Downshiftology
subscribe to new posts: via email via rss

Stuffed Peppers

Stuffed peppers are always a family favorite. This classic version is loaded with ground beef, garlic, onion, tomatoes, spinach, and rice. They’re healthy, filling, and bonus – they make for delicious leftovers or meal prep.

Six stuffed peppers in a casserole dish.

When bell peppers are sliced in half they become the perfect vegetable to stuff with a variety of ingredients. They’re firm enough to hold their shape while cooking, yet soft enough to enjoy sliced up with the filling, for a self-contained complete meal.

This recipe is also endlessly customizable to fit a variety of diets and preferences, so have fun with it. But I do have a few tips below when it comes to flavors, time, and meal prepping for the future. Now let’s get into it.

Which Way to Cut the Bell Peppers

The base of this recipe uses 6 bell peppers that are halved lengthwise. While some recipes slice the top off, there’s a few reasons why I halve them the other way.

  1. You won’t waste any of the bell pepper if you slice it lengthwise.
  2. They don’t topple over when you try to slice into them after they’ve been baked.
  3. They’re easier to store in flat storage containers for meal prepping.

Filling Ingredients for Stuffed Peppers

The filling in this classic version is just a handful of simple ingredients, such as:

  • Ground Beef: If you’re not a fan of beef, ground chicken or turkey will work too.
  • Onion & Garlic: adding both ingredients will kick up the savoriness.
  • Tomatoes: I’m using fire roasted diced tomatoes for that smoky depth of flavor
  • Rice: You can use any kind of rice, including white, brown, or wild rice.
  • Italian Seasoning: This spice blend is a classic combination of aromatic herbs.
  • Cheese: Monterey Jack cheese pairs nicely with this recipe. But you can also use shredded Pepper Jack, Swiss, or Mozzarella.

Ingredients for stuffed peppers on a table.

Which Color Bell Pepper to Use

Have you ever wondered why bell peppers come in different colors and prices? All bell peppers start out green, and then change colors as they mature and ripen. Green bell peppers are always the cheapest as they’re picked under-ripe and have a slightly bitter taste to them.

If allowed time to ripen on the vine, green bell peppers turn into vibrant yellow, orange and red bell peppers. These versions are sweeter and have more nutrients. In fact, red bell peppers have twice the amount of vitamin C of green bell peppers. This gives them a higher price tag compared to the other two.

How To Make The Best Stuffed Peppers

I’ve got a secret tip to make this a quick weeknight dinner. Pre-bake the peppers! No, you don’t need to get more dishes dirty and par-boil them. And there’s no need to wait until you’ve cooked the meat mixture. Pre-bake the peppers while you’re making the filling and save yourself about 15 minutes.

Preheat your oven 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Then follow these steps:

  • Prep bell peppers. Cut the peppers in half lengthwise and remove the seeds and membrane. Then rub the insides and outsides with a a bit of olive oil and arrange them face down in a baking dish. Pop them in the oven for about 15 minutes to soften them up.
  • Cook the meat. While the bell peppers are baking, in a large skillet sauté the onions, garlic, and beef. Then drain off any excess liquid.
  • Sauté the rest. Add in the rice, tomatoes, spinach, Italian seasoning, salt and pepper. Sauté for about one to two minutes or until the spinach has wilted.
  • Start filling. Remove the peppers from the oven and flip them over. Then fill them with the beef mixture and a sprinkle of cheese.
  • Bake. Place them in the oven for about 20 minutes, or until the peppers soften.
  • Garnish and serve! Top them off with chopped parsley and serve immediately.

Making the filling for stuffed peppers on the stove.

