Stuffed Pepper Casserole Recipe

Stuffed Pepper Casserole Recipe


  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 2 bell peppers, chopped
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 (15 oz) can low sodium beef broth
  • 1 (15 oz) can diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup uncooked long grain white rice
  • 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 3/4 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • 3/4 cup cheddar cheese, shredded


  1. Cook the Ground Beef:
    • In a large skillet, cook the ground beef over medium-high heat, breaking it apart as it cooks.
  2. Add Vegetables:
    • Once the beef is mostly cooked, add the chopped onions and bell peppers. Cook for 5-10 minutes until they start to soften.
  3. Add Garlic:
    • Add the minced garlic to the beef mixture and cook for an additional minute or two, just until fragrant.
  4. Combine Ingredients:
    • Stir in the Worcestershire sauce, beef broth, diced tomatoes, uncooked rice, Italian seasoning, salt, and black pepper.
  5. Simmer:
    • Bring the mixture to a boil, then cover and reduce the heat to a simmer. Cook for about 20 minutes, stirring halfway through, until the rice is tender.
  6. Incorporate Cheese:
    • Stir in about half of the shredded mozzarella and cheddar cheese until it is melted and well incorporated with the beef and rice mixture.
  7. Melt Remaining Cheese:
    • Sprinkle the rest of the shredded cheese over the top of the casserole. Cover the pan again and let the cheese melt. For a faster method, place the oven-safe skillet under the broiler to melt the cheese quickly.
  8. Serve:
    • Remove from heat and serve immediately.

Popular Questions and Answers

1. Can I use a different type of meat?

  • Yes, you can substitute ground beef with ground turkey, chicken, or even a plant-based ground meat alternative.

2. Can I add more vegetables?

  • Absolutely! Feel free to add other vegetables like zucchini, mushrooms, or spinach.

3. How can I make this dish spicier?

  • Add some chopped jalapeños or a dash of cayenne pepper to the beef mixture for extra heat.

4. Can I use brown rice instead of white rice?

  • Yes, but brown rice takes longer to cook, so you may need to adjust the cooking time and add more broth as needed.

5. What’s the best way to store leftovers?

  • Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat in the microwave or on the stovetop.

6. Can this be made ahead of time?

  • Yes, you can prepare the casserole ahead of time and reheat it when ready to serve. It can also be frozen for up to 3 months.

7. Is there a way to make this dairy-free?

  • Substitute the cheese with a dairy-free alternative or simply omit the cheese.

8. What can I serve with this casserole?

  • Serve with a side salad, garlic bread, or roasted vegetables.

9. How can I add more protein to this dish?

  • Add a can of drained and rinsed black beans or chickpeas for additional protein.

10. Can I use instant rice?

  • Yes, if using instant rice, adjust the cooking time as it will cook faster than long grain rice.

11. Can I cook this in the oven instead of the stovetop?

  • Yes, after combining all ingredients, transfer to an oven-safe dish and bake at 350°F for about 30 minutes or until the rice is tender.

12. How do I make this recipe gluten-free?

  • Ensure the Worcestershire sauce and broth are gluten-free. Also, use gluten-free rice and verify that all other ingredients are gluten-free.

13. Can I add tomato sauce instead of diced tomatoes?

  • Yes, you can substitute with tomato sauce for a different texture and flavor.

14. What’s a good vegetarian version of this recipe?

  • Use plant-based ground meat and vegetable broth instead of beef broth.

15. How do I prevent the rice from getting mushy?

  • Be sure to use long grain rice and avoid overcooking. Stirring occasionally helps to cook the rice evenly.

16. Can I add cheese inside the casserole instead of just on top?

  • Yes, mix some cheese into the casserole for a cheesier texture throughout.

17. Is there a low-carb version of this recipe?

  • Substitute the rice with cauliflower rice for a low-carb option.

18. Can I use quinoa instead of rice?

  • Yes, quinoa can be a great substitute for rice and adds more protein to the dish.

19. What type of cheese works best for this recipe?

  • Mozzarella and cheddar are great, but you can also use provolone or a cheese blend.

20. Can I add a topping for extra crunch?

  • Sprinkle breadcrumbs or crushed crackers on top before adding the final layer of cheese for a crunchy topping.

Creating the perfect Stuffed Pepper Casserole requires attention to detail and a few key tips to ensure that each component of the dish is flavorful and perfectly cooked. Here are some secrets to achieving a flawless Stuffed Pepper Casserole:

