Who Pre-Cooks Their Peppers? Hands Up!

Do you do it? Do you pre-boil your peppers before stuffing them? If not, we bet you will next time!

There are hundreds of different ways to make Stuffed Peppers. Creating different fillings, slicing the pepper in half or leaving it whole, and the most debated, to pre-cook or to not pre-cook. To blanch or not to blanch.

Note first off that pre-cooking is not the same as blanching. To blanch you get the water boiling first. Then add your veg. It goes in for a short short time and then is transferred to an ice bath to stop the cooking process. Blanching helps vegetables retain a nice bright color but it doesn’t really cook the vegetable.

Peppers in an ice bath after blanching

You can absolutely blanch your bell peppers before stuffing them. It would result in a nicer color for the finished product but it wouldn’t help you in terms of cooking time or any other thing a busy person might need. We don’t blanch our peppers but we won’t make a big deal about it if you do. We just don’t know why you’d bother.

Pre-cooking, on the other hand. That’s where it’s at!

Pre-cooking is different. Pre-cooking is the idea of quick-starting the cooking process of your stuffed pepper. Since stuffed peppers can take as long as 45 minutes to bake, shortening that down with a quick boil really helps me out.

How to do it? Cut the tops off of your peppers and get them ready for stuffing (using one of the methods from here). Then follow the instructions below.

Pre-Cooking Peppers for Stuffing



How to Pre-Cook Peppers

  • Author: Christine Pittman
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 3 minutes
  • Total Time: 13 minutes


  • Peppers, either halved or whole and hollowed


  • Large Pot
  • Pot Cover
  • Slotted Spoon
  • Large Bowl filled with Ice Water


  1. In large pot, fill peppers with water (to prevent floating), and fill pot around peppers with water until peppers are fully covered.
  2. Cover pot and bring to a rolling boil on high heat. Bring the temperature down to medium-low and let peppers hard simmer for three minutes, or until tender.
  3. Using slotted spoon, transfer peppers to ice water to cool.
  4. Spoon peppers out of water and shake off excess. Place in baking dish and stuff.
  5. Proceed with recipe, cooking for 25-30 minutes.

Christine Pittman

Christine is the Senior Editor and Owner of The Cookful, COOKtheSTORY and IsThisThatFood. Her sites reach over 1.5 million readers per month, which means that things can get a bit crazy. She's constantly writing, taking pictures, editing, managing contributors, and, oh yeah, cooking. To say that she wears many hats is an understatement - there are many hats, and also many shirts, shoes, pants, and even the odd cape!