Get Creative With The Stuffing

The beauty of this recipe is that you can stuff your peppers with just about anything! Here’s a few tasty combinations to toss into your weekly meal rotation:

  • Mediterranean Peppers: Ground beef, chickpeas, onion, rice, tomato sauce, feta, garlic powder and paprika.
  • Vegan Mushroom and Walnut Peppers: Diced mushrooms, walnuts, garlic, onion, rice, and taco seasoning.
  • Vegetarian Tex-Mex Peppers: Black beans, corn, diced tomatoes, garlic, onion, rice, taco seasoning, pepper jack cheese, and chopped cilantro.

If you’re looking to meet a few dietary needs, try these substitutions.

Close up photo of stuffed peppers in a baking pan.

How to Meal Prep

If you need to jazz up your meal prep routine, add these stuffed peppers to your menu. After you’ve made the recipe above, store them in airtight containers for up to 5 days in the fridge. You can also freeze them for up to 2 months.

To re-heat, you can place the frozen peppers directly in the oven and bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for about 10-15 minutes, or microwave them for about 3-4 minutes. If you thaw them overnight in your fridge first, it will reduce the time needed to re-heat by a couple of minutes.

Different colored stuffed bell peppers in a white baking pan.

Stuffed Peppers Recipe Video

Want to see how I make this recipe step-by-step? Watch the video below!

More Easy Weeknight Dinner Ideas

Have a busy schedule ahead? Here’s a few recipes to keep up your sleeve. They’re easy to make, full of flavor, and make for great leftovers.

Several stuffed peppers of different colors in a white baking pan.
5 from 38 votes

BEST Stuffed Peppers + Meal Prep Tips

Prep Time: 10 mins
Cook Time: 35 mins
Total Time: 45 mins
Servings: 6 servings
Author: Lisa Bryan
Print Recipe Pin Recipe
Stuffed peppers are no doubt a family favorite. They're filling, healthy, easily customizable, and make for a delicious leftovers and meal prep. Watch the video above!

Ingredients

  • 6 bell peppers, cut in half lengthwise and seeds removed
  • 3 tablespoon olive oil (separated)
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 15-ounce can diced tomatoes (I love fire roasted tomatoes), drained
  • 1 1/2 cups cooked rice
  • 1/2 tablespoon Italian seasoning
  • 2 cups baby spinach, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 cup Monterey Jack cheese
  • chopped parsley, for garnishing

Instructions

  • Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Cut the bell peppers in half lengthwise and remove seeds and membrane. Drizzle with a little olive oil and rub both the inside and outside to coat them. Arrange them upside down in two baking pans or one half sheet pan and pre-bake for about 15 minutes, while you're making the stuffing.
  • In a large skillet over medium high heat, drizzle two tablespoons of olive oil and saute the garlic and onions for one minute.
  • Add the ground beef and cook until the beef is browned, breaking it up with a spatula as needed.
  • Drain off any excess liquid from the beef and stir in the diced tomatoes, rice, spinach, Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper. Stir for a minute or two, or until the spinach is wilted.
  • Remove the bell peppers from the oven and use tongs to flip them over.
  • Fill the peppers with the beef mixture and top with a sprinkle of cheese. Place them back in the oven and bake for 20 minutes, or until the peppers are soft.
  • Top with fresh parsley and serve.

Lisa's Tips

  • Each serving is two halves of stuffed pepper.
  • You can get 1 1/2 cups cooked rice by cooking 1/2 cup of dry rice (approx). But you can always cook more than needed and meal prep it for other recipes as well.
  • You can bake these in two casserole pans or one larger half sheet pan. 

Nutrition

Calories: 328kcal, Carbohydrates: 20g, Protein: 20g, Fat: 18g, Saturated Fat: 6g, Cholesterol: 58mg, Sodium: 115mg, Potassium: 590mg, Fiber: 3g, Sugar: 6g, Vitamin A: 4736IU, Vitamin C: 156mg, Calcium: 113mg, Iron: 3mg
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Stuffed Bell Peppers, stuffed bell peppers recipe, stuffed peppers, stuffed peppers recipe
©Downshiftology. Content and photographs are copyright protected. Sharing of this recipe is both encouraged and appreciated. Copying and/or pasting full recipes to any social media is strictly prohibited.
DID YOU MAKE THIS RECIPE?Leave a comment below and share a photo on Instagram. Tag @downshiftology and hashtag it #downshiftology.

