Dad’s Stuffed Bell Peppers


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

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Showing 4 of 136 Comments

  • Katherine

    I have made this recipe multiple times and love it! This time after I stuffed the peppers I had more of the meat filling left over, so I sautéed some chopped bell peppers, added them to the meat mixture, and cooked everything exactly the same only inside a pie crust, adding shredded cheese on top for the last 5 mins. Super yummy! (I only had 3 whole bell peppers and some already cut up ones in my fridge)

  • Tom Aikins

    Looks good except I’m going to try it with some of my marinara sauce on top instead of ketchup.

  • Elaine

    These are the best stuffed peppers I have ever eaten! For anyone interested in doubling the recipe, I did this and in my oven it took 1 hour and 10 minutes for them to be finished (checked with a meat thermometer). I will definitely be making these again!

  • clarence nykl

    By far the best stuffed pepper recipe I have tried. This recipe has been up for a while, and I have used it at least 10 times in the past several years. Always a hit. Recipes that suggest cooking the meat first guarantees to remove all the flavor and you don’t end up with a beautiful mini meatloaf texture that cuts and chews wonderful. Thanks!

  • Rachel

    Can anyone tell me approx. how many calories per pepper?

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