Mexican Stuffed Peppers made with ground beef, rice, salsa and cheese. Perfect for meal prepping and easy weeknight dinners!
Mexican Stuffed Peppers are the second stuffed pepper on the site after the Philly Cheesesteak Stuffed Peppers (small secret, I actually meal prep my stuffed peppers together and make different fillings!).
Stuffed Peppers have been a family meal I’ve enjoyed as a kid my whole life (though never Philly or Mexican flavored). My mom used to make stuffed vegetables like peppers, cabbage, zucchini and eggplant and fill them with ground beef before baking them. We never got the awesome cheese topping.
Like in the previous Philly stuffed peppers here is a rundown of all the different ways you can cook stuffed peppers. The main differences are in the park cooking of the bell peppers themselves. Many complaints I’ve seen from people is that the bell peppers are still raw/crunchy/underdone when they are served.
You can see in the pictures I cook my bell peppers until they are tender. A fork can easily cut right through the pepper. This is important because the filling we are putting inside the stuffed peppers are fully cooked, so any pre-cooking of the peppers we do is less time in the oven with the already cooked ingredients.
How do you cook stuffed peppers?
- In the Microwave: This trick will cut down on cooking time if you don’t have to cook rice in the peppers. Clean and cut them, then cover them with a wet paper towel on a plate and cook for 4-5 minutes while preparing the stuffing. You just cut your cooking time in half.
- In the Oven: Depending on the filling, you’ll want to cook the peppers for at least 30 minutes. Keeping the bell peppers covered and including a bit of liquid in the filling or in the pan will help cook the bell peppers faster by creating steam.
- Parboiling: If you have a pot of water going drop the bell peppers in it for 3-4 minutes to cook them halfway before stuffing them. This leeches vitamins so I don’t normally do this (but I did for an upcoming chicken parmesan stuffed peppers since I had pasta cooking for the recipe too).
- On the Stovetop: The primary thing here is to keep liquid in the pot and to keep it covered to help steam the bell peppers. Depending on the filling you could even be done in 15-20 minutes with the direct heat of a stovetop.
- 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.
My favorite method is the microwave one. It’s a pretty easy method you don’t have to keep an eye on and it takes just minutes while you are preparing the filling.
Looking for more awesome Mexican flavors?
- Cheesy Taco Stuffed Shells
- Cheesy Taco Pasta – my most popular recipe right now!
- Classic Chicken Enchiladas
- Best Homemade & QUICK Enchilada Sauce (Top 10 Ways to Use It!) – this recipe has tons and TONS of positive reviews.
- Toasted Mexican Rice
Tools Used in the making of these Mexican Stuffed Peppers:
Cast Iron Skillet: This is my most used pan in my kitchen, heavy, keeps heat well and gives the BEST sear ever.
Jarred Salsa: Cuts the prep time down to just a couple of minutes and the flavors are still outstanding.
Taco Seasoning: I’ve use my homemade taco seasoning recipe if you’d prefer not to use a packet. This is the packet I’d recommend if not using homemade.
- 1 pound lean ground beef
- 2 tablespoons taco seasoning (one packet)
- 1 cup rice , cooked
- 2 cups salsa , divided
- 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
- 3 bell peppers , split in half and de-seeded (through the stem)
- 8 ounces shredded cheddar cheese , divided
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Add the ground beef to a large cast iron skillet (this browns very well) and brown until a deep brown crust appears before breaking the beef apart.
- Stir the ground beef and brown until a deep crust appears on about 50 or so percent of the beef.
- Let brown for 1-2 minutes before stirring, then let brown for another 1-2 minutes before stirring again.
- Drain the fat, add the taco seasoning and stir.
- Add in the rice and half the salsa. Stir.
- Scoop the mixture into the bell pepper halves and top with the remaining salsa and half the cheese.
- Bake for 45 minutes in a covered pan.*
- Uncover, top with remaining cheese and put back in the oven for 5 minutes to melt the cheese.