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Stuffed Italian peppers recipe

Stuffed Italian peppers recipe

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  • Side dish
  • Vegetable side dishes
  • Roasted vegetables
  • Roast peppers

Small, pickled Italian peppers, called papacelle, are stuffed with olives, capers and anchovies to make a delicious Italian starter or party nibble. If you can't find them, you can make this dish with normal peppers and simply bake them for longer.

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IngredientsServes: 4

  • 1kg Italian papacelle or mixed peppers
  • 300g stale Italian crusty bread
  • 100g green olives, pitted and chopped
  • 100g Italian black olives, pitted and chopped
  • 1 handful capers
  • 3 or 4 anchovies in oil, drained
  • 1 sprig parsley, chopped
  • salt and black pepper, to taste
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil or as needed

MethodPrep:15min ›Cook:20min ›Ready in:35min

  1. Preheat oven to 180 C / Gas 4. Lightly oil a baking dish.
  2. Gently remove stems and seeds from the peppers keeping them whole. If using papacelle (Neapolitan whole pickled peppers), rinse and drain upside down on kitchen roll.
  3. Soak the bread in water for a few minutes; squeeze to remove any excess water and crumble the bread in a bowl. Add olives, capers, anchovies, parsley, salt, black pepper and 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil or as needed to make a soft mixture.
  4. Stuff the peppers with the mixture. Transfer peppers into the baking dish, arranging them tightly so they stay upright. Drizzle oil on top of peppers.
  5. Bake in the preheated oven for 20 minutes (or longer if using normal peppers), or until the peppers are just starting to soften.
  6. Set peppers aside to cool to room temperature before serving.

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Italian Stuffed Peppers

One of my favorite recipes that my used to make was Italian Stuffed Peppers. It is such a simple recipe that it was one of the first things I tried to make in my kitchen in college. My Italian Stuffed Peppers have gotten better and better over the years and I am finally ready to share this awesome recipe.The key to a good stuffed pepper is yummy cheese.

The bell pepper acts like a little bowl for ground beef, cheese, and vegetables. My whole family loves when I make it. I usually keep the diced peppers out of my daughter’s stuffed pepper because she likes her stuffed peppers milder.

Choosing Pepper for Stuffed Bell Pepper Recipe

When you are at Publix, choose the sweeter of the bell peppers. The Female Bell Peppers and more round abs have 4 bumps on the bottom. The Male Bell Peppers are less sweet and taller and thin, they only have 3 bumps.

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Preheat oven to 400°F. Cut off tops of bell peppers. Remove seeds and membranes. Rinse bell peppers. If necessary, cut thin slice from bottom of each pepper so they stand upright. Set aside.

Brown ground beef and onion in large skillet on medium-high heat. Drain fat. Add rice, Italian seasoning, garlic powder, salt and pepper mix until well blended.

Pour 1 can of the tomato sauce into bottom of 9-inch square baking dish. Stuff peppers with beef mixture. Place stuffed peppers upright in baking dish. Pour remaining can tomato sauce over stuffed peppers. Cover tightly with foil.

Bake 35 to 45 minutes or until peppers are tender. Remove foil. Sprinkle stuffed peppers with cheese. Bake 5 minutes longer or until cheese is melted. Cut stuffed peppers in half. Spoon sauce in dish over each half to serve.

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Easy 7-Ingredient Italian Stuffed Peppers

With just 7 ingredients and packed full of flavor, these Italian stuffed peppers are the ideal easy weeknight meal. You can&rsquot go wrong with these sweet red bell peppers stuffed with a cheesy, hearty ground beef and rice filling!

✔ uses just 7 ingredients
✔ that are all pantry/freezer staples
✔ bakes to perfection in 35 minutes
✔ full of texture and flavor
✔ is a satisfying all-in-one meal
✔ you can pick up everything you need for this recipe at Meijer!

My kids love them, my husband loves them, and apparently even MY DOG loves them! Yep, I turned my back for half a second and she snatched one right off the stovetop&hellip Never a dull moment around here!


cheesy chicken and rice casserole and leftover turkey casserole I shared recently, these ground beef stuffed peppers start with a little shortcut &mdash a package of Knorr Herb & Butter Rice. It provides a flavorful base for the filling, and the herby, buttery sauce keeps it tender and juicy. And you can conveniently pick it up at Meijer, along with all of the other necessary ingredients!

