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Best Italian Stuffed Peppers Recipe

These incredible stuffed peppers are full of classic Italian flavors and they are surprisingly easy to make. Stuffed peppers are a wonderful complete meal that everyone in the family will enjoy.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

Stuffed Peppers are a delicius Italian recipe, plus, they are pretty healthy! You can feel good about every single bite of these peppers for so many reasons. You must give this perfect recipe a try and we can tell you why.

yellow and orange peppers stuffed with meat, rice and cheese Photo credit:

Easy Stuffed Pepper Recipe

We absolutely love easy dinner ideas and making stuffed peppers is about to be your favorite thing to do on a weeknight. This simple, quick Italian recipe comes together in just minutes. However, the whole dish looks extremely fancy and truly timeless. Stuffed peppers have been an Italian classic for decades and the tradition can continue right in your very own kitchen!

Italian stuffed peppers, also called Peperoni Ripieni, are originally from Southern Italy. You can find lots of different types of stuffed peppers throughout Italy. Some fillings are made with olives, others with feta cheese, and some with pork or ground turkey. Our classic recipe sticks to the traditional ingredients and is what most people think of when they crave Italian stuffed peppers.

And who could resist a tray of colorful peppers filled with tender rice, juicy beef, and a simple homemade tomato sauce? Stuffed peppers seriously are a perfect meal! This is the best stuffed pepper recipe you will ever find and we are sure you are going to love not only making Italian stuffed peppers, but eating them too!

Stuffed red peppers in white baking dish Photo credit:

Ingredients for Stuffed Bell Peppers

Stuffed peppers are made with very simple ingredients. Here is a quick look at what you will need to make the best-stuffed peppers ever.

  • Bell peppers – Any color bell peppers will work. Green bell peppers have a stronger flavor while yellow and orange bell peppers are more mild. Red bell peppers are a little spicy and a little sweet! Use all different colored bell peppers so everyone can choose their favorite type! Plus, a variety of colored peppers looks fantastic on a serving tray.

  • Olive oil – Brushing the bell peppers with olive oil will help them get soft in the oven and also help the skin of the pepper get a little bit crispy.

  • Onion – White onion or yellow diced onion will both add lots of flavor to the filling mixture.

  • Garlic – Fresh garlic is a classic Italian ingredient that is delicious in these bell peppers.

  • Ground beef – Use ground beef that has about 15% fat. It will be on the label as 85/15. This is a good ratio for making stuffed peppers.

  • Italian seasoning – Dried Italian seasoning is perfect for flavoring the meat mixture.

  • Salt and pepper – A little salt and pepper enhances the flavor of the meat.

  • Diced tomatoes – Look for Italian diced tomatoes that are seasoned with Italian spices. Fire roasted tomatoes will also be delicious.

  • Cooked rice – Use brown rice or white rice to stuff your peppers. Cooked brown rice is a little healthier but white rice will also taste delicious.

  • Mozzarella cheese – Use freshly shredded mozzarella cheese which is softer than the pre-shredded cheese you find in the grocery store.

  • Parmesan cheese – Grate your own fresh parmesan cheese. Never use powdered cheese in the grocery store that is actually not real cheese at all!

  • Parsley – Fresh parsley or fresh basil are a perfect garnish for Italian stuffed peppers.


Bell peppers on a burlap bag Photo credit:


If you’d like to tweak this perfect recipe for Italian stuffed peppers, we have a few things you may want to try. Here are some easy ingredient substitutions and variations that will work well.

  • Add some red pepper flakes to the meat mixture to give the stuffed peppers a little bit of spice.

  • Replace the ground beef with ground chicken, ground turkey, ground Italian sausage, or a blend of ground meat. Beef is nice and easy but a mix of Italian sausage, ground turkey, and ground chicken would also be quite delicious.

  • Cut each pepper in half lengthwise and lay them cut side up in the baking dish, like a little bowl. Fill each pepper half with the filling and bake as directed. It can be easier to serve Italian stuffed peppers as pepper halves rather than whole green peppers.

  • Replace the rice with cauliflower rice. This will add more vegetables to your meal and make the bell peppers lower in carbs.

  • Replace the parmesan cheese with pecorino romano, smoked provolone or even pepper jack cheese for a whole new flavor.

  • Use half the amount of rice and add a cup of Italian seasoned bread crumbs. This is a favorite variation for many people and make the pepper filling very thick and tasty.

Stuffed bell peppers in sauce Photo credit:

How to Make Italian Stuffed Peppers

Here is a simplified explanation of how to make Italian stuffed peppers. Read our Italian stuffed pepper recipe below for more details but this will give you a good idea of how to put this recipe together.

  1. Prep the bell pepper: Cut the tops off of the bell peppers and scoop out the seeds to make the peppers hollow. Brush them with olive oil and roast them in the oven to soften.

  2. Make the filling: Saute the onions and garlic over medium heat then add the beef to the skillet and cook the meat all the way through. Add the Italian seasonings, canned tomatoes, shredded cheese and rice. Stir everything together until you have nice melty cheese.

