This is the best, easy Stuffed Peppers recipe made with ground beef, rice, and plenty of cheese! It's a flavorful and filling dinner that is as colorful and fun as it is delicious. It’s a complete meal inside a colorful veggie!
I'm always looking for ways to change up our dinner game and these stuffed peppers definitely fit the bill. If you are in the same boat, here are some others you might want to try like Chicken Spaghetti Casserole, Crock Pot Pork Green Chili, or Homemade Hamburger Helper!
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Stuffed bell peppers are an easy main dish dish that looks and tastes great. Whether you choose to add something as a side dish is entirely up to you, but don’t underestimate just how filling these bell peppers can be. They’ll have you feeling stuffed too!
If you have never had one before, a stuffed bell pepper is any variety of bell pepper (red, green or yellow) that has been hollowed out and filled with a savory homemade stuffing mixture. The different flavors and textures that happen when you combine rice, meat, bell peppers, and top it off with melted cheese make these the best stuffed peppers ever!
But it's also really easy to modify this stuffed peppers recipe to fit your tastebuds or diet. You could do more vegetables, different grains like quinoa or brown rice, or use a different ground meat like turkey or Italian sausage. But these simple, classic stuffed peppers made with ground beef and rice are my favorite, go-to approach.
What you’ll need for Easy Stuffed Peppers
- Whole bell pepper any color
- Ground beef - you can substitute for ground turkey as well
- Yellow onion
- Minced garlic cloves
- Diced zucchini
- Cooked white or brown rice
- Dried parsley
- Salt and pepper
- Monterey jack or cheddar cheese - Really you can use any type of cheese blend you want
What are the best bell peppers for this easy Stuffed Pepper recipe?
I think that classic stuffed peppers are often made with green bell peppers, but to be honest, those aren't our favorite. We prefer the red, orange, or yellow peppers, which I buy in bags of six at Costco because we eat peppers so often. Not only are they delicious in these stuffed peppers, but they are great in fajitas, roasted in the oven with sausages, or just cut up into strips and eaten as a snack!
And if you LOVE red peppers, be sure to try my roasted red pepper sauce! It's so wonderful over pasta!
How to make the Best Stuffed Peppers Recipe
- Prep the peppers: Using a sharp knife, slice the tops off of the peppers and remove any stems, seeds, or membranes from inside of each pepper. Don’t discard the tops, instead, cut off any of the bell pepper flesh that’s still attached to the stem and dice it up into smaller pieces so we can add them to the filling.
- Par-bake the peppers: Arrange the cut and cleaned peppers in a casserole dish with the cut tops facing up, like a cup. Add about ½ an inch of water to the dish and then cover the pan with aluminum foil and bake in a 425 degree F oven for 20 minutes.
- Make the filling: While the peppers are in the oven, cook the ground beef, onion, garlic, and the diced bell peppers from earlier in a large skillet. Stir frequently to break up the chunks and continue to cook until the meat is browned. Add in the zucchini and cook for another 1-2 minutes, then remove the filling from the heat and stir in the rice, tomatoes, and salt. Taste the filling and adjust the seasonings as needed.
- Fill the peppers: Remove the partially baked bell peppers from the oven and discard the water. Fill the bell peppers with the rice and beef filling and then top with cheese. Return them to the oven and cook, uncovered, until the cheese has melted and the stuffed peppers are heated all the way through (about 5 minutes).
How to store Classic Stuffed Peppers
These classic stuffed peppers will last 3-5 days in the fridge if properly stored. They will do best stored in an airtight container.
How long will stuffed peppers keep in the fridge?
If properly stored inside an airtight container, stuffed bell peppers should last 3 to 5 days in the fridge.
Can you freeze stuffed bell peppers?
This stuffed peppers recipe is an ideal dish to freeze because the stuffed bell peppers hold their shape, texture, and flavor well even after freezing! Perfect for meal planning or having a freezer-friendly dish that you can take to a friend or neighbor!
You can freeze the stuffed bell peppers before or after baking, just adjust the oven times to accommodate.
To freeze before baking, just make the filling and assemble, then freeze individually before wrapping in plastic wrap to protect them. To cook the frozen stuffed peppers, you can either choose to thaw them on your counter for a few hours, or thaw in your fridge overnight and then bake. You can also cover the stuffed peppers with foil and bake from frozen, but this will take longer to get them hot all the way through.
Sides for Easy Stuffed Bell Peppers
With stuffed peppers being such a complete meal already, it’s hard to imagine anything else to pair with it. That being said, a sweet side dish like creamy grape salad or a crunchy green salad with Olive Garden dressing go great with the savory, filling stuffed peppers.
Easy Stuffed Peppers Recipe FAQs
Yes it is highly recommended that the bell peppers get pre-baked. If you don’t soften the peppers before stuffing them, they will not bake as well and can be crunchy and harder to cut and eat.
Just like any other produce item, I ALWAYS wash before using. Washing all fruits and vegetables will help remove any dirt, bacteria, pesticides, or herbicides on the skin.
Soggy peppers can be a result of cooking too long or too much liquid in the filling. Make sure when pre-baking the pepper, you cook just long enough that they are just slightly tender. I will admit though, in the past I have overcooked my peppers and even though they were very soft, I still thoroughly enjoyed them and thought they were still delicious! Don’t be scared if the peppers get a little soft. They will still be great.
More Satisfying Main Dish Recipes for Weeknight Dinners
- Best Ground Beef Stroganoff Recipe
- Homemade Hamburger Helper Cheeseburger Pasta Skillet
- Chicken Spaghetti Casserole
- Smothered Pork Chops Recipe
- Skillet Lemon Chicken & Rice
- Easy, Classic Chinese Beef with Broccoli
- The Best Spaghetti and Meatballs Recipe
- Creamy Apricot Pork Chops
- Cheesy Chicken Broccoli and Rice Casserole
Did you make this recipe?
Let me know what you thought with a comment and rating below. You can also take a picture and tag me on Instagram @houseofnasheats or share it on the Pinterest pin so I can see.
Easy Stuffed Bell Peppers
- 6 whole bell peppers any color
- 1 pound ground beef
- 1 yellow onion diced
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1 zucchini diced
- 2 cups cooked white or brown rice
- 15 ounces diced tomatoes, drained
- 2 teaspoons dried parsley
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- 8 ounces monterey jack or cheddar cheese
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
- Use a sharp knife to slice the tops off the peppers, removing any stems, seeds, or membranes from inside each pepper. Dice any extra bell pepper flesh from the tops of the peppers to add to the filling later.
- Arrange the peppers in a casserole dish with the cut side up. Add about ½ inch of water to the dish, then cover with aluminum foil and bake the peppers for 20 minutes to partially bake them.
- While the peppers bake in the oven, cook the ground beef, onion, garlic, and reserved diced bell peppers in a large skillet, stirring and breaking up frequently, until the meat is browned. Add zucchini and cook for another 1-2 minutes.
- Remove the meat from the heat and stir in the rice, tomatoes, and salt. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed.
- Remove the partially baked peppers from the oven and discard the water. Fill with the rice and beef filling, then top with cheese. Return to the oven and cook, uncovered, until cheese is melted and the stuffed peppers are heated all the way through, about 5 minutes.