Stuffed Bell Peppers are classic comfort food. Brimming with ground beef, rice, onions, savory seasonings and more. They are even easier now in the Instant Pot. This fast dinner recipe is drizzled with a sauce you’ll love too!
If you love hearty comfort food like meatloaf you will love this great recipe!
Full of great flavors in a homey filling dinner recipe.
Instant Pot recipes are always a favorite because they are fast and easy. Pressure cooking also retains more nutrients in the food.
It’s a perfect way to prepare this classic dish. Everything cooks together in an 8 minute cooking cycle.
It’s easy to get dinner on the table in less than 30 minutes with this tasty recipe!
Don’t use an Instant Pot? Try these Sausage and Orzo Stuffed Sweet Peppers cooked in the oven.
What are Stuffed Bell Peppers?
If you’ve never tasted them, stuffed bell peppers are filled with what’s very close to a meatloaf type filling.
Ground meat, rice, spices and binding ingredients that all cook quickly in the Instant Pot.
When they are done the hearty filling makes a filling meal.
In this recipe the cooking liquids are turned into an ample amount of sauce.
Perfect for drizzling over the cooked peppers.
Easy Instant Pot Stuffed Peppers
This is a recipe every family has probably made for generations.
This combination of flavors will please all family members.
It’s a familiar mix of ground beef, rice, onion, garlic and spices you’ll love.
When it cooks it makes a mini meatloaf inside that is easy to cut and eat.
Why we Love Them in the Instant Pot
Making them in the Instant Pot cooks them quickly and perfectly. The texture of the bell peppers are fantastic.
The filling cooks to be moist and fully done.
Everything is cooked in one pot including the tomato sauce.
This keeps everything out of the way of the stove top and oven.
Recipe Ingredients + Notes
Many similar recipes add cheese. This recipe does not include cheese. So it is a dairy-free recipe.
Bell Peppers. I recommend 4 large bell peppers, any color you choose. I find red, yellow and orange as a bit sweeter than green. Using mixed peppers is great too.
The filling amount will also stuff 5 small-medium size peppers (as seen in the process photos) too.
Ground Beef. Because the ground beef cooks in the instant pot (it is not pre-cooked) using a leaner beef reduces excess fat. Choosing 90-95% lean ground beef is delicious and won’t render lots of fat in the cooking process.
Onion and Garlic. This dynamic flavor duo add flavor to the filling.
Cooked Rice. Pre cooked rice is added as a binder to the filling. White or brown rice can be used. It’s a great way to use leftover rice!
Seasonings. Paprika, Italian Seasoning, Worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper.
Egg. The egg acts to bind the ingredient as it does in meatloaf.
Tomato Paste. This is added to the beef broth to make the cooking liquid and the sauce after cooking!
Beef Broth. Using beef broth instead of water brings much more flavor to the recipe while cooking. It makes a delicious base for the sauce too.
Cornstarch. Combined with some water and added to the cooking liquid after cooking it will thicken the sauce.
Is the Ground Meat and Rice Cooked or Uncooked?
The ground meat is added to the filling UNcooked. The rice will be cooked before adding to the filling.
Use different ground meat. Ground turkey or chicken will make leaner stuffed peppers. Adding some ground sausage will give more flavor. Or do a combination!
Like it Spicy? Substitute chili powder for the Italian spices for a little kick of heat and southwestern flavor.
What Size Instant Pot is Needed for this Recipe?
This recipe is made with a 6-quart Instant Pot.
How to Make it – Step-by-Step
STEP 1. Making the filling.
In a large bowl combine the filling ingredients. Ground beef, onion, garlic, add the rice, egg, paprika, Italian seasonings, Worcestershire sauce, salt, black pepper (photo 1).
Mix with a spoon or hands to fully combine (photo 2).
STEP 2. Stuffing the Peppers.
Cut out the stem and surrounding areas of the bell peppers. Remove the seeds and membrane inside (photo 3).
Spoon the meat mixture evenly between the prepared peppers (photos 3-4).
STEP 3. Cooking the Stuffed Peppers.
Combine the tomato paste and beef broth in the Instant Pot (photos 5-6). Stir or whisk together.
