If there ever were a weeknight meal that could easily be packaged in a pretty bow, it’s Instant Pot Stuffed Peppers. Sweet, colorful bell peppers stuffed with a chili- and cumin-infused turkey filling (or chicken or beef) pack big Tex-Mex flavors. Add the fact that the meat cooks neatly inside the peppers, and now you have a true gift for every busy cook.

Healthy Instant Pot stuffed peppers

This low-carb dish takes easiness to the maximum. It makes time in the kitchen feel like a relief.

Stuffed peppers (and stuffed vegetables generally) may be the dinner I cook most frequently if I kept a tally. It’s just too hard to resist such a nutritious meal in one snug package!

Italian Stuffed Peppers and Mexican Stuffed Peppers have been my (and my readers’) favorite way to combine a lean protein, whole grain, and vegetables in a single, scrumptious bundle.

And of course, I couldn’t even let my cookbook go to print without a stuffed peppers recipe (Taco Stuffed Mini Peppers. YUM!). So, get your copy here to taste my best version yet.

These Instant Pot stuffed peppers have a tremendous advantage over other cooking methods: you do not need to cook the meat first before stuffing the peppers.

Just like my Crockpot Stuffed Peppers (a stand-out amongst the ever-expanding list of slow cooker recipes on my site), the meat cooks directly inside the peppers in the Instant Pot. You don’t need to brown it first, saving you a step, and pan to wash.

A set-it-and-forget-it meal that tastes fantastic and leaves me fewer dishes in the end? Now THAT is my kind of gift!

A pressure cooker with stuffed peppers

The Best Way to Cut Stuffed Peppers

The way you cut bell peppers prior to stuffing them depends upon the method you’re using to cook them.

  • Option 1: Keep the Peppers Whole and Slice Off the Pepper Top.
    • This method is preferable for cooking peppers in the instant pot or slow cooker, where the peppers are packed tightly side by side.
    • The high walls of the slow cooker or instant pot help support the peppers (unlike a shorter casserole dish).
  • Option 2: Split the Pepper in Half from Top to Bottom.
    • This method is preferable for when you are cooking the peppers in a baking dish.
    • In a baking dish or pan, a half pepper rests easily on its back, so you don’t have to balance it standing up.

Since we’re cooking stuffed peppers in the Instant Pot, we’ll be using Option 1.

Instant Pot stuffed peppers in a baking dish

How To Make Instant Pot Stuffed Peppers

The Ingredients

  • Bell Peppers. The perfect base for our all-in-one healthy meal package. Bell peppers hold their shape well and complement whatever flavors you stuff inside them.
  • Ground Turkey. For lean, tasty protein, I chose to use ground turkey. Ground chicken or beef would also work well here.
  • Brown Rice. If you prefer to make Instant Pot stuffed peppers with no rice, feel free to use a different whole grain of choice. Instant Pot stuffed peppers with quinoa are a popular, healthy option. I would not recommend cooking Instant Pot stuffed peppers with cauliflower rice because the filling would likely get too watery and mushy in the Instant Pot.
  • Spices. To make our stuffed peppers POP! I used a mixture of chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, onion powder, and a dash of cayenne pepper for some heat.
  • Diced Tomatoes + Green Chiles. Not only are we using a can of green chiles on their own, but we’re also using a can of diced tomatoes with green chiles. They add a fun, zesty twist to our stuffed pepper filling!
  • Shredded Cheese. My favorite component of a stuffed pepper is the undeniably delicious cheesy lid. Monterey Jack, pepper jack, cheddar, or a similar cheese will work great here.

The Directions

  1. Add water to the Instant Pot.
    Bell peppers being sliced
  2. Slice the peppers, removing the seeds and membranes.
    Halved vegetables in a pressure cooker
  3. Place the peppers in the Instant Pot on a trivet.
    Ground turkey with spices
  4. Add the turkey and spices to a mixing bowl.
    Tomatoes and green chiles in a bowl
  5. Pour in the tomatoes and green chiles.
    Cheese, rice, tomatoes, and meat in a bowl
  6. Add the rice and part of the shredded cheese.
    Filling for Instant Pot stuffed peppers
  7. Stir until combined.
    Stuffed bell peppers in an Instant Pot
  8. Mound the filling into the peppers. Cook on HIGH (manual) pressure for 10 minutes. Immediately vent.
  9. Top the peppers with the remaining cheese. Cover the Instant Pot with the lid and let it sit. Serve the peppers with toppings and ENJOY!
Instant Pot stuffed peppers in a baking dish with cheese

How To Store Instant Pot Stuffed Peppers

  • To Store. Refrigerate leftovers in an airtight storage container for up to 4 days.
  • To Reheat. Rewarm stuffed peppers in a baking dish in the oven at 350 degrees F. You can also reheat them gently in the microwave (cut them into a few pieces first to help them cook evenly).
  • To Freeze. Freeze stuffed peppers in an airtight freezer-safe storage container for up to 3 months. Let thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.