Knorr Rice Side Dishes cook on the stovetop in just 7 minutes, which makes them an ideal quick and easy side for any meal. But this also makes them perfect as a main dish meal recipe starter! Just add your favorite protein and veggies for a dinner your family is sure to love.


cooked and crumbled ground beef &mdash making these stuffed peppers with ground beef is ideal for stretching a pound to the max. Ground chicken or ground turkey would also work well or spice them up a bit with some ground Italian sausage!

fresh red bell peppers &mdash I like the way the sweetness of red bell peppers pairs with the savory filling, but you can use orange, yellow, or even green, as well.

tomato paste &mdash helps to bind everything together without adding excess liquid. Since we&rsquore not using a whole can, I recommend looking for a variety that comes in a tube to avoid waste.

Parmesan cheese &mdash the grated kind works just fine in this dish.

mozzarella cheese &mdash we prefer a whole milk variety with large shreds, but any shredded variety will do.

Knorr Herb & Butter Rice. To save time, these steps can be completed simultaneously while the oven is preheating and shouldn&rsquot take more than 10 minutes tops.

1| Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. While the oven is preheating, bring a saucepan filled with 2 cups of water to a boil to prepare the rice. Meanwhile, brown the ground beef in a large skillet and drain.

2| Wash and dry the red bell peppers thoroughly, then slice them in half. Remove the seeds and membranes from inside each pepper, and arrange them in a 13×9&Prime baking dish

3| Mix the browned ground beef with the Parmesan cheese, tomato paste, Italian seasoning, and garlic powder. Fold in the prepared Knorr Herb & Butter Rice.

4| Generously fill each pepper with the rice and ground beef mixture. Pour 1/2 cup of water into the baking dish around the stuffed peppers, and bake at 375 degrees for 35 minutes. Remove from the oven, sprinkle each stuffed pepper with shredded mozzarella cheese, and then return the peppers to the oven for about 5 more minutes or until the cheese is melted.

A few quick tips for best results:

  • Choose large red bell peppers that are uniformly round in order to best maximize the filling to pepper ratio.
  • I chose to slice my peppers in half, preserving the stems for visual appeal. But you can also just lop off the tops and stand them up! If you go this route, take a thin slice off the bottoms so that they sit up straight in the dish.
  • If you prefer a more tender filling, you can add the mozzarella cheese at the beginning of the cook time, which also shaves about 5 minutes of cook time off the total. I like the way that the exposed part of the filling gets a little crispy while baking, so I choose to add mine at the end and then pop them back in to melt the cheese.


Stuffed peppers bring back memories of being a child and my mom cooking them for dinner. It’s one of those warm, cozy meals perfect for winter. And it’s easy to vary the ingredients in stuffed peppers. I eat little red meat, but I can substitute ground turkey or ground chicken and still have tasty stuffed peppers.

Alessandra has some tips in her video, such as cutting up the tops of the peppers and adding them to the browned meat. And before adding the stuffing, have you ever flavored the peppers? I haven’t! Alessandra suggests a salt and olive oil rub.

Once the peppers are stuffed, Alessandra puts aluminum around the peppers to help them stand up. Why didn’t I think of that as my stuffed peppers were listing to the side?

Once stuffed, Alessandra adds a last touch – she sprinkles bread crumbs to the top of the mixture to give it a nice crust. I love this idea because I like crusty toppings!

Enjoy this recipe and let us know what variations work for you!

Italian Stuffed Peppers with Beef and Rice


6 medium-size peppers red, orange, or yellow (try to get a similar size for even cooking)

Photo by Snapwire on

1 clove of garlic chopped

1 lb of chopped meat beef (450 grams)

1 1/2 cups of long grain rice (Arborio or jasmine rice is ok too)

1 cup passata di Pomodoro (240 ml)

5 tbsp Extra virgin olive oil, more for rubbing on the peppers and drizzle on top once stuffed

1/2 cup Parmigiano Reggiano grated cheese (or Parmesan)

1/2 lb of mozzarella cubed

Fresh cracked pepper to taste

Step 1 – Wash and dry the peppers. Cut the top part off where the stem is and remove the flesh around the stem. Chop in small pieces.

Step 2 – Rub your peppers with olive oil and salt inside and out. Set aside and start the stuffing.

Step 4 – In a pot filled with water and salt bring to boil and cook your rice about 3/4 done. Drain and set aside.

Step 4 – In a large sauté pan add 5 tbsp of oil and onion. On medium heat sauté until golden. Now add garlic and the pieces of peppers you removed from the stem

Step 5- Continue stirring. Add your chopped meat and mince with your wooden spoon so it doesn’t become lumpy.

Step 6 – Once the meat is browned add 1/2 cup white wine and let it evaporate.

