Instant Pot Stuffed Peppers
Instant Pot stuffed peppers are a convenient and fast way to enjoy this classic recipe. This one pot meal requires little effort to make a delicious weeknight meal. Oven and slow cooker instructions included!
Making these delicious stuffed peppers in the Instant Pot means they are ready in less than 45 minutes and they require very little clean up.
Like our Instant Pot spaghetti, Instant Pot beef stew, and Instant Pot beans and ham, this is comfort food at it’s best. The ground beef and rice cook together with herbs and seasoning to create a tender filling and the peppers cook until they are easily cut with fork.
Not only are these peppers quick and easy, but you can also modify them to fit your dietary needs. If you follow a keto diet, just omit the rice, or use cauliflower rice (uncooked) and make sure you choose a keto friendly tomato sauce.
It’s also naturally gluten free, which makes it a great choice for people with gluten sensitivities who want to enjoy a filling Italian dinner.
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Ingredients You’ll Need
Here’s what you’re going to need to make this savory dinner:
- Bell peppers – You can use green, yellow, orange, red, or a combination of colors. Just make sure you choose ones that have enough space to fit the stuffing.
- Ground beef – We recommend using 90/10, 85/15, or 80/20. The greater the second number, the more fattier the beef, so pick the version that works best for you.
- Tomato sauce – You can use your favorite brand.
- Tomato paste – This will help thicken the sauce, so you should not skip adding it.
- Seasonings – For added flavor, we use Worcestershire sauce, Kosher salt, and an Italian seasoning blend.
- Aromatics – We use both an onion and garlic in the peppers.
- Cooked rice – You definitely want to use cooked rice, it won’t fully cook if you stuff them with uncooked rice.
- Mozzarella cheese – If you like, you could try them with provolone instead or in addition to the mozzarella cheese.
New to using an Instant Pot? Make sure you read our beginner’s guide on “How to Use an Instant Pot” to get started!
Step 1 – Prep the peppers. Start by cutting off the tops of the peppers and then removing the seeds from the inside. You can discard the tops and seeds.
Step 2 – Mix the filling. In a large bowl, mix to combine the raw ground beef, tomato sauce, ½ cup of tomato sauce, tomato paste, worcestershire sauce, diced onion, minced garlic, Italian seasoning, and salt.
Gently mix in the cooked rice until well combined.
Step 3 – Stuff the peppers. Use about 1/4 of the ground beef mixture to stuff into each pepper. They will likely be a bit overfilled, which is fine because they will shrink as they cook.
Step 4 – Place in the Instant Pot. Pour 1 cup of water into your Instant Pot’s inner pot. Next place a tall trivet or one with handles into the inner pot and then place the peppers on the trivet. Before closing the lid, secure a piece of foil over the top of the peppers. It does not have to cover them entirely. The foil helps keep condensation from forming on the ground beef.
Step 5 – Lock the lid and cook. Place the lid on top, lock it, and then turn the valve to SEALING. Set to HIGH pressure for 9 minutes.
Step 6 – Do a natural release of pressure. When the timer goes off, do a 10 minute natural release. After the 10 minutes are up, carefully turn the valve to VENTING and release the remaining pressure.
Once the pin drops, carefully remove the lid and take the foil off the peppers. Use your instant read thermometer to check that the internal temp is 165. If it hasn’t, place the lid back on and cook for an additional minute, do a quick release, and check again.
Step 7 – Finish the peppers. When they are ready, top each pepper with a scoop of sauce and 1 ounce of cheese. Place the lid back on the pot and then let rest for 5 minutes or until the cheese has melted.
If you like your cheese to brown a bit you can remove the peppers from the pot and place in an oven safe dish. Bake until the oven broiler set to HI for 5-7 minutes or until cheese is
Carefully remove from the pot (or oven), serve, and enjoy!
Oven and Slow Cooker Cooking Instructions
If you love this recipe as much as we do you’re going to want to know how to cook it every way you can. While making them in the Instant Pot is super easy we also have oven and slow cooker stuffed peppers instructions for you as well!
