Stuffed Peppers

6 servings
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 25 minutes

Stuffed Peppers with beef, rice, tomato sauce, onions, garlic, Italian Seasoning and Parmesan Cheese. Quick and easy and great for meal prep!

Stuffed Peppers are a classic family favorite option perfect for the fall and winter months just like Slow Cooker Pot Roast, Tater Tot Casserole and Stuffed Shells.

Stuffed Peppers on plate with parmesan & parsley


Stuffed Peppers are an easy meal you can prep ahead of time, cook ahead of time, or freeze, and the bell peppers are such a good vessel for the filling that reheating is easy too.

If you have an aversion to bell peppers you can even use tomatoes in your stuffed peppers. Simply buy larger beefsteak or on the vine tomatoes and core them out with a spoon. When coring out tomatoes, leave a 1/2-¾ inch thick tomato wall to avoid the tomatoes bursting from the stuffing.

Fill the tomatoes with your rice and meat mixture and bake as you would the bell peppers.

You can also stuff zucchini. Cut in half lengthwise then scoop out the inside of the zucchini using a spoon. 

Stuffed Peppers



What other meats can be used for stuffed peppers?

You can also use alternatives to ground beef. Ground turkey and ground chicken work well too. When using them it’s a good idea to add 1-2 tablespoons of canola oil to the pan so you get a good sear on the meat to form a crust.

Can stuffed peppers be made vegetarian?

Instead of any versions of meat you can actually use stuffing mix along with sautéing vegetables in the bell peppers.

How much liquid is needed to cook stuffed peppers?

When putting the stuffed bell peppers into your baking dish just add a couple cups of water, chicken or beef broth to the pan. Then be sure to wrap it tightly with foil to keep the steam in. This keeps the bell peppers and the filling from drying out while they’re cooked.

Can I substitute the rice in this receipe?

If you want to swap out the rice you can successfully use quinoa or couscous quite easily. If you would prefer to use brown rice use a batch that is 75% cooked or instant brown rice to cut down on cooking time. Do not use uncooked brown rice as it won’t finish cooking in the time required.

Stuffed Peppers Recipe


  • 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 it is not normally recommended.
  • 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 cut the tops off the peppers and stuff from the top of the pepper. Cook on low for 4 hours.
Stuffed Bell Pepper Recipe



  • Serve: This dish is best served fresh and hot. Keep at room temperature for up to 2 hours before storing.
  • Store: Place in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 4 days. Reheat on the stove top in sauce.
  • Freeze: This recipe can be frozen for up to 3 months in a sealed container or freezer safe bag. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator and reheat on the stove top in sauce for best taste.
Stuffed Peppers on plate with parmesan & parsley

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Stuffed Peppers Recipe

Stuffed Peppers with beef, rice, tomato sauce, onions, garlic, Italian Seasoning and Parmesan Cheese. Quick and easy and great for meal prep!
Yield 6 servings
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 25 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Author Sabrina Snyder


  • 1 pound ground beef , 85/15
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion , diced
  • 2 cloves garlic , minced
  • 1 1/2 cups instant white rice , or half cooked plain white rice
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 cups tomato sauce
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon coarse ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 2 cups beef broth
  • 6 bell peppers , cut in half through the stem and cleaned
  • Parmesan cheese , optional


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Heat a large skillet on medium-high heat and add in the beef breaking it apart as it cooks then remove it from the skillet and drain the fat.
  • Add in the olive oil and onions,reduce heat to medium, cooking for 5-7 minutes.
  • Add in the garlic, rice, water, tomato sauce, Worcestershire sauce, kosher salt, black pepper and Italian seasoning along with the ground beef back into the pan and mix it all together.
  • Add 2 cups of beef broth and the bell pepper halves to a baking dish and fill with the mixture and bake for 60 minutes wrapped tightly with foil.
  • Garnish with Parmesan cheese.



Calories: 383kcal | Carbohydrates: 32g | Protein: 17g | Fat: 20g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Cholesterol: 53mg | Sodium: 710mg | Potassium: 774mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 9g | Vitamin A: 4080IU | Vitamin C: 159.7mg | Calcium: 52mg | Iron: 4.5mg
Keyword: beef, bell peppers, meal prep, stuffed peppers, weeknight meal
Stuffed Peppers Collage

About the Author: Sabrina Snyder

Sabrina is a professionally trained Private Chef of over 10 years with ServSafe Manager certification in food safety. She creates all the recipes here on Dinner, then Dessert, fueled in no small part by her love for bacon.

Sabrina Snyder is a professionally trained personal and private chef of over 10 years who is the creator and developer of all the recipes on Dinner, then Dessert.

She is also the author of the cookbook Dinner, then Dessert – Satisfying Meals Using Only 3, 5 or 7 Ingredients, published by Harper Collins.

She started Dinner, then Dessert as a business in her office as a lunch service for her coworkers who admired her lunches before going to culinary school and becoming a full time personal chef and private chef.

As a personal chef Sabrina would cook for families one day a week and cook their entire week of dinners. All grocery shopping, cooking and cleaning was done along with instructions on reheating. As a private chef she cooked for private parties and cooked in family homes in the evenings for families on a nightly basis after working as a personal chef during the day.

Sabrina has been certified as a ServSafe Manager since 2007 and was a longstanding member of the USPCA Personal Chef Association including being on the board of the Washington DC Chapter of Chefs in the US Personal Chef Association when they won Chapter of the year.

