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Unstuffed Pepper Bake

Bell peppers are flourishing at the local farmer’s markets as well as in my garden, inspiring me to make some hearty stuffed peppers. But with three little (and quite picky) kids, I wasn’t sure how the meal would go over at my dinner table. This Unstuffed Pepper Bake takes those ingredients and flavors of a classic stuffed green pepper, and presents them in a way that is less intimidating for self-proclaimed veggie haters. At least it worked at my house!

Unstuffed Pepper Bake


Pam @ onceamonthmeals.com


  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 0.33 cup chopped onion
  • 1.5 cup chopped bell pepper
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 0.5 teaspoon salt
  • 0.25 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 can (14.5 ounces) diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup instant brown rice (uncooked)
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 8 ounces shredded cheddar cheese
  • 15 ounces tomato sauce


Preheat oven to 375°F.  In a large sauce pan, sauté ground beef and onions, green peppers and garlic for 5 minutes, or until beef is browned. Drain off excess fat, and season with salt and pepper. Stir in the tomatoes, rice, Worcestershire sauce and Italian seasoning. Remove from heat, and stir in half of the cheese. Spread mixture evenly into a deep baking dish and top with tomato sauce and remaining cheese. Bake for 20 minutes, until heated through and cheese is melted and bubbly.

Freezing Directions:

After topping with cheese, cover with foil, label, and freeze. To serve: Thaw in fridge. Bake for 20 minutes, until heated through and cheese is melted and bubbly.

Servings: 6

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25 Responses to “Unstuffed Pepper Bake”

  1. wendy says:

    Is that one cup of rice cooked or uncooked?

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  3. Gina says:

    We had this for dinner last night! YUMMY!

  4. kristi says:

    Pam, you’re a genius. I’ve always chopped our stuffed peppers up so the kids will eat them (they look at the stuffed peppers like “you want me to eat what?)…but this is so much easier than going through all that trouble. And the kids LOVED it…the tiny one literally cried for a second helping. Ours was a Veggie Version of course. Delicious.

  5. Meghan says:

    Loved it!!!! We had it tonight, and I added a chopped zucchini for an extra vegetable! My husband and our 3 yr old gobbled it up! There was hardly any left! Thanks for such a great, easy recipe!

  6. kerry says:

    I do not have any instant rice, can I sub regular rice and cook it first??

    • Pam says:

      Sure, that would probably work fine. Maybe slightly undercook it before adding it so it doesn’t get mushy in the casserole?

  7. kerry says:

    well I had not heard back so I just went with it:) cooked brown rice like normal and we just finished up dinner. it was wonderful!! thank you for sharing the recipe!

  8. amber says:

    when you freeze this im a bit confused..im just starting out, you say after you add the cheese to dish it in a freezer container/…dont you bake it first/ then freeze?

    • Pam says:

      The freezing directions assumed you would prepare the casserole in the dish you will be baking it in, so you would put the rice/meat mixture in the dish, top it with cheese, and then freeze.

      You could bake first if you’d like, and then freeze individual portions if you would rather.

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  11. lynn says:

    Yum! I love stuffed bell peppers. Last fall I ran across stuffed bell pepper soup. It is pretty tasty and on my list to make this fall. Your casserole looks delish though!

  12. Brenda says:

    This had quickly become one of our favorite recipes, thanks

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  14. Brenda says:

    Still one of my favorite recipes!

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