Mexican stuffed peppers are an easy, protein-packed weeknight dinner. With a hearty filling of beef, beans, rice, taco seasoning, and cheese, they’re filling and delicious!
We all have favorite dinners that we grew up eating, and this dish is one of my favorites.
Whether you make them with a filling of ground beef, chicken, or quinoa, stuffed bell peppers are easy to make, economical, and incredibly delicious!
The classic recipe uses a filling of ground beef, rice, and tomatoes or tomato sauce. Those fillings are tasty, but there are plenty of other ways to take the dish to the next level.
The recipe is really versatile, so don’t be afraid to let your creativity shine! If you don’t like one of the ingredients I use, swap it out for something you like.
This is a great way to use up leftovers, too.
The Mexican-inspired ingredients make this stuffed pepper recipe a fun twist for taco night or a Cinco de Mayo celebration.
Even better, they are easy to make ahead and they freeze beautifully!
Ingredients for Mexican stuffed peppers
- Bell peppers – I keep things colorful by using a combination of green and red peppers. Yellow and orange bell peppers are great for stuffing as well.
- Cooked rice – Because you’ll be cooking the rice beforehand, you can use white, brown, or even wild rice in your filling. It’s completely up to you!
- Ground beef – To prevent greasy filling, it’s best to use ground beef with a maximum of 15 percent fat. The label will state 85/15. Obviously, the leaner the beef, the more expensive it will be.
- Salsa verde – This is salsa from green chiles and tomatillos. You can buy it or use my salsa verde recipe to make your own.
- Pinto beans – I prefer pintos, but if you don’t care for them, swap them out for black beans. Or, leave them out completely. They’re a great source of soluble fiber and protein though!
- Seasonings – To season the beef, I use my taco seasoning, salt, pepper, and a bit of white or yellow onion.
- Toppings – Chopped cilantro, extra cheese of choice (like cotija sprinkled on top) and my Pickled Red Onions.
- Do you have to pre-cook peppers for stuffed peppers?
Yes, not only will you need to pre-cook the peppers, but you’ll also have to pre-cook the ground beef and the rice. This is because green peppers have thick walls. If you place raw filling inside of them, there isn’t enough cooking time to ensure that everything cooks properly.
- Can you freeze Mexican stuffed peppers?
Absolutely! This is a fantastic make-ahead meal. If you want to freeze them, you’ll first need to cook them. Then, allow them to cool to room temperature before wrapping and freezing them.
For easy reheating, freeze them in a disposable aluminum pan or freezer friendly casserole dish. This way, they can go straight into the oven.
Watch me make the Mexican stuffed peppers below!
Mexican Stuffed Peppers
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Slice each bell pepper in half top to bottom through stem. Remove seeds and membranes. Place in a rectangle 9x13" casserole dish (or two 8x8" to accommodate) that has been sprayed with cooking spray or olive oil. Bake for 25 minutes uncovered.
- Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onions and season kosher salt. Cook until soft, 3 minutes. Add ground beef to hot skillet, break up with spoon. Drain excess fat if necessary.
- Add Taco Seasoning and Salsa Verde and cook until beef has browned and sauce has reduced and thickened. Remove from heat and add to large bowl.
- Add the cheddar cheese, pinto beans and cooked rice to seasoned beef in bowl. Stir to incorporate and heat through. Divide and spoon mixture into each baked pepper, reserving any leftover filling for other use or freeze.
- Place in oven to bake 10 minutes to melt cheese and heat through. Serve with Pickled Onions and crumbled Cotija cheese if desired, or more salsa verde.