Beef and Rice Stuffed Peppers

These Beef and Rice Stuffed Peppers are filled with so many aromatic vegetables in both the beef filling and the sauce that make the peppers really juicy and flavorful. 




  • 6 sweet bell peppers, medium to large, tops removed and seeded
  • 3/4 cup uncooked rice or 2 1/4 – 2 1/2 cups cooked rice
  • 12 Tablespoons butter or oil, divided
  • 1 1/2 of a large onion, finely chopped
  • 2 carrots, finely grated
  • 2 stalks of celery, minced
  • salt, ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 1/2 lbs ground beef (I prefer to use lean ground beef)
  • 1 egg
  • 4 oz. grated cheese (Mozzarella, Monterey Jack, Colby Jack, Provolone, Cheddar, etc.), divided
  • 1/2 cup canned diced tomatoes (I like using the canned tomatoes with sweet onion, but you can use any canned diced tomatoes or fresh tomatoes)
  • 23 Tablespoons fresh parsley, divided

Tomato Sauce:

  • 1 Tablespoon butter or oil
  • 1/2 of a large onion
  • 1 stalk of celery, chopped, optional
  • 1 carrot, peeled and grated, optional
  • 2 (14 oz) cans diced tomatoes with onions (you can also use crushed canned tomatoes or fresh tomatoes), minus the 1/2 cup that you used for the beef and rice stuffing
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • salt and ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 cup broth (vegetable broth or chicken broth)
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream or sour cream (additional sour cream for serving, optional)


  1. Preheat the oven to 400 – 450 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Clean the bell peppers, cut the tops off, reserving them, scoop out the seeds and place in a rimmed baking sheet, in the preheated oven, and cook for 10-15 minutes, until the peppers soften. Remove from the oven. If the oven temperature was set to 450 degrees Fahrenheit, reduce the heat to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
  3. Cook the rice on the stovetop until 3/4 way cooked. You can also use 2 1/4 – 2 1/2 cups leftover rice.
  4. Heat 1-2 Tablespoons butter or oil in a large skillet or deep saute pan. Add 1 1/2 of an onion, (setting aside 1/2 of 1 onion to use for the sauce),  2 stalks of celery, and carrots. Season with salt and ground black pepper. Cook until tender and slightly golden, 6-8 minutes.
  5. Add the ground beef to the skillet and cook on high heat until no longer pink, another 6-8 minutes. If you are using ground beef that is higher in fat content, brown it separately on a skillet and drain the excess grease.
  6. Mix the cooked rice, beef and vegetable mixture, 4 oz. grated cheese, parsley, egg and 1/2 cup of the diced tomatoes (without the juice). Stuff the peppers with the beef and rice mixture.
  7. In the same skillet that you used to cook the meat and vegetable mixture, heat the remaining 1 Tablespoon butter or oil and add the remaining 1/2 of the onion, carrots, celery and also garlic. To make it simpler, you can omit the celery and carrot. Season with salt and ground black pepper to taste. Cook for about 6-8 minutes.
  8. Pour in the rest of the tomatoes (1 1/2 (14 oz) cans of diced tomatoes). Cook for another 5 minutes, then add the broth and cream.
  9. Add the fresh parsley. (You can also season with other herbs, fresh or dry.) Blend the sauce in a blender or immersion blender until it’s the consistency that you like, chunky or smooth. (Instead of making your own sauce from scratch, you can also use store-bought tomato sauce instead.)
  10. Pour half of the sauce in the bottom of any rimmed baking dish that will fit the stuffed peppers, placing the peppers in the sauce and then topping them with remaining sauce.
  11. Use the tops of the peppers to cover the stuffed peppers. This is optional, you don’t need to use the tops of the peppers. You can also use another 4 oz of the grated cheese to sprinkle on top of the peppers.
  12. Bake in the preheated oven, 400 degrees, until sauce is bubbly, the peppers are cooked all the way through and the cheese is melted, about 30-50 minutes, depending on the size of the peppers.
  13. Serve with more sour cream and spoon some of the tomato sauce over the peppers. You can also garnish with fresh herbs.

Keywords: Beef and Rice Stuffed Peppers, How to Cook Stuffed Peppers, Ground Beef and Rice Stuffed Peppers with Tomato Vegetable Sauce, Classic Stuffed Peppers