Skip to Content

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. 

one green pepper stuffed with meat on a small white plate with a baking dish full of green stuffed peppers in the background on a wooden cutting board

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!

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.

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.

one green stuffed pepper on a small white plate on a red napkin

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!!

one green pepper stuffed with meat on a small white plate with a baking dish full of green stuffed peppers in the background on a wooden cutting board

Classic Stuffed Peppers

Classic stuffed peppers go the traditional route and deliver the familiar flavors you crave.
4.78 from 44 votes
Print Pin Save Recipe
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Servings: 4
Calories: 376kcal
Author: Rachel Ballard


  • 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.


Calories: 376kcal | Carbohydrates: 52g | Protein: 16g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 40mg | Sodium: 257mg | Potassium: 745mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 670IU | Vitamin C: 106.4mg | Calcium: 74mg | Iron: 3.3mg

Iceberg lettuce wedge salad
← Read Last Post
Rustic Cream Cheese and Chive Biscuits
Read Next Post →
Recipe Rating

Lauren Button

Wednesday 9th of December 2020

These are the best stuffed peppers I ever made! The peppers came out perfect: not mushy and not too hard and crunchy, either! The amount of sauce is perfect as well. I used the cheap 65¢ store brand of tomato sauce, so I spruced it up with a dash of lemon juice and worcestershire. I also subbed out a couple of fresh garlic cloves for the powder, throwing them in my pan for the last minute or so of cooking the meat and onion. Minute rice worked fine as well!

Rachel Ballard

Thursday 10th of December 2020

Wonderful job Lauren!


Friday 27th of November 2020

OMG made these amazingly delicious stuffed peppers! I didn’t simmer my peppers beforehand as I was afraid they would be too mushy. They came out with a slight crisp to the peppers. Added cheese to the top. Used the chunky garden sauce. Made a Caesar salad to go with it. Very filling and definitely going to make again! Thank you for sharing!!! Looking forward to trying your other recipes!


Monday 23rd of November 2020

I like this recipe it’s easy to make, and doesn’t call for lots of ingredients! I have to leave out the garlic though because my husband can’t eat garlic, beans, or anything spicy. I also have to use the smallest amount of salt!! So I have a difficult time finding recipes that I can make for us. He doesn’t understand that there isn’t a substitute for garlic !!!


Wednesday 13th of January 2021

@Glennette, you can sub the garlic for one of the Mrs Dash varieties, they are usually salt free!!


Monday 9th of November 2020

Hehe. Written recipes are only starting points for what I cook! I've never been known to follow a recipe to the 'T' for what that's worth. Sometimes it tastes like something someone ate before and other times, it's truly original, but entirely packed with nutrition. When my friends ask for a recipe, I give them a sketch and let them fill in the colors and details, so that's that. I have to always be mindful my spouse prefers no rice, potatoes, bread nor pasta, and the meat has to be almost fat-free. With those thoughts in mind, I do have to dress up the flavor with lots of onions, a little garlic --not my favorite(!), and low-salt soy sauce, lemon, maybe Worcestershire sauce if I have some on hand, and I routinely substitute squashes and hummus for the bulky carbs. That being said, this recipe would be something my mother would bring to life, and it would be tasty indeed. Her cabbage rolls were to die for! (Slight exaggeration, but they do bring back fond memories.)

Cheryl Damberger

Friday 11th of December 2020

@Cee, I have used cooked lentils as replacement for rice.

Ruby Hale

Saturday 7th of November 2020

Thank you I loves these recipes