Italian Stuffed Peppers

Tonight was a stop in Italy. Although stuffed peppers are not an inherently Italian dish (sshhh, don’t tell my Grandma!), this version certainly tasted like it was straight from the old country! The addition of the parmesan cheese and using spaghetti sauce versus plain tomato sauce made all the difference. This is my new official stuffed pepper recipe!

Italian Stuffed Peppers (adapted from Lunch with Lynn)

4 large bell peppers
1 cup cooked rice
1 lb. ground beef
1/2 large vidalia onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
Italian seasoning
1/2 cup parmesan cheese
1 1/2 cups spaghetti sauce (I used homemade that I had in the freezer)
Shredded mozzarella cheese

1. Preheat oven to 375.

2. Cut the tops off of peppers and clean out seeds and membranes. Place in baking dish that has a small amount of water on the bottom (it will keep the peppers from sticking and keep them moist).

3. Brown the ground beef with the onion and garlic, crumbling the meat. Season with salt, pepper and a couple of dashes of Italian seasoning. Drain beef mixture.

4. Mix beef mixture, rice, parmesan cheese and almost all of spaghetti sauce in a bowl. Stuff an equal amount of filling into each pepper. Top with a spoonful of sauce and a sprinkle of parmesan cheese on each pepper.

5. Bake in preheated oven for 25 minutes. Top with shredded mozzarella cheese and continue to bake until the cheese is melted and bubbly.

**What I Would Do Differently**
The peppers were still pretty raw when they came out of the oven, so next time I would boil them quickly to get them started before stuffing them and baking them.


29 Responses to “Italian Stuffed Peppers”

  1. Ally on August 6, 2007 at 9:42 pm

    Looks really good Chelly!!


  2. Beth G. on August 6, 2007 at 10:25 pm

    Those look great! We’re sauce-in-the-freezer people too so this is a great week night dinner~ YUM!


  3. laneyu on August 7, 2007 at 8:09 am

    these look so good! i will have to try them!


  4. Marie Norris on August 7, 2007 at 9:06 am

    These look sooo good hon….I will have to try them tonight! Love, Mom


  5. MrsSisler on August 7, 2007 at 9:45 am

    These look great! I wish DH ate stuffed peppers! Maybe I’ll make them for my lunch or something


  6. Kayte on August 7, 2007 at 11:29 am

    these look amazing!


  7. Amber on August 7, 2007 at 8:19 pm

    They look wonderful!! Great job.


  8. Allie on August 8, 2007 at 9:49 am

    i tried these last night…and they were delicious!! this is now my goto stuffed pepper recipe!!


  9. marye on August 9, 2007 at 1:48 pm

    I do steam mine in the microwave for a bit before stuffing..but these look awesome!


  10. Mansi Desai on August 10, 2007 at 5:11 pm

    Hi there,

    its great to stumble upon your blog! nice recipes and great pics…I’m a vegetarian, but i loved this recipe and will try to make it with a beef substitution and tell u how it goes!!

    meanwhile visit for some veggie recipes!




  11. Nicole on September 12, 2007 at 9:25 am

    I absolutely love your blog! I steam peppers in the microwave for a few minutes before sticking them in the oven. Makes all the difference. Have a great day!


  12. Netti on July 29, 2013 at 5:37 pm

    Yes, the peppers needed to be steamed prior to filling. The flavor is good, but I added more spice, just to give it a “flavor boost”. I’ve also heard that you can set your peppers onto a bed of sourkrout instead of the water.


  13. anita on August 4, 2013 at 9:04 am

    hi, I have a recipe that is similar to this. the differences in mine are, parboil the peppers for 5 mins each first. (but I like the idea of steaming them in the microwave, though I haven’t tried that yet) in my recipe it is just tomato sauce that is used, and the garlic is not cooked with the meat, but added after the meat rice and sauce are mixed together also there is no parmesan cheese or Italian spices.
    my recipe:
    cook the ground beef with onions s&p, drained then add the cooked rice and tomato sauce to the pan that has the cooked meat in it add uncooked garlic here. when the parboiled peppers are cool enough to handle fill them, top with shredded cheese and bake 20-30 mins.

    the green pepper and garlic that cooks in the pepper flavors everything so its not necessary to have all of those spices added. I have when cutting the tops of the green peppers odd, taken all of the parts around the tops and are still edible, and added it diced to the meat when its cooking


  14. Gina on March 27, 2014 at 12:29 pm

    I tried this last night. It came out AWESOME!!! I had everything but the spaghetti sauce oddly enough. I’m a horrible Italian to not have pasta sauce at all times in my house. Anyway, I had a random can of Progresso’s Tomato Basil soup. I improvised. Needless to say, it worked out great as a sub for the pasta sauce! I also didn’t have a lot of onion but I used shallots and those worked just as well. We will pin and continue to use this recipe!


