Old Fashioned Stuffed Bell Peppers Recipe

These Old Fashioned Stuffed Bell Peppers with breadcrumbs are serious comfort food. You just need a few simple ingredients to create a hearty, filling, comforting dinner.

four beef stuffed bell peppers in a gray casserole dish.

In the fall and winter, I want a piping hot, hearty meal to get the chill off of a cold Chicago day, and this recipe perfectly fits the bill!

This recipe for Old Fashioned Stuffed Bell Peppers comes from a 1970s church cookbook.

Usually when I make stuffed peppers, I cook the peppers and filling separately (like in my Italian Stuffed Peppers), but for this recipe, they cook together—no need to steam the peppers or cook the meat first in a skillet.

And, these stuffed peppers are made without rice. Instead, we’ll use breadcrumbs as the binder to keep the filling together.

It’s a truly easy recipe, and one that’s simple enough for a weeknight. They do take one hour to cook, so plan accordingly!

green stuffed bell pepper on a small white plate next to a fork.

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Why you’ll love this recipe

  • This is a one-bowl dinner—just mix everything in a large bowl, stuff the peppers, and bake.
  • Everything cooks together and there’s no need to steam the peppers before stuffing.
  • This recipe is customizable. Like spice? Add more diced jalapeños. Want to use another meat? Ground turkey is great in these. See more variations below!
  • There’s no rice in this recipe, so you don’t need cooked rice on hand before making them.
  • These peppers are stuffed with pantry staples like breadcrumbs, tomato sauce, and onion—no crazy ingredients here.
  • This recipe is dairy-free (just make sure that the breadcrumbs don’t contain dairy if this is a concern).

Ingredients

ingredients for stuffed peppers on a white table.
  • You’ll need ¾ lb ground beef. I used 85% lean. Ground turkey (dark meat preferable) works, too.
  • Use any color bell peppers that you like.
  • Diced onion and diced jalapeños add flavor and heat (omit jalapeños if you don’t want spice).
  • Seasoned breadcrumbs and tomato sauce hold the filling together.
  • Granulated garlic adds even more flavor (use fresh if you’d like).

How to make old fashioned stuffed bell peppers (without rice)

Start by slicing the tops off the bell peppers. Remove the seeds and membranes. It doesn’t have to be perfect—just do the best you can.

bell peppers with the tops sliced off on a wooden cutting board.

Next, mix the filling ingredients together: ground beef, canned jalapeños (omit if you prefer), onion, granulated garlic, salt, breadcrumbs, and tomato sauce.

Use your hands to gently combine the ingredients.

ground beef filling in a glass bowl.

Divide the filling evenly among the bell peppers, pressing it lightly into each pepper.

bell peppers with uncooked beef filling in a casserole dish.

Pour ¼ cup water into the bottom of the casserole dish, and cover with foil.

Bake at 350°F for 45 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for 15 additional minutes.

Let cool slightly before serving.

beef stuffed bell peppers in a gray casserole dish.

Top with chopped parsley if you’d like, and serve!

Can I make stuffed peppers ahead of time?

You can make this old fashioned stuffed peppers recipe up to one day in advance. Stuff the peppers but do NOT bake them. Cover and refrigerate.

When you’re ready to serve them, follow the baking instructions as written (45 minutes covered, 15 minutes uncovered at 350°F).

Variations

Customize this recipe to your liking!

  • Use ground turkey instead of ground beef (dark meat turkey preferably, so it doesn’t dry out in the oven).
  • Omit the jalapeños if you don’t like spice. If you like, you can chop the top of the bell peppers and mix those into the filling instead.
  • Add shredded cheese to the top during the last 15 minutes of baking (cheddar, mozzarella, colby jack—use your favorite).
  • Use two cloves of minced fresh garlic in place of the granulated garlic.
green and yellow stuffed bell peppers in a gray casserole dish.

Can I freeze stuffed peppers?

Baked stuffed peppers can be frozen for up to three months. Wrap them tightly in foil and then place in a freezer bag or freezer-safe dish.

Defrost for 24 hours in the refrigerator before reheating.

Reheating instructions

Stuffed peppers can be reheated in the microwave (2–3 minutes) or in the oven (15 minutes covered at 350°F, or until warm throughout).

green stuffed pepper on a small white plate in front of a casserole dish with more stuffed peppers.

Side dishes for stuffed peppers

Have you tried this recipe? Please leave a ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ rating and/or comment below!

📖 Recipe

stuffed green pepper in a gray casserole dish with other stuffed bell peppers.

Old Fashioned Stuffed Bell Peppers (No Rice)

Published by Kate
You just need ground beef, bell peppers, and some pantry staples to create these hearty, comforting stuffed peppers.
5 from 9 votes
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Course Entree
Cuisine American
Servings 4 servings
Calories 334 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 4 large bell peppers
  • ¾ lb ground beef
  • 1 cup dry bread crumbs
  • 1 (8 oz) can tomato sauce
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped onion
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons diced canned jalapeños (omit if you don’t want spice)
  • ½ teaspoon minced garlic (or substitute 2 cloves fresh garlic)

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Cut the tops off the peppers and remove the seeds and membranes from the insides.
  • In a large bowl, gently mix together the remaining ingredients. Stuff each pepper with ¼ of the mixture.
  • Place the stuffed peppers in a 8×8 inch casserole dish. Pour ¼ cup water in the bottom of the dish.
  • Cover and bake for 45 minutes. Uncover and bake for an additional 15 minutes.
  • Serve immediately.

Notes

You can chop the tops of the peppers (that you cut off) and add them to the mixture, if you’d like. 
Substitute ground turkey (dark meat preferably, so it doesn’t dry out) in place of the ground beef. 
Make it ahead: prepare and stuff the peppers but do not bake. Cover and refrigerate for up to 24 hours. Bake according to written directions. 
The baked peppers can be frozen for up to 2 months. Wrap in foil and place in a freezer bag. Defrost for 24 hours in the refrigerator before reheating.

Nutrition

Calories: 334kcalCarbohydrates: 30gProtein: 21gFat: 15gSaturated Fat: 5gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 58mgSodium: 1109mgPotassium: 723mgFiber: 5gSugar: 9gVitamin A: 3971IUVitamin C: 156mgCalcium: 79mgIron: 4mg
Keyword stuffed peppers
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