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Everyone needs a delicious, Classic Stuffed Peppers recipe in their go-to recipe collection!
Classic Stuffed Peppers – bell peppers filled with rice, ground beef, tomatoes, and onions that are seasoned to perfection and topped with a rich tomato sauce – is a recipe that everyone loves! There is nothing better than the aroma of a tray of stuffed peppers baking in the oven.
What I also love about this Classic Stuffed Peppers recipe is that you can cook up a big batch of stuffed peppers – then pack up any leftovers to take for lunch the next day. (They reheat beautifully in the microwave or in a toaster oven!)
Stuffed peppers even freeze well – so make a double batch, then wrap each cooked pepper tightly and freeze. You can take them out and reheat one at a time, or reheat the extra batch for your family dinner.
Today’s Classic Stuffed Peppers recipe is a no-frills recipe – after all, why mess with a classic! But this is the type of recipe you can really customize based on flavors and ingredients that you like:
- Swap in red, yellow, or orange bell peppers instead of using green bell peppers. While green peppers are less expensive and do have that distinct pepper flavor, the other color peppers are sweeter and have a more mild flavor.
- Add cheese on top of your stuffed peppers before baking or before serving if you’d like!
- Swap in brown rice or quinoa instead of using long-grain white rice in the stuffing.
- Swap in ground turkey or chicken, or add Italian sausage to the ground stuffing for a different taste.
- Add vegetables to the stuffing mixture. Some diced zucchini, peas, or even cooked Brussels sprouts are great options.
- Play around with different spices and seasonings. While this recipe includes your classic dry Italian seasoning blend, taco seasoning would be equally delicious.
These Classic Stuffed Peppers are a filling meal on their own, or you can serve them alongside a salad or soup. Enjoy!
You may also like these other stuffed pepper recipes:
- Stuffed Italian Frying Peppers
- Deconstructed Stuffed Peppers
- Nanny’s Italian Stuffed Peppers
- Mini Stuffed Sweet Peppers
- Philly Cheesesteak Stuffed Peppers
Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links.
1 cup uncooked long grain white rice
1½ cups water
6 medium to large green bell peppers, with thick walls (about 2 pounds)
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, plus more to oil inside of peppers
1 cup onions, diced
1½ teaspoons garlic, finely minced
1 pound 80/20 ground beef
2 15.5-ounce cans diced tomatoes, drained but save ½ cup of liquid
1 teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 ½ teaspoons dry Italian seasoning
1 teaspoon Tabasco sauce
1 cup pizza sauce, jarred or homemade (Note: We liked the sweeter taste of the pizza sauce in this recipe versus traditional tomato sauce)
1 6-ounce can tomato juice
3 tablespoons tomato paste
2 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 6-ounce can tomato juice
½ cup liquid drained from canned tomatoes
Place rice and water into a small pan with a tight fitting lid and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce to low and cook ten minutes. Remove from heat and let sit five minutes covered. Then pour out onto a plate or platter and place in your refrigerator to cool.
Cut the tops from the peppers and a small sliver from the bottoms so they sit flat. Remove and discard seeds and membranes. Do not discard tops.
Heat a large pot with a steamer basket and a few inches of water and place cut peppers cut side down. Cover, bring to a boil and cook four minutes. Remove with tongs to a pan or casserole dish, cut side up, to cool. The pan or casserole dish should neatly fit the six peppers. Set aside to cool.
Take the pepper tops and dice fine.
In a medium sauté pan, heat two tablespoons of oil over medium high and add onions and pepper tops and sauté for three minutes. Add garlic and sauté for one more minute. Remove pan from heat and cool to room temperature.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
In a large bowl, add raw ground beef, drained tomatoes, salt, pepper, Italian seasoning, Tabasco sauce and jarred pizza sauce.
Add cooled rice and cooled onion mixture and mix to combine.
Oil the insides of each pepper with olive oil. Brush up the sides.
Divided mixture between the six peppers, mounding on top if necessary.
In a small sauce pan, place tomato juice, tomato paste and Worcestershire sauce. Bring to a simmer and cook for about 4-5 minutes until thick like ketchup.
Spoon this mixture on the tops of each pepper.
Mix the reserved half cup of tomato water and mix with the can of tomato juice and pour into the bottom of the pan or casserole dish, around the peppers.
Cover with parchment paper and foil and bake for 60 minutes.
Remove cover and cook for about ten more minutes or until the topping is starting to brown. Use a probe thermometer and if at least 160 degrees F, pull from oven.
Let peppers rest for five minutes before serving.
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