Classic Stuffed Peppers
What is it about the smell of classic stuffed peppers that gets me right in the feels? It’s the best of simple ingredients–fresh beef, onions, tomatoes, and seasonings that come together in their own little portable, edible bowls.
But here’s my secret:
While these classic stuffed peppers are really tasty, I’ve been ruined on them.
I blame my mother.
And her Texas Hash. Good heavens.
As a kid my mom forced me to eat it. It’s basically a deconstructed stuffed pepper made with all the same ingredients–and the first time I made these peppers for Jeremy, we sat down, took a bite and looked at each other–” Texas Hash,” we said.
Even my husband has been subjected to a big plate of it. He’s scarred too.
I was digging deep for you on this recipe.
Now if I’m being totally honest, these peppers are great. They have the basic ingredients, no fuss and no frills, and they really are the best slate for you to experiment with. And I actually like every single ingredient that’s in them, just as long as my mom doesn’t make them.
I know you will enjoy them–if your mom didn’t ruin you with years of Texas Hash.
How to make these classic stuffed peppers
- Make these stuffed peppers with any rice you like. I prefer brown but I only had white on hand so I went with it. It does need to be cooked before you put it in the peppers.
- Ground turkey would also work well in place of the beef if you want a healthier stuffed pepper recipe. They are already fairly healthy, but you can lighten them further by changing the meat you use.
- Remember that if your peppers won’t stand up in the dish, just cut a little bit off the bottom. Try not to cut into the pepper though. You don’t want to lose your filling. I used three very large peppers in this recipe. If your peppers are smaller you can probably fill 5-6 easily.
- Swap the tomato sauce for pasta sauce and some fancy parmesan cheese for an Italian flare.
- If you’re in to Mexican flavors, use salsa and pepper jack cheese mixed in. So many options! I have a great post on how to use leftover taco meat any extra filling would work great in.
Save time and skip cooking rice with this trick
Unless you keep cooked rice on hand, waiting 20 minutes or more for a batch to cook can feel like one extra step in your day you just don’t have time for. Instead, cut right to the chase with Thrive Life freeze dried brown or white rice. Simply refresh the cooked rice by pouring over a bit of warm water and in just a few minutes it’s ready to go in your next recipe.
No time to cook rice?No problem.
Get fluffy, tender brown or white rice with just a bit of warm water and a few minutes of soak time with Thrive Life’s freeze dried rice.
It’s already cooked and just waiting for you to transform it in your favorite recipes.
To make these stuffed peppers ahead:
Cook the filling, stuff the peppers and wrap them in plastic wrap. Place them in the fridge till ready to bake, up to 2 days ahead. Don’t freeze the peppers stuffed or they will go soggy on you when they thaw. The filling freezes great though!
You may need to cover them loosely with some foil for the first half of their bake time to keep them from drying out, then uncover them for the last half or until they are hot all the way through.
You could also deconstruct this (aka Texas Hash) and brown the beef, drain and add the remaining ingredients. Dice the peppers and add them to the skillet then bake it up in in the oven. Easy stuff! And it would make ahead like a dream. Even better for busy nights.
Serve yours with a batch of crispy southern cornbread and you’ll have dinner heaven. If you want to learn how to make cornbread, I’ll show you!
Watch the full recipe on YouTube!!
Classic Stuffed Peppers
- 4 very large green bell peppers or about 5 small ones
- 15 ounce can tomato sauce
- 1/2 pound ground beef or turkey
- 1/3 cup chopped onion
- 1 cup cooked brown or white rice
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
- Cut the tops off the peppers and remove the seeds. Place the peppers in a large saucepan and cover with water. Bring to a simmer and cook 3 minutes, just until the peppers are slightly soft. Drain, rinse with cool water and set aside on paper towels to drain.
- In a skillet, heat the ground beef and onion and cook until no pink remains. Drain.
- Add the salt, pepper, rice, garlic powder and half of the tomato sauce.
- Stir well and spoon into the peppers.
- Top with the other half of the tomato sauce.
- Bake in an ungreased dish at 350 for 25-30 minutes. Serve warm.
I found a quarter cup of rice per extra large pepper to be too little but the recipe aside from that is good and it is easy to make good variations.
It certainly depends on the size of the pepper. The recipe calls for a standard size pepper and not an extra large so adjustments would need to be made. –Rachel
I’m a vegan but use this recipe all the time. I just sub Impossible Burger for the beef and use vegan cheese shreds. I love the simplicity of ingredients, so much like how my mom used to make them. I haven’t tried the “hash” version yet, but it’s on my list.
Wanted to make for my brother as a birthday gift. Best way to reheat? Was going to place in a foil pan. He is not much of a cook, but I remember he loved them Was going to make turkey version as he is in his 70s and tries to watch what he eats.
Hi Jill, I’d just cover them with some foil and bake at 375 or so until the middle is hot. –Rachel
Love this recipe!! I was a little hesitant freezing, but it was as delicious as it was fresh. Thank you for sharing.
I’ve made this recipe so many times! My rating of 5 stars is for the original recipe, but I also want to offer the alterations I’ve made over time. First, the sauce I use is the Prego roasted garlic and herbs sauce. Second, I do not soften the peppers before stuffing them. Third, I do not top off with any additional sauce. Fourth, I mix a couple handfuls of Kroger Italian blend cheese (Parmesan, romano, and asiago mix) directly into the mixture while it’s heating. Fifth, I cover tightly with foil and bake for 25 minutes. Sixth, I take off the foil, sprinkle as much cheese as I can on top of it, and put it in for another 5 minutes. Again, my rating is based on the original recipe, but I also wanted to share the changes I made because it takes it to another level 😊
I also want to add that I cut around the core and leave as much of the lip as possible, and then cut it in half, making sure that the two flattest sides are parallel to the cut. It makes it wayyyy easier to eat, and the lip helps ensure no stuffing falls out. I don’t alter the cooking time at all.
Those are great tips Becca! I’m sure my readers will love your help. –Rachel
Anxious to try – sounds yummy! I am a diabetic, so will probably not add the rice, just veggies. See all the difference versions. Thank you for sharing. Annabelle
You’re welcome Annabelle!