  15. Joan on June 17, 2014 at 8:19 am

    I roast my peppers for 30 – 40 minutes before stuffing them. It gives them a nice sweet flavor AND no burps! A little more difficult to handle because they are softer, but so worth the effort.


  16. Cela on July 28, 2014 at 10:52 pm

    Made this tonight and it was amazing!!! I did half ground beef, half hot Italian sausage and added breadcrumbs and fresh mozzarella…everything was wonderful thanks for the recipe


  17. Renee on August 13, 2014 at 10:18 pm

    So delicious! Just made it tonight. I cooked it a little bit longer than stated.I topped it with fresh basil for some extra herby flavor and broiled it for the last couple minutes for an added crisp. Would definitely make it again!


  18. Monique on January 12, 2015 at 11:01 am

    do you cook the rice prior to mixing?


    • Michelle on January 12th, 2015 at 1:28 pm

      Hi Monique, Yes, per the ingredient list in the recipe, you should use cooked rice.


  19. Donna Jones on August 4, 2015 at 6:22 pm

    I parboilied my peppers…..not too soft, but softened them up some. I put italian sausage with beef in the stuffing and topped with parmesan cheese and a disk of fresh mozzarella! Yummmy!


  20. katharine on October 18, 2015 at 6:57 pm

    I’ve never made stuffed peppers before. How long should I put them in the microwave for prior to stuffing? On full power?


    • Michelle on October 20th, 2015 at 11:41 am

      Hi Katharine, I didn’t put them in the microwave, but you could do it for a minute or so to see if they soften up a bit. Would probably depend on the size and thickness of the peppers.


      • Katharine on October 20th, 2015 at 4:53 pm

        Alright thanks.
        If I boil them, should I boil the water first then put them in? Or put in with cold water and bring to a boil?
        Additionally, boil for just a few minutes? Should I reduce the heat to a simmer?


        • Michelle on October 22nd, 2015 at 8:05 pm

          Hi Katherine, Boil the water, put them in, and boil for about 5 minutes. No need to reduce the heat.


          • Kat on November 8th, 2015 at 12:20 pm

            Hi Michelle,

            I just wanted to follow up. The peppers were awesome!! I ended up putting them in a covered bowl in the microwave for about 4 minutes and they turned out perfectly! Just soft enough to eat but still firm enough to stuff and cook.
            Thanks for this recipe! It was delicious and easy!


          • Melissa D on August 15th, 2016 at 1:37 pm

            Hi, I found this recipe today and I have never made stuffed peppers before. My dad used to make these when I was a kid so looking forward to trying them. Do I parboil the peppers with the stem and everything in tact or do I cut the tops off, clean them out and then par boil them? Thanks for the recipe and your advice. Will let you know tomorrow how they came out. I bought two boxes of rice, one is regular brown rice and the other is jasmine. Do you think it will still taste okay with jasmine rice that is very fragrant? Thanks


  21. Lorie on November 8, 2015 at 6:26 pm

    I tried this recipe tonight and the peppers turned out delicious! I did par boil the peppers for 5 mins. I added petite diced tomatoes to the stuffing. I will be making these again


  22. mariadi on January 24, 2016 at 9:00 am

    This is a very good stuffed pepper recipe-I steamed the peppers while cooking the rice underneath. I used a Spanish rice mix. Also, I seasoned the ground meat with a taco mix.


  23. Patti on August 18, 2016 at 10:53 pm

    Thank you for this recipe. My dad & mom always made them this way. Good to know there’s a recipe with same ingredients that I use. I made the mixture earlier in the week and just stuffed and cooked them, but when I stuffed them the peppers were uncooked. I wasn’t sure how long to microwaved them for so I did 4 minutes and checked them then did another 5 minutes and they were perfect. I will use your recipe the next time.


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