Italian Stuffed Peppers with a Cheddar Twist

Italian Stuffed Peppers with Cheddar

  • Author: Tess
  • Prep Time: 40 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hr. 5 minutes
  • Yield: 6-8 1x


As kids, my brother and I weren’t terribly fond of the pepper part of this dish, but we absolutely loved the filling! My mom always had extra, so we were able to pile a bit more on our plates to help drown out the flavor of the pepper. Now that I’m a grown up, I’ve come to love the flavor of peppers, but I also still love the extra filling!

This recipe will fill 5 peppers easily, with about 1 – 1 1/2 cups of filling left over. Number of servings will depend on whether you serve whole peppers, or halves with an accompanying salad or side dish.



45 medium sized peppers (any color)
1 tablespoon oil (olive, canola or avocado)
34 cloves minced garlic
1 medium onion, chopped
1 lb. ground beef
1 14.5 oz. can diced tomatoes, drained (I use fire-roasted)
3 oz. tomato paste (this will be 1/2 of a 6 oz. can)
1 1/2 cups cooked rice (white or brown)
¼ teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon Italian herbs
1 1/2 teaspoons parsley
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese plus extra to sprinkle on tops of stuffed peppers before placing in the oven


  1. Cook rice in rice cooker or on stove according to package directions.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  3. Cut thin slice from stem end of each bell pepper to remove top of the pepper. Remove seeds and membranes and rinse peppers. If bottom of peppers are uneven and won’t stand up straight, cut a thin slice from the bottom of the peppers so they will stand upright.
  4. Parboil the peppers: Add enough water to a 5-6 quart Dutch oven to cover the peppers. Heat the water to boiling, then carefully add the peppers to the boiling water so they are fully covered. Cook the peppers 3-4 minutes, until tender but still very firm.
  5. Remove the peppers from the water and drain. Set peppers aside while you prepare the filling.
  6. In a large skillet, cook the ground beef on medium heat until browned, making sure to break the meat apart as it is cooking. Stir occasionally and cook for 8-10 minutes. Remove the cooked ground beef from skillet and drain. Set aside.
  7. Add oil to the skillet. Add chopped onion and garlic to the pan and saute’ over medium heat until tender and translucent, approximately 5-7 minutes. Remove from heat.
  8. Place cooked ground beef in a large bowl. Add cooked onion and garlic, drained diced tomatoes, tomato paste, cooked rice, black pepper, salt, Italian herbs, parsley and cheddar cheese. Mix together.
  9. Stuff each pepper with the prepared filling and stand upright in a baking dish. Top off each stuffed pepper with some additional shredded cheddar cheese.
  10. Carefully pour about 1/2 inch of water into the bottom of the baking pan.
  11. Place baking pan with stuffed peppers in the oven, uncovered, and bake for 20-25 minutes or until peppers are tender.
  12. Remove from oven and serve hot.


If you are garlic lovers, like most of my family, you can add 1 or 2 additional cloves to suit your taste.

You can substitute mozzarella cheese for the cheddar.

Parboiling the peppers cuts down significantly on the time the peppers need to be in the oven. If you don’t parboil the peppers, they will need to bake for about 1 hour.

  • Category: Main Dish
  • Method: Stove top and Oven
  • Cuisine: American
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