What to Serve with Instant Pot Stuffed Peppers

Cheesy Instant Pot stuffed peppers

More Ways to Enjoy Stuffed Peppers

Instant Pot stuffed peppers

Recommended Tools to Make This Recipe

Healthy Instant Pot stuffed peppers

Instant Pot Stuffed Peppers

4.59 from 17 votes
Easy Instant Pot Stuffed Peppers with seasoned ground turkey or beef, rice, and tomatoes. Just 10 minutes cook time! Healthy and scrumptious.

Prep: 20 mins
Cook: 10 mins
Total: 35 mins

Servings: 4 peppers

Ingredients
  

  • 4 large bell peppers – any colors you like our favorites are red and green
  • 1 pound ground turkey or ground chicken or lean ground beef
  • 1 tablespoon ground chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper optional, if you like your peppers extra spicy
  • 1 10-ounce can diced tomatoes and green chiles in their juices (such as Rotel)
  • 1 4-ounce can diced green chiles in their juices
  • 1 1/2 cups cooked brown rice or cooked grain of choice, such as quinoa
  • 1 1/4 cup shredded cheese – Monterey Jack pepper jack, cheddar, or similar cheese, divided (I used sharp cheddar)
  • Cilantro salsa, non-fat plain Greek yogurt, or any of your favorite toppings (optional, for serving)

Instructions
 

  • Place the trivet in your Instant Pot. Pour in 1 cup water (if using a 6-quart model) or 1 ½ cups water (if using an 8-quart model).
  • Cut off the tops of the peppers. With your fingers, gently pull out the seeds and membranes so that you have hollowed out pepper “shells.” If you are having trouble loosening the inner membranes of the peppers, use a dull butter knife to gently press them loose.
  • Stand the peppers up in the Instant Pot, nestling them beside each other so that they stay upright.
  • In a large mixing bowl, place the turkey. Sprinkle the chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, black pepper, and cayenne pepper over the top.
  • Next, pour in the diced tomatoes in green chiles and the can of green chilis.
  • Last, add the rice and ¾ cup shredded cheese (doing the ingredients in this order makes them easier to combine).
  • With a fork, gently stir to combine all of the ingredients as evenly as possible, being careful not to compact or overwork the meat. Make sure the spices are evenly distributed.
  • With a spoon, scoop the filling and lower it down into the peppers by heaping spoonfuls. Divide it evenly between the peppers and fill the peppers all the way to the top. The peppers will be very full.
  • Close and seal the Instant Pot. Cook on high (manual) pressure for 10 minutes (depending upon your model, the button may also say “pressure cook”). Once the pressure has built and the 10-minute timer has elapsed, immediately vent to release any remaining pressure.
  • Carefully open the Instant Pot. The meat should be completely cooked through at this point, but if you want to be 100% certain, test it with an instant read thermometer – it should be at 165 degrees F (if it is not for some reason, reseal and cook 1 to 2 additional minutes; if it's close (160 or more) a few minutes rest without cooking further should carry it over to a safe temperature. Sprinkle the remaining 1/2 cup cheese on top of the peppers. Replace the lid (no need to seal) and let sit for a minute to allow the cheese to melt.
  • With tongs, gently lift the peppers onto serving plates (some water may drip off as you lift; this is moisture that built as the peppers cooked; simply let it drip back into the pot as you lift out the peppers). Serve hot, sprinkled with fresh cilantro and any of your favorite toppings.

Notes

  • TO STORE: Refrigerate leftovers in an airtight storage container for up to 4 days. 
  • TO REHEAT: Rewarm stuffed peppers in a baking dish in the oven at 350 degrees F. 
  • TO FREEZE: Freeze stuffed peppers in an airtight freezer-safe storage container for up to 3 months. Let thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating. 

Nutrition

Serving: 1(of 4)Calories: 408kcalCarbohydrates: 31gProtein: 40gFat: 14gSaturated Fat: 8gCholesterol: 94mgPotassium: 894mgFiber: 6gSugar: 7gVitamin A: 4789IUVitamin C: 168mgCalcium: 326mgIron: 4mg

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Erin Clarke

Hi, I'm Erin Clarke, and I'm fearlessly dedicated to making healthy food that's affordable, easy-to-make, and best of all DELISH. I'm the author and recipe developer here at wellplated.com and of The Well Plated Cookbook. I adore both sweets and veggies, and I am on a mission to save you time and dishes. WELCOME!