  3. Fill and bake: Stuff the peppers with the meat and rice mixture, filling each pepper to the top. Place the stuffed bell peppers in a baking pan and sprinkle each one with more mozzarella cheese. Bake until the melted cheese starts to turn golden brown. Serve the peppers while warm!

Stuffing bell peppers with rice and beef Photo credit:

How to Store Italian Stuffed Peppers

Stuffed peppers will keep in the fridge for about 4-5 days. Keep them in an airtight container or wrapped in plastic wrap in the baking tray. Reheat the Italian stuffed peppers in the microwave or pop them back in the oven. If you reheat the peppers in the oven, pour a little tomato sauce in the pan before reheating them so they do not dry out.

Baked bell peppers with tops on Photo credit:

What to Serve with Italian Stuffed Peppers

These Italian stuffed peppers are a complete meal all on their own. They have starch, vegetables, and protein! However, if you want to pair the stuffed peppers with more courses, serve a simple green salad or a tasty Italian wedding soup before your pepper meal. Garlic bread or a loaf of crusty Italian bread are also perfect for serving with Italian stuffed peppers.


Learn to Cook Authentic Italian Food

If you want to learn to cook more classic Italian dishes like these Italian stuffed peppers, check out some of the great cooking classes near you. We have looked into all of these fantastic programs that will help you hone your culinary skills in a fun, exciting way.

Be sure to check our blog frequently as we are constantly posting new Italian recipes for you to try like the classic polenta recipe!

Italian Stuffed Peppers Recipe Feature Image - 1390x600

Delicious Italian Stuffed Peppers Recipe

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Servings 6 servings
Calories 295 kcal


  • Measuring spoons
  • Measuring cups
  • Sharp knife
  • Baking dish
  • Large Skillet
  • Rubber spatula or wooden spoon
  • Large spoon


  • 6 Bell peppers any color
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 white onion diced
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 1/2 pounds ground beef
  • 1 Tablespoon dried Italian seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 (14.5 ounces) diced tomatoes
  • 2 cups cooked rice
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 Tablespoon freshly chopped parsley


  • Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F or 180 degrees C.
  • Cut the top off of each bell pepper and scoop out the seeds and membranes and discard them. Brush the hollowed peppers on the inside and outside with 2 tablespoons of olive oil and place them in a baking dish. Roast the peppers in the oven for about 10 minutes to make them soft. Remove the tray from the oven and set the peppers aside to cool.
  • In a large skillet, add the remaining tablespoon of olive oil and diced onions. Cook for about 5 minutes until the onions are soft. Add the garlic and cook for another minute.
  • Add the ground beef to the skillet and cook, chopping the meat as you cook into small pieces. The beef will no longer be pink once it is fully cooked, about 8 minutes.
  • Add the Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper to the skillet and stir the seasonings into the ground beef.
  • Add the diced tomatoes, cooked rice, half the mozzarella, and parmesan to the skillet and stir everything together.
  • Scoop the cooked beef mixture into each stuffed pepper, filling them to the top. Place the stuffed peppers back into the baking dish and sprinkle the top of each one with the shredded mozzarella cheese.
  • Bake the stuffed peppers for another 10 minutes to melt the cheese. Sprinkle with some fresh parsley or fresh basil. Enjoy while hot!


  • Choose firm, evenly shaped peppers to ensure they stand upright when baked.
  • Cutting a small slice off the bottom of each pepper can help them stand upright in the baking dish.
  • Brushing the peppers with olive oil before roasting helps to soften them and adds a subtle flavor. Make sure to coat them evenly.
  • For a juicier filling, consider mixing ground beef with ground pork or sausage.
Keyword Peppers, Stuffed Peppers

Disclaimer: Please be aware that the food images displayed on this website are for illustrative purposes only. They do not represent the actual dishes or presentations you might achieve when following our recipes. While we strive to inspire your culinary journey, the appearance of your dishes may vary.

Frequent Asked Questions

The word for pepper in Italian is peperone. Stuffed bell peppers are called Peperoni Ripieni.

You can eat almost any type of peppers raw. Italian sweet peppers are delicious when raw but also tasty when cooked. Italian cherry peppers are delicious when stuffed with cheese and picked as well!

There are lots of different types of peppers that are used in Italian cuisine. The most commonly used peppers are Italian long hot peppers, pimento peppers, cayenne, friggitello, Calabrian chili, Hungarian wax peppers and cubanelle peppers.

Stuffed peppers are a popular dish in many different countries. Each country has it’s own version of this delicious meal. Mexico makes chille rellenos which are poblano peppers stuffed with cheese and cooked in sauce. China makes stuffed peppers with sausage and fish paste. Go to India and you can find bharvan mirch which are peppers stuffed with meat, potatoes, and onions. North America stuffs peppers in much the same way as the Northern Italians, using bell peppers, ground meat, rice, tomato sauce and cheese. It is hard to say where this classic dish first originated because they are popular all over the world!

No, bell peppers are not native to Italy. Bell peppers come from Mexico, Central America, the Caribbean, and North America. While they are often used in Italian-American cooking, bell peppers are not actually a traditional part of Italian culture.

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