This cheesy rice stuffed pepper casserole is a family favorite for sure! Like unstuffed bell peppers it’s an easy dinner you can throw together, even my kids love it! Packed with the classic flavors you remember it is easier to make and great the next day too.
You’ve got to try this cheesy stuffed pepper casserole recipe! Packed with of course bell peppers, tomatoes, rice, seasoned ground beef and more it is full of flavor and a perfect dinner that even my kids love! It’s one of our favorite quick and easy casseroles. (originally published 3/17, affiliate links present)
Stuffed Bell Pepper Casserole
Do you love stuffed green peppers too??!! Well if they’re a favorite in your house too you’ll love this twist. It’s kinda’ a throw it together one pot meal that you can make as spicy as you like, or add no spice at all (still amazing). Ok so this is a lot easier than the old fashioned traditional meal your Grandmother made all these years.
That is quite time consuming (not that it isn’t worth it) but in this day and age of both parents working you may need something easier. Skip the blanching bell peppers step entirely which cuts it down by half an hour, and any meat can be used. Choose which grain you want to include and fold it all together y’all.
Unstuffed Peppers Casserole
When I married my husband he taught me how to make “his Grandma’s stuffed peppers” because he loved them so much. We all really liked them and it even got my daughters to really like bell peppers because of it. I still make them quite often but because I was on a casserole kick this month.
One day when I really craved them but my energy level just wasn’t where it should be to go all out I came up with this one. Thought I should be able to create a sort of deconstructed bell peppers recipe in the form of a casserole….and here it is!!
It worked really well and I basically used the same ingredients in my original recipe to make it (with a few minor adjustments). Like I said, everyone prefers a different level of seasoning and spice levels so adjust as you see fit before pouring it into your casserole dish to see if you want more, but this was perfect for our taste buds!
Oven Baked Stuffed Pepper Casserole
We have used a few different types of protein for this one. If you do like a little heat try 1/2 a roll of Jimmy dean spicy ground sausage and 1/2 ground beef. For spicy use the whole roll instead. Lower fat use ground turkey instead! This is such a great recipe in fact it was featured by Country Living online with several other of their favorite dishes!
- Green peppers – I mean you can use any colors you like
- Ground beef is typically what I have on hand, 80/20 is usually best
- extra lean ground turkey would be fine
- Onion and garlic add great flavor
- Diced tomatoes – I use petite diced right out of the can
- Spaghetti sauce – or tomato sauce but spaghetti sauce lends to more flavor
- Uncooked rice but cooked ahead of time before adding into the mix
- white rice needs to be cooked before adding with other ingredients
- even cauliflower rice would probably be fine
- Mozzarella cheese, shredded and yes we like a lot. You can use dairy free cheese instead if need be
- Mushrooms are a nice add in I think but don’t always have them on hand so either way works
Spices listed below are just suggestions of course. Taste before adding into dish to see if you want to adjust. If you wanted to add heat you could use red pepper flakes or dry Sriracha too. Love tobasco flavor? Use that.
Stuffed Pepper Casserole with Cooked Rice
In the video provided in this post I added tomato sauce. In the instructions below I swapped out for spaghetti sauce because it added even more flavor. You can use either one but after a time or two we prefer spaghetti sauce if we have it on hand. Typically I will use canned and jarred ingredients because this is meant to be easy peasy.
You basically precook everything but it all comes together when you pour it into your casserole dish and pop it in the oven. Gentle is key especially with the rice. You don’t want to break it all apart so it is closer to a mushy texture. You are just baking it for a bit so everything melds together and the flavors really come out. Everything is already cooked so you don’t have to worry about temps.
Serve as is or with a side of salad or bread and you’re done! If you have a pressure cooker we also made this Instant Pot stuffed pepper casserole you can try. For this one it is even easier since we did not precook the rice ahead of time. Just a one pot meal you literally saute the meat first, throw everything else in and let it cook.
Stuffed Pepper Casserole Easy
Put olive oil in a large pot on medium heat. Add extra lean ground beef, diced green peppers and onions and simmer until they soften a bit and meat is browned.
