boil; stir once, then cover tightly. Reduce heat to medium-low and let cook for about 20 minutes undisturbed.
- Simultaneously, transfer baking dish with the peppers to the preheated oven and roast for 20 minutes.
- Uncover pan, stir 1/2 cup of the cheese into the beef mixture until melted.
- Spoon mixture into the partially baked peppers and top with remaining 1/2 cup cheese.
- Place stuffed peppers back into the oven for another 10 minutes until cheese has melted and peppers are tender.
- Sprinkle cilantro (or parsley) and scallions over the top and serve!