Deliciously alluring stuffed peppers are so easy to make. Soft, mildly sweet and slightly caramelized pepper filled with moist and flavorful filling is a perfect meal for any day. Today on the menu: roasted stuffed peppers with ground pork and rice in tomato sauce.
updated from 2013
RECIPE FOR STUFFED PEPPERS WITH GROUND PORK AND RICE
The versatility of this easy stuffed peppers recipe opens the doors for so many filling variations. Sky is the limit; from sauteed mushrooms, green beans, vegetable medley, tomatoes and feta cheese and so much more.
Nonetheless, today I’m going to share with you a traditional recipe my grandmother would make at the peak of the flavorsome pepper season.
WHAT YOU NEED TO MAKE STUFFED PEPPERS
- Medium to large peppers
- Ground Meat – pork, or combination of pork and beef and chicken
- Onion and Garlic
- Red Paprika
- Cooked Rice – white or brown
- Shredded Cheese (optional): parmesan and mozzarella
- Salt and Pepper
- Seasoned Tomato Sauce
- Olive oil
You can use red or green peppers, though I prefer red because they are sweeter, and I love their vibrant color. What kind of peppers should you use? Most stuffed pepper recipes call for bell peppers, but you can use others. In this recipe, I use Aruba peppers. They’re sweet and have thinner walls. Because Aruba peppers don’t have wide bottoms like bell peppers, you need to cook on their sides; you can’t cook them upright like bell peppers.
Wash the peppers, trim the top, and clean the inside to remove the seeds. Rinse each pepper in water and let the pepper drain on the side while you work on the filling.
PORK AND RICE FILLING
To make the filling I use ground pork, red paprika, cooled sauteed onion, garlic, parsley, parmesan cheese, egg, rice (white or brown), salt and pepper. Combine all the ingredients in a mixing bowl and use the filling to stuff the peppers right away.
Next, you need to get tomato sauce ready. You can use your favorite store-bought tomato sauce or make it from scratch. I often use my tomato soup with grilled vegetables as a base and season it with basil, oregano, salt, and pepper.
FILL THE PEPPERS WITH FILLING
Before you stuff the peppers, season washed and hollow peppers with salt and ground pepper.
I have a handy trick for quickly stuffing the peppers with the filling. I use a piping bag; if you don’t have a piping bag, you can use a Ziploc bag. Fill the bag with the filling, and snip the corner. Squeeze the bag to push the filling out into the hollow peppers.
BAKE STUFFED PEPPERS
Use an oven-safe baking dish that can withstand high temperatures to roast the stuffed peppers with pork and rice filling. Pour tomato sauce over the peppers, and cover the dish with aluminum foil. Bake at 395F for 40 minutes. Then remove the foil and bake for 10 more minutes.
And lastly, sprinkle mozzarella cheese over peppers and bake until cheese melts, about 5-10 minutes.
STUFFED PEPPERS FILLING IDEAS
- Barley and sauteed mushrooms
- Couscous, roasted zucchini, tomatoes, feta cheese
- Beet, Pork and Cauliflower Rice
MORE DELICIOUS RECIPES TO TRY
- Stuffed Cabbage Casserole
- Homemade Fig Jam
- Savory Monkey Bread via Cloudy Kitchen
- Hamburge Potato Buns
- Red Pepper Paste
Stuffed Peppers with Ground Pork and Rice
- 6 red peppers, medium to large size
- salt and ground pepper to season before filling
Meat and Rice Filling
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 cup medium to large onion, diced
- 1 pound ground pork (454 grams), or mix of chicken and beef and pork
- 1/4 tsp red paprika
- 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
- 3 tbsp parsley, chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, pressed
- 1 large egg
- 1 cup packed cooked rice (about 200 grams) – white or brown
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/8 tsp ground black pepper
- 1/2 cup shredded Mozzarella Cheese – topping
- 4 cups plain tomato sauce, or pre-seasoned, or use homemade or canned
- 1 tbsp honey (optional)
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/8 tsp fresh ground pepper
- 1 tsp dry basil or 2tsp fresh basil
- 1 tsp dry oregano or 2 tsp fresh oregano
- pinch of chili flakes for the heat (optional) optional
- Preheat oven to 395F.
Meat and Rice Filling
- Prepare 6 large red peppers, trim the tops, and remove the seed using a knife or a small spoon. Wash out the inside. Set aside.
- Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a skillet, add diced onion (1 cup), and sautee until translucent, about 5 minutes. Let cool to room temperature.
- In a medium size bowl, stir together ground meat (1 pound, 454 grams), red paprika (1/4 teaspoon), parmesan cheese (1/4 cup), chopped parsley (3 tablespoons), garlic (2 cloves, pressed), cooled sauteed onion, cooked rice, and 1 large egg. Stir until well combined, season with salt (1/4 teaspoon) and fresh ground pepper (1/8 teaspoon).
- Season the inside of the peppers with salt and ground pepper. Fill the seasoned peppers with the filling. TIP: If you have a piping bag or any plastic bag, fill it with the filling. Snip the corner and fill the peppers. It's easy and fast.
- If using already seasoned tomato sauce that you like there is no need to add additional spices.
- If you are using plain tomato sauce, you need to season it. Into the plain tomato sauce, pour honey (1 tablespoon) dry basil (1 teaspoon), dry oregano (1 teaspoon), salt (1/2 teaspoon), and ground pepper (1/8 teaspoon). Stir till well combined.
- Pour seasoned tomato sauce into an oven-proof dish. Nest stuffed peppers into the sauce. Cover with aluminum foil.
- Bake at 395F for 40 minutes, then remove the foil and bake for additional 10 minutes. Sprinkle 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese over top. Return to oven and bake until cheese is melted and bubbly about 5 minutes.
- Remove from the oven, let cool 20 minutes before serving.
- Can I freeze stuffed peppers? Yes, you can freeze stuffed pepper cooked with tomato sauce. I recommend freezing them without the cheese topping. Add the cheese when you are reheating the pepper before serving.
- What can I use in place of an egg? You can use 2 tablespoons of breadcrumbs, 1 teaspoon of chia seeds, or egg replacement.
This post was originally published on September 22, 2013. On July 17, 2023, I updated this recipe post with new photos, written text, and a recipe card.