This Easy Italian Stuffed Bell Peppers Recipe is a classic meal, perfect for a delicious dinner that's impressive yet easy!
Who doesn't love rice and beef? Tie them together with tomato sauce and add all the fresh herbs for an incredibly delicious meal that feels like mom's home cooking.
- Easy weeknight meal! While these do take about an hour of your time, once they are in the oven you have a nice block of time to do dishes or laundry.
- Super easy to make! Make the filling in the skillet and then pop it in the oven. Nothing could be easier.
- Delicious leftovers. These reheat beautifully, making it a great meal for meal prep or work lunch.
See the recipe card for full information on ingredients and quantities.
Ground Beef - I use an 85/15 lean ground beef. I find this to be the perfect level of fat. You can remove some fat after cooking if you like, but it generally isn't too greasy.
Rice - Using precooked rice means you can use the leftovers from another meal, cook fresh, or even reach for microwave packets.
Diced Tomatoes - A can of diced tomatoes, undrained, adds just the right amount of liquid when combined with a bit of chicken broth.
Cheese - No comforting, casserole-type dish would be complete without some melted cheese on top!
- Break up the beef with a wooden spoon while cooking, to make sure there aren't any large pieces. This makes for a smooth filling with meat in every bite.
- Cook rice ahead. Since we are stirring in cooked rice to the filling ingredients, it makes sense to have rice all ready to go instead of adding that to your stovetop today.
- Preheat the oven, and wash and prepare the peppers. Slice off the tops and stand them all in a baking dish.
- Cook the ground beef with garlic, onions, and seasoning. Make sure it is cooked through completely. Add remaining ingredients, minus the cheese.
- Stuff the peppers with the filling mixture, making sure they are completely full. Cover with foil and bake.
- When the peppers are nearly done, remove the foil and top with cheese for the remaining time.
- Once peppers are soft and cheese is melted, serve!
I find it easiest to chop up the leftover peppers so it is a true casserole of "unstuffed" peppers. Everything will reheat more evenly this way, plus it makes it easy to put in a container to take on the go.
You can make the stuffing ahead and stuff the peppers and pop the entire pan in the fridge for the next day. I love to do this to make a busy night even easier. Keep in mind that you'll want to pull the dish from the fridge while the oven preheats, and then you may need to add 5-10 minutes to the cook time while covered to make sure the filling heats through.
Classic bell peppers fit the bill. Select a variety of colors, such as red, yellow, orange, or striped varieties. I prefer not to use green as they are technically unripe and therefore not as sweet as other colors. Select peppers that are similar in size. If they won't stand up in the dish, you can always cut off some of the bottom to make them level.
6 peppers will fit in a 9x13 dish. You can use any size dish that your peppers fit in. A snug fit will ensure they don't tip over during filling and cooking, so don't be afraid to squish them just a bit. Remember that they soften as they cook so you need a tight fit.
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