Stuffed Bell Peppers
This post may contain affiliate links.
Make THE BEST Stuffed Bell Peppers for dinner tonight! This recipe is filled with flavor-packed ground beef, rice and melty mozzarella cheese. It’s easy to make in just 35 minutes and can be made keto by ditching the rice!
One of my favorite weeknight dinners is finally making an appearance on the blog! These Stuffed Bell Peppers are a go-to easy weeknight meal for me and the hubby. Over the years, we have perfected the flavors in the ground beef and the technique for cooking the peppers.
In this recipe, the peppers are steamed, then stuffed with the filling. The cheese is then melted over the peppers under the broiler in the oven. Using this technique means the entire recipe comes together in just over 30 minutes! The peppers are soft, but still have enough bite to hold up the filling. And the cheese is perfectly melty and gooey on top!
Feel free to use meatless crumbles to make a vegetarian version of the recipe, or leave out the rice to make it a keto meal. The technique and seasonings are really the stars of the show in this recipe, and what makes it taste so amazing! There are a lot of stuffed pepper recipes on the internet, but I promise that this one will be your new favorite!
Table of contents
- Bell peppers – I like to use a variety of colors of bell peppers, but any color will work for this recipe.
- Olive oil – or another neutral vegetable oil, that’s good for sautéing, like canola or avocado oil.
- Onion – feel free to use white, yellow or red onion, whatever you have on hand will work.
- Garlic – I always recommend fresh minced garlic cloves for the best flavor.
- Jalapeno – seeded and minced, the jalapeno adds a wonderful flavor, with just a little bit of heat. If you’d like no spice in the stuffed peppers, feel free to leave out the jalapeno.
- Ground beef – I use a lean ground beef for this recipe that’s 85% lean 15% fat, you could also use 80/20 or 90/10, if you prefer. If you’d like to make the peppers without beef, you could also use ground turkey, Italian pork sausage or meatless crumbles to make it vegetarian.
- Diced tomatoes – one can of diced tomatoes, or 1 pound of fresh tomatoes, diced, will both work for this recipe. Do not drain the can, you’ll want to use the entire can of tomatoes and juice in the filling.
- Worcestershire sauce – just a few dashes really amps up the flavor of the filling!
- Dried oregano – you can also substitute in 2 tablespoons of fresh chopped oregano leaves.
- Beef bouillon – this is my husbands secret for making an extra beefy filling with wonderful umami flavors. If you don’t have any beef bouillon, or want to make the recipe vegetarian, you can substitute it with 1 teaspoon salt.
- Black pepper
- Cooked white rice – if you don’t already have cooked rice on hand, feel free to omit it from the recipe or use this post on how to cook white rice 3 ways, in an Instant Pot, rice cooker or on the stove.
- Mozzarella cheese – or the cheese of your choice. Cheddar, monterey jack or pepper jack cheese can also be used to top these stuffed peppers.
I’ve included step by step photos below to make this recipe super easy to follow at home. For the full detailed recipe instructions and ingredient quantities, scroll to the recipe card at the bottom of this post.
If you plan to add white rice to the filling, always make sure the rice is cooked prior to starting the recipe. Using this recipe, you can make it in an Instant Pot while the peppers are steaming and the ground beef is cooking on the stove top.
Step 1: Bring water to boil in a stockpot with a steamer basket insert. Add the bell peppers to the steamer basket, cover with a lid and steam for 10 minutes. Remove the steamer basket with the peppers from the stockpot and immediately run the peppers under cold water to stop the cooking process. Set the peppers aside.
Step 2: Heat olive oil in a large skillet on the stove over medium-high heat. Add the onions, garlic and jalapenos. Saute for 3-4 minutes, then add ground beef to the skillet. Cook for 8-10 minutes, or until the beef is cooked through, then drain any grease from the skillet and place it back on the stove over medium heat.
Step 3: Add diced tomatoes, Worcestershire sauce, oregano, beef bouillon, paprika and black pepper to the skillet. Cook for 5-7 minutes.
Step 4: Remove the ground beef filling from the heat and stir in the cooked white rice.
Step 5: Remove the tops of the steamed bell peppers, then place the peppers standing up in an oven-safe casserole dish. (The baking dish I used is a 12 inch oval.) Fill the peppers with the ground beef filling.
Step 6: Preheat the oven broiler to high and place a rack in the middle of the oven. Top each of the stuffed peppers with small cubes of mozzarella cheese. (If using shredded cheese, sprinkle it evenly over the filling in the peppers.) Place in the oven under the broiler for 3-5 minutes, or until the cheese is brown and bubbling.
Make them vegetarian
To make the stuffed peppers vegetarian, substitute the ground beef with meatless crumbles. You can also use diced vegetables, instead of meatless crumbles.
A combination of 2 pounds of diced mushrooms and zucchini, also make a great filling for these stuffed bell peppers! Simply saute the vegetables with the onions, garlic and jalapenos for 5-6 minutes over medium-high heat.
If you’re making vegetarian stuffed peppers, omit the 1 tablespoon of beef bouillon and replace it with 1 teaspoon of salt or 1 tablespoon umami seasoning.
