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Classic Stuffed Peppers were one of the first “grown up” dinners I learned to cook. Of that early repertoire, they remain the recipe I cook most, because with rice, ground beef, cheese, and veggies, they are an all-in-one meal! Plus, they’re easy to make AND absolutely delicious.

Baked stuffed peppers with rice in a white casserole dish

Why You’ll Love This Stuffed Peppers Recipe

  • The Total Package. The beauty of stuffed vegetables (like Stuffed Zucchini) is that your serving of vegetables is built right in! Add rice and protein, and you’re in biz.
  • Easy. You don’t need to cook the peppers before stuffing them.
  • Budget-Friendly. Stuffed peppers turn humble, affordable ingredients like rice and ground beef into a well-rounded meal (don’t miss these other Ground Beef Dinner Ideas for more wallet-friendly meals).
  • Loved the World Over. Similar to Cabbage Rolls, different cultures have different variations on this recipe, but these are the best stuffed peppers if you’re looking for that classic version so many of us grew up with. Feel free to change up the kind of meat, swap the rice for another grain (like in Quinoa Stuffed Peppers), or use whatever cheese is in your refrigerator.
  • Meal Prep and Freezer-Friendly. Don’t miss all of my tips below to make this recipe in advance to enjoy this week, or months from now. Meal prep options make these perfect for a weeknight dinner!
The BEST stuffed peppers on a plate with arugula salad

5 Star Review

“These are SO GOOD! Definitely our favorite stuffed pepper recipe, and we’ve tried many. Whole family loved them, including the picky toddler which is saying something.”

— Nicole —

How to Make Easy Stuffed Peppers

The Ingredients

  • Bell Peppers. Use any mixture of colors you desire. Red are my favorite, but green work too!
  • Ground Beef. Not just for Hamburger Casserole! Lean ground beef is hearty and pairs nicely with the spices, tomatoes, and cheeses. You could also make these stuffed peppers with ground turkey, chicken, or sausage (Italian or regular).
  • Brown Rice. To cook rice, see How to Cook Brown Rice on the stove top, or make Instant Pot Brown Rice. For stuffed peppers without rice, try this recipe with quinoa, farro, cauliflower rice, or al dente orzo instead.
  • Fire-Roasted Tomatoes. A can of diced fire-roasted tomatoes is a simple change that adds a more complex flavor without sacrificing moisture. You could also use tomato sauce.
  • Fresh Spinach. Fresh spinach cooks down and blends seamlessly into the filling, sneaking in some additional veg.
  • Cheese. I used a combination of pepper jack cheese and sharp cheddar cheese. If you want a less spicy version of the recipe, swap the pepper Jack for more cheddar, or use gouda, muenster, or mozzarella.
  • Spices. Italian seasoning, cumin, garlic powder (which is quicker and easier than garlic cloves), salt, and pepper make this from-scratch filling far from one-note.
stuffed peppers with ground beef in a baking dish with quinoa, cheese, and Italian herbs

The Directions

  1. Slice the Bell Peppers. Lay them in a baking dish.
Ground beef in a skillet with sautéed onions and spices
  1. Brown the Beef. Add the seasonings.
Spinach being added to a skillet of ground beef
  1. Add the Spinach. It will wilt pretty quickly.
A skillet with ground meat and vegetables with bowls of quinoa and shredded cheese next to it
  1. Add the Tomatoes. Canned is perfect and gives a more interesting texture than tomato sauce.
Cheese and quinoa being added to a skillet of ground beef and vegetables for stuffed peppers
  1. Add the Grains and Cheese. Rice and quinoa are my favorites. I love a mix of cheeses.
Uncooked classic stuffed peppers with quinoa in a baking dish
  1. Fill the Peppers. Then top with more cheese!
  2. Pour a Little Water in the Dish. This is my trick so you don’t have to precook the peppers.
  3. Bake. Cook stuffed peppers in the oven at 375 degrees F until tender. ENJOY!
cheesy stuffed peppers in oven served on a plate with salad

Recipe Variations

Making Stuffed Peppers in Advance

Options 1: Prep the Filling In Advance

  • Cut and core the bell peppers up to 1 day in advance and refrigerate.
  • Cook the filling as directed up to 1 day in advance. Let cool, then refrigerate.
  • Assemble and bake peppers as directed just before serving.

