Stuffed Peppers seem fancy but it’s an easy meal and jam-packed with flavor!

Tender bell peppers stuffed with a zesty ground beef, sausage, rice, and tomato filling. Top this stuffed pepper recipe with cheese and bake until bubbly. 

Serve these with a fresh salad and some crusty bread (for sopping up any sauce).

cooked Easy Stuffed Peppers

An Easy Family Favorite

Bell peppers filled with a zesty filling are a recipe that everyone loves! They take a little bit of time to make but are easy to make.

  • We fill them with a saucy rice, beef, and sausage mixture. Substitute any ground meat!
  • They can be prepared ahead of time and they reheat and freeze well.
  • Stretch out the stuffed pepper filling with extra chopped veggies. If the peppers are small and you have leftover filling, fill zucchini or even wrap it cabbage roll style!
  • If you’d like them extra saucy, add extra marinara to the baking pan.
Peppers , Rice , Cheese , Onion, Tomatoes , Garlic , Beef , Marinara , Sausage and seasonings to make Easy Stuffed Peppers with labels

Ingredients for Stuffed Peppers

Meat – I use a combination of lean ground beef and Italian sausage but you can use one or the other (or even ground turkey if you prefer). If substituting the sausage, you’ll want to add some extra seasonings to the mix!

Rice – I use long-grain white rice but I do sometimes replace the rice with cooked cauliflower rice. Any rice or grain will work although you may need to adjust the liquid slightly.

Sauce – Use your fave marinara sauce or pasta sauce. Add in some herbs (fresh if you’ve got them) and onions. If you like a little heat, stir in some chili flakes.

Bell Peppers – I most often make these with green bell peppers but any sweet peppers work. If you prefer a sweeter flavor, choose red, orange, or yellow peppers.

Cheese – Cheese is optional but I love it on stuffed peppers! Use shredded cheddar or mozzarella cheese.

Stuffed Pepper recipe ingredients in a pot

How to Make Stuffed Peppers

Making stuffed bell peppers is easy, although it does take a bit of time.

  1. Brown Meat: Brown meat, onion, and garlic (per the recipe below).
  2. Cook Rice: Add tomato sauce, rice, water, and seasonings. Cook until rice is tender.
  3. Prepare Peppers: While the filling is cooking, prepare the peppers by simmering or air frying for a few minutes to soften.
  4. Fill & Bake: Fill peppers with pasta sauce, meat, and rice mixture. Sprinkle with cheese and bake until bubbly!

I usually cut my peppers across the top but you can also cut them top to bottom to make smaller portions (like in these Taco Stuffed Peppers).

Stuffed Peppers in baking dish with tomato sauce

Holly’s Tips

  • Parboil the peppers for a few minutes or add them to the air fryer at 400°F for 5 minutes to soften before stuffing.
  • Choose red, yellow, or orange bell peppers if you prefer sweeter peppers.
  • If your peppers are small you may need a few extra, this filling is also great in portobello mushrooms.
  • If you have leftover filling, stir it into a bowl of tomato soup or use it to stuff zucchini for another meal!
  • These can be made ahead and frozen.
Do you have to pre-cook peppers before stuffing them?

While you don’t have to precook the peppers, they will be quite crisp if you don’t pre-cook them. We much prefer the flavor when they’ve been cooked a bit before filling them.

How long to cook stuffed peppers.

Stuffed peppers should be cooked at about 350°F for about 45 minutes. Be sure to cover with foil during the initial 30-35 minutes to ensure they do not dry out. Uncover and top with cheese and bake for the remaining 10 minutes or so until brown and bubbly.

What goes with stuffed peppers?

These are a full meal on their own but we love to serve them with crusty bread or homemade rolls for sopping up any sauce in the bowl.

Can you freeze stuffed peppers?

Absolutely! We love stuffed peppers because they’re delicious but they also freeze beautifully. Since the filling is cooked these can be frozen either before or after baking. To reheat, thaw in the fridge overnight and cook for 30-40 minutes or until heated through.

Stuffed Pepper being lifted out of baking dish

Make Ahead & Leftovers

Keep leftovers in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 4 days.

This easy stuffed peppers recipe can be frozen either before or after baking. To Freeze Stuffed Peppers prepare as directed below and freeze in a 9 x 13-inch baking dish. Thaw in the fridge overnight and bake for 30-40 minutes or until heated through.

Once baked, leftovers can be frozen individually or together in a baking dish. To reheat, simply thaw in the fridge overnight and bake in a 350°F oven until heated through.

More Bell Pepper Recipes We Love

Bell peppers are great added to sauces, soups, stews and more! Here are a few of our favorite bell pepper recipes!

