These Italian stuffed peppers are the ultimate family dinner. They're made with rice, mushrooms and spinach and taste great.
Stuffed peppers are one of the most convenient dinners out there. You can have them with different ingredients and flavors such as Mexican stuffed peppers, Mediterranean stuffed peppers and of course, spicy stuffed peppers. This Italian stuffed peppers recipe is one of our favorites because of all the tasty spices and ingredients.
Easy, simple and flavorful meals are a must around here, and so are fresh seasonal ingredients. That's why these Italian stuffed peppers are a staple in our house!
Easy dinner recipes for busy weeknights
It's always nice to have simple meal ideas at hand that don't come from a box. I love being able to cook a full meal with leftovers and just a few seasonal ingredients. Baked stuffed peppers are one of those recipes that I always make when I want to use up some leftover rice or vegetables.
One of our favorite dishes to make is stuffed bell peppers with rice made Italian style. It's an easy stuffed pepper recipe that's ready in less than 90 minutes and tastes as if you spent half the day in the kitchen. It freezes really well and you can easily adjust the ingredients and spices to match your preference.
Italian style stuffed peppers ingredients
To make this delicious stuffed peppers recipe, you need the following ingredients:
- Ground beef
- Cooked rice
- Pasta sauce
- Italian seasoning
- Bell peppers
- Mozzarella cheese
I prefer using orange, yellow and red bell peppers as they're sweeter than green bell pepper. As for the pasta sauce, you can use either homemade or store bought. You can easily use leftover cooked ground beef and cooked rice, which saves you some time as well. The filling is flavored with Italian seasoning, which gives it an earthy flavor.
How to make stuffed bell peppers with ground beef
- Heat olive oil in a large pan and saute onion until golden brown. Add in the ground beef and cook until brown. Add garlic, mushroom and spinach. Cook until mushrooms are soft and spinach is wilted. Stir in the cooked rice, pasta sauce, Italian seasoning and salt and cook for a few more minutes.
- Bring a pot of water to boil and cut the top part of the bell peppers. Save them to use later on as lids. Clean the inside of the bell peppers and steam them for about five to ten minutes. This will soften the peppers a little bit so they cook faster in the oven, which will prevent the filling from drying out.
- Once the peppers are steamed, fill them with the filling and top with chopped parsley and mozzarella. Cook in the oven for almost forty minutes until the peppers are soft enough.
These stuffed sweet peppers are perfect for a family meal and they're easily adjustable. You can make these stuffed peppers with ground turkey, sausage or chicken. Just follow the instructions and use your meat of choice instead of ground beef.
Can I make these in a crock pot?
Yes! All you need to do is to follow the instructions and once you've stuffed all the peppers, put them in the crock pot with some pasta sauce and cook on high for about 3-4 hours.
Instant pot stuffed peppers recipe
Instant pot always makes cooking so quick and easy. If you own an instant pot, you can skip the oven and make these easy stuffed peppers in the instant pot following these steps:
- Cut off the tops of the bell peppers and save them. Clean the insides by removing the seeds and veins.
- Mix the ingredients for the filling in a bowl. You only need the rice to be cooked and you can use raw beef for instant pot stuffed peppers.
- Stuffed the bell peppers with the filling.
- Place a trivet with handles in the instant pot and add 1 cup of water.
- Arrange the bell peppers on the trivet.
- Close the lid and make sure the valve is on "sealing".
- Press "pressure cook" or "manual" and cook on high pressure for 8 minutes. Do a natural release for 5 minutes and then a quick release. Open the lid and serve the stuffed peppers.
What to serve with stuffed peppers
Stuffed peppers are usually served as a main dish and can be served with so many different sides such as seasonal and green salads, roasted potatoes or baked potatoes or even just bread. Some of our favorite side dishes for stuffed peppers are:
- Mediterranean salad
- Cucumber tomato avocado salad
- Vegetarian Italian chopped salad
- Mediterranean oven roasted vegetables
Look at that delicious filling, cooked long enough to have all the flavors incorporated, these Italian stuffed peppers are definitely a tasteful option for a nice and cozy family dinner.
Can you make Italian stuffed peppers and freeze them?
You sure can. Make these Italian stuffed peppers by following the recipe, then freeze them in airtight containers and thaw before heating. To reheat stuffed peppers, place them in an oven safe dish and reheat in the oven at 250F for 20 to 25 minutes until they're warm on the inside as well. Serve immediately.
Looking for delicious dinner recipes?
- Lamb Loin Chops Recipe (Cast Iron)
- Italian Sausage Pasta
- Chicken parmesan pasta
- Roasted vegetable pasta recipe
Notes and tips for baked Italian stuffed peppers recipe
- You can make vegetarian stuffed peppers by omitting ground beef or using a meat substitute like soy or soy sausage.
- To make stuffed peppers without rice, use couscous, quinoa or bulgur instead.
- For this Italian stuffed pepper recipe you can use store bought or homemade pasta sauce.
- Green, yellow, red or orange bell peppers can all be used in this recipe. I personally prefer yellow and red bell peppers because they are sweeter and don't lose their shape after cooking.
Italian Stuffed Peppers
- 3 tablespoon Olive Oil
- 1 large Onion Diced
- ½ lb Ground Beef
- 3 cloves Garlic Minced
- 1 cup Mushrooms Sliced
- 2 cups Spinach
- 1 ½ cup Cooked Rice See Note #1
- 1 cup Pasta Sauce See Note #2
- 1 ½ teaspoon Italian Seasoning
- ½ teaspoon Salt
- 6 Bell Peppers Any Color
- 1 cup Shredded Mozzarella
- ½ cup Chopped Parsley
- Preheat oven to 375F.
- Heat olive oil in a pan over medium heat.
- Saute onion until golden brown, add in ground beef and brown it completely.
- Add in garlic and stir well.
- Add mushrooms and spinach. Mix well and cook until mushrooms are cooked and spinach is wilted.
- Add in cooked rice, ½ cup pasta sauce, Italian seasoning and salt. Stir and combine well. Turn the heat off.
- Cut the top of the bell peppers, clean out the seeds and set them aside.
- Bring a pot of water to boil and steam the bell peppers for almost 5 minutes.
- Fill the bell peppers with the filling, top with shredded mozzarella and parsley. Place the top part of the bell peppers on as lids.
- Pour the remaining pasta sauce in a baking dish and place the stuffed peppers in the dish.
- Cover with an aluminum foil and bake for 30 minutes.
- Uncover and bake for another ten to fifteen minutes until the bell peppers are soft to your preference.
- Serve warm.
- You can use leftover white rice for this stuffed peppers recipe.
- You can use homemade or store bought pasta sauce.
- Crock pot stuffed peppers: Follow the steps in the recipe and cook the stuffed peppers in the slow cooker on high for 3-4 hours.
Instant pot stuffed peppers:
- Cut off the tops of the bell peppers and remove the seeds and veins to clean the insides.
- Mix the ingredients for the filling in a bowl. You don't need to cook the beef or the vegetables. You still need to use cooked rice. Stuffed the bell peppers with the filling.
- Place a trivet with handles in the instant pot and add 1 cup of water and arrange the bell peppers on the trivet.
- Close the lid and make sure the valve is on "sealing". Press "pressure cook" or "manual" and cook on high pressure for 8 minutes. Do a natural release for 5 minutes and then a quick release.