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Mexican stuffed pepper on a white plate

Mexican Stuffed Peppers

These Mexican stuffed peppers are a flavorful, filling, and inexpensive meal that make great leftovers and are sure to become a family favorite!
Course Main Course
Cuisine Mexican-American
Keyword Mexican stuffed peppers
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Servings 6
Calories 373kcal


  • 1 cup cooked rice I used white jasmine rice
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 medium onion chopped
  • 6 large bell peppers any color
  • 1 pound extra lean ground beef
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 (14 fluid ounce) jar salsa use your favorite
  • 2 cups Mexican cheese blend, divided shredded
  • Salt & pepper to taste


  • If you don't have cooked rice, make some (this step can be done a day or two ahead). I usually just do 1/2 cup uncooked rice which ends up making a bit more than you need for this recipe, and then I use the rest for other things.
  • Preheat your oven to 400F and move the rack to the middle position. Meanwhile, prep your ingredients. Cut the tops off the peppers as if you were carving a pumpkin (try to do it as evenly as possible so the filling doesn't fall out). Remove any seeds. Chop up the usable stuff from the pepper tops (we will add it to the filling).
  • Place the peppers cut-side up in a baking dish (I used a 9x13 one). Pour one cup of water into the bottom of the dish (this will help the peppers steam to cook them faster).
  • Add the oil, onion, and chopped up pepper tops to a skillet. Sauté over medium-high heat for 5 minutes.
  • Add the beef, smoked paprika, garlic powder, cumin, and chili powder to the skillet. Cook it until it's browned and cooked though (approx. 8 minutes), stirring occasionally and breaking the beef up with the spoon as you go along. I use the leanest ground beef I can find so I don't need to drain the fat. If yours is fattier, spoon out some of the fat.
  • Once the beef is done and most of the liquid has been cooked off, take it off the heat. Add salt & pepper to taste. Stir in the cooked rice, the entire jar of salsa, and 1/2 of the cheese. Spoon the mixture equally into each pepper.
  • Cover the baking dish with foil. Place it in the oven and bake for 40 minutes.
  • Take the dish out of the oven. The peppers should be still a little bit firm to the touch (we don't want everything collapsing). Sprinkle the remaining cheese over top. Return the peppers to the oven for another 5-10 minutes or until the cheese is melted.
  • Serve immediately. I like to sprinkle a little cilantro over top.


  • Try to find bell peppers that are roughly the same size. Also, the ones with 4 "bumps" on the bottom are less likely to fall over, so I look for those.
  • I used a bit over a pound of ground beef. Anything in the ballpark is fine. 
  • For the cheese I bought a pre-shredded spicy Mexican cheese blend with Monterey Jack, cheddar, and mozzarella. You could use cheddar or a Tex-Mex cheese blend if you prefer. 
  • Feel free to use taco seasoning if you don't want to use the individual spices. Want to add some heat? Add 1/2 teaspoon of cayenne pepper to the beef mixture or use a spicy salsa. 
  • Nutritional information is provided as a courtesy only and should be construed as an estimate rather than a guarantee. Ingredients can vary and Salt & Lavender makes no guarantees to the accuracy of this information.


Calories: 373kcal | Carbohydrates: 25g | Protein: 29g | Fat: 18g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Cholesterol: 82mg | Sodium: 806mg | Potassium: 896mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 11g | Vitamin A: 6258IU | Vitamin C: 211mg | Calcium: 296mg | Iron: 4mg