Make these super easy sausage (or ground beef) and rice stuffed peppers in just 20 minutes with only five ingredients!
This is one of my favorite 5-ingredient recipes because, well FIVE ingredients kind of speaks for itself, doesn’t it? But when it comes to easy and simple weeknight dinners, these stuffed peppers really take the cake. They are so, so delicious it’s kind of hard to believe they’re so quick and can be ready in just 20 minutes.
Why This Recipe Works
- Quick and easy – start to finish this dish comes together in just 20 minutes!
- Super flavorful – using ground sausage really take the flavor up to a new level.
- Minimal prep work – using pre-cooked rice and skipping the pre-roasting of the peppers cuts out a ton of preparation time.
- All in one – these peppers include veggies, rice, and meat all in one bundle of deliciousness so you don’t have to use sides if you don’t to.
Do You Have to Boil Peppers Before Stuffing Them?
No, you do not have to boil or roast the bell peppers before you actually stuff them. Bell peppers only need about 15-20 minutes in the oven to become nice and tender so filling the peppers and then popping them into the oven is all that is required.
How to Make Stuffed Peppers Without Rice
If you don’t want to add rice to the peppers or you are following a low-carb diet, that’s a-okay. You can skip the rice, but may I recommend you replace it with another ingredient or they won’t be a) filled up and b) nearly as satisfying.
You can substitute regular rice for cooked cauliflower rice. There are steamable bags of riced cauliflower in the freezer section of your grocery store now that make this sooooooo simple. Simply microwave the bag according to package directions, and add to the peppers when you would have added the rice.
If you want to skip a “rice” component all together, I’d replace the rice with veggies (diced mushrooms, zucchini, onions, and/or eggplant would all work) or add a bean instead like chickpeas, navy, or cannellini beans.
Easy Side Dish Suggestions
Mmmmm sides. You can serve these cheesy stuffed bell peppers all by themselves — it is a complete meal, in my eyes. Or, you can add a side to round out this dish. Some of my favorites include:
- Salad. Side salads are easy to pull together and if you don’t have the ingredients for a salad handy, you can pick up a pre-mixed bag in the produce department. There are so many varieties now, my favorites include Caesar mixes and the kind that has the sliced kale and Brussels sprouts.
- Roasted veggies. Roast up a side of veggies right alongside your peppers. Brussels sprouts, asparagus, and green beans are all favs in this house.
- Mashed potatoes. If you’re looking for an easy side or have some potatoes that need to be cooked, then mash those babies right up. Mashed potatoes go with everything, honestly.
- Oven roasted potatoes. Don’t want mashed potatoes? Can you handle another three ingredients? Then you must make these 3-Ingredient Oven Roasted Potatoes.
- In the recipe notes, I mention how to make these stuffed peppers with other proteins but I have to also tell you that these peppers taste the best with ground Italian sausage. It has the best flavor without needing to add any other ingredients or spices and tastes SO good with the rice and cheese inside a stuffed bell pepper. That and the flavor from the fire roasted tomatoes are what really sets this recipe apart and makes these the BEST stuffed bell peppers.
- You can make these peppers with any rice you have on hand. I like to use the Spanish rice because it adds another layer of flavor to the stuffed peppers. Basmati or brown rice will work as well, in addition to plain old white rice.
- Speaking of rice, you want to be sure to cook the rice first or use minute rice. Uncooked rice will not cook up with the peppers and will be dry and crunchy if you add it to the stuffing raw.
- If you’re having trouble getting the peppers to stay upright in your dish, use a smaller dish with a taller side (like a circular Corningware dish) so that they can pack more tightly together and keep one another up. Or you can slice a little bit off the bottom of the pepper (being careful not to slice into the pepper itself or all the stuffing juices will leak right out). This will level the bottoms and help them stand upright.
- If you don’t want to waste the pepper tops, you can dice them up and cook with the sausage, rice, and tomato mixture and stuff them right in with everything else.
More Quick and Easy Recipes
- Creamy Lemon Chicken Piccata
- Citrus Dijon Grilled Chicken (aka: the BEST chicken marinade)
- Creamy Tomato Sausage Penne
- Sheet Pan Shrimp and Broccoli
Did you make this recipe? It would mean the world to me if you would leave a rating below!
BEST Ever Easy Stuffed Peppers (5 Ingredients)
- 8 bell peppers - tops cut off and seeds and membranes removed
- 1 pound mild or spicy ground Italian sausage - for alternative protein options, see notes
- 3 cup cooked Spanish style rice - or white rice, see note
- 1 ½ cups water
- 1 15-ounce can fire roasted diced tomatoes
- 1 cup shredded Mexican blend cheese
- cilantro or green onions for topping - optional
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease a large baking dish and arrange bell peppers standing up. (If they want to tip over you can always cut off the very bottom 1/8 of an inch or so to flatten them out and help them stand!) Transfer to preheated oven and allow to cook for 10-15 minutes until tender. (Move ahead with Step 2 while peppers are baking!)
- Add rice, water, and tomatoes to the pan, give it a good stir, and bring to a boil. Reduce to LOW, cover, and cook for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Stir sausage and 1/2 cup of the cheese into the pan. Spoon mixture into the baked peppers and top with remaining cheese.
- Bake for 5 minutes or until cheese is melted. Top with green onions or cilantro if desired and serve.