Stuffed Bell Peppers With Rice

Looking for a delicious and easy dinner option? Try these stuffed bell peppers! They’re loaded with flavorful ingredients like rice, Italian sausage, ground beef, onion, garlic, parmesan cheese, and tomato sauce.

stuffed bell peppers with rice and meat on plates.

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What Are Stuffed Bell Peppers?  

Bell peppers are the perfect containers for, well, just about anything. People have been stuffing them with all sorts of ingredients and cooking them for hundreds of years.

In this Italian-inspired recipe, those ingredients include ground beef, Italian sausages, seasonings, and white rice in a spicy tomato sauce. The results are something deliciously unique. 

What Makes This the Recipe For Stuffed Green Bell Peppers the One You Must Try?

You can find a lot of vintage stuffed pepper recipes online, but none of those comes close to these stuffed bell peppers. This dish takes a somewhat bland old fashioned stuffed bell peppers recipe and pumps up the flavor with Italian sausage and bold seasonings.

These Italian stuffed bell peppers with rice are easy to prepare as a weekday meal and tasty enough to become one of your family’s favorites. 

Ingredients For Easy Stuffed Peppers

To make these Italian stuffed peppers, you’ll need:

  • Italian sausage, bulk
  • Ground chuck or Lean Ground Beef
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • White onion, finely chopped
  • Garlic, minced
  • Italian seasoning
  • Red pepper flakes
  • Cooked long-grain white rice
  • Parmesan cheese, shredded
  • Tomato-based pasta sauce
  • Chopped tomatoes, canned
  • Bell peppers (red, yellow, or green peppers)
stuffed bell peppers ingredients on a tray.

Ingredient Notes

Use either sweet or hot bulk Italian sausage for these easy stuffed bell peppers. If you can’t find bulk Italian sausage, just remove the casing and rough chop your favorite type of sausage. Or you can make homemade Italian Sausage.

This recipe makes enough stuffing for four large bell peppers or six smaller ones. Green, red, or yellow peppers all work in this recipe, although they have slightly different flavors. Choose which ones you use according to your preferences.

How To Make Stuffed Bell Peppers 

To prepare the stuffing:

  1. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat.
  2. Add the sausage meat and ground beef to the skillet and season with salt and pepper. 
browned meat in a skillet.
  1. When the meat is cooked halfway, add the chopped onions and minced garlic to the skillet.
  2. Continue to saute until the meat is cooked through and the onions are translucent.
browned meat and onions in a skillet.
  1. Drain the meat and stir in the Italian seasoning and red pepper flakes.
  2. Dump the contents of the skillet into a large mixing bowl.
  3. Add a third of the pasta sauce, all the canned chopped tomatoes and cooked rice, and half the cheese to the large mixing bowl. 
bell pepper stuffing ingredients in a bowl.
  1. Stir well to combine. Cover the rice mixture and set it aside for later. 

To prepare the peppers:

  1. Slice off the top half-inch of the bell peppers and use a spoon to scrape out the seeds. 
  2. For very large peppers, poke the tip of a knife a couple of times through the pepper an inch from the bottom. These slits let steam escape and prevent the pepper from breaking in the oven. 

To stuff the peppers: 

  1. Use a spoon to fill the peppers with the stuffing. Be sure not to pack the peppers too tightly.
  2. Top the stuffed pepper with the remaining cheese. 

To cook stuffed peppers:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  2. Spread the remaining pasta sauce on the bottom of a baking dish and place peppers on top of the sauce. 
stuffed bell peppers in a baking dish.
  1. Bake for 25 minutes.
  2. Let the peppers cool slightly before serving. Garnish with a sprinkle of chopped fresh parsley if desired.
stuffed bell peppers with rice and meat on a white plate.

Recipe Variations

There are almost endless creative possibilities when making the stuffing for these peppers. Try these changes, or come up with some new ones:

  • Use different meat. Opt for ground turkey or ground chicken to replace ground beef and/or Italian sausage. 
  • Swap out the white rice. Go with quinoa, cauliflower rice, or even cooked lentils.  
  • Use your favorite type of cheese. If you prefer a more cheesy stuffed pepper, use your favorite Italian cheese, such as mozzarella cheese, cheddar cheese, pepper jack cheese, or even ricotta. 

Cooking Variations

Although most people find it easiest to cook sausage stuffed bell peppers in the oven, you can use other cooking methods as well:

Stuffed Bell Peppers in Air Fryer

  1. Prepare the stuffed peppers as above, but don’t top them with cheese. 
  2. Preheat the air fryer to 350°F.
  3. Cook the peppers in the air fryer for 10 minutes.
  4. Top the peppers with cheese and cook until the cheese melts. 

Stuffed Bell Peppers on the Grill

  1. Prepare the stuffed peppers as above. 
  2. Preheat the grill to medium.
  3. Grill the peppers directly on the grate for 25 to 30 minutes with the cover closed.

