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 129 Comments

  • Anonymous

    This is one of the best meals I’ve made in a while. My husband is a vegetarian, so I substituted the beef for Morningstar meatless crumbles. The ketchup-tabasco sauce topping was fantastic. Something really great happens in the oven to make it taste much more gourmet than it is. The stuffing is a perfect mix of flavors. My husband proclaimed them the best stuffed peppers he’s ever had. I have to agree! The recipe was clear and easy to follow.

  • Neoni Troxel

    Great dish! soon to be a family favorite. I added mushrooms and subsituted the morningstar meatless crumbles but other than that stuck to the recipe. I was hesitant to use ketchup thinking it would be too sweet. It was perfect. I really enjoyed the flavor of the sauce. It added a lot to the dish. I think next time I will double the sauce recipe.

  • annie

    I made these yesterday and they were great! Easy to do especially using a rice cooker for the rice while I got everything else together. The best I’ve ever made, and even my husband who is not a stuffed pepper fan, enjoyed them.


  • s

    I made this for my family and friends and they wanted the recipe to take home. Very good and if you use brown rice it is good for you too! I thought it was quick and easy.

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