Deconstructed stuffed peppers with rice provide all the same flavors you love in a traditional stuffed pepper while cooking up in one skillet. All you need are a few basic ingredients like bell pepper, rice, lean ground beef and tomato sauce and you’ll have a delicious meal that’s ready in under 30 minutes.
Our family loves this healthy recipe because it cooks fast while keeping the great flavors you know and love with a little less work. Some people might even call these lazy stuffed peppers. But hey, we're not lazy, we're just working smart!
Why you'll love this recipe
It's fast - let's be honest here, we need quick, healthier meals for dinner. This version of a stuffed pepper casserole gets dinner on your table in under 30 minutes.
Simple ingredients - I always have ground beef in our freezer because hey – we raise them! But sometimes even I wonder what to make with ground beef. This recipe is one that is frequently in our dinner rotation.
Healthy and wholesome are the name of the game here!
- bell peppers: I use a combination of red and green bell peppers. You can use any color of pepper that appeals to you.
- white rice
- ground beef
- herbs and spices: Dried minced onion, garlic, oregano, salt and pepper
- Worcestershire sauce: I can’t pronounce it, but we’re gonna use it. It gives a nice flavor to our recipe.
- tomato sauce: because you can’t have stuffed peppers without tomatoes!
- Rice - I use long grain white rice, but you can also use jasmine rice.
- Meat - Use that type of ground meat you have on hand. Ground pork, ground bison or ground turkey both work well.
- Tamari or soy sauce can be used in place of the Worcestershire sauce.
How to make deconstructed stuffed peppers
This recipe couldn’t be much easier.
First, get out your big skillet (this skillet is my very favorite, I use it all the time!) and heat it over medium heat. Cook the ground beef and break it up with a spoon as it cooks.
Then, drain the fat.
Tip: I like to drain the beef into a strainer set in a bowl. Once the fat solidifies it’s easy to wipe into the garbage.
Place the beef back inside the skillet, add the remaining ingredients and stir to combine.
Bring the mixture to a boil, and then reduce to a simmer on low. Cover and cook for 18-20 minutes, stirring occasionally until the rice is tender.
Then let it sit, covered for 5 minutes. How easy is that??
- Increase servings - Add drained and rinsed black beans to increase the fiber content and stretch the recipe, feeding more people for less money.
- Veg out - Add an extra bell pepper to increase your veggie intake.
- Get cheesy - add a cup of shredded cheddar cheese to the finished stuffed pepper skillet.
- Italian unstuffed peppers - use bulk Italian sausage instead of the ground beef and marinara sauce in place of the spaghetti sauce. Use shredded mozzarella cheese.
- Cajun version - use andouille sausage crumbles and pepper jack cheese.
- kid-pleasing - add a cup of frozen corn kernels or drained, canned corn.
- low carb - swap out the rice for cauliflower rice. Omit the water and reduce the cook time to 13-15 minutes.
You might also like my buffalo chicken stuffed peppers for a fun twist!
How to save time with this recipe
You can shave some precious minutes off your dinner time by doing some of the prep ahead. Things like:
- Brown and drain the ground beef ahead of time. Store in the refrigerator until you're ready to use.
- Seed and chop the peppers in advance. Or, use pre-chopped veggies from the grocery store.
How to store leftovers
Leftovers keep well for 3-4 days in an airtight container. You can refrigerate them for later or portion out into individual containers for your own easy meals.
How to freeze leftovers
Deconstructed stuffed peppers freeze great! I like these containers to store them. Be sure to label with the recipe name and date.
I hope you’ll give this healthy stuffed pepper skillet a try! If you do, be sure to leave a recipe rating below so I know what you think!
Because the rice cooks along with the peppers and beef, I don't recommend brown rice for this recipe. It takes too long to cook. You could, however, omit the rice. Then, serve the deconstructed peppers over cooked brown rice in a bowl.
Keep these red, yellow, orange and green peppers in the produce compartment of your refrigerator. They'll typically last 1-2 weeks.
What to serve with stuffed peppers
This really is a meal in itself, but if you'd like to round out this main dish, here are a few ideas for you!
Simple green salad with healthy ranch dressing
More one pan dinners
- Low Carb Crustless Sausage Quiche
- Chicken Parmesan Skillet Meal
- Sheet Pan Chicken Fajitas
- One Skillet Pork Tenderloin with Apples
Deconstructed Stuffed Peppers
- 1 pound ground beef
- 1 cup white rice
- 1 ½ cups water
- 1 Tablespoon dried minced onion
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- ¾ teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- 2 Tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
- 15 ounces tomato sauce
- 2 large bell peppers seeds removed and chopped into ½ inch pieces
- Cook the ground beef in a large skillet over medium heat until meat is cooked through, breaking up with a spoon. Drain fat and return to the pan.
- Add the remaining ingredients and stir to combine. Bring the mixture to a boil, and then reduce to a simmer on low. Cover and cook 18-20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until peppers are cooked through and rice is tender.
- Remove from the heat and allow to sit, covered, for 5 minutes before serving.
This post was originally published April 2019. New photos and step-by-step instructions were added April 2023. Enjoy!