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Classic Stuffed Peppers

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!)


Classic Stuffed Peppers

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.

Classic Stuffed Peppers


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.

Classic Stuffed Peppers

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:

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links.


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Classic Stuffed Peppers

Classic Stuffed Peppers

  • Author: A Family Feast
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Yield: 6 servings
  • Category: side dish
  • Method: baked
  • Cuisine: Italian


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

Pan bottom

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.

Keywords: bell peppers



Classic Stuffed Peppers

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  • Alison wrote:

    Looks delicious! Before I makes this, please clarify what you do with the cooked cut tops from the peppers. No where does it say what to do after cooking them with the onions & garlic.

    • Martha wrote:

      Hi Alison – In step 8, it states – “Add cooled rice and cooled onion mixture and mix to combine.” That onion mixture includes the pepper tops. Hope that helps clarify!

  • Susanb wrote:

    WAY too much rice versus meat. The flavors are pretty good.

    • Martha wrote:

      Thanks for your feedback Susan

  • Joan Rolle wrote:

    I cooked this just like the recipe and my family and I loved it

    • Martha wrote:

      Thanks Joan – so glad the recipe was a hit!

  • Patty wrote:

    I love stuffed peppers first time trying yellow Red & Orange 🤗

    • Martha wrote:

      Hope you enjoy the recipe Patty! All of the colors/varieties should be delicious!

  • Heather wrote:

    I have made this twice I thought it would have been better if I cooked it longer but both times the pepper was hard and the filling was Cold and raw! Gross twice! Looks good in the pic but not worth making!

    • Martha wrote:

      I’m sorry you were disappointed in the recipe Heather …not sure why you had such different results than we did or our other readers.

  • Leigh Bonanno wrote:

    Have you ever doubled the recipe? If so is everything the same except doubled?

    • Martha wrote:

      Hi Leigh – Yes – just double the ingredients!

  • Beverly wrote:

    Can you cook them on top of the stove instead of the oven

    • Martha wrote:

      Hi Beverly – We’ve never tried! I think it might work – if you try it, please let us know how it comes out!

  • Cherie Pfaff wrote:

    Very good!

    • Martha wrote:

      Thanks Cherie!

  • Bridget Massey wrote:

    I love the recipe for your stuffed bell peppers…I make my own pretty much the same way it’s the way my Mom & Grandmother made them …can’t beat um and there Buick but made with Love!!!! Bridget Massey

    • Martha wrote:

      Thanks Bridget! Hope our version is as good as your family recipe!

  • Susan Atchison wrote:

    I use instant rice to the meat mixture and it will cook on the juices.

    • Martha wrote:

      Thanks for the suggestion Susan!

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