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No-rice stuffed bell peppers recipe (with Italian touch)

No-rice stuffed bell peppers recipe (with Italian touch)

Everyone has a little different way of making stuffed bell peppers. Traditionally, stuffed peppers are filled with ground beef, cheese, tomatoes, and rice. I’ve never had this dish before and I wasn’t sure if I would like it. 

But when I tried this stuffed peppers recipe, guess what? I fell in love! 

What’s unique about this version is its Italian touch and absence of the rice. Yes, you heard it right. This version of stuffed bell peppers has no rice but still tastes just like the classic recipe. 

It’s a perfect dish to satisfy your cravings for stuffed bell peppers while you’re on a low carb diet program. It’s so heavenly, satisfying, and flavorful!

Ingredients for stuffed bell peppers

This recipe only requires a handful of ingredients that are likely to be found in your kitchen.

  • Lean ground beef
  • Olive oil
  • Bell peppers (we prefer red or yellow but green is fine)
  • Tomato sauce
  • Onion
  • Minced garlic
  • Italian seasoning
  • Mozzarella cheese
  • Polenta

How long to cook stuffed peppers

We generally cook our stuffed peppers in the oven for about 35 minutes. Cooking times will vary by recipe and temperature. For this recipe, we cooked our stuffed peppers in the oven at about 350 degrees. We loosely covered them with foil so the peppers won’t dry out. This usually takes about 25 minutes. Then we added mozzarella cheese on top of the stuffed peppers and cooked it again for 10 minutes. 

How long do peppers take to soften in the oven

Usually. your peppers get softened in the oven for about 35 minutes. It’s also the time that your beef cooks fully. If you’re in a hurry and want to cut the baking time, we recommend to pre-cook your peppers before stuffing them. Here are the simple steps on how to pre-cook your peppers.

  1. Put your pepper in a large pot filled with water.
  2. Cover the pot and bring to a rolling boil on high heat. For about 3 minutes, bring the temperature down to medium-low and let your peppers simmer.
  3. Transfer the peppers to ice water to cool. Then spoon the peppers out of water and make sure to remove the excess liquid inside.  

Do you have to cook meat before stuffing peppers?

We would say it’s a matter of choice. If you’re short of time for cooking the meat, you can add it directly to your bell peppers, however, this process might make your stuffed peppers greasier or worse, easily spoiled. We rarely, if ever, cook stuffed peppers without cooking the meat in advance. Our experience is that the peppers come out greasier than we like if we don’t pre-cook the meat. 

How do you keep stuffed peppers from getting soggy?

The best way to keep your stuffed peppers from getting soggy is to avoid extra liquid on it. For instance, if you have mushrooms as filling, make sure to pre-cook them to gell all the moisture out of them. 

Plus, adding raw meat directly to your bell peppers can bring no good to your finished product. It will just turn out greasier and easily to get spoiled. That’s why we recommend to pre-cook the meat before stuffing it into the peppers. 

What can I put in stuffed peppers?

There are tons of exciting ways to experiment with your stuffed peppers. It can be filled with corn kernels to sweeten your filling or put some chili powder and jalapeno pepper to add a little hot and spicy twist to your dish.

Here are a few additional ides of what to put in stuffed peppers:

  • Spinach
  • Diced zucchini
  • Diced squash
  • Diced butternut squash
  • Green peas
  • Pine nuts
  • Basil
  • Diced ham
  • Garlic

I love playing with the ingredients and it ends up making different stuffed pepper recipes. If you’re into a sweet and creamy appetizer, you’re going to love our delectable and cheesy stuffed mini peppers!

Regardless of the type of filling you choose, stuffed peppers guarantee a satisfying meal.

What to serve with stuffed peppers

If you are done baking your stuffed peppers, your next task is to choose the perfect side dishes for it. Well, we recommend serving it with these delicious options:

Can you freeze stuffed peppers

If you’re wondering if you can freeze stuffed peppers, yes you can! To do this, make sure to put them in an airtight container before freezing them in the fridge. Your stuffed peppers will last up to four days if you seal it properly.

Tips on reheating stuffed peppers

I saw a lot of people doing this but reheating stuffed peppers from the fridge using a microwave is NOT the best option. Microwaving it can make your peppers soggier and rubbery. We suggest reheating the stuffed peppers in the oven. Here are the steps to do that:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Place your peppers in a baking dish then cover it with foil.
  3. Bake it for 25 minutes. Uncover and bake again for 10 minutes.  
  4. Lastly, take them out of the oven and let them cool down. 

How do you make stuffed bell peppers

The process may look intimidating because it has a few steps but chill, it’s easy. You can prep this stuffed peppers recipe in about 10 minutes and it takes 35 minutes to bake them in the oven. Below is the process on how to make this stuffed bell peppers recipe.

No-rice stuffed bell peppers recipe

No-rice stuffed bell peppers recipe

Yield: 6 servings
Prep Time: 12 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 47 minutes

No-Rice Stuffed Bell Peppers Recipe (With Italian Touch)


  • 1 lb lean ground beef
  • 1 T olive oil
  • 1 c water
  • 6 bell peppers
  • 1 8 oz can tomato sauce
  • ½ c diced onion
  • 1 t minced garlic
  • 1 t Italian seasoning
  • 1 ½ c mozzarella cheese
  • 6 oz polenta


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F
  2. Cut the tops off of the bell peppers. Then remove the seeds and inner ribs. 
  3. Spray a baking dish with cooking spray. 
  4. Place the peppers cut side up in the baking dish. 
  5. Heat the olive in a large skillet over medium heat.
  6. Add in the ground beef and cook for 5 minutes. Use a spatula to break up the meat as it cooks through.
  7. While the beef is cooking break the polenta into small mushy pieces. 
  8. Once the beef starts to brown add in the onion and cook for 4 minutes, stirring often.
  9. Add in the garlic and cook for another minute. 
  10. Add the tomato sauce, Italian seasoning, and polenta to the pan with the beef. Stir to combine. Use the spatula to break up the polenta and combine it with the beef. 
  11. Remove the pan from the heat. 
  12. Stir in ½ cup of cheese to the mixture.
  13. Using a large spoon, evenly stuff the peppers with the beef mixture.
  14. Loosely cover the peppers with aluminum foil and bake for 25 minutes. 
  15. Remove the foil. Sprinkle the remaining cheese over the top of the peppers. 
  16. Return the bell peppers in the oven and cook for another 10 minutes or until the cheese starts to bubble.
  17. Remove from the oven and serve. The peppers will be very hot so watch for steam.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 347Total Fat: 19gSaturated Fat: 8gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 9gCholesterol: 93mgSodium: 430mgCarbohydrates: 14gFiber: 2gSugar: 5gProtein: 30g

Did you make this recipe?

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Tips and tricks

You can cut a thin slice off of the bottom of the pepper if it doesn’t stand up on its own. 

Pick those bell peppers with the same size to make sure that they will take the same amount of time to bake.

If you’re in a hurry, you can pre-cook the bell peppers before stuffing them to cut the baking time. 

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