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A plate of stuffed bell peppers.

Stuffed Bell Peppers

These classic Stuffed Bell Peppers are filled with beef, rice, and tomatoes, and they taste better than you remember. Assemble them a day or two ahead for a quick 30-minute meal during the week.
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Calories 649kcal



  • Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large pot over high heat, bring 4 quarts water and 1 tablespoon salt to boil. Add the bell peppers and cook until they begin to soften, about 3 minutes.
  • Remove the peppers from the water, allowing any excess water to drain back into the pot. Place the peppers, cut-side down, on a paper-towel lined plate.
  • Return the water to a boil. Add the rice and cook uncovered until tender, about 13-15 minutes. Drain thoroughly and transfer to a large bowl.
  • Meanwhile, in a 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat, heat oil until shimmering. Add onion and cook until softened, about 5 minutes.
  • Stir in beef and cook until no longer pink, about 5 minutes, breaking up clumps with a wooden spoon. Stir in the garlic until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
  • Transfer beef mixture to the bowl with rice. Add the tomatoes and their juice, ketchup, parsley, and 1 cup of the cheese and stir to combine. Season to taste with salt and pepper (I like 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper).
  • Place the peppers, cut-side up, in a 9 by 9-inch baking dish. Divide the filling evenly among the peppers. Sprinkle them with the remaining 1/4 cup cheese. Bake until the cheese is browned and the filling is heated through, about 30 minutes.



  1. Bell peppers: Try to buy peppers that are evenly sized and that can sit up on their own. If you can only find peppers that are lop-sided, don't worry. Just trim off a thin layer of the bottom with a sharp knife to make them stand up.
  2. Tomatoes: If you prefer to drain the canned tomatoes, reserve 1/4 cup of the juice and add it with the tomatoes in step 6.
  3. Yield: This recipe makes 4 hearty, colorful Stuffed Peppers filled with meat, rice, and spices. The recipe doubles or triples easily for larger gatherings.
  4. Storage: Store leftovers covered in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
  5. Make ahead: 2 or 3 days in advance, make the filling and stuff the peppers, but don't sprinkle on the extra cheese. Wrap the baking dish with foil and refrigerate. When you're ready for dinner, sprinkle on the cheese, re-wrap in foil, and bake covered 350 for 20 minutes. Remove the foil and bake 10 minutes longer, until these cheese is bubbly and browning.


Serving: 1pepper | Calories: 649kcal | Carbohydrates: 36g | Protein: 32g | Fat: 41g | Saturated Fat: 17g | Cholesterol: 112mg | Sodium: 412mg | Potassium: 815mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 12g | Vitamin A: 5652IU | Vitamin C: 215mg | Calcium: 315mg | Iron: 4mg