Stuffed Peppers

by Amy on 16 October 2014

Stuffed Peppers {With Beef + Tomato Rice}I was a pretty picky eater as a child, especially about any type of meat. However, even in my pickiness, my mom made a few meat-centered meals that I absolutely LOVED, and still do now — especially American Chop Suey, Homemade Meatballs with Pasta, and Stuffed Peppers. Two of those three meals I’ve already put my own spin on and blogged about, so I figured it was time to do the same for stuffed peppers! After experimenting/recipe-testing with different versions over the last few months, I have settled on what I think are the perfect stuffed peppers. =)

My version is actually fairly similar to what we ate growing up, just with a little more pizzaz. =) First, I take bright, fresh bell peppers, halve them + par-boil them. Then, I make an amazingly-flavorful homemade seasoned tomato rice. Then, I saute up a mixture of onions, ground beef, tomatoes, and spices. Finally, I combine the rice + meat mixture, stuff it generously in those pepper halves, drizzle with tomato sauce, + bake until browned + pipin’ hot. The result? Seriously, the BEST stuffed peppers I have ever had, bursting with tons of flavor + depth. This recipe serves 4-6, but is easily doubled or tripled, if you’re serving a crowd. And if you have leftovers, no problemo – these heat up wonderfully straight from the fridge + freeze great for future meals, too!

Stuffed Peppers {With Beef + Tomato Rice}

Stuffed Peppers {With Beef + Tomato Rice}

serves 4-6, a Fearless Homemaker original recipe


For the rice:
2 Tbsp. vegetable oil, divided
1/2 cup long grain white rice, uncooked
1 clove garlic, finely minced
1/4 tsp. kosher salt
1/4 tsp. cumin
1/4 tsp. chili powder
1/8 tsp. paprika
1/3 c. tomato sauce
3/4 cup chicken broth

For the peppers and beef mixture:
4 large bell peppers (any color will work)
1 onion, diced
1 lb. ground beef (I like an 80/20 blend)
1 15 oz can tomato sauce, divided
1 14.5 oz can italian-seasoned diced tomatoes, undrained (I like Hunt’s Diced Tomatoes with Basil, Garlic & Oregano, but there are a bunch of different brands)


1) First, you’ll make the homemade tomato rice. If you prefer, to save time, you can substitute 1 cup cooked/leftover rice (any flavor of your choosing). But it’s reeeally good with the tomato rice, and worth the time! =) If you’re using already-cooked/leftover rice, you can skip to step 3.

2) Make the rice: Heat 1 Tbsp. oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the rice + stir occasionally until rice begins to lightly brown. Add the garlic, salt, cumin, chili powder, + paprika to the rice, + stir until well-combined, about 2 minutes. Add the tomato sauce, + chicken broth. Bring the mix to a boil then turn the heat to low, cover + simmer for 20 – 25 minutes, until the rice is cooked through + the the liquid is absorbed. Remove from heat + fluff with a fork.

3) Prepare your peppers: Cut each pepper in half, lengthwise. Remove seeds + membranes; rinse peppers (I usually leave the stem attached, as I think it makes a nice presentation). Bring a large pot of water to a boil (just add enough enough water to cover peppers). Once boiling, add peppers to the water. Cook for about 3 minutes, then remove from the boiling water + set aside.

4) Prepare the beef: Heat the remaining 1 Tbsp. oil in large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and cook for about 5 minutes, until translucent. Then, add in the beef, and cook, breaking up the meat and stirring occasionally, until beef is brown; drain off any fat. Stir in the cooked rice, diced tomatoes and 1 cup of the tomato sauce; cook for just 2-3 minutes until everything is hot.

5) Heat oven to 350°F.

6) Equally stuff the pepper halves with the beef/rice mixture (all mixture will be used up between the eight halves). Lay peppers evenly in a 9×13 baking dish (as pictured above). Pour the remaining tomato sauce around the peppers + drizzle on top of peppers.

7) Cover with foil, and bake for 15 minutes. Uncover and bake for about 15 minutes longer, until peppers are tender, and tops are slightly browned + a bit crispy.