Option 2: Freezer Stuffed Peppers

  • Prepare and stuff the peppers as directed. Freeze before cooking for up to 3 months.
  • When ready to bake, thaw overnight in the fridge, and bake as directed.

What to Serve with Stuffed Peppers

Recipe Tips and Tricks

  • Don’t Overbake the Peppers. If your stuffed peppers are soggy, you likely cooked them too long.
  • Make Sure the Peppers are Fork Tender. When properly baked, you should be able to easily pierce the stuffed peppers with a fork. If the peppers aren’t tender when the cheese is melted, and the filling is hot, simply tent the pan with foil and continue baking until they are.
  • Cut the Pepper in Half from Stem to End. When making stuffed peppers in the oven, I find splitting them from top to bottom best. It allows you to lay the peppers flat on their back in the baking dish, which makes for easier stuffing. If all of your peppers don’t fit in one pan, you can bake the extras in a second, smaller baking dish such as an 8×8-inch pan.
Recipe for stuffed peppers with rice and cheese arranged in a casserole and baked in the oven

Stuffed Peppers

4.86 from 55 votes
Classic stuffed peppers with rice, ground beef, and cheese are an all-in-one meal that's easy to make and absolutely delicious!

Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 40 minutes
Total: 50 minutes

Servings: 8 pepper halves


  • 4 large bell peppers any mix of colors you like; red is our favorite
  • 1 pound lean ground beef or swap for ground turkey or ground chicken
  • 1 small yellow onion diced
  • 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 cups roughly torn fresh spinach
  • 1 (15-ounce) can fire-roasted diced tomatoes with juices
  • 1 cup cooked brown rice or farro, quinoa, cauliflower rice, or orzo (if using orzo, undercook it slightly)
  • 1/2 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup shredded pepper jack cheese or additional cheddar
  • For serving: chopped fresh parsley or cilantro


  • Preheat your oven to 375°F. Lightly coat a 9×13-inch baking dish with nonstick spray. Slice the bell peppers in half from top to bottom down through the stem. Remove the seeds and membranes, then arrange cut side up in the prepared baking dish.
  • Heat a Dutch oven or similar deep, wide skillet over medium-high. Add the beef and onion. With a wooden spoon or spatula, break the meat into small pieces. Cook and stir until the meat is browned and fully cooked and the onion is tender, about 7 minutes. Drain off any excess fat.
  • Stir in the Italian seasoning, cumin, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Let cook for 30 seconds.
  • Stir in the spinach a few handfuls at a time, cooking until it wilts down; this will take between 1 and 2 minutes.
  • Pour in the can of diced tomatoes along with the juices. Let simmer for 1 minute.
  • Remove the pan from the heat. Stir in the rice (or your grain of choice), 1/4 cup of the cheddar, and 1/4 cup of the pepper jack. Taste and add additional salt and/or pepper as desired.
  • With a spoon, mound the filling inside the peppers, then top with the remaining cheeses. The peppers will be very full.
  • Pour a bit of water into the pan with the peppers—just enough to scantly cover the bottom of the pan. I like to put the water in a liquid measuring cup, then carefully pour it around the outside (be careful not to pour it into the peppers themselves).
  • Bake the stuffed peppers uncovered for 30 to 35 minutes, or until the peppers are tender and the cheese is melted. Top with parsley or cilantro. Serve hot.



