Dad’s Stuffed Bell Peppers

Photography Credit: Elise Bauer

A classic American dish that one can’t easily find in restaurants (unless it is a cafeteria) is stuffed bell peppers. It’s essentially meatloaf stuffed into bell peppers and baked in the oven. My mom and dad have their own different versions, both delicious. Here is my dad’s:

Dad’s Stuffed Bell Peppers Recipe

  • Prep time: 10 minutes
  • Cook time: 50 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 4-6.


  • 4 bell peppers, any color
  • Salt
  • 5 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, peeled and chopped
  • 1 clove of garlic, peeled and chopped
  • 1 lb of lean ground beef
  • 1 1/2 cup of cooked rice
  • 1 cup chopped tomatoes, fresh or canned (if using can, drain of excess liquid first)
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh oregano or 1 teaspoon of dried oregano
  • Fresh ground pepper
  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 1/2 tsp of Worcestershire Sauce
  • Dash of Tabasco sauce


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1 Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat. Meanwhile, cut top off peppers 1 inch from the stem end, and remove seeds. Add several generous pinches of salt to boiling water, then add peppers and boil, using a spoon to keep peppers completely submerged, until brilliant green (or red if red peppers) and their flesh slightly softened, about 3 minutes. Drain, set aside to cool.

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2 Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Heat 4 tbsp of the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onions and cook, stirring often, until soft and translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook a minute more. Remove skillet from heat, add meat, rice, tomatoes, and oregano, and season generously with salt and pepper. Mix well. (You may find it easier to put the ingredients at this point into a large bowl and mix together with your hands.)

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3 Drizzle remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil inside the peppers. Arrange the cut side of the peppers up in a baking dish, then stuff peppers with filling. Combine ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, Tabasco sauce, and 1/4 cup of water in a small bowl, then spoon over filling. Add 1/4 cup of water to the baking dish. Place in oven and bake for 40-50 minutes (or longer, depending on how big the peppers are that you are stuffing), until the internal temperature of the stuffed peppers is 150-160°F.

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Dad's Stuffed Bell Peppers

Showing 4 of 142 Comments

  • Joe

    Can the finished cooked stuffed peppers be frozen?

  • Gina Marie Criscione

    I just tried Dad’s Stuffed Peppers. I used red peppers, and I also fried some of the red pepper chopped small along with the onion and garlic to go along with the ground meat, oregano and tomatoes. Great recipe. I Thank you ~

  • Karee

    Last time I made these I had extra beef mixture so stashed it in the freezer. I’m super happy tonight pulling it out and whipping these up. It looks a little watery and I nuked the peppers instead of parboiling just because I don’t have much time tonight. I love these and always think of you and your dad when I make them. I send a little good mojo out in the universe for you.

  • Marl

    I hope it works wth Quinoa instead of Rice…I’m going to try it tonight. Thanks…

  • Ginny

    Tried these tonight, I used Rotel tomatoes with chili (mild) and they were delicious, My husband doesn’t normally like ketchup with meat, but the topping was really good. When you say generous amount of salt and pepper, about how much do you use?

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