8) Serve hot + enjoy!

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{ 22 comments… read them below or add one }

1 danielle October 16, 2014 at 8:24 am

I am always looking for new uses for ground beef – this sounds great and I bet the kids would love it too.

2 Dedy@Dentist Chef October 16, 2014 at 3:52 pm

Damn delicious loaded pepper!
your photograph is awesome, tickle my taste buds for sure….

3 Anna (Hidden Ponies) October 16, 2014 at 10:55 pm

I had no idea you could freeze stuffed peppers – I would’ve never thought of them as a make ahead meal, great to know!

4 amy October 17, 2014 at 7:45 am

Yes! I do steps 1-4, then freeze ’em. When ready to serve, I thaw them fully, then start back up at step 5. =)

5 Beth October 17, 2014 at 11:00 am

These sound great – and by coincidence, I have a stuffed pepper in the oven right now for lunch!
I love the suggestion about freezing them, too. What a great time-saver.

6 Ann October 18, 2014 at 12:51 pm

Looks so yum!
Hope they are not too hot when
I bite them.

7 Biana @ October 19, 2014 at 8:54 pm

This looks great! I usually stuff my peppers whole, but I really like how yours look! Will have to try cutting them into halves, for stuffing.

8 Erin @ The Spiffy Cookie October 19, 2014 at 9:48 pm

I was also a picky eater as I child but I did NOT like stuffed peppers. I’ve only made them once as an adult and did actually enjoy them. I should try yours they look wonderful!

9 Choc Chip Uru October 20, 2014 at 4:33 am

What a colourful and delicious appetiser – stuffed capsicum is one of my favourites 😀

Choc Chip Uru

10 Amy (Savory Moments) October 22, 2014 at 5:48 am

I love stuffed peppers! My mom used to make these when I was a kid as well and they were always a hit. I haven’t made them in a long time, so thanks for the reminder :-)

11 Lesley Eats October 23, 2014 at 7:13 am

This just makes me laugh. I need to think of some of my mother’s other recipes that I couldn’t eat as a child. Would you like her recipe for dressing? Meatballs? Fried chicken (with the skin on)? Fried okra? 😀

12 amy October 23, 2014 at 8:25 am

Yes, yes, yes, and YES!

13 sarah k @ the pajama chef October 23, 2014 at 12:04 pm

these look delicious! i love stuffed peppers but never make them because my husband isn’t a fan. freezing them would be a great option for dinners when he’s not home!

14 amy October 23, 2014 at 12:25 pm

Sarah, my husband isn’t a fan either! He’s a pepper hater. =) That’s why it’s so great that they freeze/leftover well.

15 Kristi @ Inspiration Kitchen October 23, 2014 at 12:56 pm

We LOVE stuffed peppers – it is one of our go-to meals during the week. And, we love the leftovers. I am loving that 2nd photo of yours – so creative!

16 amy October 23, 2014 at 1:24 pm

Thank you, Kristi! You are too kind. =)

17 easyfoodsmith October 24, 2014 at 1:42 am

Scrumptious! My granny used to make stuffed bell peppers using potatoes and cottage cheese.

18 Kelly October 24, 2014 at 2:19 pm

These look incredible, Amy! I love stuffed peppers – my mom used to make it for us at least once a week. You are reminding me that I haven’t had them in a very long time and I can’t wait to try this version. The flavors sound amazing!

19 Adri October 25, 2014 at 11:57 pm

I love stuffed peppers – peperoni imbottiti we call them in Italian, and I make them all the time. Yours sound wonderful. I have never used cumin in my filling. I will have to give it a try. Thanks for the inspiration!

20 amy October 26, 2014 at 1:52 pm

I’d love to hear about your recipe, Adri! Mine have a slightly more mexican flair, with the cumin and chili. I bet yours are wonderful, as all your recipes always sound amazing!

21 Jess @ October 26, 2014 at 2:59 pm

These stuffed peppers look super delicious, Amy! Love the flavours, so amazing. Now planning something similar to this for dinner this next week! Thanks so much for sharing!

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