Stuffed Mini Peppers with Beef Rice
Stuffed Mini Peppers with Beef Rice are my kid’s favorite Stuffed Peppers Recipe. They are filled with a flavorful mixture of fluffy rice and delicious beef, then oven-cooked until tender perfection. Top with cheese for melty perfection or sour cream for extra creaminess.
Also, check this super popular Unstuffed Cabbage Rolls Casserole – it’s so easy!
Potluck and Party Favorite Mini Stuffed Peppers
When thinking of something interesting to bring to the next party or get together, think of these Baby Stuffed Peppers. They take all the inconvenience of trying to cut a large pepper into portions and instead give you perfect bites that can feed a large crowd with ease and aesthetic pleasure. They get rave reviews every time I make them!
If you just want a beef and rice dinner faster, do try this Beef Rice Pilaf (Plov) – it’s my husband’s favorite!
Can this Stuffed Bell Pepper Recipe be scaled for Large Peppers?
Use the same filling for either large or small peppers. If using regularly sized bell peppers you will need about 8 to 9 of them.
Best Peppers to use in the Mini Peppers Recipe
The most commonly found mini peppers in a variety of colors are best for this recipe. I get mine from Costco and they’re available year round.
But if you find some baby Sweet Hungarian peppers at your local farmer’s market, they will be just fine as well. That is what I used in my step by step photos.
Substitute for Beef
In this recipe, you can use any kind of ground meat you wish. Something with a little more fat content is preferred (like pork or chicken thighs), but even chicken breast or turkey will work too. If you have breakfast sausage, you can use that as well.
Alright now, thank you for following along, commenting and sharing my recipes! I appreciate your visit and hope that this recipe will become your favorite just like it has been my family’s!
How to Make Stuffed Mini Peppers
- Start by precooking the rice – for this, combine rice, chicken broth or water, and some salt in a saucepot, cover with a lid and cook until all water is evaporated. Fluff with a fork and allow to cool slightly.
- Next, brown diced onions in a couple of tbsp of oil, then add the carrots and sauté together for a couple of minutes. Next, add the diced tomatoes and pressed garlic. Cover with lid and cook for about 5 minutes. Allow the mixture cool to room temperature.
- While the carrots and onions are cooking, thoroughly clean peppers with a brush under running water. Hollow out the peppers and remove the seeds.
In a bowl combine the precooked rice, the vegetable mixture, ground beef, spices and seasoning until well mixed.
How to Stuff and Bake the Sweet Mini Stuffed Peppers
- Stuff each mini pepper with the beef rice mixture and set in a 9 x 12 baking dish. You can use a teaspoon to stuff the peppers, or fill a large gallon sized ziplock bag, snip the tip and squeeze the filling into the peppers.
- Fill the dish around the peppers with seasoned chicken broth until the peppers are submerged half way. Cover the baking dish with foil and bake in a preheated to 350F oven for about 45 minutes or until the rice and the peppers are soft.
- Sprinkle with cheese and return back to the oven for several minutes for the cheese to melt. Transfer to the table and serve.
This is an optional step but does add a lot of flavor. This creamy tomato sauce mixture can be used to top the peppers when serving.
How to make the Creamy Tomato Sauce
- In a skillet heat some oil, add onions and sauté until lightly golden. Add the carrots and cook covered with a lid for about 10 minutes, stirring often. Add the diced tomatoes and water or wine and cook with the lid on until the tomatoes are well softened about 5-7 minutes. Next add the cream, sour cream and garlic and gently simmer to reduce slightly. Season with salt and pepper, stir.
Serve the pepper by spooning the Creamy Tomato Mixture on top of the peppers.
Looking for more PEPPER recipes? Here’s a couple to keep your menu delicious!
Stuffed Mini Peppers with Beef Rice
Stuffed Mini Peppers with Beef Rice is my kid's favorite Stuffed Peppers Recipe. They are filled with a flavorful mixture of fluffy rice and delicious beef, then oven-cooked until tender perfection. Top with cheese for melty perfection or sour cream for extra creaminess.
