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Simple Stuffed Peppers


Let’s face it, we whole foodies can sometimes be a little snobby about food.

This is not entirely a bad thing. Rejecting over-processed or poor quality food items and choosing nutrient dense produce, high quality meat, and unprocessed dairy and grains is certainly a well-informed choice. But sometimes we get a little snooty about our recipes, too. Fancy herbs (I’ve had a lot of questions/comments about lemongrass – sorry readers!), rare heirloom produce, expensive cuts of meat, and difficult or time-consuming kitchen techniques (i.e. soaking, sprouting, culturing, etc.) tend to scare those who are just getting started. But whole food doesn’t have to be complicated. More often than not, it is surprisingly simple.

This recipe takes simple staple items and turns them into a wholesome, traditional meal without a fuss. In my mind the great thing about a simple recipe (such as our popular “Real” Chicken Broccoli and Rice Casserole) is that they give each cook the opportunity to be creative and adapt the recipe the recipe the way they like it. For example, with these peppers, you can add or subtract ingredients as needed. Need GFDF, cut the cheese. Want it vegetarian, leave out the meat. Hate peppers (I scratch my head, but to each his own) or maybe it is January and they’re $5/pound, make this a filling: burritos, lettuce wraps, or just eat it plain in a bowl. Maybe you love spicy food – stuff it in a hot pepper instead of a sweet one. And of course when it comes to Mexican flavored foods, there are numerous toppings and side dishes available: sour cream, guacamole, cilantro, corn on the cob, chips and salsa, queso, etc.

So although this is a “simple” recipe, have fun with it! Share your favorite variations below so we can all try them out.

Homemade taco seasoning is easy to make and can be used in any recipe calling for store bought taco seasoning.

Simple Stuffed Peppers


Kim @ onceamonthmeals.com


  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 8 large bell peppers, any color (I like to mix them up)
  • 0.5 pounds ground beef
  • 0.5 cups chopped onions
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1 cup cooked beans, any variety (or canned)
  • 2 cups uncooked brown rice
  • 14.5 ounces canned tomatoes and green chiles
  • 4 Tablespoons Taco Seasoning
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar jack cheese

Cut off the top of the pepper and scrape out the insides.


Coat the bottom of baking pans (two 8 x 8s or one 13 x 9) and set aside. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Meanwhile, cut the tops (stem end) off of the peppers and clean out all of the seeds. If the bottoms are oddly shaped and they don’t stand upright, trim the bottoms so they are flat. {Don’t make too big of a hole or all of your stuffing will fall out!} Blanch in boiling water for 1-2 minutes, until peppers just start to cook, then plunge immediately into cold water. Divide peppers among prepared baking pans. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Saute beef, onions, and garlic until beef is no longer pink and onions are soft. Add beans, rice, tomatoes with juice, taco seasoning, and chicken broth. Stir to combine. Bring to a boil, then cover and reduce heat to medium-low. Cook 30-45 minutes until rice is tender and juices are absorbed, stirring once or twice to prevent sticking. Fill each pepper half way with filling. Top each with 2 tablespoons of cheese. Fill with remaining filling and top with each with another 2 tablespoons of cheese. Bake at 350 for 30-45 minutes. Peppers will be very soft, filling should be heated through, and cheese will be bubbly. Plate peppers and cut in half.

Freezing Directions:

Freeze peppers before baking.

Follow directions above and freeze peppers before baking. Cover tightly with foil and store until cooking day. To serve, thaw and bake as directed above.

Servings: 8


**conversion chart image provided by Erik Spiekermann

9 Responses to “Simple Stuffed Peppers”

  1. Emily says:

    I don’t see rice listed in the ingredients list but it is included in the cooking directions. Should it be included?

  2. Nicole says:

    How much rice do you use in this recipe? Thank you!

  3. Irene says:

    Very nice! My 2-year old was weirded out by the presentation at first, but I think she liked it once she tried a bite! I didn’t have enough bell peppers so I’m planning to freeze the ‘stuffing’ on its own and use it when I have more bell peppers. You think that will work? Thanks!

  4. Cassie says:

    what kind of beans are the best choice? I really want to try this recipe but not sure what kind of beans..

  5. Kara says:

    I cooked this up this evening, along with much of the August Once A Month Whole Foods Menu! My husband really enjoyed these and said this was a winner. Way to go! Thanks for putting all this together.

  6. [...] notice they are there! That is the story of Stuffed Pepper Soup at our house. I am a huge fan of stuffed peppers, but my boys (including dear husband) aren’t so thrilled. However, when I made this soup it [...]

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