This stuffed pepper casserole marries all of the classic flavors of stuffed bell peppers – seasoned ground beef, soft bell peppers, and rice, all topped with bubbly, gooey cheese – made super easy, without any of the fuss of actually stuffing a darn thing.

This recipe is…

Stuffed peppers: delicious, nostalgic, but a little bit too fussy for my typical weeknight routine. This stuffed pepper casserole, though, which could actually be called unstuffed pepper casserole, takes all of the flavors from the classic and turns it into the easiest-to-throw-together dinner ever.

Casseroles are kind of our thing. Not the soup-y, goop-y casseroles that may come to mind when you hear the word, but real, yummy food made into a one-pan (casserole) situation that your family will ask for again and again. If you love the idea of this stuffed pepper casserole, I can guarantee that you’ll also love this King Ranch Chicken Casserole, this Confetti Chicken Casserole, and this Chicken Enchilada Casserole.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

  • It’s easy – if your weeknights are busy and getting dinner on the table feels really hard sometimes, this stuffed pepper casserole is your ticket to a delicious dinner that was, truly, easy to pull together.
  • It’s delicious – seasoned ground beef, garlic, onion, chopped bell peppers, and rice, all topped with bubbly cheddar cheese – this recipe is easy weeknight comfort food at its finest.

Recipe Ingredients

You don’t need a whole lot for this recipe. In fact, I’d be willing to bet that you have at least a handful of the ingredients on hand already (most of them are kitchen/pantry staples). Find ingredient notes (including substitutions and swaps) below.

All of the ingredients needed for stuffed pepper casserole in different sized plates and bowls on a marble surface.
  • Ground beef – any fat/lean ratio will work here – if you’re ground beef has a higher fat content, you’ll just need to cook it a little bit longer or drain the grease before adding the rest of the ingredients.
  • Bell peppers – this recipe calls for a red bell pepper and a yellow bell pepper, but know that you can buy ANY color combo (or 2 of the same color) that you’d like.
  • Rice – use any rice you have on hand for this recipe!

A full ingredient list with exact amounts can be found in the recipe card below.

Recipe Variations and Modifications

  • Use any ground protein – swap the ground beef for any ground protein you prefer. Ground turkey, ground chicken, ground pork – all would work great here!
  • Use onion powder + garlic powder – if you don’t have fresh onion and/or garlic on hand, use onion/garlic powder. You’ll need a 1/2 tablespoon of onion powder and a 1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder.

How to Make Stuffed Pepper Casserole

This recipe is incredibly easy to make! Follow along below for the full how-to.

An enameled cast iron pot of sauteed onions and garlic.
A person using a potato masher to cook and crumble ground beef in an enameled cast iron pot alongside sauteed onions and garlic.

Step 1: Heat a large pot with a lid over medium heat with olive oil. Add the onions and garlic to the pot and saute for 3-5 minutes, until fragrant and bell peppers begin to soften.

Step 2: Add the ground beef, crumble while cooking, and cook for about 15 minutes or until most of the grease has evaporated and cooked out. If you are in a rush, you can drain the grease after 5-6 minutes of cooking.

A person stirring chopped yellow and red bell peppers into a pot of browned ground beef and sauteed onions and garlic.

Step 3: Add the bell peppers and stir to combine.

Step 4: Add the Italian seasoning, paprika, salt, pepper, red pepper flakes, diced tomatoes, tomato paste, beef stock Worcestershire sauce, and rice, and stir to combine. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Cover and cook for 30 minutes.

Stuffed pepper casserole in an enameled cast iron pot covered with shredded cheese (not melted yet).
A person using a wooden serving spoon to scoop a serving of stuffed pepper casserole out of a large enamel cast iron pot.

Step 5: Turn off the heat. Remove the lid and stir. Sprinkle with cheese, then replace the lid for 3-5 minutes to allow the cheese to melt.

Step 6: Garnish with chives, and serve and enjoy!