Did you make these Easy Stuffed Peppers? Leave us a rating and a comment below!

Stuffed Pepper being lifted out of baking dish
4.97 from 511 votes↑ Click stars to rate now!
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Easy Stuffed Peppers

Tender bell peppers are stuffed with a zesty beef & rice filling with tomato sauce, then baked until golden & bubbly!
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 5 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 25 minutes
Servings 6 servings


  • 6 bell peppers
  • ½ pound lean ground beef
  • ½ pound Italian sausage
  • 1 small onion diced
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 can small diced tomatoes 14 ½ ounces, with juice
  • ½ cup white rice uncooked
  • 1 ¼ cups water
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • ½ teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 2 ½ cups marinara sauce divided
  • ½ cup mozzarella or cheddar cheese shredded, optional


  • Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease a 9×13 baking dish.
  • Cut off the tops of the bell peppers, reserving them for the sauce. Remove and discard the seeds and membranes inside the peppers. Finely chop the tops and set aside for the sauce.
  • Bring a large pot of water to a boil and cook the peppers for 5 minutes. Alternatively, air fry the peppers at 400°F for 5 minutes. Remove and drain well if simmering.
  • Heat a large skillet, over medium-high heat. Add lean ground beef, Italian sausage, diced onion, and minced garlic. Brown over medium-high heat, breaking up with a spoon, until no pink remains. Drainy any fat.
  • Add diced tomatoes with juice, rice, water, diced pepper tops, Worcestershire sauce, and Italian seasoning. Season with salt and pepper.
  • Bring the mixture to a boil, reduce the heat to a low simmer, and cover. Cook for 15 to 20 minutes or until rice is tender, adding more water if needed. Remove from the heat and stir in ½ cup marinara sauce.
  • Place 1 ½ cups of marinara sauce in the bottom of the prepared pan. Add the peppers cut-side-up, and divide the rice mixture evenly over the peppers. Spoon the remaining marinara sauce over top.
  • Cover with foil and bake for 35 minutes.
  • Remove the foil and spoon the sauce from the bottom of the dish over the peppers. Top with cheese and bake uncovered for an additional 10 minutes or until cheese is melted and peppers are tender.



If you want firmer/tender-crisp peppers, skip the boiling step and bake as directed. Peppers can be pre-cooked by simmering, air frying, or baked for 15 minutes at 400°F.
Additional vegetables, such as diced zucchini or chopped mushrooms, can be added to the filling.
Stuffed peppers can be kept covered in the fridge for up to 3 days. Reheat in the oven until heated through. 
4.97 from 511 votes

Nutrition Information

Calories: 385 | Carbohydrates: 29g | Protein: 18g | Fat: 21g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Cholesterol: 64mg | Sodium: 922mg | Potassium: 933mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 11g | Vitamin A: 4255IU | Vitamin C: 166.8mg | Calcium: 137mg | Iron: 3.7mg

Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.

Course Beef, Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine American

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About the author

Holly is a wine and cheese lover, recipe creator, shopping enthusiast and self appointed foodie. Her greatest passion is creating in the kitchen and making deliciously comforting recipes for the everyday home cook!
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Recipe Rating


  1. everyone loved them! I served with Mac and cheese, corn and green beans. I have leftover meat filling and will have to see what else I can use it one. one of my dinner guests suggested making stuffed shells with the filling.
    the only thing is that 15 minutes at 400 degrees in the oven made the peppers VERY soft. I only did 35 minutes at the end and they were perfect. I suggest maybe only 10 minutes to soften the peppers.
    another win for me thanks to Spend With Pennies!5 stars

  2. Hands down, the most flavourful stuffed peppers I have ever had. I loved the addition of the Italian sausage, as it gave the filling more punch. The marinara recipe was perfect and contributed to the success of the dish.
    This recipe is definitely a keeper!5 stars

  3. These were hands down the BEST stuffed peppers I had ever made/had!!!! They were nothing but a flavor bomb in your mouth!5 stars

  4. my mother made the best stuffed Pepers and cabbage rolls, she made hers entirely different! she mixed the uncooked Rice and onions add tomatoes sauce raw hamburger and salt and pepper packed it in the peppers! she pored enough water in the bottom to keep them moist! Covered with Foil! they cooked slowly for Hours! they were always perfect! You’re way” Takes less time ! I’m willing to save time! No harm trying something New! I ll let you know how I do!5 stars

    1. Absolutely! If using only ground beef you may want to increase the Italian seasoning.

  5. I have made this recipe multiple times and my family continues to ask me to make these peppers. I LOVE boiling the peppers. Fantastic recipe!5 stars