Precooked Rice Ingredients
- 1 cup round rice , rinsed until water runs clear
- 1 cup broth
- 1/2 tsp salt
Stuffed Mini Peppers Filling
- 1 lb beef chuck, ground
- 1 onion , diced
- 1 carrot , shredded
- 2 tomatoes diced (can be replaced with 6 oz of tomato sauce)
- 4 lb mini bell peppers , assorted colors
- 1.5 tsp salt (kosher)
- 1 tsp black ground pepper
- 3 cloves garlic (pressed)
- 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
- 1/4 cup chopped parsley
- 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese, (shredded)
- 3 cups chicken broth or water (boiling hot)
- 1 tsp salt
Creamy Tomato Sauce (optional)
- 1 onion, medium size (diced)
- 1 carrot, medium size (shredded)
- 3 tomatoes, (diced)
- 1/2 cup white wine
- 1 cup sour cream
- 3 cloves garlic, pressed
- 1/2 tsp salt, kosher (or to taste)
- 1/2 tsp black ground pepper
- 1/4 cup chopped parsley
How to make Stuffed Mini Peppers
Get all of your ingredients ready, by measuring, cutting and chopping what needs to be chopped.
Parboil the rice - add the rice, broth and salt to a medium sized saucepot, cover with lid and bring to a boil.
Cook for about 10 minutes or until the water evaporates. Open the lid, fluff with a fork, transfer to a large bowl and allow to cool. The rice will not be cooked all the way, and that's OK.
Wash the baby peppers with a brush under running water. Next, trim off the tops with the stems and hallow out the inside from the membranes and seeds.
Make the Filling for the Mini Peppers
Heat a couple tablespoons of oil in a skillet. Add diced onions and saute until golden in color, stirring oftenb(~5 minutes).
Next, add the shredded carrots, stir and saute another 5-10 minutes. Add the diced tomatoes, pressed garlic and cook covered with a lid until the tomatoes are well softened (~10 minutes).
Combine the filling: To the bowl with rice add the sauteed vegetables, ground beef, parsley, salt, black pepper, and paprika. Stir until combined.
Fill the cavity of the peppers with the ground beef and rice mixture from the previous step. There are two ways to do it: with a spoon or by piping it from a pastry bag.
To use a pastry bag fill a large pastry bag with the prepared beef/rice filling, snip about 1/2" of the tip and use it to push the filling into each pepper. Place all the peppers into a 9in x12in baking dish. Once the dish is full you can arrange them in rows if you'd like. Having it partially full helps with arranging them.
Make the cooking liquid: Dissolve the salt in the broth and bring it to a boil to speed up cooking. Pour the seasoned broth around the peppers until it comes halfway to the peppers. Cover the baking dish with foil and bake at 350F° for about 45 minutes or until the rice and peppers are soft.
Make the Creamy Tomato Sauce
While the peppers are baking prepare the sauce.
Heat a couple of tablespoons of oil in a skillet. Add the diced onions and saute over medium heat until slightly browned, stirring often (~about 5-10 minutes).
Next, add the carrots and saute another 5 minutes with the lid on. Follow by adding the tomatoes, wine and garlic and cook/simmer with the lid on until the tomatoes are almost puree-like, about 10 minutes.
Lastly, turn the heat down to low, add 1 cup of sour cream and bring the mixture to a gentle simmer. If the mixture thickened too much, add cream or broth to thin. If it got too thin, continue cooking until it reduces. Finish by seasoning with salt and pepper, to taste.
Serve the Stuffed Bell Peppers
Add 6-7 baby bell peppers to a bowl, then top with the creamy tomato sauce mixture or some sour cream. Finish with a sprinkling of chopped parsley.
Substitute for beef-
- chicken breast/thighs, ground pork, ground turkey or breakfast sausage.