  • TO STORE: Refrigerate stuffed peppers in an airtight storage container for up to 4 days.
  • TO REHEAT: Rewarm leftovers in a baking dish in the oven at 350 degrees F.
  • TO FREEZE: Freeze peppers in an airtight freezer-safe storage container for up to 3 months. Let thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.
  • TO MAKE AHEAD: Cut and core the bell peppers up to 1 day in advance, and refrigerate them in an airtight storage container. Cook the filling as directed up to 1 day in advance. Let cool, then refrigerate it in a separate airtight storage container. Fill and bake peppers as directed just before serving.


Serving: 1pepper half (of 8)Calories: 201kcalCarbohydrates: 14gProtein: 18gFat: 8gSaturated Fat: 4gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 49mgPotassium: 432mgFiber: 3gSugar: 4gVitamin A: 2916IUVitamin C: 80mgCalcium: 153mgIron: 3mg

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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 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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  1. I’m only an occasional cook, so I appreciate the simplicity! It came out well, I really enjoyed it, and will keep it in mind for the future.5 stars

  2. Love this! Made this last night. Unfortunately due to an onion allergy and garlic sensitivity, I have to omit these ingredients, but it was tasty nonetheless! I do think next time I will add black beans and maybe some chili powder! My husband just said I need to get more peppers to make it again! Thank you for sharing!5 stars

  3. Absolutely delicious! I did add celery as I had a LOT on hand and also chopped fresh cherry tomatoes with basil in my mix. Cleaning excesses out of the kitchen and they turned out wonderful!5 stars

  4. I added feta cheese and red pepper flakes to the meat mixture and it was perfect! Added the kick I was looking for in the dish. I will try your other recipes next time.5 stars

  5. This is by far the most often used recipe in my house. My kids loved them. I make it at least once a month and I make enough for leftovers. They are so tasty and honestly, not very difficult to make. T5 stars

  6. Loved this dish! Made for the second time tonight with only a few tweaks for personal preferences. My husband dislikes garlic powder so I used onion powder instead, I also added some chopped celery for additional flavor.5 stars

  7. Excellent recipe! I mix 1/2 spicy Italian sausage and 1/2 ground beef. They also freeze great! For two of us I make the full recipe and then serve half for dinner and freeze the other half for a quick meal the next day.5 stars

  8. I used small green peppers picked from our garden this morning. I added a packet of spicy taco seasoning in the mixture and it was just the boost that I needed. Overall easy and delicious.5 stars

  9. What a great idea to cut them in half rather than try to stand them up to roast. A friend gave me lovely peppers from her garden. I wound up using 4 and had just the right amount of stuffing and perfect for 2 nights. I thought they were even better reheated.5 stars

  10. I made these peppers last night. Followed your recipe, and added a little shredded carrot along with celery. They were a hit at my house. I will be making these again.5 stars

  11. Amazing! Made exactly as written. Like comfort-food from my childhood but so much better! I love the combination of spices that you used. It’s a savory, well-seasoned, balanced dish. I had too much filling so we will roll that up in a tortilla or something for tomorrow.5 stars

  12. Wow! These are amazing! We embellished it the second time with extra pepper jack cheese. Definitely one of our go to’s from now on. A whole meal in a tiny package.5 stars

  13. I really liked this recipe. I used our own garden-grown chemical-free onions, tomatoes and multi-colored bell peppers. I love the simplicity of this recipe and the fact that I always have leftovers for another meal. I’m not a big rice fan so I replaced the rice with quinoa and it still came out delicious!5 stars

  14. Thank you Erin for this amazing recipe! We had stuffed peppers at a guest house we stayed at in Atlanta and I have been searching for a replica and was so thrilled to have found it on your site! Made this last night. The combination of flavors was absolutely fantastic. I LOVED IT!5 stars

  15. These were really good and an easy dinner for a busy weekday night! I made a couple changes based on what I had available and considering the spice factor for my kids and it still turned out great.5 stars

  16. I made this last night. It was great. I stuffed 2 peppers and 2 portobellos. Fantastic. I had left over filling so I had it for breakfast over mashed russet and sweet potatoes. That was really good too. Thank you for a delicious and easy recipe.5 stars

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