Fresh bell peppers stuffed with a mixture of seasoned ground beef, onions, hearty rice, and topped with a layer of melty, gooey cheese. Quick to prep and bake time is only 30 minutes. Easy to make and perfect for a weeknight dinner, ready to eat in less than 1 hour.
This is one of my family's favorite meals. They love the seasoned ground beef mixture smothered in melted cheese in a pepper 'boat'. These stuffed peppers are never watery and turn out perfect every time. This is a regular on our dinner rotation.
🍙 What you need to make stuffed bell peppers
Absolutely nothing fancy is required for this recipe. Be prepared to amaze everyone with this family favorite (You don't need to tell them how easy it was).
- Bell peppers, any color you like.
- Ground beef. I use lean ground beef. You could also substitute ground turkey or ground chicken.
- Rice. I use jasmine rice, but you could use brown rice or white, or quinoa.
- Onion and garlic. These add flavor to the beef.
- Cheese. Shredded mozzarella cheese makes it even tastier, or use cheddar.
- Your favorite marinara sauce, homemade or store-bought.
- Italiano seasoning, plus salt and pepper for added flavor.
🌶 Top tips for making these stuffed bell peppers
I don't mind spending time in my kitchen preparing meals, but sometimes, I just don't have time for much prep. These stuffed peppers can be made even easier if you just plan ahead a little bit. Some great shortcuts to make this recipe a breeze are:
- Leftover rice. I make extra rice the night before I plan to make bell peppers so that I just have to dump the rice in and heat it up with the seasoned ground beef.
- Leftover ground beef. Use leftover cooked ground beef instead of fresh to speed up the process even faster.
- You can prep these peppers ahead of time and store them in the fridge covered up until 48 hours before baking them in the oven. Perfect on those super busy nights!
- Some people boil their peppers to soften them up, but I find it easiest to pop the peppers in the oven to bake while I cook the beef and onion mixture.
- Meal prep idea: After these peppers are cooked, wrap them individually in plastic wrap then place in a freezer bag and place them in the freezer. Grab 1 or 2 from the freezer for a quick lunch or dinner.
🔪 How to make stuffed bell peppers
This recipe is so quick and easy to make. First of all, preheat your oven to 380 degrees. Secondly, take out your peppers, cut them in half, take out the seeds and trim the membrane, wash them with water. Put a couple of scoops of marinara sauce on the bottom of a 9 x 13 baking dish, and place the peppers on top of the sauce. Place them in the oven for 15 minutes.
While the peppers are in the oven, heat a large non-stick skillet on the stove over medium-high heat. Add the ground beef, diced onion, and garlic.
Brown the meat until no pink remains, stirring frequently. Use the spatula to break the meat into smaller pieces. Drain any fat.
Into the skillet, add in the leftover rice or freshly cooked rice (try this perfect rice recipe).
Stir together until well mixed and heated through.
Add in your fave marinara sauce and Italiano seasoning. Heat for 1-2 minutes. Remove from heat.
Take your peppers out of the oven and spoon the cooked ground beef mixture into the peppers.
Finally, top each stuffed bell pepper with shredded cheese (yum).
Place the stuffed bell peppers in the oven and bake for about 30 minutes, until the peppers are heated through and the cheese is brown and bubbly on top. The peppers are done when they are tender and can be pierced with a fork. DIG IN!
These stuffed bell peppers are so tasty, and ingredients can easily be switched up to suit specific dietary needs. Try some of the following ideas:
- Add extra vegetables such as spinach, carrots, or zucchini to the ground beef mixture, chopped fine or shredded (a clever way to sneak in more veggies).
- Use ground turkey or chicken instead of ground beef.
- Low carb: Use cauliflower rice instead of regular rice.
- Vegetarian: Leave out the ground beef and use extra rice, plus add a can of black beans.
- Vegan: Follow as above for vegetarian, and leave out the cheese.
🥗 Side dishes
Some of our favorite dishes to serve with these stuffed bell peppers are a crispy green salad, fresh coleslaw, Crispy Air Fryer Sweet Potato Fries, Extra Crispy Oven-Roasted Potatoes, Grandma's Old Fashioned Air Buns, four-bean salad, or carrot salad.
💭 Frequently asked questions
I like to cut my peppers in half as it is a smaller surface area and they heat up quicker in the oven. Some recipes call for peppers to be cut with the top off so that you can put more filling in. I find that it takes a lot longer to heat up the filling in a whole pepper, and I just don't have time for that.
Red peppers pack the most nutrition because they've been on the vine the longest. Green peppers are harvested before they turn yellow, orange, and then red. Compared to green bell peppers, the red ones have almost 11 times more beta-carotene and 1.5 times more vitamin C.
I prefer to freeze stuffed peppers after they are fully cooked. They are easy to reheat for a quick and healthy dinner on those super busy nights.
To freeze, simply let them cool, then place them in a freezer-safe container with a tight-fitting lid. They will keep in the freezer for up to 3 months.
To reheat, place them in the fridge the night before to thaw. Place them on a baking pan, cut side up, and bake in a 350-degree oven for about 30 minutes, or until warmed through.
These peppers will keep in the fridge for 3-4 days as long as they are kept in a container with a tight-fitting lid.
📋 Related Recipes To Try
How To Make Easy Stuffed Bell Peppers
- 6 bell peppers any color
- 1 pound of ground beef.
- 1 onion finely chopped
- 4 cloves of garlic finely chopped.
- 1-½ cups of cooked rice
- 3 cups of marinara sauce divided, homemade, or store-bought
- 1 cup of mozzarella cheese shredded
- 1 tsp. Italiano seasoning
- Preheat oven to 380 degrees.
- Take out your peppers, cut them in half, take out the seeds and trim the membrane and discard. Wash the peppers with water.
- Put a couple of scoops of marinara sauce on the bottom of a 9 x 13 baking dish, and place the peppers on top of the sauce. Place them in the oven for 15 minutes.
- While the peppers are in the oven, heat a large non-stick skillet on the stove over medium-high heat. Add the ground beef, diced onion, and garlic.
- Brown the meat until no pink remains, stirring frequently. Use the spatula to break the meat into smaller pieces. Drain any fat.
- Into the skillet, add in the leftover rice or freshly cooked rice. Stir together until well mixed and heated through.
- Add in your favorite marinara sauce and Italiano seasoning and mix well. Heat for 1-2 minutes. Remove from heat.
- Take your peppers out of the oven and spoon the cooked ground beef mixture into the peppers.
- Top each stuffed bell pepper with shredded cheese.
- Place the stuffed bell peppers in the oven and bake for about 30 minutes, until the peppers are heated through and the cheese is brown and bubbly on top. The peppers are done when they are tender and can be pierced with a fork. DIG IN!