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Italian Stuffed Peppers Recipe » Simple and Healthy Recipe! ✅

Italian Stuffed Peppers are the best comfort food for summer! Tender roasted peppers are stuffed with ground beef, rice, and marinara sauce and topped with mozzarella and fresh basil. It’s an easy dinner that can be made completely ahead of time, making it great for busy weeknights or just for fun.

I have a serious concern about all kinds of stuffed peppers. I would happily eat my weight in spicy stuffed jalapeños on game day, and the savory Southwestern flavors in my stuffed poblano peppers always keep me coming back for more.

I also find these Italian Stuffed Peppers completely irresistible because they combine my love of lasagna and rice casserole into one delicious dish.

The sweet flavor of roasted bell peppers pairs perfectly with the bold ground beef filling and melted mozzarella, and they make perfect portions.

This is pure comfort food with a lighter feel, great for summer…or anytime. 🙂

Why you’ll love this recipe:

  • Stuffed peppers are sweet and tender with a generous filling of ground beef, rice, and marinara sauce and topped with melted mozzarella.
  • They are a lighter version of comfort food but just as satisfying.
  • This recipe is easily customizable and can be made completely in advance.

recipe ingredients

There is so much to love about this Italian Stuffed Peppers Recipe. One of the best things is how incredibly versatile it is.

See the ingredient notes below for a variety of ways to customize this recipe.

Notes on ingredients

  • Peppers. Use your favorite color or variety of peppers, they are all delicious! The larger the peppers, the more stuffed you can pack them. However, any size will do, keep in mind that cooking time will vary depending on the size of the peppers.
  • Ground beef. I used grass fed ground beef, which tastes amazing. You can substitute your favorite ground beef or use beans to make this recipe vegetarian.
  • Rice. Leftover brown or white rice goes perfectly with these stuffed peppers. You can also use quinoa or replace the rice with cooked cauliflower rice to make it low carb.
  • marinara sauce. Use my easy homemade marinara sauce or your favorite store-bought brand. You can even switch things up with enchilada sauce or pesto!
  • Cheese. This recipe uses a combination of Parmesan cheese in the stuffing of stuffed peppers and mozzarella cheese on top. It can be easily customized with what you have on hand or omit the cheese altogether to make this recipe dairy-free.

How to make stuffed peppers

There are a few components to this Italian Stuffed Peppers recipe, but each can be made ahead of time.

You can pre-cook the peppers and assemble the entire dish 1-2 days in advance, then cook when ready for an easy weeknight dinner.

pro tip: Cooking time will vary depending on the size of the peppers.

See the recipe card below for full instructions.

  1. Cut the peppers in half and remove the seeds and white membranes.
  2. Precook the peppers for 20-30 minutes or until slightly soft before adding the stuffing.
  3. Brown the ground beef with the onions, garlic and Italian seasoning.
  4. Combine marinara sauce, rice, and Parmesan cheese.
  5. Divide the filling between the peppers and decorate with the mozzarella.
  6. Cook for another 10-15 minutes until peppers have reached desired doneness and cheese has melted.

Frequent questions

How do you cut bell peppers for stuffed peppers?

Stand the peppers upright on a cutting board and slice in half from top to bottom, then remove the seeds and inner white membranes from each.

Do the peppers need to be cooked before stuffing?

Peppers take a long time to cook, so to make sure they’re nice and soft, they need to cook for 20-30 minutes before stuffing.

Do I have to cook the rice before stuffing the peppers?

Use cooked brown or white rice for this Italian Stuffed Peppers recipe. It’s a wonderful way to use up leftover rice!

Can I make stuffed peppers ahead of time?

This recipe is wonderful for meal prepping. There are a few components, but they can all be made ahead of time. The peppers can be precooked and precooked, the filling can be premade, and the entire dish can be preassembled and baked when ready.

service tips

This Italian Stuffed Peppers Recipe can be served in a variety of ways!

recipe notes

  • pro tip: Cooking time will vary depending on the size of the peppers.
  • You can pre-cook the peppers and assemble the entire dish 1-2 days in advance, then cook when ready for an easy weeknight dinner.
  • Leftover white or brown rice works perfectly in this recipe. You can also use quinoa or replace the rice with cooked cauliflower rice to make it low carb.
  • Ground beef can be substituted for your favorite ground beef or beans can be used to make this recipe vegetarian.
  • Omit the cheese to make this recipe dairy-free.

Other dinner recipes you’ll love:

Have you tried this recipe?

If so, be sure to leave a comment and star rating below, and don’t forget to tag @flavorthemoments on Facebook and Instagram!

Italian Stuffed Peppers Recipe

Italian Stuffed Peppers are tender peppers stuffed with ground beef, rice, and marinara sauce and topped with mozzarella and fresh basil. They are a hearty and delicious dinner that can be completely prepared ahead of time!

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil divided
  • Use 3 very large peppers (4) if medium size
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 1 pound grass-fed ground beef
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 2 teaspoons Italian dressing
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 cups marinara sauce
  • 1 cup of cooked white rice or brown rice
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan
  • 1 cup grated mozzarella
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh basil
  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees and grease a 9×13-inch pan.

  • Cut the peppers in half from top to bottom and remove the seeds and white membranes. Brush each bell pepper half with 1 tablespoon oil (inside and out), then bake for 20-30 minutes or until slightly softened (this may take a little longer depending on the size and thickness of the bell peppers).

  • While the peppers are cooking, prepare the stuffing. Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onion and cook 3 to 5 minutes until soft. Add the ground beef, breaking it into pieces with a wooden spoon, and cook until no longer pink. Add the garlic, Italian seasoning, salt and pepper and cook for an additional 30 seconds. Drain excess fat if necessary.

  • Add marinara sauce, rice, and Parmesan cheese to meat mixture, stirring well to combine. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary.

  • Divide the filling between each bell pepper (don’t be afraid to overfill!), then top with the mozzarella. Cook for another 10-15 minutes until cheese has melted and pepper has reached desired doneness. Remove from heat and sprinkle with fresh basil. To a good time!

  • pro tip: Cooking time will vary depending on the size of the peppers.
  • You can pre-cook the peppers and assemble the entire dish 1-2 days in advance, then cook when ready for an easy weeknight dinner.
  • Leftover white or brown rice works perfectly in this recipe. You can also use quinoa or replace the rice with cooked cauliflower rice to make it low carb.
  • Ground beef can be substituted for your favorite ground beef or beans can be used to make this recipe vegetarian.
  • Omit the cheese to make this recipe dairy-free.

Serving Size: 1 Bell Pepper, Calories: 380kcal, Carbohydrates: 20g, Protein: 24g, Fat: 23g, Saturated Fat: 9g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 10g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 73mg, Sodium: 898 mg, Potassium: 727 mg, Fiber: 4 g, Sugar: 7 g, Vitamin A: 3202 IU, Vitamin C: 112 mg, Calcium: 218 mg, Iron: 3 mg

Nutrition is estimated using a food database and should only be used as a guide for informational purposes.

All recipes and images © Flavor the Moments.

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