This easy Stuffed Pepper Casserole recipe is for those of us that can’t get enough of the filling part of stuffed peppers!
This easy Stuffed Pepper casserole was conceived out of my desire to eat it.
I really like the classic flavors of stuffed peppers. But, if I’m honest, I’ll admit that the ratio of peppers to filling is off for my tastes: I could usually eat twice as much of the stuffing.
In the back of my mind I had the idea for a hotdish (that’s what we call casseroles here in Minnesota). I’m pretty sure I had seen something similar on Pinterest. But I decided to wing it and make up my own recipe, using up vegetables I had in the fridge.
It’s made with just a few simple ingredients, but is has delicious flavors and it’s so comforting.
This is a great recipe for those busy days or weeknights when you don’t know what to cook, but you’d still like to get in some quality ingredients.
Okay, let me show you how to make this easy recipe!
Here’s everything that you’ll need to make this stuffed pepper casserole:
- White Rice: I like to use white rice (see this post for why I eat white rice), but if you prefer brown rice, feel free to substitute that. Because brown rice is a whole grain, it will take longer to cook and be a bit chewier.
- Ground Beef: You can use lean ground beef or a higher fat content, depending on what you have on hand and which flavors your prefer. Now you can use ground chicken, ground turkey, or ground pork if you prefer. Just keep in mind that ground chicken or turkey will be drier.
- Butter: You know me: I love to use grass-fed butter. But you could substitute olive oil, avocado oil, coconut oil, etc.
- Onion: You can use a yellow, white, or red onion here.
- Red Bell Peppers: I love the sweetness that red bell peppers add.
- Green Bell Peppers: Green peppers are a nice addition for their color as well. But you can use all of one color bell pepper if that ‘s what you have!
- Zucchini: If you (or your kids) don’t care for zucchini, feel free to leave this out or substitute more peppers or carrots.
- Salsa: I like to use salsa in the filling because it’s a quick and easy way to add a lot of flavor. In a pinch you *could* use tomato sauce or diced tomatoes instead, but the final casserole won’t be quite as flavorful.
- Shredded Carrots: You can shred your own carrots. But you can also buy pre-shredded carrots to make this recipe even more convenient.
- Shredded Cheese: I like to use cheddar cheese or Colby cheese, but feel free to use what you have on hand. A nice Pepperjack could be good as well. Mozzarella could get a bit stringy, though.
- Salt and Pepper to taste!
You’ll need to begin by cooking your rice.
You could cook your rice in chicken broth or beef broth to up the nutrient levels.
If you have it on hand, you can use cooked rice. You can use about 2 1/4 cups of cooked rice instead of 3/4 cup of uncooked rice.
Cooking the Beef and Vegetables:
In a large skillet set over medium heat, cook and crumble the ground beef until it’s no longer pink in the middle. Add salt and pepper to taste, and remove to a plate. If you have a ton of excess grease you can drain it, but I don’t bother!
In the now-empty skillet, melt 2 tablespoons of butter. First, add the onion and cook 3 minutes. Next, add the pepper and zucchini and cook 5 minutes. Finally, add the carrots and cook for 5 more minutes, or until everything is tender.
The reason you add the vegetables at these intervals is so they finish cooking at the same time. The onions take longer to cook than the peppers, zucchini, and carrots.
Add salt and pepper to taste. Stir in the rice, salsa, and beef.
Assembling the Casserole:
Transfer the filling to a 13×9-inch casserole dish.
This is obviously not a 13×9-inch pan, but it was really pretty for the photos. Anything that’s approximately 13×9 will work!
You could even bake this in the skillet that you cooked the veggies in if it’s oven-proof. Then this is a one pot meal!
Top with shredded cheese.
Pop the whole baking dish into the oven, and bake at 350 degrees F (177 degrees C) for 15-20 minutes, or until the cheese melts.
I don’t find that there’s any need to tent this with aluminum foil.
And that’s how to make my stuffed bell pepper casserole!
This is a satisfying, comforting, easy casserole. Perfect for chilly fall/winter nights.
If you have any leftovers, you can store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
To reheat, you can either place it in a skillet, add a bit of water, cover, and heat over low heat until steamy and hot throughout.
Also, I made a little video for those of you that are more visual:
- I included carrots, zucchini, and onions to pack in extra veggies. Feel free to use up whatever vegetables you have in the fridge. Keep in mind that milder-tasting veggies won’t compete with the other flavors in the casserole.
- You could also add a pinch of red pepper flakes if you’d like to add some heat.
- If you could add a sprinkle of garlic powder if you like that added flavor. Some salsas already have garlic in the ingredients, so you might not even need it!
More Bell Pepper Recipes:
- Egg Muffin Cups with Cottage Cheese, Bacon, and Peppers
- Sausage, Mushroom, and Bell Pepper Breakfast Hash
- 30 Minute Shrimp and Shiitake Stir Fry
- Philly Cheese Steak Pizza
Stuffed Pepper Casserole
For the rice:
- - 3/4 cup organic dry long grain white rice
- - 1 1/2 cups water
- - 3/4 teaspoon Real Salt
For the casserole:
- - 1 pound grass-fed/local ground beef
- - 2 tablespoons grass-fed butter
- - 1/2 medium onion finely chopped
- - 1 large organic bell pepper I used half red, half green
- - 1/2 organic zucchini cut in half lengthwise and thinly sliced
- - 1 cup organic peeled shredded carrots
- - 1 cup organic salsa
- - 2 cups shredded cheddar or Colby cheese
- - salt and pepper to taste
For the rice:
Place the rice, water, and salt in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat. Cover, turn heat down to low, and cook until tender, about 15 minutes.
For the casserole:
While the rice is cooking, prep the rest of the casserole.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 C).
In a large skillet set over medium heat, cook and crumble the ground beef until no longer pink. Add salt and pepper to taste. Remove from pan and set aside.
Melt the butter in the now-empty skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and cook 3 minutes. Add the pepper and zucchini and cook 5 minutes. Add the carrots and cook for 5 more minutes, or until everything is tender. Add salt and pepper to taste. Stir in the rice, salsa, and beef.
Transfer the filling to a 13x9-inch pan. Top with shredded cheese.
Bake in preheated oven for 15-20 minutes, or until the cheese is melted.
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