When making this recipe in the oven, preheat it to 400 degrees F. Prepare the stuffed peppers according to the directions and place in a 8×8 casserole dish. Cover the dish with foil and then bake for 30 minutes covered followed by 15 minutes or more uncovered.
They are done when an instant read thermometer reads 165 when stuck in the middle of the pepper.
If you want to use a slow cooker, place the stuffed peppers inside with 1 cup water poured out into the bottom. Cook on high for 4 hours or low for 6 hours.
Check the peppers with an instant read thermometer to ensure they are cooked through. The internal temp should be 165 degrees F.
Types of Rice You Can Use
Any white rice or brown rice will work fine in this recipe. We have a recipe for Instant Pot Basmati rice and a recipe for Instant Pot brown rice you could follow. Both would work great for this recipe. Or, to save time, you could use instant rice.
For added protein or as a change of pace, you could use quinoa.
If you are making a keto meal you can skip the rice all together OR you can use cauliflower rice. Add it to the meat uncooked and it will become tender by the time the peppers are cooked through.
How to Freeze Stuffed Peppers
Stuffed peppers actually make a great freezer meal. To freeze them, cook them as directed but do not add the final tomato sauce and cheese on top. Allow them to cool completely and then place them in a freeze safe container, such as an 8×8 foil pan, and wrap well in plastic wrap to keep excess air out. Next, wrap the container in two layers of foil.
For an individual serving, you can wrap each in plastic wrap tightly and then two layers of foil before storing.
You can freeze them for up to 2 months.
To reheat, allow them to thaw in the refrigerator for 24 hours. Once they are thawed, place them in a casserole dish and top with some additional sauce and mozzarella cheese. Cover with foil and bake them in a 350 degrees F oven for 30 to 40 minutes or until warmed through.
You could also microwave individual peppers for 3 to 4 minute each until warmed through. You may want to cut them in half before microwaving to cut down on the reheating time.
Looking for More Instant Pot Recipes?
- Instant Pot Pork Roast and Gravy
- Instant Pot Chicken Tacos
- Instant Pot Buffalo Chicken Dip
- Instant Pot Chicken Alfredo
- Instant Pot Cream of Mushroom Chicken and Wild Rice
- Cheesy Instant Pot Chicken and Rice with Broccoli
- Instant Pot Ribs
- Instant Pot Brisket
- More Instant Pot Recipes…
Instant Pot Stuffed Peppers
- Prepare the peppers by cutting off the tops and removing the seeds from the inside.
- In a large bowl combine raw ground beef, tomato sauce, 3/4 cup of tomato sauce, tomato paste, worcestershire sauce, diced onion, minced garlic, Italian seasoning, and salt. Mix until combined.
- Add cooked rice and gently mix into the ground beef until well combined.
- Stuff each pepper with ¼ of the ground beef mixture. It’s ok if it is slightly overfilled as the mixture will shrink as it cooks.
- Pour 1 cup of water into your Instant Pot pot.
- Place a trivet in the bottom of the pot and set your stuffed peppers on the trivet. Place a piece of foil over the pepper. This doesn’t have to wrap them completely I just like to cover the top of the pepper to keep water condensation from getting into the meat as it cooks.
- Lock lid in place and turn valve to SEALING.
- Set to HIGH pressure for 9 minutes.
- When the timer goes off do a 10 minute natural release. After 10 minutes carefully turn valve to VENTING and release the remaining pressure.
- When the pin drops remove the lid. Take the foil off of the peppers and use an instant read thermometer to check the the internal temperature of the peppers has reached 165 degrees F.
- Top each pepper with 1 tablespoon of the remaining tomato sauce and 1 ounce of cheese on top of each pepper.
- Place the lid back on the pot and let sit for 5 minute or until cheese is melted. If you like your cheese to brown a bit you can remove the peppers from the pot and place in an oven safe dish. Bake until the oven broiler set to HI for 5-7 minutes or until cheese is melted and lightly browned.
- Serve immediately.