Step 7- Add the passata and lower your heat and adjust the salt. Let it cook for 20 minutes and let it cool

Step 8- Combine the meat mixture with the rice, add the mozzarella, Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, chopped fresh basil, and fresh cracked pepper

Step 9 – Stir until well combined and use the mixture to fill your peppers to the top.

Step 10 – Place in a baking tray stuffing on top. Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and sprinkle with bread crumbs. Add 1/2 water to the bottom of the tray.

Final Step- Bake at 350 for one hour or until you see the pepper is cooked.

Angela DiCicco, The Italian Grandmama

I am Italian American, second generation. After arriving from Italy, my relatives settled in Philadelphia, PA where I grew up surrounded by aunts, uncles, grandparents and cousins living within three blocks of us. It was a wonderful upbringing and I have warm memories of our Italian neighborhood.

Now I enjoy sharing my Italian heritage with others through The Italian Grandmama’s Guide Community on Facebook. But it’s not just about being Italian. It’s about building community. The kind that I grew up with – love, support, food, friendship.

I’m also the wife and caregiver of a paraplegic. My husband had a motorcycle accident five years ago. We want to show the world that there is love and life after tragedy. You can find more of our journey through our Youtube videos and blog. The info is below.

Skinny Italian-Style Stuffed Peppers

A simple and hearty meat sauce, stuffed into colorful bell peppers, and baked until dreamy delicious! Each serving has 226 calories, 6g fat, and just 4 Blue WW Freestyle SmartPoints and 4 Green . I love using bell peppers because they make a wonderful low-calorie vessel to stuff with so many options. This is actually my 3rd stuffed peppers recipe shared this year. Be sure to check out my other 2 recipes, Skinny Cheeseburger Stuffed Peppers and Skinny Mexican Stuffed Peppers.

Bake Time 45 minutes


6 large red bell peppers, yellow or orange or a combination of colors (each about 3½ inches high and 3½ inches wide) For Keto use all green peppers

1 pound extra-lean ground beef (96%) or ground turkey, see shopping tips

1 (14-16 oz) jar pasta or pizza sauce, I used Classico pizza sauce or Rao’s marinara sauce for Keto

1 (14.5 oz) can chopped tomatoes, drained

1 teaspoon Italian seasonings

¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes, optional

12 teaspoons Parmesan cheese

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

2. Cut off the top of 6 bell peppers about 1-inch down from top. Clean out seeds and membranes. Throw away the tops. Set aside.

3. In a large nonstick pan, brown ground beef, onions, and garlic. Be sure to break up ground beef into small pieces as it cooks. Stir often, until beef is browned. Pour beef into a colander and drain excess fat in the sink. Add back to pan. Stir in pasta sauce, tomatoes, Italian seasoning, pepper, and red pepper flakes. Mix well. Bring to boil, turn heat down to low and simmer for 5 minutes.

4. Stuff each bell pepper with about ¾ cup beef mixture. Stand peppers upright in ungreased baking dish. Pour 1 cup water in the bottom of the pan to steam the peppers, while baking.

5. Cover baking dish with foil and bake for 35 minutes. Remove foil. Sprinkle each with 2 teaspoons Parmesan cheese. Cook uncovered about 5 minutes more until cheese melts and peppers are soft.

6. These freeze great! Once cooled, wrap any leftovers well in plastic wrap and freeze.

Makes 6 servings. Each serving, 1 stuffed bell pepper

Shopping Tips
Most supermarkets sell extra lean ground beef. I used the 96% lean ground beef from Trader Joe’s. You could use ground turkey if desired.

WW Freestyle SmartPoints
4- Blue
WW SmartPoints
4 -Green

What Ingredients Do You Need To Make This Recipe?

We make our stuffed pepper s with rice and ground beef as well as sausage, mozzarella and parmesan cheese. Prepared marinara sauce along with an onion and fresh garlic are also needed. An egg for binding the filling, bread crumbs for the topping, Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper are called for as well. Of course, you need bell peppers! If you want spicy Italian Stuffed Peppers, you can use a spicy sausage to up the heat!

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Be the first to review this recipe

You can rate this recipe by giving it a score of one, two, three, or four forks, which will be averaged out with other cooks' ratings. If you like, you can also share your specific comments, positive or negative - as well as any tips or substitutions - in the written review space.

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Condé Nast

Legal Notice

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Use of and/or registration on any portion of this site constitutes acceptance of our User Agreement (updated as of 1/1/21) and Privacy Policy and Cookie Statement (updated as of 1/1/21).

The material on this site may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, cached or otherwise used, except with the prior written permission of Condé Nast.