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Classic Stuffed Bell Peppers

classic stuffed bell peppers

If you’ve been following me for a while then you’ve probably already picked up on the fact that I love bell peppers – I cook with them so often I think it’s hard to miss – so I’m surprised it took me this long to post a recipe for stuffed bell peppers. I’m fixing that today with these Classic Stuffed Bell Peppers!

Stuffed Bell Peppers are fun to play with, and there are so many ways to make them but we’re starting with the classic version, which kinda tastes like a baked pasta because of the use of tomato sauce.

In the future you can expect more variations, like Tex-Mex Stuffed Bell Peppers and Vegan Pesto Stuffed Bell Peppers.

You’ll notice that I only call for a small amount of salt (one teaspoon, plus more to taste) in this recipe, and that’s because the amount needed will vary greatly based on the amount in the pasta sauce you choose.

Again, my Versatile Red Sauce is a huge hit amongst those that have purchased my cookbook As Seen On IG).

This is more than likely not enough, as it’s needed for the onions, ground beef, and rice but you are in the driver’s seat. You do you!

Switch it Up:

  • Make it vegetarian by omitting the ground beef entirely, or using a plant-based substitute.
  • For a lighter take, try it with ground chicken or turkey.
  • Replace some or all the ground beef with Italian sausage.

There’s a YouTube tutorial for this recipe up now on my channel. If you try these Stuffed Bell Peppers I hope you’ll come back and let me know what you thought by reviewing this recipe and leaving a comment – and it’ll be super helpful to anyone else considering trying this recipe themselves!

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stuffed bell peppers

Classic Stuffed Bell Peppers

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  • Author: María
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 6 1x


Bell Peppers stuffed with rice, ground beef and tomato sauce, covered in cheese and baked til tender.


Units Scale
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 46 medium bell peppers
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 2 C marinara sauce
  • 1/2 C uncooked long-grain rice
  • 1 C low-moisture mozzarella cheese, grated
  • 1/4 C aged parmesan, grated
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 2 1/4 C + 1 tbsp water, divided
  • 1 tbsp canola oil
  • 1 tsp worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 tsp umami seasoning
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1 tsp italian seasoning
  • 1 tsp kosher salt, to taste


  1. Preheat your oven to 400ºF and grease a large glass baking dish with oil or cooking spray. Set it aside.
  2. Split your bell peppers down the center, or lop off the tops. Remove the mebranes and seeds entirely. Place them in a microwave-safe bowl, add in 1 tbsp of water and cover the bowl with food wrap or a silicone cover. Microwave the peppers for 5 minutes to steam, then set aside to cool.
  3. Place a non-stick skillet over medium high heat and a medium saucepan over high heat. Add your rice, 2 1/4 cups of water, butter, and a pinch of salt to the saucepan and wait for it to come to a boil. In the skillet add 1 tbsp of canola oil and once it’s shimmering add your onions.
  4. Sprinkle the onions with a bit of salt and cook until they become softened and translucent, about 3 minutes, then add the ground beef. Break it up into small pieces with a wooden spoon and season it with all the remaining seasonings and worcestershire sauce. Once the rice is boiling reduce the heat to medium low and cover it. Simmer it until the water is absorbed, stirring occasionally if you want (not mandatory but helpful to check the moisture amounts) – about 15 minutes.
  5. When your ground beef is cooked through, drain the excess grease if you like, then reduce the heat to medium-low and stir in your marinara sauce. Let simmer while you wait for the rice to be ready.
  6. Once the rice is ready, dump it into the ground beef mixture and stir to combine. Taste and add salt  and more seasonings if needed.
  7. Arrange your bell peppers in the baking dish you prepared earlier. Spoon in the filling, pressing it in gently as you go to make sure it fills the entire pepper.
  8. Once all of the peppers are stuffed, mix together your cheeses, then sprinkle them over the tops of your peppers. Make sure they’re pretty well covered, like you would a pizza or lasagna.
  9. Bake on the middle rack for 14-20 minutes, or until the cheese is golden and the peppers are tender to your liking. Dassit!
  • Prep Time: 20
  • Cook Time: 40
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