Stuffed peppers look so colorful on a plate, and they’re delicious, too! I love that you can adapt the fillings and spices any way you like (think chili powder, black beans, and corn for Mexican-style peppers, or oregano, lemon, orzo, and feta for Greek-style peppers).
The ones I'm sharing today are stuffed with a spicy filling of ground beef, rice, corn, and Cajun seasonings. If you can’t track down a Cajun spice blend, Old Bay and a pinch of cayenne works, too!
Fast Dinner in the Pressure Cooker!
I use my electric pressure cooker (I love my Instant Pot!) to make these stuffed peppers in about 40 minutes from start to finish.
Oven versions can take upwards of an hour to prepare (and sometimes use an extra skillet), and slow cooker versions, like the recipe I'm riffing today, can be a little tricky to time correctly. Now that I’ve gotten the quantities and method down, I really prefer the pressure cooker.
- New to the Instant Pot? Check out our post How To Use an Instant Pot: A First-Timer’s Guide.
A Great Way to Use Leftover Rice
The filling for these peppers includes a cup of precooked rice—you can use any kind of leftover rice, or grab a bag or bowl of the precooked kind at the store. You can also quickly make a batch of rice in the pressure cooker, if you need to!
In my house, we often freeze leftover rice so it can be microwaved iI'm n minutes for recipes like this one.
How Much Ground Beef to Buy
In order to get the filling quantity just right, I used 3/4 pound of ground beef. You can either ask your butcher for this amount of meat, or just buy a full pound. You can either freeze the leftover 1/4 pound, or cook it separately for use in another meal. (Hint: It’s really good in egg scrambles!)
Look for Small-Sized Bell Peppers
This recipe makes four small- to medium-sized stuffed peppers. Use any color of bell peppers that you like, just make sure they’re small enough to fit snugly inside a 7-inch cake pan, sized specifically for the job since it fits neatly inside the Instant Pot.
The Instant Pot comes with a trivet with handles, which makes it really easy to lower the cake pan right into the pot, then lift it out again (using heatproof mitts, of course). You can also steam the peppers right on the trivet, but they’ll be much trickier to remove after cooking.
I really prefer the pan-in-pot way of cooking them—it eliminates variables!
Serve Your Stuffed Peppers Right Away!
You’ll want to take the peppers out of the pot right when they finish cooking so they don’t get too soft. Sprinkle them with cheese and fresh herbs, and then serve them on their own or with a big salad.
More Pressure Cooker Favorites
- How to Make Chicken Soup in the Pressure Cooker
- Pressure Cooker Weeknight Paella with Chicken and Sausage
- Pressure Cooker Ground Beef Chili
- Pressure Cooker Chicken and Rice Casserole
- Pressure Cooker Chicken Lettuce Wraps
Pressure Cooker Cajun-Spiced Stuffed Peppers
Stove-top Pressure Cooker: Cook this for 12 minutes—the rule of thumb is for about 85 percent of the electric pressure cooker’s specified cook time
- 4 small- to medium-sized bell peppers, any color
- 3/4 pound 93% to 96% lean ground beef
- 3/4 cup corn kernels (fresh or frozen)
- 1 cup cooked rice (any variety)
- 3/4 cup diced red onion
- 1 1/2 teaspoons Cajun seasoning blend
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano leaves
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika
- 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- To serve:
- 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
- 2 tablespoons chopped parsley or cilantro
Prepare the bell peppers
Cut off the tops of the bell peppers and discard (or save for another purpose). Use your hands to remove any seeds and white membranes so the peppers are clean and ready for stuffing.
Make the filling and stuff the peppers
In a mixing bowl, combine the beef, corn, rice, red onion, and seasonings. Use your hands to mix everything together well, and then spoon the filling into the peppers, packing it in firmly.
As you stuff the peppers, place them next to each other in the cake pan, sitting upright like cups.
Pressure cook the peppers
Pour a cup of water into the inner pot of a 6-quart electric pressure cooker. Use the wire metal trivet to lower the cake pan into the pot. It should be resting on top of the trivet, a little bit above the water.
Secure the lid on the pressure cooker and make sure the lid is set to its “Sealing” position. Select the “Manual” or “Pressure Cook” setting, and set the time to 15 minutes at high pressure. The pot will take about 10 minutes to come up to pressure, and then the cooking time will begin.
Release the pressure
When the cooking program ends, perform a quick pressure release by moving the pressure vent to its “Venting” position.
When the pressure has fully released, open the pot and sprinkle the peppers with the cheese and chopped fresh herbs.
Serve the stuffed peppers
Wearing a pair of heatproof mitts, lift the trivet with the cake pan out of the pot. Don’t worry if some liquid has settled in the cake pan. Use a pair of serving spoons to remove the peppers from the pan and transfer to individual plates. Serve hot.
Note: These stuffed peppers are best served right away, or cooled and reheated later in the microwave. Do not keep warm on the pressure cookers Warm setting or by covering the cooked peppers with foil, since this causes the peppers to overcook and split when served.