These Stuffed Bell Peppers are filled with a mixture of ground beef, rice, pinto beans and tomatoes, seasoned with taco spices and topped with plenty of cheese. They are filled to the brim, making a hearty dinner. The peppers bake to perfection, they soften slightly and the filling is warm and cheesy.
These Stuffed Peppers also make amazing meal prep or leftovers! They can be made 1-2 days ahead and kept in the fridge until it is time to cook. Then, leftovers heat up perfectly in the microwave.
Bell peppers are stuffed with the most delicious filling in this recipe. It is super hearty and is full of rice, beans, ground beef, tomatoes, cheese and lots of seasonings. Pictured below are the ingredients you need to grab, and some tips on all the ingredients:
Bell Peppers– Choose nice big and firm bell peppers. You will be able to fill them nice and full with all the delicious stuffing. Any color pepper will work.
Rice- You will need 1 cup of cooked rice for this Stuffed Pepper recipe. This is a great time to use leftover rice OR our favorite is to buy frozen rice and cook it in the microwave. It is a huge time saver with this recipe!
Pinto Beans- These are a very classic bean for Mexican cuisine. Refried beans are made from pinto beans. However in this recipe we are using whole pinto beans, canned will work great!
Cheese- As always, fresh shredded cheese is preferred. It melts up creamier and more flavorful. BUT pre-shredded will work if you are trying to save time.
Taco Spice Packet- Buy the small 0.7oz Taco Packet seasonings. It is a great shortcut to get all the seasonings in one package.
Rotel Tomatoes- You can find this by the canned tomatoes or in the Mexican food aisle at your grocery store. It is a combo of diced tomatoes and green chilies.
Tomato Paste- Using tomato paste gives a nice flavor to the pepper stuffing, without making it overly soggy. Some recipes will have you using tomato sauce or salsa, but that makes everything a little too wet.
Step by Step
- Prep the bell peppers.
- Make the filling
- Fill the peppers.
Wash the peppers and cut the top off with the stem. Pull the top off and any seeds/ribs from inside.
Place them in a 9×13 baking dish making sure they are all able to stand up on their own. You may need to trim a little off the bottom to help them stand, take care not to cut all the way through the bottom.
Cook and crumble the ground beef and onion, drain excess fat. Sprinkle in ½ teaspoon kosher salt and minced garlic. Add the tomato paste, garlic and kosher salt. Cook for 1 minute. Add in the taco seasoning, Rotel and green chilies and cook.
Finally add the pinto beans, onion powder, chili powder and cooked rice.
Remove from heat. Add in 1 cup shredded pepper jack or Monterey jack cheese. Stir until the cheese is melted and combined.
With a spoon divide the filling among the 6 peppers, filling them to the top. You may need to press the filling a little to get all the filling in the peppers.
Cover the pan tightly with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Then remove from the oven, uncover, and generously top each pepper with the remaining shredded cheese.
Pop back in the oven for 10 minutes.
Time to eat!
These peppers can absolutely be prepped and stuffed a day or two ahead of baking. Simply prepare completely but don’t top with the cheese. Cover with plastic wrap and pop in the fridge for up to 2 days.
You may need to add 5-10 minutes to the cooking time when baking straight out of the fridge.
Reheating Leftover Stuffed Bell Peppers
These Stuffed Bell Peppers make amazing leftovers! They reheat perfectly in the microwave.
Cut them down the center to expose the filling. Then microwave for a minute or two until the filling is warmed through.
What to Serve with Stuffed Peppers
Since the peppers are already stuffed with a starch and protein, the traditional Mexican side dish of “rice and beans” is not really a great option. We like to serve these Stuffed Peppers with chips, salsa and guacamole, maybe this cilantro lime slaw , equites corn salad or this herbed pineapple.
Recipe Tips To Remember
- Choose large firm bell peppers.
- Trim your bell peppers so they stand upright in the baking dish.
- Use a frozen rice for easier dinner prep! (Trader Joe’s has a great one)
- 85/15 ground beef will have enough fat to be flavorful, but not greasy.
- Fresh grate your cheese for the creamiest and most flavorful topping.
- Make some extras to keep in the fridge, they reheat perfectly.
More Mexican Dinner Ideas
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Stuffed Bell Pepper Recipe
- 6 large bell peppers – that stand up nicely cut open at top
- 1 lb. 85/15 ground beef
- 1 onion chopped
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 Tbsp. tomato paste
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 1 pkt. Taco seasoning
- 10 oz (can) Original Rotel tomatoes lightly drained
- 4 oz (can) chopped green chilies
- 15.5 oz (can) pinto beans drained
- 1 tsp. onion powder
- 1 tsp. chili powder
- 1 cup cooked rice
- 3 cups shredded pepper jack or Monterey jack cheese – divided
- non-stick spray
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
- Cut off the top of each pepper and remove the seeds. Place the peppers (standing upright) into a 9×13 glass baking dish sprayed with nonstick cooking spray. Set aside.If you need to trim a little off the bottom so they will stand, take care not to cut all the way through.6 large bell peppers – that stand up nicely
- In a large skillet cook the ground beef, onion and ½ teaspoon kosher salt until the ground beef is cooked through. Drain excess fat.1 onion, 1 lb. 85/15 ground beef, ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- Return the skillet over medium-low heat stir in the tomato paste and the minced garlic. Cook for about 1 minute.2 Tbsp. tomato paste, 3 cloves garlic
- Add in the taco seasoning, Rotel and green chilies and cook over low heat for 2 minutes.1 pkt. Taco seasoning, 10 oz (can) Original Rotel tomatoes, 4 oz (can) chopped green chilies
- Finally add the pinto beans, onion powder, chili powder and cooked rice and stir to combine.15.5 oz (can) pinto beans, 1 tsp. onion powder, 1 tsp. chili powder, 1 cup cooked rice
- Remove from heat. Add in 1 cup shredded cheese. Stir until the cheese is melted and creamy. Taste and adjust seasonings if needed.
- Divide the ground beef filling evenly among the 6 peppers. You may need to lightly press the filling to fit more in, making sure you use all the filling. DON'T top with the cheese just yet!
- Cover the 9×13 stuffed peppers pan tightly with aluminum foil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and uncover. Top the peppers with the remaining 2 cups cheese, dividing it equally.
- Return to the oven, uncovered, and bake for 10 minutes until the cheese is melted and bubbly.
- Serve immediately.
- Prepare the stuffed peppers without topping with cheese. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1-2 days.
- You may need to add a few minutes to the cooking time if you are cooking straight out of the fridge.
- Cut the pepper in half, exposing the filling.
- Pop in the microwave for 1-2 minutes until the filling is heated through.
If nutrition facts are provided they are calculated as an estimate to the best of our knowledge.