Leave a Comment

All comments are moderated before appearing on the site. Thank you for sharing your feedback!
Recipe Rating




Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

89 comments on “Stuffed Peppers”

  1. Tried this recipe last night and it came out PERFECT, I’m just now learning to cook completely alone at 27 which is embarrassing but usually, a family member will take over to “help” so I never get the confidence to get the hang of things on my own. This recipe allowed me to do just that, it was so straightforward and easy to follow. I’m so grateful that I didn’t have to waste ingredients or money on another fail. Sometimes I follow random blog recipes and they come out terrible but now I know I can continue to trust the recipes on your blog. Thank youuuuu!

    • Hey, better late than never! I’m glad you enjoyed this stuffed peppers recipe and can’t wait to see what you make next :)

  2. Hi Lisa, First off thank you for everything you do. I am fairly new to the community and have been catching up on all your videos and recipes etc. Totally love everything you post. :) My question is, in the video you show 3 bell peppers halved to make six halves. I remembered seeing the 3 bell peppers and was planning this for this weeks meal prep lunches but only purchased 3 bell peppers. Then I saw on the web site and also in your commentary on the video that I should have purchased 6. Can you please confirm if it actually is 6? If so I will halve my ground turkey etc. Thanks again and please keep all your posts and videos coming because they are very much appreciated. Cheers, Vicki

    • Please disregard my question about the quantity of peppers. :) I just saw your answer to this question on another comment. Thanks again!

  3. I rarely leave a review on recipes and I’m usually not a fan of stuffed peppers. But, I had a ton of peppers that were going to go bad so I thought I’d give these a try. They’re the bomb. They are seriously SO good. I’m bookmarking this recipe so I can make again. I used 80/20 beef and yellow peppers- not sure if that makes a difference or not. I am so surprised that this tastes so good with such basic & healthy ingredients! SERIOUSLY make these!

  4. Smelled and tasted like a pizza…LOVED. I used, ground beef, chopped green beans, kale, lots of chilli flakes, Italian seasoning, I doubled the garlic (because I LOVE the smell and taste of garlic)…another winner. Thanks :)

  5. Hallo liebe Lisa, ich habe meine Ernährung auf no carb umgestellt. Deine Rezepte sind so toll. Zu den gefüllten Paprika habe ich Reis vom Blumenkohl gemacht und extra serviert. In der letzten Woche habe ich mit deinen Rezepten und 8/16 Diät drei Kilo abgenommen. Bitte noch mehr no carb Rezepte :) Danka Lisa

  6. Made these tonight. So clean and delicious. I did add a little red pepper flakes. Also, drop some cheese in between the peppers and let them bake directly on the pan. Then place that caramelized crunchy cheese on top of your stuffed peppers! Makes clean up more difficult, but well worth it.

  7. Delicious but was not full after eating 2 halves one red and 1 green.They were delicious. Thanks Lisa

  8. had the stuffed peppers last night delicious, red peppers was more delicious than green but I enjoyed them so much. Thank you Lisa for this delicious recipe.

    • Wonderful! And yes, red peppers are generally more sweeter and flavorful compared to yellow or green ones.

  9. Dear Lisa,

    Did this recipe change because I made it a couple times and I went to print it out this time and the ingredients look different from what I remembered. Thank you.

  10. Made these this weekend and they are delicious!!! Ended up using some diced yellow summer squash instead of the spinach because it is what I had on hand. Since they take longer to cook than spinach does, I sautéed the squash with the onion.

    • Yum! Diced up squash should taste amazing with this recipe. Happy to hear you enjoyed these stuffed peppers!