Troubleshooting

Let’s talk about the rice in this recipe! We’ve thoroughly tested this recipe, so rest assured that it SHOULD work, but one-pot recipes like this (especially those that include a rice or grain component) can be tricky and often require a bit of finagling. If you’re finding that the rice isn’t cooking all the way during the 30 minute simmer, you can…

  • Stir throughout – though the general rule of thumb when it comes to cooking rice is to leave the lid on and not mess with the rice at all while it cooks, stirring it as it cooks in this recipe may actually work to your advantage. Because the rice is in a pot with ground beef and olive oil (used to saute the garlic and onion), it may become coated in a light layer of fat, preventing it from softening and cooking. Removing the lid and stirring everything together 2-3 times during the 30-minute cooking process, may help to prevent this.
  • Add more time – it may also be that your rice just needs a bit more time to cook, so if your rice isn’t cooked after 30 minutes, give it a good stir, put the lid on, and continue to cook for another 15-20 minutes.
  • Use cooked rice – if you’ve tried this recipe, loved the flavors but had trouble with the rice cooking, and don’t want to spend the time trying to trouble shoot, use already cooked rice instead. You’ll use 3 cups of cooked rice, half of the broth that the recipe calls for (so, 1 cup total), and instead of simmering for 30 minutes (step 5), simmer for 20 minutes.

Recipe Tips

  • Broil the cheese – after adding the shredded cheese to the stuffed pepper casserole, transfer the pot (as long as it’s oven safe) to the oven to broil for 3-5 minutes. This will make for the yummiest bubbly cheese topping!
  • Cook in the oven instead of the stovetop – if you want, you can absolutely cook this meal in the oven instead of simmering on the stovetop. It’ll take the same amount of time, but if you prefer oven cooking to stovetop cooking, it’s a great option! After adding the Italian seasoning, paprika, salt, pepper, red pepper flakes, diced tomatoes, tomato paste, beef stock Worcestershire sauce, and rice, give everything a good stir and transfer it to a 350°F oven for 30 minutes.

How to Serve

One of the really great things about casseroles is that they tend to be really balanced meals, and this one is no exception. It’s loaded with protein, veggies, a healthy starch, and good, healthy fats.

Because of this, there’s really no need to serve this casserole alongside anything else, but, if you’re looking for a good accompaniment, this simple arugula salad would add a nice fresh component to the meal.

How to Store and Reheat

Store any leftover casserole in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. This meal is also a great one to freeze – to do that, simply pop it in a freezer safe container and store it for up to 3 months.

Reheat your leftovers either in the microwave for 1-2 minutes or in a 350°F oven for 20ish minutes, until warmed through.

A serving of stuffed pepper casserole on a white plate next to a pot of stuffed pepper casserole.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are stuffed peppers?

Stuffed bell peppers are either green, yellow, orange, or red bell peppers with the tops cut off and ground meat (usually ground beef or Italian sausage), a starch (usually rice, but sometimes quinoa or another grain), tomato sauce, and cheese stuffed into them. The peppers are then baked until soft, and then cut into with a fork and knife when ready to enjoy.

A stuffed pepper casserole incorporates all of the same ingredients, but in easy-to-throw-together casserole form!

Which color of bell pepper is healthiest?

Red bell peppers pack the biggest nutritional punch because they’ve been on the vine the longest. This is also why they’re the sweetest of all of the peppers. Green peppers are harvest earliest (making them still a GREAT, healthy choice, but with less of a nutritional punch and a lot less sweet), followed by yellow, orange, and then red.

If you tried this Stuffed Pepper Casserole or any other recipe on my website, please leave a 🌟 star rating and let me know how it went in the 📝 comments below!

Stuffed Pepper Casserole Recipe

4.50 — Votes 6 votes
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 55 minutes
Total: 1 hour 5 minutes
Servings: 5 Servings
This stuffed pepper casserole marries all of the classic flavors of stuffed bell peppers – seasoned ground beef, soft bell peppers, and rice, all topped with bubbly, gooey cheese – made super easy, without any of the fuss of actually stuffing a darn thing.

