Stuffed Peppers are loaded with seasoned Italian sausage and ground beef, hearty cooked rice, fire-roasted tomatoes and marinara, and finished off with a good helping of freshly grated cheese. These peppers come together quickly and are roasted to perfection in the oven (no need to cook the peppers ahead of time).
If you’ve never heard of or had stuffed peppers, you’re in for a treat! This meal consists of hollowed out sweet peppers, stuffed to the brim with a deliciously seasoned filling of ground beef, Italian sausage, cooked rice, tomatoes, and seasonings. Roasted to perfection, covered in cheese, and enjoyed right out of the oven, these are the best stuffed peppers!
Today I’m sharing how to make stuffed peppers, how to freeze them, what to serve on the side, and plenty of variation ideas. Let’s get started!
How to make Stuffed Peppers
The descriptions below correlate with the photos above.
- Sauté the onion until tender, add in the garlic, and then the tomato paste.
- While veggies and meat are getting nice and tender, cook the rice. In the recipe card, I share a foolproof way to cooking basmati rice that will give you perfect fluffy rice every time — basmati rice is phenomenal in these peppers.
- This photo shows the exact bouillon cubes I use — they’re larger than the ones you’ll see in bouillon jars. I like Knorr® beef bouillon cubes for this recipe.
- Up-close image of the seasonings (Italian seasoning, dried thyme, dried oregano, and salt, and pepper)
- Cook the sausage and beef until no longer pink
- Add in the cooked rice, fire–roasted tomatoes, and all the seasonings (including the bouillon and Worcestershire sauce)
- Add in the marinara sauce and stir to combine; the filling is ready now!
- Prep the bell peppers — Slice off the tops, remove the ribs from inside, and load in the filling.
Should I blanch the peppers before stuffing?
This is a common question for stuffed peppers, and some recipes do require it. For this recipe though, no blanching is required–Yay!) The peppers fully cook to a nice crisp-tender state that are easily cut through with a table knife.
More easy dinner recipes:
- Pasta Soup with Italian sausage
- Sweet Potato Burrito Bowls reader favorite
- Rotisserie Chicken Tacos ready in about 20 minutes
- Chicken Ramen easy skillet meal
- Chicken Stir Fry with a delicious sauce
These Stuffed Peppers are loaded with seasoned Italian sausage and ground beef, hearty cooked rice, fire-roasted tomatoes and marinara, and finished off with a good helping of freshly grated cheese. These peppers come together quickly and are roasted to perfection in the oven (no need to cook the peppers ahead of time!)
- 1/2 cup uncooked basmati rice
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil plus more for drizzling
- 1 and 1/2 cups diced yellow onion (~1 medium onion)
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic (~3 cloves)
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1/2 pound lean ground beef
- 1/2 pound mild (or hot) Italian sausage
- 1 can (14.5 ounces) fire-roasted diced tomatoes
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- salt and pepper, to taste (I use 1/2 teaspoon of each)
- 1 large beef bouillon cube Note 1
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1/2 cup good quality marinara sauce (I like Raos)
- 6 large sweet bell peppers (yellow, red, orange) tops and cores removed
- 1 and 1/4 cup freshly grated sharp Cheddar cheese
- freshly chopped parsley for garnish
COOK RICE: Place rice in a fine-mesh sieve and rinse in cold water for 2-3 minutes or until water runs clear from the strainer. Place uncooked rice in a bowl and soak in cold water while you bring a very large pot of water to boil over high heat. Once water is boiling, salt the water (a teaspoon or so). Drain the rice through the sieve and add to the boiling water. Cook, stirring occasionally, for exactly 5 minutes (do not reduce temperature; it should be boiling). Drain the rice and set aside.
FILLING: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Once the oil is shimmering, add in the onion and cook until soft, about 5-8 minutes. Stir in the garlic and tomato paste and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute more. Add ground beef and Italian sausage and cook, breaking up meat with a wooden spoon, until no longer pink, about 5-8 minutes. Drain any fat and return the skillet to stovetop. Reduce heat to low.
FILLING CONT.: Stir in cooked and drained rice, undrained diced tomatoes, oregano, thyme, Italian seasoning, and salt and pepper to taste. Crumble in the bouillon cube and add in the Worcestershire sauce and marinara. Stir and simmer for 3-5 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until liquid has slightly reduced.
PEPPERS: Meanwhile, remove the tops of the peppers (reserve for use) and pull out the core and seeds. Place the hollowed out peppers (without their tops) in a 9x13-inch pan . Drizzle oil over the peppers (about 1 tablespoon). Stuff the peppers evenly with the filling; you should use all the filling between the 6 peppers. Cover the peppers with the pepper tops. Place in the oven for 35 minutes, uncovered, or until peppers are crisp tender. Remove from the oven and remove the tops of the peppers (set aside). Divide the grated cheese evenly among the top of the peppers. Return to the oven for another 5-10 minutes or until cheese is nicely melted on top. Remove, garnish with fresh herbs if desired, and serve with the tops on the side.