How to Make an Old-Fashioned Stuffed Bell Peppers Recipe Just Like Grandma Did

How to Make an Old-Fashioned Stuffed Bell Peppers Recipe Just Like Grandma Did

Savory, filling and easy to make. Love it! Make our old-fashioned stuffed bell peppers recipe for the family tonight.

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Stuffed peppers look gorgeous, hold a meaty filling that kids and adults both love, and, from start to finish, they’re ready in less than an hour. It’s no wonder they make the cut for easy weeknight dinners. If you haven’t made them in a while, it’s time to dust off this old-fashioned stuffed bell peppers recipe and make some now.

How to Make Old-Fashioned Stuffed Bell Peppers

Traditional Stuffed Peppers Overhead Shot Of All IngredientsTMB Studio

To make them, pick up some ground beef and large green bell peppers. The rest of the ingredients, like onion, spices and leftover cooked rice may already be in your pantry and fridge. There are optional topping ideas too.

If you’re looking for ways to use up a bunch of peppers, these are our favorite bell pepper recipes.

This recipe makes six stuffed peppers.


  • 6 large green bell peppers
  • 1-1/2 pounds ground beef
  • 3/4 cup chopped onion
  • 3 cans (15-ounces each) tomato sauce, divided
  • 3 cups cooked rice
  • 1/4 teaspoon plus 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon plus 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon plus 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
  • Optional: shredded cheddar cheese, chopped fresh parsley, sour cream

Tools You’ll Need

  • Large skillet: Prepare the ground beef and tomato sauce filling in a nonstick cast-iron skillet for easy cleanup.
  • Baking dish: Choose a dish like this one that’s large enough to hold all six peppers, and pretty enough to bring right to the table.
  • Condiment dishes: Have chopped parsley, sour cream and extra spices at the table in handy little bowls.


Step 1: Prepare the peppers

Traditional Stuffed Peppers In Boiling WaterTMB Studio

Preheat the oven to 350°F and have a large, rectangular baking dish ready.

Bring water to a boil in a large pot or Dutch oven. Cut the tops off of the peppers and remove the seeds and membranes. (Here are our tips for slicing bell peppers.) Cook the peppers in boiling water for 3 to four 4, then drain them and rinse them under cold water to stop the cooking.

Editor’s Tip: If your pot isn’t large enough to hold all the peppers, cook them in batches.

Step 2: Cook the beef

Traditional Stuffed Peppers With Cooking Beef And Onion In SkilletTMB Studio

Place a large skillet over medium heat. When the pan is hot, add the crumbled ground beef and diced onion. Cook for about 10 minutes until the beef is no longer pink and the onions are tender. Break up any large clumps of beef as it cooks.

Turn off the heat and drain the grease from the pan.

Step 3: Add the tomato sauce

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Pour half of the tomato sauce into the pan with the beef and onions. Stir in the rice, salt, garlic powder and black pepper.

Step 4: Fill the peppers

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Sit the green peppers upright in the baking dish. If they won’t sit flat, take a tiny slice off the bottom of the pepper to make it level.

Spoon the beef-tomato sauce mixture into each pepper, dividing the filling equally among them. Drizzle the rest of the tomato sauce over the peppers. If you’re using shredded cheese, you can sprinkle a little over the tops of the peppers.

Step 5: Bake and serve

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Put the dish in the oven. Bake for 25-30 minutes until the peppers are tender.

Serve the peppers immediately with the optional toppings of sour cream and a sprinkle of shredded cheese and fresh chopped parsley.

Editor’s Tip: Larger peppers or those with thicker walls may need a little longer in the oven.

Tips for Making Old-Fashioned Stuffed Bell Peppers

How can you tell when stuffed peppers are done?

Since the filling is already cooked, all you’re really waiting for is the green peppers. When finished, they should be very tender and easy to pierce with a fork. The sauce will also be bubbling, and any cheese added to the tops will be browned and melted.

Do the peppers need to be precooked?

It depends on how you like your peppers. Precooking the green peppers in boiling water means they’ll be very tender after baking. If you skip the precooking and just stuff and bake them raw, the peppers will have a firmer and crunchier texture in the final dish. Either way, they’ll be delicious.

Can you swap the beef for turkey?

Yes, these stuffed peppers are delicious with a turkey filling. Cook ground turkey as directed above, but add a little oil to the pan to keep the meat from drying out. Here is our recipe for Turkey Stuffed Peppers.

Can stuffed peppers be frozen?

Yes, stuffed peppers are a great choice for a freezer meal. Follow the recipe above to precook the green peppers in boiling water, and to cook the meat filling completely. Fill the peppers and arrange them in a baking dish. From here, you can either bake the peppers before freezing or just freeze them the way they are.

If you choose to freeze after baking, allow the stuffed peppers to completely cool, wrap the dish tightly in plastic wrap and foil, and freeze them for up to three months. When you’re ready to eat them, put the pan of frozen peppers into a 350°F oven, and bake until they’re thawed and warmed through. Peppers can also be frozen individually to have the option of baking just one or two at a time.

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