Stuffed Peppers: a mouthwatering, hearty dish your whole family with love

Total time: 80 Min
Difficulty: Low
Serves: 6 people
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By Cookist
bell peppers
Extra virgin olive oil
2 tsp (extra for greasing)
Lean ground beef
1 1/2 pounds
Onion, finely chopped
Garlic, minced
2 to 3 cloves
cooked white rice
1 1/2 cups
salt and pepper to taste
Tomato sauce
1 15-ounce can
Italian seasoning
3/4 tsp
1 1/2 cups
fresh parsley, chopped
2 to 3 tbsp
Parmesan cheese, grated

If you're in the mood for a fast, easy-to-make comfort dish that's perfect for summer, try this easy, baked stuffed bell pepper recipe. Made with fresh bell peppers stuffed with a tantalizing mixture of sautéed ground beef, onions, cheese, and rice flavored with dried herbs, garlic, and tomato sauce, stuffed peppers are always a hit.

With their bright color and tender texture, they're a welcome addition to any homemade meal. This recipe is super easy to make, simply hollow peppers, fill them with the tasty mixture and bake.

Serve your stuffed bell peppers as a main dish or a hearty side as for stuffed zucchini. Although bell peppers are in season during the summer and early autumn, stuffed peppers taste great any time of year. You can even customize the fillings however you like. It's one recipe your family will ask you to make over and over again.

Stuffed Bell Peppers Ingredients

Head to your local farmers' market and pick up some bell peppers. Any color works. Red, yellow and orange peppers are the sweetest, while green peppers have a more vegetal flavor. When shopping for peppers, look for ones with flatter bottoms. They'll stand up in the casserole dish better than ones with rounded bottoms.

For the stuffing, you'll need tomato sauce, garlic, onion, cooked rice, and ground beef. Lean ground beef is ideal for this recipe as it gives off less fat while providing plenty of flavor. Cooked long grain rice like jasmine or basmati are great options. Don't use raw rice.

A dash of Italian seasoning brings a delicious herbal flavor to the beef, but you can use any combination of fresh or dried herbs.

You'll also need some cheese and parmesan cheese. This recipe calls for mozzarella, but any cheese that melts well will be fantastic in this recipe.

How to Make Stuffed Peppers

It's incredibly easy to make these mouthwatering stuffed bell peppers. Start by heating your oven to 350°F and greasing a casserole dish with cooking spray or rubbing it with oil. Slice off the tops of the peppers and hollow them out. Put the peppers cut side down in the casserole dish and add water. Wrap the dish with foil and bake the peppers for about 25 minutes.

While the peppers are in the oven, sauté the beef over medium heat. Cook it for 5 to 6 minutes, or until it's completely cooked. Mix in the onions and cook until soft. Stir in garlic and sauté until fragrant.

Next, mix the cooked rice, tomato sauce, and Italian seasoning into the beef. Add in ½ cup cheese and parsley. Season the mixture with salt and pepper. Take the peppers out of the oven and discard the water. Place the peppers right-side up, and stuff them with the filling.

Add cheese and top with parmesan cheese, wrap the casserole dish in foil, then bake the peppers for 20 minutes. Take off the foil and cook the peppers for another 10 minutes. Remove the peppers from the oven, add some additional cheese and parsley if you want, and enjoy!

Can You Make Stuffed Bell Peppers in a Slow Cooker?

For extra convenience, you can cook your stuffed peppers in your slow cooker. After assembling the stuffed peppers, place them in the slow cooker with water. Secure the lid and cook them on high for 3 hours or low for 6 hours. Once cooked, top them with cheese, then leave them in the slow cooker for a few extra minutes until the cheese melts. Garnish with parsley, serve, and enjoy!

Tips for Making Easy Stuffed Peppers

Use 90 percent lean ground beef for your stuffed peppers. Ground beef with a higher fat ratio will be too greasy for this dish. If you prefer to use fattier beef, be sure to drain off the excess fat after you've sautéed the beef.

To keep the peppers from falling over, choose a casserole dish that isn't too big. This way, the peppers will lean against each other and stay upright.

Only use cooked rice. Raw rice won't cook properly.

You can make your stuffed bell peppers in advance.

Stuffed Peppers Variations

Instead of beef, use ground pork, chicken, or turkey.

You can swap the white rice for brown rice or quinoa to make it healthier.

To make vegetarian stuffed peppers, use chopped veggies like squash, corn, zucchini, tomatoes, broccoli, or cauliflower instead of meat.

Use any good melting cheese you like. Gouda, Monterey Jack, pepper Jack, cheddar, and provolone are great alternatives to mozzarella.

What to Serve with Stuffed Bell Peppers

With hearty ingredients like ground beef, rice, cheese, and onions, these easy stuffed bell peppers are a great main meal. Serve them with a side salad, grilled corn, stuffed zucchini boats, roasted vegetables, freshly baked dinner rolls, or a crusty French loaf.

How to Store and Reheat Stuffed Peppers

Let the peppers cool, then place them in an airtight container and refrigerate them for up to 3 days. To reheat them, bake the peppers at 350°F for 20 minutes or until piping hot. You can also zap them in the microwave for 2 to 3 minutes.

Can You Freeze Stuffed Bell Peppers?

You can totally freeze your stuffed peppers for an effortless make-ahead recipe you can warm up when you need a quick, hearty meal on the fly. Once cooked, let the peppers cool down, place them in an airtight container, and freeze them for up to 8 months.

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Preheat your oven to 350F.

Cut off the tops of the peppers.

Remove and discard the seeds and ribs.

Grease a casserole dish with olive oil. Arrange the peppers cut side down in the casserole dish. Pour in 1 ½ cup water. Wrap with foil and bake for 25 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add in the beef, salt, and pepper. Sauté for 5 to 6 minutes, until cooked through. Break up large chunks.

Stir in onions and cook for 3 to 4 minutes, until soft. Stir in garlic and cook until fragrant, about 45 seconds to 1 minute.

Stir in cooked rice, tomato sauce, and Italian seasoning. Mix in ½ cup cheese, parsley plus additional salt and pepper.

Take the peppers out of the oven. Pour off the water. Flip over the peppers, then stuff them with the beef mixture. Garnish the peppers with the rest of the cheese and top with parmesan cheese.

Cover with foil and bake for 20 minutes. Remove foil and bake for 10 minutes more. When time has elapsed, take the pepper out of the oven and let them slightly cool.

Serve and enjoy!

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