Ingredients  

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • ½ yellow onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, diced
  • 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
  • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1, 14.5-ounce can diced tomatoes
  • 6 ounces tomato paste
  • 2 cups beef stock
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 cup rice
  • 2 cups shredded cheese

Instructions 

  • Heat a large pot with a lid over medium heat with olive oil.
  • Add the onions and garlic to the pot and saute for 3-5 minutes, until fragrant and softened.
  • Add the ground beef, crumble while cooking, and cook for about 15 minutes or until most of the grease has evaporated and cooked out. If you are in a rush, you can drain the grease after 5-6 minutes of cooking.
  • Add the bell peppers and stir to combine.
  • Add the remaining ingredients (with an exception of the cheese), and stir to combine. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Cover and cook for 30 minutes.
  • Turn off the heat. Remove the lid and stir. Sprinkle with cheese, then replace the lid for 3-5 minutes to allow the cheese to melt.
  • Serve and enjoy!

Recipe Notes

Recipe Variations & Modifications
  • Use any ground protein – swap the ground beef for any ground protein you prefer. Ground turkey, ground chicken, ground pork – all would work great here!
  • Use onion powder + garlic powder – if you don’t have fresh onion and/or garlic on hand, use onion/garlic powder. You’ll need a 1/2 tablespoon of onion powder and a 1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder.
 
Recipe Tips
  • Broil the cheese – after adding the shredded cheese to the stuffed pepper casserole, transfer the pot (as long as it’s oven safe) to the oven to broil for 3-5 minutes. This will make for the yummiest bubbly cheese topping!
  • Cook in the oven instead of the stovetop – if you want, you can absolutely cook this meal in the oven instead of simmering on the stovetop. It’ll take the same amount of time, but if you prefer oven cooking to stovetop cooking, it’s a great option! After adding the Italian seasoning, paprika, salt, pepper, red pepper flakes, diced tomatoes, tomato paste, beef stock Worcestershire sauce, and rice, give everything a good stir and transfer it to a 350°F oven for 30 minutes.

Nutrition

Calories: 519kcal | Carbohydrates: 46g | Protein: 36g | Fat: 21g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 8g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 87mg | Sodium: 1427mg | Potassium: 1126mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 2317IU | Vitamin C: 84mg | Calcium: 594mg | Iron: 5mg

Additional Info

Course: Dinner
Cuisine: American
Servings: 5 Servings
Calories: 519
Keyword: stuffed pepper casserole

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Brandi Schilhab


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12 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    My family and I loved this dish! It’s an easy weekday meal that is comforting and delicious!

  2. 2 stars
    I cooked this tonight on the stovetop and my rice didn’t cook either. It simmered for 35-40 minutes with the lid on. Was a bit “soupier” than I would expect a casserole to be, but with the lid on the moisture isn’t going anywhere. If I make this again, I will decrease the liquid and use rice I cooked separately.

    1. I had some same thoughts Ann! I was going to try those options if I make it again too… less liquid and pre-cooked rice.

    2. Hi Ann! Thank you for letting us know! We are looking into it now! Sometimes the fats from the beef can coat the rice and prevent it from soaking up any liquid. Frequent stirring can help prevent this! If you choose to cook your rice separately, cut the liquid in half and cook everything together for just 20 minutes! We are going to do some testing on our end and hopefully be able to better figure out what is going wrong! Thank you so so much!

  3. are we to use cooked or uncooked rice? I assume uncooked, but there are no details either way. thanks!

    1. Hi Stephanie! We used uncooked, but cooked will work too! Cut the liquid in half and only cook everything together for 20 minutes!

  4. This is really good, but I cooked it in the oven and the rice did not seem to cook. Suggestions?

    1. 5 stars
      I made this last night and it was delicious! I doubled the recipe but kept the rice at 1 cup. It took about 10 minutes longer for the rice to cook and get soft. Overall a very flavorful, comforting and easy to make meal, and it will be great as leftovers!

  5. Hi! I’m making this now. There is a typo in step 2. Bell peppers aren’t to be added until step 4, so I added mine too early. I’m sure will still be tasty!

    1. 5 stars
      Yep, recipe came out delicious! My whole family loved it! Didn’t have Italian seasoning, but had the separate ingredients so made up the amounts on my own. Love that it’s a complete meal. So yummy, thank you!

    2. Great catch, Lyndsey! Fixed it! Thank you so much! We hope you enjoyed it!