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Southern Stuffed Bell Peppers


These Southern stuffed bell peppers are made with only 5 ingredients. They are stuffed with flavorful meat and rice mixture, topped with melted cheese, and baked in the oven.

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white plate with stuffed peppers topped with melted cheese

Baking stuffed bell peppers is a great way to cook them. You can stuff them with whatever you want, they taste great and are also very easy to make.

Recipe Features

  • It is a great recipe for a busy weeknight since it’s made in 30 minutes.
  • Easy customizable and flexible; feel free to skip the rice and just use more vegetables.
  • These stuffed pepper are made without tomato sauce, using flavorful salsa instead.
  • 5-ingredient stuffed peppers are colorful and festive looking!

Ingredients You’ll Need

tabletop with ingredients to make peppers with meat, rice and salsa

Ingredient Notes

Ground beef. Feel free to use: ground chicken, ground turkey, Italian sausage, ground bison, ground pork.
Rice. The Jasmine rice works the best here since it’s fast to cook and has a fluffy texture.
Bell peppers. Choose different colors for better presentation.
Salsa. I used mild chunky salsa. If you are a spicy food lover, feel free to use spicy salsa.
Grated Cheese. Use your favorite kind: I used cheddar cheese. Pepper Jack would work as well.
Optional ingredients. If desired add extra spices: fresh parsley, garlic, black pepper, more herbs.

How to Make Southern Stuffed Bell Peppers

Step 1. To bake stuffed bell peppers, start by preheating your oven to 400F degrees. Rinse the rice till water runs clear, add rice to the pot, add water and bring to boil. Once water is boiling, reduce the heat to low and simmer covered for approximately 15 minutes until all the water is absorbed.

rinsed white rice in the mesh strainer

Step 2. Prep the bell peppers. Wash and cut in half lengthwise. Be careful not to cut too much off, or else the bell pepper will fall apart. Remove seeds and white membrane. Get an oven-safe baking dish, arrange bell peppers inside, placing the flat side down. Bake in the preheated oven for 15 minutes.

white baking pan with colorful bell peppers

Step 3. Prep the meat. You can use any kind of ground meat you want. Preheat cast iron or non-stick pan over medium-high heat, add ground beef, brown till no longer pink breaking large chunks of meat with the wooden spoon.

cast iron skillet with cooked ground beef

Step 4. Once the ground beef is cooked, add in some rice, salsa, and spices. Mix meat sauce well.

cast iron skillet with a mixture of meat, rice and salsa

Step 5. Using a large spoon, stuff mixture inside each bell pepper pressing it down to make sure each bell pepper is filled tightly. Place stuffed bell pepper inside the casserole dish, top with shredded cheese, bake stuffed peppers for 10 minutes till cheese is slightly golden.

white baking dish with uncooked stuffed bell peppers topped with grated cheese

Step 6. Serve with sour cream or yogurt on top.

white baking dish with baked stuffed peppers topped with golden melted cheese

Recipe Tips

  • Use a variety of colors of bell peppers to add visual interest and better presentation.
  • Choose similar-sized bell peppers to ensure they all bake evenly.
  • When baking peppers make sure not to add any oil so they can still hold shape when filled with meat.
  • Use a large skillet so it’s easier to stir the meat mixture with salsa.
  • Make sure that the meat and rice mixture is flavorful, so you’ll really taste it in every bite. Taste if it has enough salt and pepper before stuffing the peppers.
  • Use cheese that melts easily, such as cheddar or Monterey Jack.
  • Bake the stuffed bell peppers in the oven until they’re hot and the cheese is melted and bubbly.
  • Serve stuffed bell peppers with yogurt or sour cream on top, with a side of salsa to add even more flavor.
  • Garnish with fresh herbs if desired: dill, parsley, basil, chopped green onion.
  • To save time, use cooked rice, either buy frozen or cook it in advance. Add it to the skillet with cooked meat.

How to Make Stuffed Peppers without rice

You can make stuffed peppers without using white rice and instead replace it with options like: quinoa, farro, millet, buckwheat for stuffing.

