Stuffed Peppers seem fancy but it’s an easy way to serve peppers! Tender bell peppers stuffed with a zesty ground beef, sausage, rice, and tomato filling. Top it all with cheese and bake until bubbly.
Serve these with a fresh salad and some crusty bread (for sopping up any sauce).
Stuffed Bell Peppers are easy to make and everyone loves them!
- MEAT We fill these with a mixture of beef and sausage but you can use one or the other (or even ground turkey if you prefer)
- RICE I use long grain white rice but I do sometimes replace the rice with Cauliflower Rice.
- SAUCE Use your fave marinara sauce or pasta sauce. Add in some herbs (fresh if you’ve got them) and onions. If you like a little heat, stir in some chili flakes.
Peppers for Stuffed Peppers
While I used green peppers in this recipe, any color bell pepper (red/yellow/orange) will work just fine. The peppers do have different flavors so it can depend on your personal taste preference.
- Green peppers are a bit zestier and we love the flavor with the filling mixture.
- If you like sweeter peppers, red, yellow, or orange are great options.
How to make Stuffed Peppers
My friends often ask me how to make stuffed bell peppers and my response is always the same – it’s so easy! While these may look difficult, if you follow these easy steps, you will have perfect stuffed peppers every time!
- Brown meat, onion, and garlic (per recipe below). Add tomato sauce, rice and seasonings and cook until rice is tender.
- While the filling is cooking, prepare your peppers by simmering 5 minutes to soften or even bake them in the oven for 15 minutes if you’d like.
- Fill peppers with pasta sauce, meat and rice mixture. Top with cheese and bake until bubbly!
I usually cut my peppers across the top but you can also cut them top to bottom to make smaller portions (like in these Mexican Stuffed Peppers).
Do You Have to Pre-cook the Peppers Before Stuffing Them? No you don’t have to precook the peppers, but they do stay quite crisp if you don’t pre-cook them. I think they’re better if you pre-cook them a bit.
How Long to Cook Stuffed Peppers
Stuffed peppers should be cooked at about 350°F for about 45 minutes. Be sure to cover with foil during the initial 30-35 minutes to ensure they do not dry out. Uncover and top with cheese and bake for the remaining 10 minutes or so until brown and bubbly.
This dish goes well with a fresh salad and bread. Here are some favorites:
- Caesar Salad
- Easy Italian Salad
- Fresh Tomato Salad
- Garlic toast
- Homemade French Bread
- Cheesy Garlic Breadsticks
Make Ahead & Leftovers
Stuffed peppers can be frozen and they are a great make-ahead meal!
To Freeze Stuffed Peppers prepare and bake as directed below. They can be frozen individually or together in a baking dish. To re-heat, simply thaw in the fridge overnight and bake in a 350°F oven until heated through.
- 6 bell peppers
- ½ pound lean ground beef
- ½ pound Italian sausage
- 1 small onion diced
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 can small diced tomatoes 14 ½ ounces
- ½ cup white rice uncooked
- 1 ¼ cup water
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- ½ teaspoon Italian seasoning
- 2 ½ cups marinara sauce divided
- 1/2 cup cheddar cheese shredded
Preheat oven to 350°F.
Cut the tops off the peppers (reserve the tops), remove seeds and membranes and discard. Chop tops of the peppers to add to the filling.
Bring a large pot of water to a boil and cook peppers 5 minutes. Remove and drain well.
In a large skillet, brown beef, sausage, onion & garlic over medium high heat until no pink remains. Drain any fat.
Stir in the diced tomatoes with juice, rice, 1 ¼ cup water, diced pepper tops, Worcestershire sauce, and Italian seasoning.
Bring to a simmer, reduce heat and cover. Cook 15-20 minutes or until rice is tender. You can add more water if needed. Stir in ½ cup marinara sauce.
Place 1 ½ cups of marinara sauce in the bottom of a 9×13 pan. Fill each pepper with the rice mixture. Spoon remaining marinara sauce over peppers.
Cover with foil and bake 35 minutes. Remove foil, baste peppers with any sauce in the bottom. Top with cheddar and bake an additional 10 minutes or until cheese is melted and peppers are tender.