These stuffed peppers seem fancy but they’re easy to make and jam-packed with flavor!

Stuffed bell peppers are filled with a zesty ground beef, sausage, and rice filling, topped with cheese and baked until bubbly. 

Serve these with a fresh salad and some crusty bread (for sopping up any sauce).

cheesy Easy Stuffed Pepper in the dish

Our Fave Easy Stuffed Peppers

  • Stuffed peppers can be prepared ahead of time and they reheat and freeze well.
  • Stretch stuffed pepper filling with extra chopped veggies.
  • If your peppers are small and you have leftover filling, fill zucchini or even wrap it up cabbage roll style!
  • If you’d like them extra saucy, add extra marinara to the baking pan.
Peppers , Rice , Cheese , Onion, Tomatoes , Garlic , Beef , Marinara , Sausage and seasonings to make Easy Stuffed Peppers with labels

Ingredients for Stuffed Peppers

  • Meat—I use a combination of ground beef and Italian sausage. Feel free to use just one or the other (or sub in ground turkey). If you don’t use sausage, add some extra seasoning.
  • Rice—This recipe calls for long-grain white rice. However, any type of rice or grain can be substituted, but you may need to adjust the liquid and cooking time slightly.
  • Sauce—Use a jar of pasta sauce or homemade marinara sauce and spice it up with some seasoning.
  • Bell Peppers—Use any sweet bell pepper. Red, orange, or yellow peppers are sweeter, while green bell peppers have a slightly sharper flavor.
  • Cheese—Cheese is optional but I love it on stuffed peppers! Use shredded cheddar or mozzarella cheese.


These classic stuffed peppers can be changed by swapping the seasonings and sauces!

  • Replace Italian seasoning with taco seasoning and add a can of drained black beans. Garnish with cilantro.
  • If you like a little heat, stir in some red pepper flakes.
Stuffed Pepper recipe ingredients in a pot

How to Make Stuffed Peppers

  1. Brown Meat: Brown meat, onion, and garlic (recipe below).
  2. Cook Rice: Add tomato sauce, rice, water, and seasonings. Cook until rice is tender.
  3. Prepare Peppers: While the filling is cooking, prepare the peppers by simmering or air frying for a few minutes to soften (otherwise, they won’t soften enough).
  4. Fill & Bake: Fill peppers with meat and rice mixture. Sprinkle with cheese and bake until bubbly!

I usually cut my peppers across the top but you can also cut them top to bottom to make smaller portions.

Stuffed Peppers in baking dish with tomato sauce

Holly’s Tips for Perfect Peppers

  • Pre-cook the peppers. Boil the peppers for a few minutes or add them to the air fryer at 400°F for 5 minutes to soften before stuffing.
  • Extra filling. If the peppers are small, you may need a few extra. This filling is also great in portobello mushrooms or added to tomato soup.
  • This stuffed pepper recipe can be prepared ahead and frozen.

Make It a Freezer Meal

You can freeze stuffed pepper for future meals!

To freeze, prepare as directed below and freeze in a 9×13-inch baking dish. Thaw the casserole in the fridge overnight and bake for 30-40 minutes or until heated through.

Stuffed Pepper being lifted out of baking dish

More Bell Pepper Recipes We Love

Bell peppers are great added to sauces, soups, stews and more!

Did you make these Easy Stuffed Peppers? Leave us a rating and a comment below!

Stuffed Pepper being lifted out of baking dish
4.98 from 812 votes↑ Click stars to rate now!
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Stuffed Peppers

These easy stuffed peppers are filled with sausage, beef, & rice for a delicous flavor packed meal.
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 5 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 25 minutes
Servings 6 servings
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  • 6 bell peppers any color
  • ½ pound lean ground beef
  • ½ pound Italian sausage
  • 1 small onion diced
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 can petite diced tomatoes 14 ½ ounces, with juice
  • ½ cup white rice uncooked
  • 1 ¼ cups water
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • ½ teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 2 ½ cups marinara sauce divided
  • ½ cup mozzarella or cheddar cheese shredded, optional


  • Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease a 9×13 baking dish.
  • Cut off the tops of the bell peppers, reserving them for the sauce. Remove and discard the seeds and membranes inside the peppers. Finely chop the tops and set aside for the sauce.
  • Bring a large pot of water to a boil and cook the peppers for 5 minutes. Remove and drain well if simmering. Alternatively, air fry the peppers at 400°F for 5 minutes.
  • Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add lean ground beef, Italian sausage, diced onion, and minced garlic. Brown, breaking up with a spoon, until no pink remains. Drain any fat.
  • Add diced tomatoes with juice, rice, water, diced pepper tops, Worcestershire sauce, and Italian seasoning. Season with salt and pepper.
  • Bring the mixture to a boil, reduce the heat to a low simmer, and cover. Cook for 15 to 20 minutes or until rice is tender, adding more water if needed. Remove from the heat and stir in ½ cup marinara sauce.
  • Place 1 ½ cups of marinara sauce in the bottom of the prepared pan. Add the peppers cut-side-up, and divide the rice mixture evenly over the peppers. Spoon the remaining marinara sauce over top.
  • Cover with foil and bake for 35 minutes.
  • Remove the foil and spoon the sauce from the bottom of the dish over the peppers. Top with cheese and bake uncovered for an additional 10 minutes or until cheese is melted and peppers are tender.



