Stuffed peppers are an excellent appetizer, and what I love about them is how much variety they give you to work with. You can use any color of bell pepper and different sizes too, finding the one that’s perfect for what you want to make.
Then, you can fill it with whatever you can think of. While there are definitely stuffed pepper fillings that are outright classics, there’s a lot of room for improvisation too.
How to Cook Stuffed Peppers
While stuffed peppers may look pretty complex and fancy, they’re actually pretty easy to make. You just need to choose out the right bell peppers and get rid of a lot of their innards.
You’re taking out seeds and chopping off the stems and getting rid of most of the membrane. Once you remove all that, you’re left with a mostly empty shell.
You can either eat that shell or just use it as a decorative bowl for your dish. You fill the pepper with chili, beans, ground beef, veggies, or whatever else you like then cook them in the oven.
That’s about all there is to it, and this can be as complicated or as simple as you like, depending on what you’re putting into the peppers.
What temperature to cook stuffed peppers? 350 degrees Fahrenheit works fine, which will give you about 40 minutes or so of cooking time.
You can speed things up if you want by using a higher temperature, but for best results, I recommend sticking to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
How Long to Cook Stuffed Peppers
Of course, how long it takes for them to cook in the oven will depend on what temperature you’re using and how many of them you’re cooking at once. Smaller peppers take less time to cook than larger ones, and you want to be aware of the fillings you are using as well.
Some of them require that you don’t cook the peppers for very long, whereas if you’re cooking raw meat inside your bell peppers, you’ll need to cook them for a while to make sure the meat is cooked all the way through.
Usually, you will preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and then bake the peppers with all the stuffing inside them for about 40 minutes.
That works well as a baking temperature and time if you’re cooking rice, veggies, or something else that’s already precooked. That amount of time in the oven isn’t going to burn your fillings. That’s going to change if you’re working with raw meat, however.
How long to cook stuffed peppers with raw meat? The answer will be based on what kind of meat you’re cooking. If it’s chicken, for example, you may need to cook it for 50- 60 minutes.
Keep in mind that you don’t want to burn your bell peppers or any of your fillings with the baking time you’ve chosen. It may be best to cook up your raw meat ahead of time and then fill your peppers and cook for an extra 20 to 30 minutes.
How to Make Stuffed Peppers
Let me share a recipe with you for how to make stuffed bell peppers with rice and tomato filling.
- 6 bell peppers
- 8 ounces of ground beef
- 1 diced onion
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 4 tablespoons of cooking oil
- 2 cloves of chopped garlic
- 4 seeded and diced Roma tomatoes
- 1 diced zucchini
- 1 1/2 cups of grated cheese
- 1 cup of cooked rice
- Red pepper flakes, to season
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Cut off the pepper tops, discard the stems, and remove the seeds and most of the membrane. Set the peppers aside on a baking sheet with the cut side facing up.
- Warm two tablespoons of cooking oil on the stovetop in a large skillet, using medium high heat.
- Once the oil is hot, add in the beef, seasoning with salt and pepper. Break the beef up into small pieces until it cooks completely and starts to brown. This should take about 8 minutes.
- Clean off your skillet and add in two more tablespoons of cooking oil. Then, add in peppers and onions and cook for about 3 minutes, until they soften.
- Add in the garlic and zucchini and allow to cook for an additional minute. Then, add in tomatoes with a pinch of salt and red pepper flakes and cook until hot. Add in one cup of the cheese, as well as the rice and beef and season as necessary, stirring everything together.
- Fill your pepper cups with your mixture and sprinkle cheese on top. You should pour just a little water on the bottom of the baking dish and drizzle some oil on the peppers.
- Cover your peppers with aluminum foil and allow to bake for 30 minutes. Then, take the foil off and cook for another 15 minutes.
What to Serve with Stuffed Peppers
Now that you know how to cook stuffed bell peppers, let’s talk about what to serve with them. They go great with fries, corn on the cob, Bratwurst sausage, roasted vegetables, skewers, fried chicken, and green beans.
What goes with stuffed peppers? Just about any hot dish is a good partner, including casseroles, mashed potatoes, cream corn, and soup. For a contrast, try serving up stuffed bell peppers with a healthy salad.
How to Reheat Stuffed Peppers
If you have any stuffed peppers left over after your meal, you should store them away in the fridge once they cool. To reheat them, place your stuffed peppers on a microwave safe plate with the cut in facing up. Warm them in the microwave for about 2 minutes, and if they need additional heating time, put them in for increments of 20 seconds.
Be sure to only reheat the stuffed peppers you’re going to be eating. It’s not good to keep taking them out of the fridge, reheating them, and then storing them back to refrigerate.