Make them keto
To make the peppers low carb and perfect for those on a keto diet, omit the white rice in the filling. This will reduce the carbohydrates to 24 per serving and the net carbs down to 17.
Frequently asked questions
- Can you make the peppers ahead of time? Yes, you can steam the peppers and prepare the filling up to 3 days in advance. When you’re ready to assemble and cook the stuffed peppers, reheat the filling in the microwave for 2 minutes, then stuff the peppers and top with the mozzarella cheese. Place under the broiler for 3-5 minutes to melt the cheese over the peppers.
- Are stuffed bell peppers gluten free? Yes, all of the ingredients pictured in this recipe are gluten free. If using a different brand of worcestershire sauce, always make sure to check the label to make sure that it’s gluten free. Also, always check the label on the beef bouillon, while the brand Knorr is gluten free, not all brands are safe for those on a gluten free diet.
- Should peppers be precooked before stuffing? Yes! This is why I steam the peppers in this recipe before filling them, otherwise the peppers would be too crunchy. This method makes them tender, yet still crisp enough to hold up the toppings. If you like your peppers even more tender, steam them for an extra 5 minutes.
- What if I don’t have a steamer basket? Instead of steaming the peppers, you can blanch them in a pot of boiling water for 3-4 minutes. After removing the peppers from the boiling water, be sure to run them under cold water to stop the cooking process. Allow them to cool slightly before stuffing the peppers, this makes them easier to handle.
- How do you reheat stuffed peppers? If you have leftover peppers, you can store them in the refrigerator for up to 5 days in an airtight container. To reheat them, I recommend cutting them in half, then reheating the pepper halves on a plate in the microwave for 2 minutes.
What to serve with them
Stuffed bell peppers are a delicious complete meal on their own. But if you’d like to add even more veggie goodness, you can also pair them with any of these simple salads or side dishes.
- Green Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette Dressing
- Garlic Green Beans with Lemon
- Greek Orzo Salad
- Broccoli Salad
- Cheesy Mashed Cauliflower
- Roasted Cauliflower Salad
More stuffed vegetable recipes
- Buffalo Chicken Stuffed Peppers
- Healthy Greek Turkey Stuffed Zucchini
- Grilled Stuffed Mini Peppers
- Whole30 Italian Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms
- Buffalo Chicken Zucchini Boats
Stuffed Bell Peppers
- 6 bell peppers
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 cup onion, finely chopped
- 8 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 jalapeno, seeded and minced
- 2 pounds ground beef
- 14.5 ounce can diced tomatoes
- 3 dashes Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tablespoon dried oregano
- 1 tablespoon beef bouillon
- ½ tablespoon paprika
- ½ tablespoon black pepper
- 1 cup cooked white rice
- 6 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese, diced into small cubes
- Bring water to boil in a stockpot with a steamer basket insert.
- Add the bell peppers to the steamer basket, cover with a lid and steam for 10 minutes.
- Remove the steamer basket with the peppers from the stockpot and immediately run the peppers under cold water to stop the cooking process. Set the peppers aside.
- Heat the olive oil in a large skillet on the stove over medium-high heat.
- Add the onions, garlic and jalapenos, saute for 3-4 minutes.
- Add the ground beef to the skillet, cook for 8-10 minutes, or until the beef is cooked through.
- Drain any grease from the skillet, then place it back on the stove over medium heat.
- Add the diced tomatoes, Worcestershire sauce, oregano, beef bouillon, paprika and black pepper, cook for 5-7 minutes.
- Remove from the heat and stir in the cooked white rice, until all of the ingredients are combined.
- Preheat the broiler on the oven to high.
- Fill the peppers with the ground beef mixture.
- Arrange the peppers standing up in a casserole dish or oven-safe skillet.
- Dice the fresh mozzarella cheese into cubes and add a few cubes to the top of each pepper.
- Place on the middle rack of the oven and bake under the broiler for 3-5 minutes or until the cheese is melted and bubbling.
- Remove from the oven and serve immediately.
- If you don’t have a steamer basket, you can blanch the peppers in a pot of boiling water for 3-4 minutes. After removing the peppers from the boiling water, be sure to run them under cold water to stop the cooking process. Allow them to cool slightly before stuffing the peppers, this makes them easier to handle.
- To make the stuffed peppers vegetarian, substitute the ground beef with meatless crumbles.
- You can also use diced vegetables, instead of meatless crumbles. Simply saute 2 pounds of diced mushrooms and zucchini with the onions, garlic and jalapenos for 5-6 minutes over medium-high heat.
- You will also want to omit the 1 tablespoon of beef bouillon and replace it with 1 teaspoon of salt or 1 tablespoon umami seasoning.
- To make the stuffed peppers keto, omit the white rice in the filling. This will reduce the carbohydrates to 24 per serving and the net carbs down to 17.
- All of the ingredients pictured in this stuffed pepper recipe are gluten free. If using a different brand of worcestershire sauce, always make sure to check the label to make sure that it’s gluten free. Also, always check the label on the beef bouillon, while the brand Knorr is gluten free, not all brands are safe for those on a gluten free diet.
We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.