Mom’s Stuffed Bell Peppers

Perfect comfort food! Bell peppers stuffed with ground beef, rice, and herbs, and baked in the oven.

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Photography Credit: Elise Bauer

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 adapted 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

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  • 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.

Ingredients

  • 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

Method

1 Cook the rice: 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 Steam the bell peppers: Cut the tops off of the bell peppers. Remove and discard (compost) the stem and seeds.

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 Mix the filling: 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 Fill the bell peppers: 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.

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 Bake: Place on the middle rack of the oven 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

Showing 4 of 73 Comments

  • Tula

    I precooked the hamburger (80/20 lean to fat) meat to brown it a little. Then I drained some of the fat. I followed the direction to steam the bell peppers and then instead of baking them I broiled them. These were spectacular and the bell peppers sealed the flavors perfectly. The peppers themselves were easy to pick, up after cooled and had a meaty texture so the juices from the peppers released when your bit into it. Totally Yummy.

  • palma farrar

    I don’t like cooked peppers, so I make my stuffing, rice, hamburger, onions, cornbread, pinto beans.Remove seeds and stuff the peppers, and that’s it. U can have them for dinner, or just picnic outside, and u eat them with ur hands.

  • Meagan

    sauteed the beef also sauteed mushrooms garlic and onion blend it all together added a can of Rotel. brown rice is almost done next year will be combined and stuffed into yellow bread and orange Frozen peppers an experiment to say the least.

  • David

    I used couscous instrad of rice and mixed shredded cheddar cheese with the meat mixture

  • Anna

    Made mine from my mom’s recipe passed down from Slovak grandparents. I used raw ground beef, uncooked rice, and tomato sauce in mine. I’ve seen that a lot of people cook their rice before putting it in the mixture, but my mother said it will make the rice way overcooked and soggy. Baked mine on 375 for an hour and 15 minutes.

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