Stuffed bell peppers with ground beef, rice, and cheese is an all-in-one dinner. Each bell pepper is roasted in the oven, then stuffed with a taco-flavored ground beef rice mixture, and topped with cheese. This is an easy healthy option that can be frozen for future meals.
Stuffed Bell Peppers
Stuffed bell peppers are a classic recipe that is both delicious and easy to make! Perfect for anyone who is looking for a healthy and filling meal that can be prepared quickly.
- VERSATILE – Easily customize these to your liking. Use different types of meat, grains, and vegetables depending on what you have on hand. Plus, you can adjust the level of spice to suit your taste buds.
- NUTRITIOUS AND FILLING – These are a great way to get a healthy and filling meal in one dish. Bell peppers are packed with vitamins and minerals, and the addition of protein and grains makes this recipe a well-rounded and satisfying meal.
- EASY TO MAKE – Despite its impressive appearance, stuffed bell peppers are actually quite easy to make. Just roast the bell peppers, cook the filling, stuff and bake!
Whether you are cooking for a family or just for yourself, stuffed bell peppers are a great option. They are filling, healthy, and easy to make. This recipe makes a batch of six which can be served for dinner, meal prepped lunches or frozen individually for future meals.
Here’s an overview of the ingredients you’ll need. The full recipe details are in the recipe card at the bottom of this post:
BELL PEPPERS – I used 2 green, 2 yellow, and 2 red bell peppers. You can use any color of bell peppers you’d like. Look for ones that are wide in shape and would be easy to stuff filling into. Make sure to choose crisp bell peppers that are firm and have smooth skin.
GROUND BEEF – 1 lb of lean ground beef is needed. Medium ground beef is more affordable and swishing a paper towel around browned ground beef to soak up the excess grease will also work. However, you can swap out for ground turkey, ground chicken, or even sausage.
RICE – Rice is a great addition to stuffed bell peppers as it adds texture and flavor. You can use any type of rice you like, but I recommend using long-grain white rice as it holds its shape well and will cook fast.
ONION – Dice half of a yellow onion small. You’ll need 1 cup of chopped onion for the filling.
CHEESE – 1 cup of shredded Mexican blend cheese is divided, half used for the filling, and half sprinkled on top. Pre-shredded cheese contains added fillers to prevent it from clumping. It won’t melt as smoothly as a block of cheese that is freshly grated and home.
SALSA – A jar of 21 oz salsa makes this recipe easier. Just dump the whole thing into the ground beef recipe. You can use your favorite mild, medium, or hot brand.
SEASONING – Grab a packet of taco seasoning, you’ll need 1 tsp of it for this recipe along with 1 tsp cumin, salt and pepper.
BROTH – 2 cups of Beef broth adds flavor to the rice as it’s cooking.
VEGGIES – Vegetables are a great way to add more flavor and nutrients to your stuffed bell peppers. Some popular vegetables to include are onions, garlic, mushrooms, and tomatoes. You can also add spinach or kale for an extra boost of nutrients.
CHEESE – Swap Mexican shredded cheese with shredded cheddar or mozzarella cheese.
VEGETARIAN – For a vegetarian option, try swapping out the meat for lentils or black beans. You can also add some chopped vegetables like zucchini or mushrooms to the mix for added flavor and texture.
LOW CARB – If you’re watching your carb intake, try using cauliflower rice instead of regular rice in the filling mixture. You can also use ground turkey or chicken instead of beef for a leaner option.
How To Make Stuffed Bell Peppers
Here is an overview of how to make the recipe. More detailed instructions with step-by-step photos are in the recipe card at the bottom of this post.
- PREP – Preheat the oven to 375°F. Slice the tops off of each bell pepper. Use a spoon to scoop out the inside and seeds. If needed, you can rinse each one with water and then pat dry with paper towel.
- PRE BAKE PEPPERS – Add the bell peppers to a baking dish where they will fit snugly together. Sprinkle each one with salt and pepper and a bit of olive oil. Cover the baking dish and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until bell peppers are tender when poked with a fork.
- MAKE FILLING – While bell peppers are baking, you can make the filling. Add a bit of cooking oil to a large pot or skillet over medium-high heat. Add in the diced yellow onion and cook until it turns translucent about 1-2 minutes.
- Next, brown the ground beef and add in the salsa, broth, taco seasoning and cumin. Stir everything together and gently scrape the bottom of the pan with a wood or silicone spatula. Cover the pot and let simmer until the rice cooks, about 10 minutes. Once rice is cooked, remove from heat and stir in 1/2 cup of the cheese.
- ASSEMBLE AND BAKE – Remove the bell peppers from the oven and scoop the filling into each one. Sprinkle the last half of the shredded cheese on top and bake for 15-18 minutes. Bell peppers will have softened and browned edges. Add any toppings including sour cream, salsa or chopped green onions and serve.