- On the stovetop or pressure cooker, put uncooked rice and water in and cook until tender.
- Long grain rice, white, or Instant Pot brown rice works quite well.
- Add all other ingredients like salt and pepper, Italian seasonings if you like, spaghetti sauce etc. into the pot EXCEPT the cooked white rice and cheese.
- Stir to combine everything, reduce heat and simmer for about 5 minutes until it reaches a slow boil.
- Turn heat off and stir in 1 cup of your cheese and your cooked rice. You can serve at this time, or bake in the oven with more cheese.
Spray a 9×12″ dish with non stick spray and spoon mixture in. Put in oven at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Then top with 1/2 cup to 1 cup of mozzarella or cheddar cheese and put back in for 5 minutes. Serve! When you love this we have a few others you should try next;
How to Save Leftover Casserole
You know how I hate to waste food so I always have ways of saving for another meal later on. You likely will only have some so transfer it into a smaller container first when it has completely cooled. Cover it with a lid or plastic wrap tightly and put into the fridge. I like to reheat within 24 hours but it will stay for 3 days or so.
When you reheat it I would just use your microwave. Transfer to a safe dish and break apart. Put a paper towel over the top and heat for 45 seconds and then stir. Heat again until warmed. I like to add some more shredded cheese to the top during the last 20 seconds, uncovered.
Easy Ground Beef Casserole
Or turkey, pork, chicken, but you get the drift of what we mean by this. Ground meat basically is what you’re going to need to get started. But wait….we have a bunch of other ideas if you want to meal plan for the week! If you love this ground beef casserole you should try Crockpot stuffed bell peppers next and:
- Our Mexican style enchilada lasagna casserole is delish with a bit of heat and layers of tortillas
- Then give this slow cooker lasagna casserole recipe a whirl for a more Italian style dish
- If you have a pressure cooker, try our Instant Pot crack chicken casserole for total comfort food on a fork.
Air fryer stuffed peppers are great, or make Instant Pot stuffed peppers. I mean I think we have covered all the basis if you ask me. If you are short on time this one goes, want a different crispier texture try to air fry them made the classic way. Same ingredients, similar flavors but all different ways.
Jump to recipe below. It’s an easy recipe we love and make quite often. If you love stuffed peppers you’re going to love this!
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Stuffed Pepper Casserole
- 1 1/2 green peppers, diced
- 1 lb ground beef
- 1/2 onion diced
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp garlic, minced
- 1 can diced tomatoes
- 2 c spaghetti sauce (or more at end if you prefer more sauce)
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tbsp seasoned salt, Lawry’s
- 1 tsp pepper
- 1 tsp chili powder optional
- 2 c cooked rice
- 2 c mozzarella cheese, shredded
- 1 c mushrooms, cut into fourths optional
- 1 tsp garlic salt
- Put olive oil in a pot on medium heat.
- Add ground beef and brown, add diced green peppers and onions and simmer until they soften a bit.
- Add all other ingredients except the rice and cheese.
- Simmer everything for about 5 minutes until it reaches a slow boil.
- Turn heat off and stir in 1 cup of your cheese and your cooked rice.
- Spray a 9×12″ dish with non stick spray and spoon mixture in.
- Put in oven at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Then top with last cup of cheese and put back in for 5 minutes. Serve!
Wednesday 1st of June 2022
If using the mushrooms, should they be sauteed along with the beef, pepper and onions?
The Typical Mom
Thursday 2nd of June 2022
Yes I would
Monday 14th of September 2020
What is the purpose of cooking this in the oven at 350 for 30 minutes?Isn't everything already cooked?
The Typical Mom
Tuesday 15th of September 2020
To melt the top cheese, you could skip if you'd rather
Tuesday 7th of January 2020
Do I drain the ground beef grease?
Saturday 11th of August 2018
Very good recipe..... but I would advice cutting down on the salt. 1 tsb salt, 1 tbls Seasoning Salt, 1 tsb Garlic Salt makes it too salty.
Tuesday 16th of October 2018
Dude or Dudette, read the recipe.
Tuesday 2nd of January 2018
This recipe is absolutely wonderful! Thank you so much for sharing it!