If you want firmer/tender-crisp peppers, skip the boiling step and bake as directed. Peppers can be pre-cooked by simmering, air frying, or baked for 15 minutes at 400°F.
Additional vegetables, such as diced zucchini or chopped mushrooms, can be added to the filling.
Stuffed peppers can be kept covered in the fridge for up to 3 days. Reheat in the oven until heated through. 
4.98 from 812 votes

Nutrition Information

Calories: 385 | Carbohydrates: 29g | Protein: 18g | Fat: 21g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Cholesterol: 64mg | Sodium: 922mg | Potassium: 933mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 11g | Vitamin A: 4255IU | Vitamin C: 166.8mg | Calcium: 137mg | Iron: 3.7mg

Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.

Course Beef, Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine American
taking Easy Stuffed Pepper out of the dish with a title
zesty Easy Stuffed Pepper in the dish with writing
Easy Stuffed Pepper with rice and tomato and a title
Easy Stuffed Pepper in the dish and taking a pepper out of the dish with a title


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Holly is a wine and cheese lover, recipe creator, shopping enthusiast and self appointed foodie. Her greatest passion is creating in the kitchen and making deliciously comforting recipes for the everyday home cook!
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Recipe Rating


  1. I plan on making this tomorrow night. Just a quick question. Do you think adding the uncooked rice and water to the meat would overcook the meat? What about cooking the rice separately and then adding to the meat mixture??

  2. whenever a recipe calls for cooked hamburger l always boil it in water and drain it l gained this info from a class after my husband had a heart attack its healthier for your heart because it drains a lot of fat from the hamburger l also boil it for spaghetti, sloppy Joe’s and a lot of other foods

  3. Made this while I was doing my canning of other things. Made enough for 20 freeze as well. My husband says this is the best I’ve made in 35 yrs :)5 stars

  4. I could not find my mother’s recipe for peppers so I came across this recipe and decided to give it a try. I am truly grateful to find this recipe for easy stuffed green peppers from spend with pennies. It is the best my wife and have ever eaten!5 stars

  5. I’m dying to try this recipe but the amount of each unedited is missing. Can you provide that information?

  6. I have made these several times and each time they come out awesome! My very picky 5 year old begs me to make these, and even my 8 year old loves them! Definitely a keeper and in constant rotation at our house! Thank you so much for this excellent recipe!!5 stars

  7. WOW-theses were amazing! A bit of work with prep and cooking times, but definitely worth it. I’ve never parboiled the peppers before, but it really made them softer and less tough. The filling had just enough heat. Thanks for sharing!5 stars

  8. I love the flavors and softer pepper results of this recipe. my only change is that I use a full cup of rice and usually it is a wild rice mix from rice select (for more texture and “mouth feel”) oh, and I now always buy a mix of bell pepper colors

    also, i usually don’t have sausage in smaller portions and my ground beef is frozen in full pound portions, so I use a pound of ground beef and just double my seasonings. this recipe is my go to for stuffed peppers. thank you for sharing!!!5 stars

  9. I picked up 5 peppers at the farmers market and thought I would try making stuffed peppers. I used 1lb of Italian sausage, because that is what I had. The filling is great and the peppers are in the oven as I type. I tossed the extra filling in and around the pan. Smells great. Thanks!5 stars

  10. Loved this dish! Made for the second time tonight with only a few tweaks for personal preferences. My husband dislikes garlic, so I added some chopped celery instead for additional flavor. I dislike Worcestershire sauce so I subbed soy sauce and eliminated the salt. The mixture of the two meats, as well as the marinara sauce, gives this dish depth of flavor. This recipe has replaced my old one that I had made for decades! Tonight I am using Rotel tomatoes for some heat. I love a recipe that is adaptable to what we like as well as what is in my pantry. Thanks.5 stars

  11. I’ve made these a few times before and they are absolutely the best.
    I also tried them smoked.
    I simply just skipped the last 30 minutes of cooking time from your wonderful recipe and put them in my smoker for about an hour.
    Not only was your flavourful taste still there but it added a subtle beautiful smoke flavor.
    I love following all your recipes but sometimes add a twist.
    Thank you5 stars

  12. everyone loved them! I served with Mac and cheese, corn and green beans. I have leftover meat filling and will have to see what else I can use it one. one of my dinner guests suggested making stuffed shells with the filling.
    the only thing is that 15 minutes at 400 degrees in the oven made the peppers VERY soft. I only did 35 minutes at the end and they were perfect. I suggest maybe only 10 minutes to soften the peppers.
    another win for me thanks to Spend With Pennies!5 stars

    1. At the end of gardening season (or if you can find bigs ones at the grocery store), I really like to use this stuffing and put it in big zucchini boats! Just scoop out the seeds, fill with the filling and bake with cheese on top! Yum!

  13. Hands down, the most flavourful stuffed peppers I have ever had. I loved the addition of the Italian sausage, as it gave the filling more punch. The marinara recipe was perfect and contributed to the success of the dish.
    This recipe is definitely a keeper!5 stars

  14. These were hands down the BEST stuffed peppers I had ever made/had!!!! They were nothing but a flavor bomb in your mouth!5 stars

  15. my mother made the best stuffed Pepers and cabbage rolls, she made hers entirely different! she mixed the uncooked Rice and onions add tomatoes sauce raw hamburger and salt and pepper packed it in the peppers! she pored enough water in the bottom to keep them moist! Covered with Foil! they cooked slowly for Hours! they were always perfect! You’re way” Takes less time ! I’m willing to save time! No harm trying something New! I ll let you know how I do!5 stars

    1. Absolutely! If using only ground beef you may want to increase the Italian seasoning.

  16. I have made this recipe multiple times and my family continues to ask me to make these peppers. I LOVE boiling the peppers. Fantastic recipe!5 stars