BBQ Beef Stuffed Peppers

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BBQ Beef Stuffed peppers with ground beef, homemade bbq sauce, vegetables, topped with cheese makes the perfect healthy yet kid friendly meal.

Classic Stuffed Peppers are one of the most popular recipes on the site, and for good reason! They’re healthy, delicious, and make the perfect re-heatable meal for your work lunch the next day. This recipe combines stuffed peppers with the flavors of my Slow Cooker BBQ Beef Sandwiches.

BBQ Beef Stuffed Peppers

BBQ Beef Stuffed Peppers

Stuffed Peppers is one of my favorite recipes to make for our family (and for clients) because it is a self contained perfect meal. I also made a BBQ Beef Sloppy Joes and a BBQ Sausage Sloppy Joes which you may want to look at as the weather is warming up because those would both be great for easy summer meals.

Stuffed Peppers are a Balanced, Healthy Meal

You are probably looking at this recipe and seeing cheese and bbq sauce and wondering why I am calling it healthy. It is in fact a very healthy recipe to add to your weekly rotation because stuffed peppers are a well balanced meal on their own (much like people like to refer to a vegetable combination pizza as the perfectly balanced meal).

You have starch in the rice and plenty of vegetable in the bell pepper along with the additional vegetables mixed into the filling. The meat that gets added to the filling is a much smaller amount of meat than a normal meal so even though it feels like you’re getting meat in every bite, the ratio of meat is much lower. With just a small amount of cheese added to the top of the peppers you have a mixture of many parts of your food pyramid.

Barbecue Stuffed Peppers in a pan

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If you don’t want to use ground beef in this recipe you can absolutely swap out the ground beef for ground turkey or ground chicken. To give the leaner proteins a good sear I’d recommend just a bit of oil in your skillet first to form a good crust on the meat before breaking it apart.


If you’d like to keep the stuffed peppers vegetarian just add more vegetables to the mixture. I love adding zucchini, sweet potato, carrots, cauliflower or any other well roasted or cooked vegetable. Just be sure not to add the vegetables into the mixture raw as they’ll stay crunchy by the time the bell peppers are done cooking.


If you want to swap out the rice you can use quinoa, couscous or any other small shape pasta in it’s place. If you would like to use brown rice or wild rice in place of the white rice be sure to either cook it ahead of time, cook it 90% of the way (if you’re concerned about it overcooking), or use instant brown rice. Do not use uncooked brown or wild rice, it will be raw when the bell peppers are done cooking.

Sometimes I don’t want to use half raw or instant rice in my bell peppers. If you’d like to use cooked rice in your recipes use some of my cooking tricks below.


  • In the Microwave: By microwaving your cleaned and halved peppers on a plate covered with a wet paper towel for five minutes you can bake it in the oven for half the time and use pre-cooked rice in this preparation.
  • In the Oven: In this classic method create two forms of heat that are cooking your peppers by including broth and sauce with the peppers and wrapping them tightly with foil. This creates steam as they cook which helps to soften the peppers. Do not cook the bell peppers in the oven uncovered.
  • Parboiling: Some people like to boil the bell peppers before stuffing and baking them. Be aware this will cause a loss in vitamins, this method is not recommended.
  • On the Stovetop: You’ll need a high quality, heavy bottomed skillet and make sure you never let the skillet go dry. The peppers will have to be covered tightly while they cook, but I would suggest using pre-cooked rice in this cooking method (which will take only 20 minutes).
  • In the Slow Cooker: Add all the ingredients as you would below, but I suggest cutting the tops off the peppers and stuffing from the top of the pepper. Cook on low for 4 hours.

Red Bell Pepper Stuffed with BBQ Sauce, Beef and Cheese

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BBQ Beef Stuffed Peppers

5 from 6 votes
  • Yield: 6 servings
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 1 hour
  • Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
  • Course: Main Course
  • Cuisine: American
  • Author: Sabrina Snyder
BBQ Beef Stuffed peppers with ground beef, homemade bbq sauce, vegetables, topped with cheese makes the perfect healthy yet kid friendly meal.


  • pound  ground beef 85/15
  • tablespoons  vegetable oil
  • yellow onion , diced
  • 1 clove garlic , minced
  • 1 1/2  cups  instant white rice or half cooked plain white rice
  • cup  water
  • cups  tomato sauce
  • cup  brown sugar , packed
  • 1/2  teaspoon  dry mustard
  • tablespoons  apple cider vinegar
  • tablespoon  Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2  teaspoon  kosher salt
  • 1/4  teaspoon  coarse ground black pepper
  • cups  beef broth
  • bell peppers
  • 3/4 cup cheddar cheese , shredded


Note: click on times in the instructions to start a kitchen timer while cooking.

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and heat a large skillet on medium-high heat and add in the beef and onions breaking it apart as it cooks (about 4-5 minutes) then remove it from the skillet and drain the fat.

  2. Add the tomato sauce, brown sugar, mustard, vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper to pan and bring to a boil before removing 1 cup of it.
  3. Add in the garlic, rice and water along with the ground beef back into the pan and mix it all together.
  4. Add 2 cups of beef broth along with the bbq sauce you reserved to the bottom of your baking dish.
  5. Add the bell pepper halves to a baking dish and fill with the mixture, top with cheese and bake for 45 minutes wrapped tightly with foil.

Nutrition Information

Yield: 6 servings, Amount per serving: 486 calories, Calories: 486g, Carbohydrates: 52g, Protein: 21g, Fat: 21g, Saturated Fat: 11g, Cholesterol: 66mg, Sodium: 1046mg, Potassium: 890mg, Fiber: 4g, Sugar: 47g, Vitamin A: 4210g, Vitamin C: 159.3g, Calcium: 176g, Iron: 3.6g

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Keyword: bbq stuffed peppers

BBQ Peppers with Beef and Cheese in collage

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  1. Deeelicious! Husband raved about them! He said it was the best stuffed bell pepper he ever tasted. One question, do you need to add the water in the beef/sauce mixture if you are using cooked rice? I would not add the water again, it would have been better without it.

  2. I will be making this on Thursday this week. I can’t wait. Looks so awesome. Thank you for the Recipe!!!

  3. Holy shmoly these look AWESOME! I can imagine wrapping these up in foil and then grilling them on a grill during the summer barbeque. Definitely making this soon! One question is can there be rice in these too?

  4. We also always prefer vegetable pizza as I’m always looking for ways to add a little something healthy in my kids diet. This sounds so perfect!

  5. I’ve made stuffed peppers before but never with a BBQ flavor. I love this idea. Stuffed peppers are like a complete meal and I love how you can change up the flavors very easily.

  6. mmmm These look amazing! And I love that they are simmering in beef broth as well. I feel like this will give the peppers an extra taste of deliciousness. Can’t wait to try! 🙂

  7. Wow, this looks delicious (and surprisingly easy)! Thanks for including instructions for adapting these stuffed peppers to be vegetarian… I’d definitely load them up with roasted veggies, and maybe even a soy-based meatless crumble for the same beefy texture. YUM! I love it!