As a member of the community of food website creators Sabrina Snyder has spoken at many conferences regarding her experiences as a food writer including the Indulge Food Conference, Everything Food Conference, Haven Food Conference and IACP Annual Food Professionals Conference.

Sabrina lives with her family in sunny California.

Dinner, then Dessert, Inc. owns the copyright on all images and text and does not allow for its original recipes and pictures to be reproduced anywhere other than at this site unless authorization is given. If you enjoyed the recipe and would like to publish it on your own site, please re-write it in your own words, and link back to my site and recipe page. Read my disclosure and copyright policy. This post may contain affiliate links.


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  1. I had a grand time yesterday writing out the recipe for your copycat Stouffers MacNCheese. The recipe for the braided loaf of bread with sesame seeds really peaked my interest! When my granddaughter heard about it, she was very excited to give this chemistry experiment a try. I bought the fresh yeast and double sealed Ziplock bags. But now I can’t find the recipe! I’m hoping you may be able to help us. Thank you!

    1. Hmm, I don’t recall a braided loaf of bread with sesame seeds on the site; however! I am planning to post my challah bread (which is braided and can be topped with sesame seeds) recipe on the site so stay tuned! If you email me at [email protected] and ask for the challah bread recipe I will send it to you privately! Enjoy.

  2. My family of 4 (plus our handyman) gobbled these up. In place of the tomato sauce I used Rotel diced tomatoes with chilies. Served with garlic bread and a salad. Was hoping to have leftovers (although I did let the handyman take 2 to his parents.) My grown boys (men in their 50’s) said they were the best I’d ever made with just that one change!. I want to make more next time but wrap them for the freezer. BTW, I’ve been cooking for about 70 years, but I’m finding many of your recipes new and delightful. Would love to give you a 10 on this.

  3. I’ve been cutting my peppers “in half, through stem” for years! Mostly because you can stuff more into them, but also to get more cheese (I load them with cheddar) on top.
    Thanks for validating my method!

  4. Thanks so much for this yummy recipe!! My mom always added Worcestershire sauce to the meat mixture, and boiled the pepper halves for just a few minutes before stuffing. I did the same, and they were absolutely delicious! One of our favorite week night suppers!!

  5. When I have made stuffed peppers in the past, I boiled the peppers for about 5-7 minutes. Do you need to do this with this recipe?

  6. My mom passed away almost 2 years ago and this tastes just like the ones she used to make. So glad I found this recipe and it’s the only recipe I’ll use. Have made this a few times now and it tastes fabulously every time without fail. My family also gobbles this up and my toddler eats just the stuffing. Thank you for sharing this recipe!

    1. Mia, my condolences and I am so happy you enjoyed it! What a lovely comment for me to read, thank you so much!

  7. I don’t know how to cook, but this seemed easy so I gave it a try. I latinized this by adding sofrito, it tasted soooo good. Both my boyfriend and I were amazed by my new acquired skill. I know making these videos of recipes requiere lots of time and effort, Thank you so much, it really helps people like me. Thank you

    1. So bland. Didn’t taste like stuffed peppers at all. Boyfriend and I both agreed. I think the meat should be cooked inside the pepper to give additional flavor. I guess that is just our personal opinion. Good shot though.

  8. Just finished making these. I wanted to say no where in the instructions does it mention what to with the rice. I assumed you mix it in with the beef before putting it the peppers.
    Haven’t tried the finished project, fingers crossed they turn out.

    1. The rice is mentioned in step 3. You’ll add it with the garlic, water, tomato sauce, etc. I hope you enjoyed it.

      1. It’s say a half cooked rice, do I just cook the rice half way then use it like that, while there is still some water in It or wait til most of the water is absorbed?
        Thanks. Can’t wait to try them.

        1. You’ll want to use just the rice that is half cooked. No need to add the water that hasn’t absorbed yet. Hope this helps!

  9. Made this recipe for the family tonight and it was excellent! I replaced the water with beef broth and shredded a bit of parmesan into the mix before baking. This would also make an excellent soup. Thank you for this easy and flavorful recipe.

  10. I don’t precook my meat. I like it cooked in the peppers for added flavor. I also use ground Italian sausage.

  11. List of ingredients is a bit confusing….you don’t need 6 bell peppers you need 3 to make 6 halves….thankfully I only halved 4 as it seemed off when I read it. I filled 7 halves with the ingredients as listed.

      1. I doubled the recipe filling because my family are hearty eaters, using the 6 peppers, which made 12 halves. I used medium sized peppers and it’s really perfect for us. I want to try this filling with eggplant or zucchini next.

    1. Hi Ellen, the recipe takes 6 bell peppers, all of them cut in half. I had plenty of stuffing mix to fill all 12 halves. Two halves make a serving. In my opinion this is a great recipe and I have been cooking for along time. You should give this another try.

  12. I’d actually given up on making stuffed peppers because they were never that great, but these looked so good I decided to give it another go. Wow! These were the best stuffed peppers I ever had. I think I had them in the oven for 30 minutes with the foil on and then left them for another 20 minutes or so with foil off. The pepper texture was so perfect. Not soggy, not crunchy, just right:) Thank you!

  13. I always steer clear from stuffed peppers because I’m not a pepper fan, but I do like the inside! I think I”ll just make the good part!

  14. Mmm, stuffed peppers are one of my faves! My mom always called them stuffed mangoes when I was growing up… Maybe it’s a regional thing?