Mom’s Stuffed Bell Peppers

Stuffed bell peppers is one of those classic comfort food dishes that my family practically lived on when I was a kid. This recipe my mother got from Adele Davis as mom was teaching herself to cook in the 60s.

Like so many of those early recipes, mom has modified them to her taste and style through the years. This one she rarely does exactly the same way twice, she’ll use a different set of herbs and seasoning depending on what strikes her fancy looking through the spice cabinet.

Stuffed Bell Peppers

Whereas my father is a stickler for details and exact ingredients measurements, mom usually can’t be bothered; she keeps things simple, and improvises as she goes along. While dad’s stuffed bell pepper recipe is terrific, it’s a little too much fuss and bother for her to make. This one is easier and more her style.

Mom’s Stuffed Bell Peppers Recipe

  • Yield: Serves 4 to 6

Red and yellow bell peppers have a very different flavor than green bell peppers. The red ones especially are much sweeter. Any bell pepper can be used for this recipe; use the type you like the best.



  • 1 1/2 to 2 cups cooked white rice (starting from about 3/4 to 1 cup raw white rice)
  • 4 to 6 bell peppers (red, yellow, or green), use 4 large, or 6 medium sized
  • 1 to 1 1/4 lb of ground beef (ground chuck, 16% fat)
  • 6 large fresh basil leaves, chopped (or 1 1/2 teaspoons dried basil)
  • 1/2 teaspoon dry summer savory or thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground marjoram (or 2 teaspoons of fresh chopped)
  • (Can substitute herbs with other herbs such as an Italian herb mix)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • Paprika


1 If you haven't already made the rice, start cooking the rice following the package instructions (usually 1 cup of raw white rice plus 1 1/2 cups of water and 1/2 teaspoon of salt, bring to boil, reduce heat to low, cover and cook for 15 minutes.)

2 Cut the tops off of the bell peppers. Remove and discard (compost) the stem and seeds.

moms-stuffed-bell-peppers-method-1 moms-stuffed-bell-peppers-method-2

Place bell peppers cut side up on a steaming rack over an inch of water in a large covered pot. Bring to boil, let steam for 10 minutes. (Note you can skip this step if you want, but steaming the pepper shells first will make them more tender and easier to eat.)

3 Heat oven to 350°F. In a large bowl mix together the ground beef, basil, summer savory, marjoram, salt, several turns of black pepper, and the cooked rice.

4 Remove bell peppers from steamer pan. Place cut side up in a pyrex or other oven-proof casserole. Gently stuff the peppers with the ground beef rice mixture.

moms-stuffed-bell-peppers-method-3 moms-stuffed-bell-peppers-method-4

Drizzle olive oil over the stuffed peppers, along the outside of the peppers, and into the pan. Rub the oil over the outside of the peppers; it will help with browning. Sprinkle the tops generously with paprika.

5 Place on middle rack and bake at 350°F for 35-50 minutes, or longer, until the meat is cooked through.

Serve with ketchup.

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Stuffed Bell Peppers

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Showing 4 of 71 Comments

  • gabi

    I love stuffed peppers! In Croatia they will be cooked in tomato salsa and served with mash potatoes. When you make them that way, rice in the stuffing doesn’t need to be cooked.

  • Kristina

    This looks wonderful. I don’t have a steaming rack, though. Is there a way to precook the peppers in the microwave?

    I’m sure cooking them straight in the microwave for a minute or so would do the trick. ~Elise

  • Kalyn

    Sounds delicious to me, and I especially like the addition of marjoram. I recently made some bell peppers stuffed with farro which I thought turned out well. Love the red and yellow peppers especially.

  • jennsquared

    Looks yummy. I’ve never made one before so this will be my first stuffed pepper making. One question though – Do you cook the ground beef first or mix it with everything raw?

    You mix it with everything raw. The meat gets cooked in the oven. ~Elise

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