Secrets to the Perfect Stuffed Pepper Casserole

  1. Use Fresh Ingredients:
    • Ensure your vegetables, especially bell peppers and onions, are fresh for the best flavor and texture.
  2. Evenly Chop Vegetables:
    • Chop the bell peppers and onions into uniform sizes to ensure even cooking.
  3. Properly Season the Meat:
    • Season the ground beef with salt, pepper, and additional spices like garlic powder or paprika for a richer taste.
  4. Brown the Meat Thoroughly:
    • Brown the ground beef until it’s well-cooked and has a nice caramelized color. This adds depth of flavor to the casserole.
  5. Sauté Vegetables:
    • Sauté the onions and bell peppers until they start to soften and develop sweetness before adding them to the casserole.
  6. Deglaze the Pan:
    • After browning the meat and vegetables, deglaze the pan with a bit of beef broth to incorporate any browned bits into the dish.
  7. Garlic Timing:
    • Add minced garlic towards the end of sautéing to prevent it from burning and becoming bitter.
  8. Quality Beef Broth:
    • Use a low-sodium beef broth to control the salt level in your dish and add a richer flavor.
  9. Diced Tomatoes:
    • Use canned diced tomatoes with herbs or fire-roasted tomatoes for an added depth of flavor.
  10. Pre-Cook Rice:
    • Slightly undercook the rice before adding it to the casserole to avoid it becoming mushy. It will continue cooking and absorb flavors from the other ingredients.
  11. Spice Mix:
    • Experiment with different spice blends like Italian seasoning, smoked paprika, or a pinch of cayenne pepper for added flavor.
  12. Cheese Variety:
    • Mix cheeses like mozzarella for meltiness and cheddar for sharpness. Add some grated Parmesan for an extra layer of flavor.
  13. Layering:
    • Layer the ingredients evenly in the skillet to ensure every bite has a bit of everything.
  14. Cheese Integration:
    • Stir in some cheese towards the end to ensure it melts evenly and incorporates well into the casserole.
  15. Baking Technique:
    • If using the oven, cover the casserole with foil for the first part of baking to keep it moist, then uncover towards the end to let the cheese brown.
  16. Broil for Extra Brown:
    • If you like a crispy top, finish the casserole under the broiler for a few minutes to brown the cheese.
  17. Rest Before Serving:
    • Let the casserole rest for a few minutes after cooking. This helps the flavors meld and makes it easier to serve.
  18. Fresh Herbs:
    • Garnish with fresh herbs like parsley or basil for a fresh burst of flavor and color.
  19. Adjust Consistency:
    • If the casserole is too thick, stir in a little more broth to reach the desired consistency.
  20. Taste and Adjust Seasoning:
    • Always taste your dish before serving and adjust the seasoning as needed for the perfect flavor balance.

Tips to Make Stuffed Pepper Casserole Even More Delightful

  1. Use High-Quality Ingredients:
    • Fresh vegetables, high-quality beef, and good cheese make a big difference in the overall flavor.
  2. Add a Variety of Peppers:
    • Use different colors of bell peppers (red, yellow, green, and orange) to add a variety of flavors and a colorful presentation.
  3. Incorporate Different Meats:
    • Mix ground beef with Italian sausage or turkey for a more complex flavor.
  4. Caramelize Onions:
    • Cook the onions until they are caramelized to add a sweet depth of flavor.
  5. Add a Smoky Element:
    • Add smoked paprika or a dash of liquid smoke to the beef mixture for a subtle smoky flavor.
  6. Mix in Other Vegetables:
    • Include other vegetables like zucchini, mushrooms, or spinach for added nutrition and texture.
  7. Use Fresh Herbs:
    • Add fresh herbs like parsley, basil, or cilantro for a burst of fresh flavor before serving.
  8. Cheese Variety:
    • Use a mix of cheeses such as mozzarella, cheddar, and gouda to add different textures and flavors.
  9. Top with Crunch:
    • Sprinkle crushed tortilla chips, breadcrumbs, or fried onions on top for a crunchy contrast.
  10. Add a Kick of Heat:
    • Include chopped jalapeños, a pinch of cayenne pepper, or red pepper flakes for a spicy kick.
  11. Enhance with Acid:
    • Squeeze a bit of lemon or lime juice over the casserole before serving to brighten up the flavors.
  12. Add a Sweet Element:
    • Mix in a small amount of diced sweet potatoes or corn for a hint of sweetness.
  13. Layering Flavors:
    • Layer the ingredients to ensure every bite has a bit of everything. For instance, alternate layers of beef mixture and rice.
  14. Cook Rice Separately:
    • Cook the rice separately to al dente before adding to the casserole to avoid mushiness.
  15. Balance the Salt:
    • Be mindful of the salt levels, especially if using canned products. Adjust seasoning as needed.
  16. Add Garlic at the Right Time:
    • Add garlic towards the end of cooking the onions and peppers to prevent burning and bitterness.
  17. Use Tomato Variations:
    • Use fire-roasted tomatoes or add a bit of tomato paste for a richer tomato flavor.
  18. Deglaze the Pan:
    • After browning the meat and vegetables, deglaze the pan with a bit of broth or wine to incorporate all the flavors stuck to the bottom.
  19. Cook Covered and Uncovered:
    • Cook the casserole covered for the majority of the time to keep it moist, then uncover towards the end to let the cheese brown.
  20. Serve with a Side:
    • Pair the casserole with a fresh green salad, garlic bread, or a light vegetable side to balance the richness of the dish.