Best Stuffed Firm Bell Pepper Recipe With Ground Beef

This easy recipe for Ground Beef Stuffed Bell Peppers is loaded with white rice, melty cheese, tomatoes, and savory seasonings. You can also swap out the ground beef for healthy ground turkey if you’d like.

pan of 5 crisp beef stuffed peppers smothered in cheese with a window in the background and text overlay "Best Ever Beef Stuffed Peppers"

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Ground Beef Stuffed Peppers are a comfort food you can make all year round. This delicious dinner is perfect when bell peppers are fresh and in season. They’re also delicious, pulled from the oven on a cold winter night when you’re craving a cozy, classic recipe.

When you make this recipe, you can use whatever color bell peppers you prefer or have on hand. And, because the peppers retain a semi-crisp, semi-firm texture in this version, their flavor shares a starring role with the yummy Italian flavored ground beef stuffing. The peppers are almost like little edible bowls your whole family will love! If you are lucky enough to have leftovers, they taste great heated up the next day for lunch, too.

pan of 5 crisp beef stuffed peppers smothered in cheese with a window in the background

Why You’ll Love These “Not Soggy” Ground Beef Stuffed Peppers

In a traditional stuffed pepper recipe, the bell peppers are boiled before they’re stuffed with meat and covered in a tomato sauce.  And, while I love the meat stuffing, I almost always end up discarding the pepper because it’s too soggy.

I decided to create this version of stuffed peppers because:

  • When you bake the peppers without boiling them first, you get a nice, semi-firm pepper that retains that “fresh pepper” taste
  • Adding crushed tomatoes to the ground beef mixture maintains some of the flavors from the classic recipe without drowning the dish in tomato sauce.

This is hands down my favorite meal to prepare when peppers are plentiful and in season. Made with simple ingredients, it’s a great recipe paired with mashed potatoes and a simple side salad.

What You’ll Need to Make Beef Stuffed Peppers

extreme close up of cast iron pan filled with beef stuffed bell peppers covered with melted cheddar cheese
  • 6 large bell peppers
  • 2 cups minute rice, cooked (1 cup of uncooked minute rice =2 cups of cooked minute rice)
  • 1 lb. lean ground beef
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1 16 oz. jar crushed tomatoes
  • 1 packet of dry Italian Dressing Mix (.7 ounces)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups sharp cheddar cheese, shredded (divided)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

Recipe Substitution Ideas

In place of the minute rice you could substitute:

  • cooked brown rice
  • cooked long grain or wild rice
  • cauliflower rice (as a healthy alternative)
  • this is also a great way to use up leftover rice

In place of the ground beef, you could use ground turkey meat, ground chicken, or ground Italian sausage

Instead of shredded sharp cheddar cheese, you could substitute mozzarella cheese or parmesan cheese.

If you don’t have fresh garlic at home, you can substitute garlic powder.

You can use any type of bell pepper you’d like in this recipe. For a pretty display on my dinner table, I like to combine whole green peppers, with red peppers, and yellow peppers. The different colors look so pretty on a serving platter!

How to Make Stuffed Bell Peppers

pan of 5 crisp beef stuffed peppers smothered in cheese with a window in the background

Step One

First, preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Next, prepare the Minute Rice – you will need one cup of uncooked rice to make the two cups of minute rice you’ll need for this recipe.

While the rice is cooking, slice off the tops of the peppers and clean the seeds out of the inside. If needed, trim a little bit off the bottom of the pepper to help them sit upright in the pan. (If you do this, make sure you are just trimming, do not cut so much that you’re left with an open hole in the bottom of your bell pepper! 😊)

Step Two

Next, add the olive oil to a large skillet over medium-high heat and sauté the onion and garlic until they are tender.

Add the ground beef to the skillet, breaking it apart into crumbles until it’s browned and cooked thoroughly. (This tool is a must-have if you regularly cook and crumble ground beef.) Drain off any excess fat.

Next add the crushed tomatoes, rice, Italian seasoning, salt, pepper, and 1/2 cup of shredded cheese and stir until everything is mixed together.

Step Three

Divide the cooked filling evenly between the 6 bell peppers.

Next, place the stuffed peppers into a lightly greased baking dish or cast-iron skillet. (This deep-dish cast iron pan is perfect for this recipe!)

Bake the ground beef stuffed peppers for 25-30 minutes until almost done. Remove the dish from the oven, and sprinkle with the remaining shredded cheese. Return the pan to the oven until the cheese has melted – about another 5 minutes – and the internal temperature of the stuffed peppers is at 160 degrees Fahrenheit.

close up of half a cast iron pan filled with beef stuffed bell peppers covered with melted cheddar cheese

What to Serve With Stuffed Peppers

While this easy stuffed peppers recipe could be considered a complete meal in itself, you may still want to add some scrumptious side dishes. Here are a few perfect side dishes to serve alongside this yummy main dish:

More Easy Dinner Recipes You’ll Love

 

close up of red and yellow ground beef stuffed bell peppers in a cast iron pan

Firm and Crispy Ground Beef Stuffed Bell Peppers

Print Recipe
This Ground Beef Stuffed Bell Pepper recipe is loaded with rice, cheese, tomatoes, and savory seasonings.You can also swap out the ground beef for healthy ground turkey if you'd like.
Prep Time:20 mins
Cook Time:30 mins

Ingredients

  • 6 large bell peppers
  • 2 cups minute rice cooked (1 cup of uncooked minute rice =2 cups of cooked minute rice)
  • 1 lb. lean ground beef
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 small onion diced
  • 1 16 oz. jar crushed tomatoes
  • 1 packet Italian Salad Dressing Mix (.7 ounces)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups sharp cheddar cheese shredded (divided)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

Instructions

Step One

  • First, preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Next, prepare the Minute Rice – you will need one cup of uncooked rice to make the two cups of minute rice you'll need for this recipe.
  • While the rice is cooking, slice off the tops of the peppers and clean the seeds out of the inside.  If needed, trim a little bit off the pepper's bottom to help them sit upright in the pan. (If you do this, make sure you are just trimming, do not cut so much that you're left with an open hole in the bottom of your bell pepper! 😊)

Step Two

  • Next, add the olive oil to a large skillet and sauté the onion and garlic until they are tender.
  • Add the ground beef to the skillet, breaking it apart into crumbles until it's browned and cooked thoroughly.  
  • Next add the crushed tomatoes, rice, Italian seasoning, salt, pepper, and 1/2 cup of shredded cheese and stir until everything is mixed together.

Step Three

  • Divide the ground beef mixture evenly between the 6 bell peppers.
  • Next, place the stuffed peppers into a lightly greased baking dish or cast iron skillet.  
  • Bake the ground beef stuffed peppers for 25-30 minutes until almost done.  Remove the dish from the oven, sprinkle with the remaining shredded cheese.  Return the pan to the oven until the cheese has melted – about another 5 minutes – and the internal temperature of the stuffed peppers is at 160 degrees Fahrenheit.
Course: Main Dish
Servings: 6 Servings
Author: Snug and Cozy Life

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