Chef John's Stuffed Peppers


This is the best stuffed peppers recipe, easy and delicious. Its roots can be traced back to the Great Depression, when farmers first began selling the unripe peppers out of necessity. Of course, we did what Americans always do when faced with a new variety of food, we stuffed meat in it.

Prep Time:
30 mins
Cook Time:
1 hrs 20 mins
Total Time:
1 hrs 50 mins


  • 1 cup uncooked long grain white rice

  • 2 cups water


  • 1 onion, diced

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

  • 2 cups marinara sauce

  • 1 cup beef broth

  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

  • ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes


  • 1 pound lean ground beef

  • ¼ pound hot Italian pork sausage, casing removed

  • 1 (10 ounce) can diced tomatoes

  • ¼ cup chopped fresh Italian parsley

  • 4 cloves garlic, minced

  • 2 teaspoons salt

  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

  • 1 pinch ground cayenne pepper

  • 1 cup finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, plus more for topping

  • 4 large green bell peppers, halved lengthwise and seeded


  1. Bring rice and water to a boil in a saucepan over high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until the rice is tender, and the liquid has been absorbed, 20 to 25 minutes. Set the cooked rice aside.

  2. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).

  3. Make sauce: Cook onion and olive oil over medium heat until onion begins to soften, about 5 minutes. Transfer 1/2 of the cooked onion to a large bowl and set aside.

  4. Stir marinara sauce, beef broth, balsamic vinegar, and red pepper flakes into the skillet with cooked onion; cook and stir for 1 minute.

  5. Pour sauce mixture into a 9x13-inch baking dish and set aside.

  6. Combine ground beef, Italian sausage, diced tomatoes, Italian parsley, garlic, salt, black pepper, and cayenne pepper into the bowl with reserved onions; mix well. Stir in cooked rice and Parmigiano Reggiano. Stuff green bell peppers with beef and sausage mixture.

  7. Place stuffed green bell pepper halves in the baking dish over tomato sauce; sprinkle with remaining Parmigiano-Reggiano, cover baking dish with aluminum foil, and bake in the preheated oven for 45 minutes.

  8. Remove aluminum foil and bake until the meat is no longer pink, the green peppers are tender and the cheese is browned on top, an additional 20 to 25 minutes.

Editor's Note:

You can use any color of bell pepper for this recipe depending on your preference. There are also different ways to cut the peppers, though we have found cutting them in half lengthwise makes them a bit easier to work with.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

377 Calories
17g Fat
35g Carbs
20g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 8
Calories 377
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 17g 22%
Saturated Fat 7g 33%
Cholesterol 52mg 17%
Sodium 1274mg 55%
Total Carbohydrate 35g 13%
Dietary Fiber 4g 14%
Total Sugars 9g
Protein 20g
Vitamin C 74mg 371%
Calcium 172mg 13%
Iron 4mg 22%
Potassium 636mg 14%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

** Nutrient information is not available for all ingredients. Amount is based on available nutrient data.

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a medically restrictive diet, please consult your doctor or registered dietitian before preparing this recipe for personal consumption.

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