  11. Oh bc Lisa, you’ve done it again. DIVINE. my husband and I Devoured them. All of your recipes I have tried and there have been many never fail. I’ve send your website link to so many people. Thank you, thank you, thank you 

    • Happy to hear you’ve enjoyed this recipe so much Mary and thanks for spreading the word! :) I greatly appreciate it.

  12. These are the easiest, most delicious stuffed peppers I’ve ever made! I use regular diced tomatoes with a tablespoon of molasses added in to reduced the acidity from using cheap tomatoes. I will definitely make it again, especially since they are freezer-friendly. Thanks so much Lisa.

  13. I made a keto version tonight with mushrooms, a bit of leftover zucchini and some cashew nuts and left out the rice. So yummy! Lucky for me I have lots of leftovers. Next time I will go for the mediterranean one. That looks so delicious too ;-)

    • That sounds amazing with zucchini, mushrooms, and cashew nuts! I’ll have to try that for myself sometime :)

  14. Very tasty. I made half the recipe and used ground turkey. Had a slight kick because of the cheese.

  15. Absolutely DELISH! I made these subbing the sautéed mushrooms for the rice (Keto version) and dinner was a WINNER!! Had leftovers and Hubby said he wants these on the regular! 

  16. These are delicious! I used swiss chard and wild boar and only had 5 peppers so also made a zucchini boat. Big hit in my family!

  17. I have had bad luck with undercooked rice and peppers with other stuffed pepper recipes, but the steps in this recipe ensure everything comes out perfect and I actually think it took less time! My only complaint is that it does make a lot for only one or two people to have to eat leftovers of it for days after. I might try to half the recipe next time. Otherwise delish on its own, and a great add on to other meals as well!

  18. Just made it for the first time. My only change was I used frozen spinach instead of fresh, because I already had it on hand. I loved this dish! The only thing I’ll probably change next time is add a bit if red pepper flakes. I like a bit of heat.

    • Hi Mark- Wonderful! Glad you loved these stuffed peppers.

    • Dear Lisa,
      I’ve made quite a few of your recipes over the past few months and need to thank you for making such great fool proof recipes.
      Since we have some bell peppers in the fridge I wanted to make this recipe tomorrow. However, I’m not sure whether I need six bell peppers or just three. The recipe says six but the video shows three.

      • Sorry, just saw your answer on somebody else’s comment – six bell peppers 😀

      • Hi Deadra- So happy to hear you’ve been enjoying all my recipes so far! As for the stuffed peppers, I actually made a total of 6 peppers for the recipe, but I only showed 3 :)

  19. Would frozen spinach work in this recipe?

    • Hi Lydia – yes, no problem!

    • So delicious especially the next day my husband ate 3 in a row of which Im glad I made 8 in total. I just found you site 2 days ago and I just love the ingredients we are a family of 5 and we are making health clean choices and your site it what we were looking for so Thank you so much can’t wait to makemore of you recipes

  20. I made mine with turkey and baby kale.  I also made the stuffing and waited 2 days before putting the recipe together.  I cannot tell you how delicious this tasted!  Lisa, every recipe I have tried has been so good.  Thank you for all your efforts in providing us with healthy recipes!

  21. Absolutely amazing!! Loving it!! Even picky eaters ate it 😁 Great job Lisa, another wonderful and healthy recipe! Keep them coming! 🙂

  22. Yes, they are the best! I just had these for dinner and once again your recipe gets 5 stars. I’m already looking forward to the leftovers as well as making them with other options. I’m tempted to have another but I’ll wait until tomorrow. Thanks again for all of your terrific recipes.

  23. Do you think this would be with ground lamb?

  24. Perfect?  No.  PERFECT!!!!!  I made these last night (yes, I do most of our cooking), and my wife, Laurie, went back for a third one.  Unheard-of.  Then this, after I told her about the veggie variants, which quality as “Laurie food” in our household:  “So when can we try the mushroom and walnut ones?…”  Anything that adds (favorably) to my culinary repertoire is very welcome.  Thank you, Lisa.

