STUFFED PEPPERS

by Tasteofthekitchen
STUFFED PEPPERS

These Stuffed Peppers are filled with seasoned ground beef, rice and tomato sauce. They’re a healthy dinner idea, perfect for any night of the week!

BEST STUFFED PEPPERS RECIPE

Classic stuffed peppers are a comforting meal that the whole family will love. The hearty and flavorful filling is stuffed into fresh bell peppers, topped with cheese and baked until hot and bubbly. With meat, rice and veggies, stuffed peppers can be a meal on their own or you can serve a salad or garlic bread on the side.

  • Rice: I like to use brown rice to sneak some healthy whole grains into the meal, but white rice works well, too. You can replace the brown rice with protein-packed quinoa, or use cauliflower rice for a low-carb option.
  • Bell Peppers: Use any color of bell peppers that you like in this stuffed pepper recipe. I like to use a mixture of colors so that everyone at the table can choose their favorite.
  • Onion and Garlic: For flavor.
  • Ground Beef or Ground Turkey: Use whichever you prefer.
  • Diced Tomatoes & Tomato Sauce: Adding tomatoes to the filling brings out the Italian flavors.
  • Seasonings: You’ll need Italian seasoning, garlic powder, salt and pepper for this Italian stuffed peppers recipe.
  • Cheese: Use shredded mozzarella or cheddar, or a combination of the two. Half of the cheese is mixed into the filling and the other half is melted on top of the peppers.

HOW TO MAKE STUFFED PEPPERS

STUFFED PEPPERS

This easy stuffed peppers recipe requires just a few simple steps.

Prep the bell peppers. Use a knife to cut the tops off of the peppers. Use your fingers or a small knife to remove any membranes and shake out the seeds.

Make the stuffed pepper filling. Sauté the onion in olive oil, then add the ground beef and cook until browned. Add the garlic, diced tomatoes, tomato sauce and the seasonings to the skillet. Simmer for 5 minutes, just to get the flavors blending together. Stir in the cooked rice and half of the cheese.

Spoon the filling into the bell peppers, then top with more cheese.

Bake. Pour 1/2 cup of water into the baking dish and then add the peppers. Bake, covered with foil for 30 minutes. The water will create steam which will help to soften the peppers. The steam will also keep the peppers and filling from drying out. Then uncover and bake for 5 more minutes, until the cheese is lightly browned.

Do you need to pre-cook peppers for stuffed bell peppers? No, the peppers will cook and soften enough as they bake with the filling in the oven. There is no need to partially cook your bell peppers before stuffing them.

INSTANT POT AND CROCKPOT INSTRUCTIONS

  • Crockpot: Add 1/2 cup of water to the bottom of the slow cooker. Then add the stuffed peppers, cover and cook on low for about 6 hours or high for 3 hours.

    MAKE AHEAD AND FREEZER INSTRUCTIONS

    If you’re wondering if you can freeze stuffed peppers, the answer is yes! I tested this recipe as a freezer meal and it worked well. The only difference that I noticed is that the filling of the frozen peppers had a bit more liquid in it after baking. This recipe is perfect for meal prep!

    • To Freeze: Prepare the stuffed peppers as directed in the recipe card below, but do not bake. Let them cool completely and then place them in a baking dish in the freezer. Freeze for 1-2 hours, then transfer to a zip-top plastic freezer bag (or other airtight container) and store in the freezer for up to 3 months. Before cooking, thaw the peppers in the refrigerator for 24 hours and then bake as directed in the recipe.
    • To Refrigerate: You can assemble the peppers, cover the dish, and then refrigerate them for up to one day before baking and serving.

HOW TO STORE AND REHEAT

Once baked, stuffed peppers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat them in the microwave (I find that cutting the peppers in half helps the filling to heat through better) or in a covered dish in a 375° F oven, until steaming hot.

INSTRUCTIONS

  • Cook rice according to package directions or your preferred cooking method. Set aside to cool.
  • Meanwhile, preheat oven to 400° F.
  • Cut the tops off the peppers and remove seeds and membranes.
  • Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until it starts to soften, 2-3 minutes.
  • Add the ground beef (or ground turkey) to the pan and cook, crumbling, until browned and cooked through. Drain off any excess grease. Add the garlic and cook, stirring for 30 seconds.
  • Add the diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, Italian seasoning, garlic powder, salt and pepper to the pan. Reduce heat to low and simmer, stirring for 5 minutes.
  • Remove pan from the heat and stir in the cooked rice and half of the cheese.
  • Pour ½ cup of water into a baking dish. Fill bell peppers with the meat and rice mixture and place in the baking dish. Sprinkle on the remaining shredded cheese.
  • Cover with a piece of aluminum foil that you have lightly sprayed with cooking spray to prevent sticking. Bake for 30 minutes, uncover, and bake 5 minutes more, until cheese is lightly browned and filling is hot. Serve.

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