Instant Pot Stuffed Peppers are a hit for busy weeknights! The cheesy beef and rice filling is so satisfying and bakes beautifully in brilliant green or red peppers. Your family will love them!
Stuffed Bell Peppers are one of those classic dinners that remind me of my childhood. Full disclosure: as I kid I only liked the beefy rice filling, so I would scoop it out and leave those peppers on the plate, much to our mom’s chagrin. Luckily I got over myself and learned to love the crisp peppers along with that hearty filling. The peppers are the star of the meal, after all. Using the Instant Pot for this Stuffed Peppers recipe keeps the peppers crisp, yet tender with bubbly filling inside. A perfect combination every time!
How to Slice Peppers for Stuffed Peppers
Vertical or horizontal, which is best for Instant Pot Stuffed Peppers? There are pros to each.
- If you slice horizontally down the middle, you can get two stuffed peppers out of one. Costco prepares their stuffed peppers this way. If you simply cut off the top and fill the entire pepper, the filling can overpower the pepper ratio. This is how I cut the peppers in the recipe below.
- Slicing the pepper vertically will allow you to fit a lot into one pan, so it’s ideal for baking. How you cut the peppers really boils down to personal preference. But you can definitely fit in more in the Instant Pot when cutting vertically.
Does the Ground Beef Need to be Cooked?
Nope! The ground beef can go in UNcooked! That is the wonderful thing about this recipe! Of course, if you would like to pre-cook the beef, you absolutely can. The only reason for pre-cooking the beef would be so you can drain the grease from the beef if you are using ground beef with a higher fat content. In this picture below, actually, I lightly browned the beef JUST enough to get some of the excess grease off but it is not necessary. If you pre-cook the beef, you can reduce the pressure time to only 3-5 minutes.
What Kind of Rice to Use for Stuffed Peppers
Using leftover cooked rice is definitely the way to go when making stuffed peppers. I honestly just use whatever leftover rice is on hand. Brown or white, seasoned or plain, it really isn’t going to make a huge difference. I especially love using leftover Mexican Rice and Garden Vegetable Rice. Seasoned rice just kicks it up a notch. When I don’t have leftover rice on hand, I usually just cook up rice quickly in the Instant Pot and then wash the Instant Pot out before using again for the stuffed peppers (you can also use a rice cooker).
What to Put in Stuffed Bell Peppers?
This recipe is healthy and wholesome, made with simple ingredients like ground beef, rice, onions and cheese. Plus the fresh bell pepper is chock full of vitamins and flavor. But you could put any number of things in them, like:
- Ground turkey or chicken
- Feta cheese
- Bacon and eggs
- Lamb or pork
- Ham and Cheddar cheese
The possibilities are endless. Try any combination and enjoy experimenting!
Are Stuffed Bell Peppers Gluten Free?
Yes! This Instant Pot Stuffed Peppers recipe is ideal to serve to anyone on a gluten-free diet. All the ingredients, from the ground beef to the rice to the tomatoes are naturally GF. So enjoy!
Can Stuffed Peppers Be Frozen?
Absolutely! Once baked in the Instant Pot, cool them down, then wrap and store in the freezer for up to two months. These are wonderful to make and freeze so they’re ready when you are.
How to Reheat Stuffed Bell Peppers
To reheat Instant Pot Stuffed Peppers, thaw them in the refrigerator, then microwave for about a minute or until hot all the way through. You can top it with a little extra cheese to keep it moist.
What To Serve With Stuffed Peppers
Instant Pot Stuffed Peppers are a simple meal all on their own, but we love to serve a light fruit salad alongside. Your family would also love potato chips, a green salad, green beans, fruit, or some nice, crusty bread.
More Instant Pot Recipes
Thanks to the Instant Pot, dinners are flying on the table faster than ever! Here are some of our favorite recipes; try them all!
- Instant Pot Meatballs
- Sunday Pot Roast in the Instant Pot
- Instant Pot Beef Pot Pie
- Instant Pot Beef Goulash
- Instant Pot Corned Beef and Cabbage
How to Make Instant Pot Stuffed Peppers
Instant Pot Stuffed Peppers
- 4 bell peppers (I like using red, orange, and/or yellow)
- 1 1/2 pounds ground beef (see notes above)
- 2 cups rice (pre-cooked, see notes above)
- 2 cups mozzarella cheese shredded
- 1 onion finely diced
- 1 cup diced tomatoes
- 1 8-oz can tomato sauce
- 1/4 cup seasoned bread crumbs
- 2 tablespoons parmesan cheese
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- kosher salt to taste
- ground black pepper to taste
- shredded cheese for garnish
Wash bell peppers. Remove stem (cutting JUST around the stem) and slice horizontally (see notes above). Remove seeds and membranes.
Combine remaining ingredients in a large bowl (except shredded cheese for garnish) and mix until well combined.
Divide mixture evenly between the 8 halves (it's ok if they are heaping).
Place trivet in Instant Pot and pour in 1 cup water, covering the bottom of the Instant Pot. Place 4 of the stuffed peppers onto the trivet (I did this in my 6qt).
Now, you can cook them 4 at a time OR you can cook them all at once if you place the trivet with handles with the handles DOWN making kind of a table over the other trivet and first layer of peppers-- the "table" will seem wobbly or lean to one side but it won't fall over, it has nowhere to go. Place the remaining 4 stuffed peppers over the top.
Place the lid on the Instant Pot and seal, placing the tab to "sealing". Manually cook on high pressure for 9 minutes. Slow release for about 1-2 minutes and then quick release.
Open the Instant Pot and place cheese over all of the stuffed bell peppers (if you did 2 layers with the 2 trivets do this carefully removing the top layer and adding cheese to all the peppers and putting the top layer back).
Place lid back on Instant Pot for about 3-5 minutes or until cheese has melted. Serve hot.