  25. These stuffed peppers look absolutely delicious! I love how easy they are to make too!

  26. I don’t think about stuffed peppers often enough as a dinner option. Pinning this recipe. Gotta change my mindset!

    • Hi Jill- They definitely make for a delicious dinner idea that you can meal prep ahead of time too :)

  27. Hi Lisa,

    Huge hit with my family! 🙂
    Substituted the ground beef for ground turkey and swapped the italian seasoning with taco seasoning.  I also made extra rice for a side dish.  Perfect & easy dish…. my kind of cooking 😘

    I don’t know why I can’t seem to ever get the recipe rating to show as 5 stars so I hope when it’s posted it highlights that last star ⭐️ ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ 😉

    • Hi Gail – I’m happy you loved the recipe! And perfect substitutions. I don’t think you can never go wrong with taco seasoning as well! I just fixed the star rating for you, there’s actually a glitch on the website right now but I should have it fixed later today. Thanks so much for your continued support! :) x

      • Sorry! forgot to mention in my feedback that the Taco seasoning used in these stuffed peppers was your recipe.  We love it and have made a large batch since it is now our go to for several recipes.

        ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ 😉👍

      • Oh wonderful, I’m happy you love that seasoning! It’s definitely one of my go-to’s as well.

  28. Loved them and quick to make and easy. Thanks for the inspo!

  29. Simply the best stuffed pepper recipe I’ve tried, sooooo quick and easy to make on a week night. I substituted the ground beef for half ground beef and half Italian sausage. Loved the result. Thank you Lisa!

  30. Delish! Really satisfying meal. Worked out perfectly.

  31. Hi Lisa,
    Thank you for your website & recipes, they are amazing! I’ve been following you for a few weeks and I have my 1st question. :-) Do you buy the ground beef or do you grind it by yourself? I’m from the Czech Republic and I’ve always ground the meat by myself (on grandma’s grinder) to ensure the good quality of the meat. Now, when I moved to the US, I’m not sure what’s the best option. If you buy it, how do you choose the best ground meat? If you grind it, what type of meat do you use? & Can I use Vitamix for grinding the meat?
    I’m still confused with all labels on products in the US, but the meat is probably the most confusing. :-)
    Thanks!

  32. Made them tonight and they turned out perfect! Absolutely delicious and very easy to make! Thank you Lisa 😊

  33. Stuffed peppers are always a hit at our house and this recipe is delicious! Love how it has spinach in it!

    • Hi Emily- You can never go wrong with adding a bit more green! You can also do kale as well.

    • Hi Lisa, I’m going to try recipe tonight.. But after watching video, I’m confused on wry of bell peppers. Is it 6 bell peppers cut in half (twelve halves) or 3 bell peppers cut in half (6 halves) like in your video? Thanks for sharing your recipes with us. Betty

      • Hi Betty- The recipe calls for 6 bell peppers! But the in the video, I just showed 3 in one pan :)

  34. I LOVE stuffed bell peppers and this recipe is spot on! So much flavor and love all of the Italian flavors. Thanks so much for sharing. 

  35. OMG! Your recipe is so detailed written that I feel confident enough to give it a try! I just want to get the same result as yours :)

  36. So colourful and summery. They just look so tasty.

  37. Which storage container did you use in the video?  I don’t see it linked.  Thank you, Lisa!

  38. I’ve always cut my peppers lengthwise, but I haven’t tried leaving the stem intact because it’s inedible. I always found it to be a weak point and it was harder to study them. I like the pre-baking idea because the peppers seem to take forever to cook. I will add this to my ‘make soon’ list!

  39. I am so making these stuffed pepper. I love how you cut them in half which makes them so much easier to eat that way.

  40. Ooh I love stuffed peppers, will try this for sure!