To make these stuffed bell peppers low-carb, use riced cauliflower instead of white rice or skip the rice option completely and add some mushrooms, extra vegetables, or ground sausage to the meat mixture.

How to reheat stuffed peppers

Reheating stuffed peppers is very easy. You can either use the oven or the microwave.

To reheat stuffed peppers in the oven, preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Place the stuffed peppers on a baking sheet and bake for 15-20 minutes, or until heated through.

To reheat stuffed peppers in the microwave, place them on a microwavable plate and heat for 2-3 minutes, or until heated through.

white plate with bell peppers wopped with melted white cheese

FAQs

How long does it take to soften peppers in the oven?

Bell peppers can vary in size, so the time it takes to soften them in the oven may also vary. On average, it should take about 15 minutes for bell peppers to soften in the oven.

Can you freeze stuffed peppers?

You can definitely freeze stuffed peppers. In fact, I often make a big batch of stuffed peppers and then freeze them for later. To freeze them, just place them in a freezer-safe container after they have cooled down. They will last in the freezer for several months.

What ingredients should I use in my stuffed peppers?

The filling is primarily made of browned hamburger meat and rice. Other standard ingredients that might be added to the mix would include onions, garlic, tomato sauce, and oregano and basil (usually in smaller amounts). Chopped fresh vegetables like green pepper may also be added during cooking or at the time of stuffing.

What to serve with Stuffed Peppers

Did you try this recipe? I love hearing from you! Don’t forget to rate and leave a comment below.

white plate with stuffed peppers topped with melted cheese

Southern Stuffed Bell Peppers

Natalia-Flavorful Home
Southern stuffed bell peppers with a warm stuffing of ground beef, rice, tomatoes, and melted cheese. Tasty and colorful comfort-style dinner made with only five main ingredients.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Total Time 30 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine American

Ingredients
  

  • 1 cup jasmine rice
  • 2 cups water for cooking rice
  • 3 bell peppers large-sized, any color
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 2 cups salsa
  • 1 1/2 cup shredded cheese cheddar or Pepper Jack
  • salt to taste
  • sour cream, optional

Instructions
 

  • Gather the ingredients. Preheat the oven to 400F degrees.
  • Cook rice. Rinse the rice in the mesh colander till water runs clear, add rice to the pot, add water and bring to boil. Once boiling, reduce the heat and simmer covered for approximately 10-15 minutes until all the water is absorbed, don't stir.
  • Prep bell peppers. Wash, cut bell pepper in half lengthwise, remove the seeds and white membrane. Place in the oven-safe dish flat side down and bake for 15 minutes.
  • Cook meat. Preheat cast iron or non-stick pan, add the meat, brown till no longer pink breaking large chunks of meat with the spoon.
  • Combine with rice. Once meat is cooked, add cooked rice and salsa. Stir to combine, taste mixture for salt. 
  • Bake and serve. Take bell peppers out of the oven; they now should be slightly softened. Turn them over, using a large spoon fill the peppers with the meat mixture pressing it down to make sure the peppers are filled tightly. Add shredded cheese on top—Bake for ten more minutes till cheese is slightly golden.

Notes

Choose similar-sized bell peppers to ensure they all bake evenly.
When baking peppers make sure not to add any oil so they can still hold shape when filled with meat.
Make sure that the meat and rice mixture is flavorful, so you’ll really taste it in every bite. Taste if it has enough salt and pepper before stuffing the peppers.
Use cheese that melts easily, such as cheddar or Monterey Jack.
Serve stuffed bell peppers with yogurt or sour cream on top, with a side of salsa to add even more flavor. Garnish with fresh herbs if desired: dill, parsley, basil, chopped green onion.
 

Nutrition

Calories: 701kcalCarbohydrates: 48gProtein: 37gFat: 39gSaturated Fat: 17gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 125mgSodium: 1757mgPotassium: 784mgFiber: 4gSugar: 7gVitamin A: 3293IUVitamin C: 124mgCalcium: 359mgIron: 4mg
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Natalia | Flavorful home
Natalia is a recipe developer, food photographer, and home cook. She started Flavorful Home to document her recipes and share home cooking tips. She loves creating flavorful and nutritious meals while keeping the cooking process simple and joyful!

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