Helpful Tip: While rice is cooking in a filling mixture, I prefer to gently scrape the bottom of the pot every 5 minutes to help prevent any burning.
I highly recommend making extra to freeze for future meals! Here are some tips on how to store stuffed bell peppers leftovers:
- REFRIGERATE: Once the stuffed bell peppers have cooled down, transfer them to an airtight container and refrigerate up to 3-4 days.
- TO FREEZE: These freeze beautifully. Just wrap each pepper individually in plastic wrap or aluminum foil and place them all in a freezer-safe container or large freezer bag. They can last up to 2-3 months in the freezer for maximum freshness. Wrap them well to help prevent freezer burn.
- REHEATING: Frozen or thawed bell peppers can be reheated in the oven or microwave. Preheat the oven to 350°F and place them in an oven-safe dish. Cover the dish with foil and bake for 20-25 minutes or until the bell peppers are heated through. You can also thaw and reheat them in the microwave. First, remove the plastic wrap or aluminum foil, then wrap it in paper towel. Add to a microwave-safe plate and heat for 2-4 minutes.
- GOOD QUALITY BELL PEPPERS – Look for large, firm bell peppers with a flat bottom so they can stand upright in the baking dish. If you need to, you can slice off a small piece of the bottom so that it sits flat. Green, red, yellow, and orange bell peppers all work well for this recipe.
- BAKE PEPPERS FIRST – To ensure that the peppers are cooked through and tender, I like to bake them for a few minutes before stuffing.
- DON’T OVERSTUFF – Too much filling may cause the peppers to collapse during the baking process. Instead, leave a little room at the top of each one to allow room for the rice to expand.
Frequently Asked Questions
Absolutely! While green bell peppers are most commonly used for stuffed peppers, you can use any color of bell pepper, or even try using poblano peppers for a slightly different flavor. Just keep in mind that different types of peppers may have different cooking times. Give them a test by poking them with a fork while baking, and add a few extra minutes if they’re still too firm.
Yes! Stuffed peppers are a great make-ahead meal. You can assemble these a day or two in advance (you’ll have to make the ground beef rice filling at this time) then cover and refrigerate assembled peppers until you’re ready to bake them. Just keep in mind that you may need to add a few extra minutes to the cooking time if the peppers are cold from the refrigerator.
Absolutely! Stuffed peppers freeze very well, making them a great option for meal prep or batch cooking. Simply assemble the peppers as usual, then wrap each one tightly in plastic wrap or aluminum foil before freezing. These can be stored together in a large freezer bag or airtight container. When you’re ready to eat them, thaw overnight in the fridge, or bake them straight from frozen (it will just take a little longer).
Stuffed bell peppers are a delicious and nutritious meal that can be easily customized to fit your taste preferences. One thing to keep in mind when making stuffed bell peppers is to choose peppers that are firm and evenly shaped, as this will make them easier to stuff and cook.
Overall, I highly recommend giving this stuffed bell peppers recipe a try. It’s a versatile, nutritious, and easy-to-make dish that is sure to impress your family and friends.
More Dinner Recipes
- One Pot Taco Pasta
- Sloppy Joes
- Burger Salad
- One Pot Spaghetti
- Hamburger Casserole
- Sweet and Sour Meatballs
Stuffed Bell Peppers
- Preheat the oven to 375°F.
- Slice the tops of the bell peppers off. Scoop the insides of each bell pepper out with a spoon. Rinse with water then pat dry with a paper towel.
- Place each bell pepper in a baking dish together so that they are are all standing up and fit snugly. Season each one with salt and pepper. Then lightly drizzle with olive oil. Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 25 minutes, then remove and set aside.
- In a large pot or skillet over medium high heat, add a bit of cooking oil and saute the onions for 1-2 minutes, until they turn translucent.
- Add in the ground beef and break apart into pieces. Cook until it turns brown and is no longer pink.
- Stir in the salsa, taco seasoning, and cumin. Stir everything together and gently scrape the bottom of the pan.
- Now add the uncooked rice and the broth. Cover with a lid and let simmer on low heat for about 15 minutes. Gently scrape the bottom of the pan with a wood or silicone spatula every 5 minutes (to prevent sauce from burning). Once rice has cooked, you can stir in half of the Mexican cheese blend.
- Scoop the ground beef mixture into the baked bell peppers. Top with the last half of the cheese.
- Bake for an additional 15-18 minutes, until bell peppers are softened and ground beef has been warmed through.
- Top with your favorite toppings including a dollop of sour cream, more shredded cheese and parsley and serve.
- Once the stuffed bell peppers have cooled down, transfer them to an airtight container and refrigerate up to 3-4 days.
- These freeze beautifully. Just wrap each pepper individually in plastic wrap or aluminum foil and place them all in a freezer-safe container or large freezer bag. They can last up to 2-3 months in the freezer for maximum freshness. Wrap them well to help prevent freezer burn.