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39 Comments

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  1. I made this for dinner last night and it was great. I have often made stuffed peppers thinking they will be delicious and then they turn out kind of bland. That was not the case with these. They have a great flavor and the leftovers were just as good. I used 6 small/medium peppers instead of 4 large and it worked out fine. Thanks for another great recipe Erin! My family loves you!5 stars

    1. I made this and like the recipe. I used brown rice and it was not fully cooked after 10 minutes as instructed. Was it supposed to be cooked before adding. In the future, I would cook the rice first. Instead of powered onion, I sauteed half an onion and 3 minced garlic cloves. I used one can of dices tomatoes and cheddar cheese. It was delicious and a little crunchy due to the rice. I would make it again. It was yummu.5 stars

      1. I’m so happy that you enjoyed the peppers, Cindy! Yes, the recipe calls for cooked rice, so that should help with the texture for next time. Thank you for trying the recipe!

  2. Supremely easy and super tasty! I’m keto, so I subbed cauliflower rice, and it’s delightful. I’m always looking for new Instant Pot recipes. Thanks for dinner!!5 stars

  3. My hubby and I really enjoyed these, I followed the recipe exactly. The only question I have is that they were a little watery once you cut them open, do you have any suggestions for eliminating all of the extra water? Maybe drain the tomatoes? Flavor was spot on though!5 stars

    1. I’m so happy that you enjoyed the recipe, Nichole! I’ve only tested the recipe as written, but I think you could play around with using less juice from the tomatoes.

    2. Made this for our dinner last night, it turned out perfect. I used 5 homegrown peppers, had some meat mixture left over so I baked it separately in my oven. Recipe was very easy to follow. This is my go to bell pepper recipe from now on, I had been trying to find a good recipe and this is the best. And my husband was very happy5 stars

  4. Can I sub basmati rice for the other and still cook for 10 min. in the instant pot or should the time be adjusted? Thanks

    1. Hi Denise! I haven’t tried it myself, but I think you could experiment with cooked basmati rice and prepare the recipe as directed. I hope you enjoy it!

  5. Light and flavorful. I was worried that they would be to heavy as stuffed peppers I’ve had in past but these had amazing texture and flavor. Bookmarked. Will be my go to recipe from here on out. Thank you5 stars

  6. Great recipe. The family loved it. The peppers were nice and tender and everything was full of flavour. I did put them under broil in the oven just so the cheese was nice and bubbly but that only took a few extra minutes.5 stars

  7. These were delicious. I cooked the brown rice in the Instant Pot before doing anything. Prior to pressure cooking, I pierced the bottoms of the peppers with a sharp knife a couple of times so the excess liquid could drain off, and used a grapefruit spoon to clean out the peppers before stuffing them. The seasonings were spot on. Will definitely make again.5 stars

  8. This was a fantastic recipe!! I’d have to say that these were the best stuffed bell peppers that I’ve ever made! The directions were easy to follow, and it was nice having access to the video clips, as well as the pictures that accompanied each step of the recipe. I can’t eat food that is too spicy, and this recipe had the perfect balance of seasonings–just enough to compliment the taste of the bell peppers. Thanks again for sharing this great recipe with us!5 stars

  9. Hey. I am planning on doing these for dinner tonight. You put the ground meat in uncooked? Or you cook the meat first? Thanks. Anxious to try these

  10. Turned out delicious. I will keep this is Karenmy go to recipe for stuffed peppers. Thank you! says:

    Turned out delicious. I will keep this is my go to recipe for stuffed peppers. Thank you5 stars

  11. I made the Mexican version of this recipe and it was delicious! I had homegrown green peppers and I used grass fed beef because that’s what I had. I’ll make it again using ground turkey. I only had four smallish peppers so I used them and put the extra filling in two custard cups.

    I topped mine with fresh homemade tomato sauce. Excellent recipe and easy to follow directions with numerous variations. So good!5 stars

  12. Going forward this will be the only way I make Stuffed Peppers. Made this for dinner tonight for my hubby/easy recipe and we absolutely loved the it. I used the exact ingredients it called for, wouldn’t change a thing! Our peppers were small, from our garden, I used 5 and had stuffing left over which I baked in the oven in another dish. Thank you for sharing it!5 stars

    1. Hi Chris, I’m sorry to hear that this dish didn’t turn out for you. Did you happen to see my notes in the recipe card about adding more time it it was up to temperature? I know it’s frustrating to try a new recipe and not have it turn out as expected, so I truly wish you would’ve enjoyed it!

  13. I made these last night and they were delicious! I set my Instant Pot to 11 minutes and let it vent naturally for 5 minutes before opening. This was not long enough as the peppers only reached 140 degrees. I then cooked for an additional 3 minutes and let it vent naturally for 7 minutes. They were then up to temperature. My peppers were rather large so that could have made a difference. My husband wants these on our dinner rotation.5 stars