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With a flavorful tomato sauce and savory beef-rice filling, this stuffed peppers recipe will appeal to the whole family. Look for peppers that are the same size for uniformity, which will make filling them easier. Chopping the tops of the peppers and using them in the stuffing mixture minimizes food waste.

EatingWell.com, February 2023


Credit: Photographer: Fred Hardy, Food Stylist: Emily Nabors Hall, Prop Stylist: Shell Royster

Recipe Summary

25 mins
1 hr


Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Preheat oven to 375℉. Lightly coat an 11-by-7-inch baking dish with cooking spray. Cut tops from peppers; remove and discard ribs and seeds. Coarsely chop pepper tops, discarding stems; set aside chopped peppers (about 1½ cups). Place whole peppers, cut-sides down, in the prepared dish; bake until slightly tender, about 15 minutes. Let stand at room temperature until cool enough to handle, about 10 minutes. Do not turn off the oven.

  • Meanwhile, stir garlic-and-herb seasoning, salt and smoked paprika together in a small bowl. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add beef and half of the seasoning mixture; cook, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon to crumble, until the meat is browned and no longer pink, about 4 minutes. Transfer the meat to a medium bowl. Without wiping the pan clean, add the remaining 1 tablespoon oil to the drippings. Stir in onion, carrot, celery, the remaining seasoning mixture and the reserved chopped peppers; cook, stirring often, until the vegetables are tender, about 6 minutes. Add the vegetables to the bowl with the meat. Without wiping the pan clean, add tomato sauce and hot sauce to the drippings. Stir to release any browned bits from the bottom of the pan, then remove from heat. 

  • Prepare rice according to package directions; add to the meat and vegetable mixture. Add beans, 1 cup cheese, 1/4 cup parsley and half of the tomato sauce mixture; stir gently to combine.

  • To assemble stuffed peppers, flip the peppers cut-sides up in the baking dish; divide the beef mixture evenly among the peppers, mounding and pressing lightly to fill them. Spoon the remaining tomato sauce mixture over the peppers; top with the remaining 1 cup cheese. Bake until the peppers are tender, the filling is hot and the cheese is melted, about 20 minutes. Sprinkle with the remaining 1/4 cup parsley.

To make ahead

Prepare filling and sauce (Steps 2 and 3) and refrigerate in separate airtight containers for up to 2 days. Let stand at room temperature while the oven preheats. Bake bell peppers as directed in Step 1, then proceed with Step 4.

Nutrition Facts

1 stuffed pepper
491 calories; protein 32g; carbohydrates 40g; dietary fiber 7g; sugars 7g; fat 26g; saturated fat 11g; mono fat 10g; poly fat 2g; cholesterol 83mg; vitamin a iu 3012IU; vitamin b3 niacin 6mg; vitamin b12 2mcg; vitamin c 231mg; vitamin d iu 11IU; vitamin e iu 4IU; folate 111mg; vitamin k 93mg; sodium 670mg; calcium 360mg; iron 5mg; magnesium 95mg; phosphorus 496mg; potassium 1025mg; zinc 6mg; omega 6 fatty acid 1g; niacin equivalents 10mg; selenium 24mcg.