Place the trivet into the Instant Pot and the bell peppers on top (photo 7).
Seal the Instant Pot and. Cook time on HIGH PRESSURE is 8 minutes. Allow a NATURAL RELEASE for 5 minutes. Manually release any remaining pressure.
Gently remove the cooked peppers with tongs or a large spoon and set aside.
STEP 4. Making the Tomato Sauce.
Remove the trivet and select the SAUTE setting on the Instant Pot.
Mix the cornstarch and water. Pour into the Instant Pot (photo 8).
Stir often for around 2 minutes or until the sauce has thickened (photo 9).
STEP 5. Serve.
The recipe makes an ample amount of sauce. Some can be spooned on top of the peppers (photo 10).
Or serve on a bed of mashed potatoes or rice and drizzle everything with the tomato sauce.
Ensure the filling is fully cooked by checking the internal temperature. Ground beef should reach 165 degrees as measured with an Instant Read thermometer.
Allow the peppers to fully cool. Store in a sealed container in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.
Reheat in the microwave for fastest results.
Can Stuffed Peppers be Frozen?
Yes! This recipe is so fast to make we recommend making it fresh. However if you want to freeze them:
- Allow to fully cool after cooking.
- Wrap the peppers individually with plastic wrap followed by foil. Place in a gallon size freezer bag; seal.
- Freeze for up to 3 months.
- Thaw fully in the refrigerator and reheat in the microwave for fastest results.
More Recipes You’ll Love!
- Chocolate Chip Cookie Stuffed Brownies
- Stuffed Taco Burgers
- Roasted Peppers in Oil with Garlic
- Strawberry Stuffed French Toast
- Smoked Blue Cheese Stuffed Bacon-Wrapped Chile Peppers
- Broccoli Cheese Soup (Instant Pot recipe)
Instant Pot Stuffed Peppers
Instant Pot Stuffed Peppers are full of ground beef, rice, delicious spices all drizzled in a tomato sauce. It's a fast and easy comfort food recipe.
Stuffed Bell Peppers
- 4 large Bell peppers any color
- 1 pound Ground beef
- 1 medium Yellow Onion chopped
- 2 Garlic cloves diced
- 1 cup cooked Rice any type
- 2 teaspoons Paprika
- 2 teaspoons Italian Seasonings
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire Sauce
- 1 teaspoon Salt
- ½ teaspoon ground Black Pepper
- 1 Egg
- ¼ cup Tomato paste
- 2 cups Beef broth
- 2 tablespoons Cornstarch
- ¼ cup Water
- salt and pepper to taste
Cut the bell peppers open around the top by the stem. Remove the seeds and membrane. NOTE: a spoon can be used to scrape out the membrane if needed.
In a medium bowl combine the ground beef, onion, garlic, egg, rice, paprika powder, Italian Seasonings, Worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper. Stir together to fully combine.
Using a spoon divide the ground beef mixture evenly between the prepared bell peppers, set aside.
Combine the tomato paste and the beef broth into the Instant Pot and whisk/stir until combined.
Place the trivet into the Instant Pot and place the bell peppers onto it.
Close the lid, turn the vent to SEALED and select HIGH PRESSURE.
Cook for 8 minutes and allow a NATURAL RELEASE for another 5 minutes. Then release remaining pressure and remove the bell peppers from the inner pot.
NOTE: The internal temperature of the peppers should reach 165 degrees for the ground beef to be fully cooked.
Mix the cornstarch with ¼ cup of water, set the Instant Pot to SAUTE. Add the cornstarch mixture immediately to the Instant Pot and stir to combine.
Cook until sauce has thickened, stirring often, for about 1 to 2 minutes. Turn the Instant Pot to WARM.
Spoon some sauce over the cooked peppers. If serving on a bed of mashed potatoes or more rice, additional sauce may be drizzled on that too.
Pro Tip on Thickening the Sauce
Don't add the cornstarch directly to the sauce without mixing it first with water. It will clump and not blend into the sauce.
Allow peppers to cool after cooking. Store in a sealed container for 3-4 days. Reheat in a microwave.