Beef and Rice Stuffed Peppers are a classic for a reason. They are delicious, quick and easy to make. They are beautiful, especially if you use a variety of colors of peppers and fun to eat.
This is an old-fashioned style recipe, variations of which have been around forever. Generations have eaten and enjoyed this meal, gathered around the family dinner table sharing stories of their day.
One thing to note is that this recipe calls for using cooked rice! Be sure you either have leftover rice, frozen cooked rice, or leave enough time to make it and let it cool before you begin making the peppers.
Using rice to stretch the amount of meat in each portion is a great way to save money and make sure your whole family is full when they are done eating. If you have big eaters, plan on two peppers each.
I hope you make these Beef and Rice Stuffed Peppers often during the cooler months and love them as much as The Artist and I do. If you are looking for a keto version, check out this recipe for Lasagna Stuffed Peppers from Carolyn Ketchum’s Everyday Ketogenic Kitchen – it is also outstanding!
Did you enjoy this recipe? Let me know in the comments, I love hearing from you!
Key Ingredients for Classic Beef and Rice Stuffed Peppers:
- Cooked white rice, bell peppers, olive oil, ground beef,
- Pork sausage, onion, jalapeno, garlic, tomato sauce, chili powder
- Ground cumin, oregano, chipotle powder, zucchini
- Mozzarella or Monterey Jack cheese, cilantro, parsley, or green onions
When selecting bell peppers for this dish, look for more square and squat peppers which will stand up more easily. If all you can find are the longer ones with pointed ends, you can cut them in half lengthwise, leaving some of the stem end in place on half of the pieces. You may need to use a larger baking pan to accommodate the longer pepper halves.
Note that this recipe requires pre-cooked rice. You can make it a day ahead and refrigerate it or make it first and let it cool while you are prepping the peppers and making the rest of the filling. Be sure to rake the grains with a fork to be sure they don’t clump together.
How to make Classic Beef and Rice Stuffed Peppers:
- Cut the tops off the peppers and discard the seeds and ribs then place in an oiled 9×13-inch pan and sprinkle with salt
- Brown the beef and sausage, then add the onion and jalapeño, cooking until softened and meat is cooked through; break up clumps as much as possible, add the garlic and cook 30 seconds
- Stir in the cooked rice, tomato sauce, chili powder, cumin, oregano, chipotle, and zucchini; taste and adjust seasonings
- Fill each pepper half with the meat mixture and top with the cheese; bake 30 minutes or until cheese is bubbling and the peppers should be soft enough to easily insert a knife
- Sprinkle the tops with the cilantro, parsley, or green onions and serve immediately.
When a recipe calls for a small amount of tomato paste, reach for a tube of paste. You can easily measure out the exact amount you need and be able to seal the container and hold in the refrigerator for future projects.
Relying on an instant-read thermometer is the most accurate and safe way to know when the meat has reached the proper internal temperature of 165°F. While I love my Thermapen, the same company (Thermoworks) has smaller thermometers called ThermoPops that are less expensive and still high quality. I strongly urge you to look at both of these products – they pay for themselves over and over because you can use them for any temperature measuring requirement – even bread baking and candy making!
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The only places you need to be careful about gluten in this recipe are in the spice blends and sausage. I like Penzey’s spices because they list all ingredients and nearly all of their products are gluten-free. If your butcher isn’t sure about gluten in the sausage, buy ground pork and use that instead.
- 2-1/2 cups Cooked rice
- 6 bell peppers any color, or a combination of colors
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 1 pound lean ground beef
- 1/2 pound ground pork sausage (gluten-free if needed)
- 1/2 cup onion finely chopped
- 1 jalapeño pepper, seeds and ribs discarded, finely minced, optional
- 2 teaspoons garlic minced
- 6 ounces finely chopped tomatoes or tomato sauce
- 1/4 cup water
- 1 tablespoon chili powder (gluten-free if needed)
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon chipotle powder or smoked paprika, optional
- 1 zucchini, finely chopped
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 cup shredded mozzarella or Monterey Jack cheese
- Chopped cilantro, parsley, or green onions, for garnishing
- If not already cooked, prepare rice according to package
directions. Fluff with a fork and set aside to cool.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Coat a 9x13-inch baking dish
with cooking spray or brush with vegetable oil.
- Prep the Peppers: Cut the tops off the peppers and scoop out the seeds and ribs. If the peppers are longer and not square, cut in half lengthwise, leaving the stem in place as much as possible. Discard the seeds and cut out the ribs. Place the peppers in the oiled baking dish and sprinkle the insides of each with a little kosher salt.
- Prepare the filling: Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the ground beef and sausage and season with salt and pepper. Add the onion and jalapeño to the pan and cook for 5 to 6 minutes, breaking up the clumps with a spatula and stirring, until meat is cooked through and the vegetables are softened. Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds.
- Stir in the cooked rice, tomatoes, water, chili powder, cumin, oregano, chipotle, and zucchini to the meat mixture. Stir in the salt and pepper and then taste and adjust seasonings as needed.
- Assemble the Peppers: Fill each pepper with the beef mixture and top with the cheese. Bake for 30 minutes or until the cheese begins to bubble and the meat mixture registers at least 165°F in the center. The peppers should be tender enough to insert a knife easily through the side.
- If needed, turn the broiler on and cook the peppers 1 to 3 minutes until the cheese is fully melted. Sprinkle the tops with the cilantro, parsley, or green onions and serve immediately.
Adapted from a recipe from Dinner at the Zoo
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 527Total Fat: 28gSaturated Fat: 10gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 14gCholesterol: 119mgSodium: 704mgCarbohydrates: 31gFiber: 4gSugar: 7gProtein: 38g
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