Stuffed peppers with melted cheese on top.

Classic Stuffed Peppers Recipe

Contributor: Christine Pittman

There are a bazzillion recipes for stuffed peppers out there, every variation imaginable. But sometimes you just want the mom-style comfort of the classic. Here it is. Beef, rice, tomato sauce, cheese, good.

  • Author: Christine Pittman
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 40 minutes
  • Total Time: 50 minutes
  • Yield: 6 servings 1x
  • Category: Entrée
  • Method: Baked
  • Cuisine: American


Units Scale
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 lb. lean ground beef
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. coarse black pepper
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 6 large bell peppers
  • 2 and 1/2 cups tomato sauce, divided
  • 2 cups cooked rice
  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese


  1. Preheat oven to 350ºF.
  2. In a large skillet heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally until softened, 2-3 minutes. Add the beef, salt, pepper and garlic.  Cook stirring occasionally until beef is cooked through, 6-7 minutes. Drain the fat and discard. Stir in cooked rice and 2 cups of the tomato sauce.
  3. Cut a thin slice from stem end of each pepper to remove the top. Remove seeds and membrane. If your pepper is wobbly, cut a thin slice from the bottom so it stands erect.
  4. (Optional Step) In 4 qt. Dutch oven, place peppers open-side-up and fill them with water (to avoid floating). Fill the pot around the peppers with water and bring to a boil on high. Bring temperature down to medium-low and let simmer 3 minutes. Remove from pot and place in ice bath. Drain.
  5. Stuff Peppers with beef mixture and place in a 9×13″ baking dish.
  6. If you pre-cooked your peppers: Bake 25 minutes.  If you did not pre-cook your peppers:Bake 40-45 minutes.  To test if peppers are ready: Stick with toothpick near the top of the pepper. If it slides through the skin easily, then you’re good to go. After the baking time is complete, add remaining 1 tablespoon of tomato sauce on each pepper. Sprinkle with shredded mozzarella. Bake for 5 minutes longer, until peppers are tender and cheese is melted.

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