Crock Pot Cooking Time -
- Instead of baking the Stuffed Mini Peppers can be cooked in the crock pot (slow cooker). If making in the slow cooker, place the peppers into the insert of the slow cooker, add the cooking liquid and cook on High for about 3-4 hours or Low for about 6 hours. The peppers are cooked when the rice and peppers are soft. Sprinkle with cheese and allow to melt. Serve.
Instant Pot Cooking Time -
- The recipe will need to be reduced to 4 servings to fit in one layer along the bottom of a 6 qt Instant Pot (Pressure Cooker).
- Add the peppers and the liquid to the Instant pot. Cover with lid and turn the steam valve to "seal". Set the cooking time for "Manual" on "High" for 25 minutes. Then, open the steam valve and allow the pressure to release. Open the lid. Sprinkle the peppers with cheese and allow to melt. Serve.
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Could you freeze this
I haven’t tried freezing them, so can not say for sure.
Can this be cooked in an air fryer? If so, how would you recommend cooking it? Would you omit the broth bath? Thank you!
No, because this recipe requires for the peppers to be cooked in a liquid.
What do you do with the mozzarella cheese
You can sprinkle it on top in the last 5 minutes of baking. It’s optional
That sucks you had a difficult time with this. I saw no temp either so I just set it to 375. I knew not to boil the cause after the cream was added so I was ok there. You’re right about them being small and had to stuff. I found the you had to put a little in then jam it down with you finger then jam more down. I thought it presented very pretty, I served like 5 or 6 little stuffed peppers with the sauce poured over them on each plate with roasted red potatoes. Making it the first time was frustrating lol but I’ve made it a few times and it got easier. My kids just love the little peppers and all the colors .
I was excited to try this recipe. There are too many errors though. First of all there’s no temperature to bake at for the oven. The peppers are too small and awkward to get much filling inside. The sauce says to boil the sauce after you add the sour cream. You never boil sour cream. It separates it and it looks bad. There was too much runny liquid in the end. Overall the taste was very good. But I would just chop everything up and make a casserole instead. It took way too much time and just simply didn’t present well.
Thank you so much for your feedback I value every comment and appreciate you taking the time. I’m glad you enjoyed the taste.
The baking temperature was in the recipe notes before the recipe card, but not in the card itself, I apologize about that. I just added it to the recipe card.
About the sour cream – In Ukraine, where I am originally from, they rarely use heavy whipping cream for sauces but do use plenty of sour cream. This means that bringing sour cream to a boil/simmer (in the sauce) is something we did on the regular.
I’m sorry it separated when you made the sauce, sometimes this happens when you allow the sauce to boil violently instead of gently, over medium heat. You can see in the pictures above (of the sauce) that I added the sour cream, and the sauce did not separate.
The size of the mini peppers does make it harder to fill, but once the peppers cook the rice and filling expands and fills it up nicely. If you were willing to try this recipe again, you could fill a large pepper with the same type of filling to get all the same great flavor without the fuss of filling the mini peppers.
A little confused. Does the ground beef get sauté before it goes into the oven?
No, the beef is added raw
Absolutely loved this, the tomatoes sauce is the kicker. Although getting all the little bugges to stay standing up is quite a chore. Lol
Getting them to stand up is probably the hardest part of this recipe lol.
Thanks for your feedback, Chrisco!
My family loved these so much I had to made them again.
Even though I have not made this yet, I would like to do so after the Festive holidays as I wish to serve something nourishing and tasty for all, this will do just fine. I love the look of all the other Recipes, I sure am going to try them as I am longing to try something new, with just that little extra effort. I love the serving dish as well, just the job for a gorgeous presentation. Thanks for sharing, happy Holidays, be blessed.
Thank you so much Elise! Hope you enjoy them!
Could you prepare these a few hours ahead of time and then bake later? Thanks
Yep. Just refrigerate until ready to bake.
Can these be made ahead of time and reheated?
Can you make this in a slow cooker?
yes you can. I would think about 6-8 hours on low or 4 hours on high should be good.
These are so cute, and look delicious I can not wait to make them. Thank you for sharing
Thank you so much Mary!