Stuffed Bell Peppers Crockpot Slow Cooker

  1. Prepare the stuffed peppers as above, but don’t top them with cheese. 
  2. Spread the remaining pasta sauce on the bottom of the slow cooker.
  3. Put the stuffed pepper in the slow cooker cover, and cook on LOW for 4 to 5 hours. 
  4. Top the peppers with cheese, cover, and cook until the cheese melts. 

What Goes With Stuffed Bell Peppers 

Stuffed green bell peppers are delicious on their own, but adding a side or two makes them a more substantial meal. This recipe will pair nicely with a cup of soup, side salad, or a hunk of crusty bread. 

How To Store Italian Stuffed Bell Peppers 

Cooling the peppers and putting them in an airtight container in the refrigerator will keep them fresh for up to three days. For keeping stuffed peppers fresh for longer than three days, try freezing them. 

How to Freeze Stuffed Peppers After They Have Been Cooked 

You can freeze cooked stuffed peppers for up to three months, and they reheat wonderfully. To freeze stuffed bell peppers with rice and ground beef:

  1. Let the peppers cool entirely. Stuffed peppers can retain heat for a long time, and freezing them when they are still warm will cause freezer burn.
  2. Wrap each cooled stuffed pepper individually in plastic and place them together in an airtight container. 
  3. Freeze in the coldest part of your freezer. 

What’s the Best Way to Reheat Sausage Stuffed Bell Peppers

You can reheat leftover stuffed bell peppers with rice and ground beef in the oven:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  2. Place the stuffed pepper on a baking tray. You can reheat frozen peppers, but you must increase the reheating time. To reduce the reheating time, try cutting the peppers in half from the top down and lay them out with the stuffing side facing up. 
  3. Cover the peppers with aluminum foil. 
  4. Heat for 15 to 20 minutes or until the peppers are warm. 
  5. Remove the aluminum foil. At this point, you can add more cheese if you want. Heat for another 5 minutes. 
closeup of stuffed bell peppers on a plate.

Love Peppers? Try These Recipes

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stuffed bell peppers with rice and meat on plates.

Stuffed Bell Peppers

Baked bell peppers stuffed with rice, Italian sausage, ground beef, tomato sauce, and cheese are a delicious meal.
5 from 4 votes
Print Pin Rate Add to Collection
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Italian stuffed peppers, stuffed bell pepper, stuffed bell peppers
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Servings: 4
Calories: 568kcal


  • 1/2 pound Italian sausage
  • 1/2 pound ground chuck
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 2 teaspoons chopped garlic
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes if you like it hotter, add more
  • 14 ounces pasta sauce
  • 11 ounces canned crushed tomatoes
  • 1 1/2 cups cooked rice
  • 1 cup Parmesan cheese divided use
  • 4 large bell peppers or 6 small bell peppers


  • Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  • In a large skillet over medium heat, begin to brown the Italian sausage along with the ground chuck. Season with salt and pepper.
  • When the meat is about halfway done, add the onion and garlic. Cook until the meat has browned and the onions have become tender. Drain the meat. Then add the Italian seasoning and red pepper flakes, stir, and set aside.
  • In a bowl, combine the pasta sauce and crushed tomatoes. Mix well.
  • In a separate bowl, combine the cooked meats, rice, and 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese. Add about 1/3 of the sauce and mix well.
  • Prepare the peppers by slicing off the tops and hulling out the inside membranes. If the peppers are very large, you may want to add some venting slits on the bottom of the peppers.
  • Stuff the peppers with the meat mixture and place them in a large baking dish.
  • Spoon half of the remaining sauce into the bottom of the baking dish, and top the peppers with the remaining sauce and Parmesan cheese
  • Bake for about 25 minutes.



Calories: 568kcal | Carbohydrates: 27g | Protein: 32g | Fat: 37g | Saturated Fat: 15g | Cholesterol: 105mg | Sodium: 1756mg | Potassium: 1289mg | Fiber: 7g | Sugar: 16g | Vitamin A: 5950IU | Vitamin C: 228.1mg | Calcium: 368mg | Iron: 5mg

About Stephanie Manley

I recreate your favorite restaurant recipes, so you can prepare these dishes at home. I help you cook dinner, and serve up dishes you know your family will love. You can find most of the ingredients for all of the recipes in your local grocery store.

Stephanie is the author of's Dining Out in the Home, and's Dining Out in the Home 2.

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Reader Interactions


  1. .Melinda Baker

    Made these stuffed peppers, used red bell peppers. Added diced zucchini and shaved carrots. They were delicious! I saved some time on the oven baking by partially baking the prepped peppers in the oven while cooking the meat and rice.

  2. FlavoursHolidays

    Delicious recipe and very authentic to Italy. Thanks for sharing! Have you tried this recipe with aubergines yet:

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