This Stuffed Pepper Casserole is an easy weeknight dinner that will become part of the regular rotation. It is my kids’ newest favorite recipe and I bet it’s going to be a winner for yours too!
My kids are obsessed with stuffed peppers. It is one of those things in parenting where I try to not make a big thing about it because I don’t want to jinx it. They literally do fist pumps when they see me making them.
So they absolutely love this Stuffed Pepper Casserole. It checks so many boxes for them. And it’s super easy to make, which is basically my only box. It is loosely based on my Italian Stuffed Peppers, but a little easier because it’s a one pot meal.
This was delicious! Why bother stuffing peppers, this was way easier and better! My husband LOVED it, froze a batch for later. THANK YOU!
How to Make Stuffed Pepper Casserole
This whole recipe comes together in a large 12 inch oven proof skillet. As with all my recipes, please see the full recipe and measurements in the recipe card at the bottom of the post.
- Brown the meat. We are using ground turkey in this recipe, so use a little olive oil. See the section below on using pork or beef.
- Add seasonings.
- Sauté the vegetables. We are adding onions and peppers. Cook them until the onions are translucent and the peppers are soft.
- Add the rice and the sauce. Then bring it all to a simmer.
- Simmer for 20 to 25 minutes. The key to this recipe is to have the simmer strong enough that it cooks the rice in this time, but not too high that the liquid cooks off before the rice absorbs it. Read more on this below.
- Add the cheese. Stir in the cheese, allowing it to melt, and then add some to the top. Put it under a broiler for a minute or two for it to melt.
Simmering this One Pot Casserole
As mentioned above, a key to this recipe is simmering at the correct heat level for 20 to 25 minutes. It is important that the heat is high enough that the rice cooks in 25 minutes, but not too high that the liquid cooks off before the rice can absorb it.
You want to look for consistent bubbles that are about pea sized. If you are seeing big roaring bubbles, like a boil, it is too hot. If you are seeing a lot of time between each bubble (more than 3 seconds), then it is not hot enough. This sounds far more complicated than it is, but it is something to watch for.
Using Pork or Ground Beef
If your family doesn’t love ground turkey, you can certainly make this with Italian sausage (pork) or ground beef. Because the fat content in those is higher, you can skip the olive oil if using those. When you are done sautéing the vegetables, drain the pan of any excess grease, and after that add the seasonings.
This recipe gets a lot of it’s flavor from the dry oregano and dry basil we are using. You could make this a little easier and by replacing those with 1 1/2 tablespoons Italian Seasoning. I have a great recipe for it, but you could also use store-bought.
Freshly Grated Cheese
If you’ve been around these parts for a while, you know that one of my biggest tips is to skip the pre-shredded cheese sold in U.S. grocery stores. The reason for this is that cheese that you shred off the block melts infinitely better than shredded cheese you buy in the bag. Pre-shredded cheese is covered in preservatives that keep it from melting well.
While it is tempting to use the pre-shredded stuff to cut time from the recipe, it’s not worth it. Instead, shred the cheese while the recipe is simmering. It is well worth the added effort.
Using Rice in One Pot Casseroles
This stuffed bell pepper casserole uses uncooked long grain white rice. It is important to use the correct type of rice for this recipe, otherwise the recipe won’t turn out correctly. As this recipe hasn’t been tested with minute (instant) rice or brown rice, I would stick with white rice.
If the rice does not cook properly, it is likely an issue of the heat being too high or too low during the simmering time. Please read my detailed instructions on that above.
Left overs of this stuffed pepper casserole can be kept in an air tight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. As with any leftovers, use your best discretion. Reheat in a covered dish in the microwave on half power for 3 to 4 minutes, stirring once in the middle. Alternatively, reheat in the oven in a covered dish for 25 to 30 minutes at 350 degrees.
Freezing Stuffed Pepper Casserole
If you want to freeze this recipe, you will want to make it through step 5. Then stir in half the cheese as called for in step 6. Transfer the casserole to a disposable casserole dish. Top with remaining cheese. Wrap the casserole dish several times with plastic wrap. Freeze for up to three months.
When you are ready to cook the frozen casserole, you can cook it right from frozen. Remove the plastic wrap and cover in aluminum foil. Bake for 35 minutes at 350 degrees. Remove the aluminum foil and bake for 15 more minutes.
What to Serve with Stuffed Pepper Casserole
This is a great one pot dish, and for our family a stand alone dinner. But if you are looking to stretch it further and add more to your table, here are a few great side dish ideas.
More Great Stuffed Peppers
If your family loves stuffed peppers as much as mine, here are some other great recipes.
- Italian Stuffed Peppers
- Chicken Fajita Stuffed Peppers
- Taco Stuffed Peppers
- White Chicken Chili Stuffed Peppers
If you make this Stuffed Pepper Casserole recipe or any of my easy dinners, please leave me a comment and let me know what you think!
Stuffed Pepper Casserole
- olive oil cooking spray
- 1 pound ground turkey (if using ground beef or pork, no need to spray first)
- 2 teaspoons dried basil
- 2 teaspoons dried oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 3 medium bell peppers diced (I used yellow, orange, and red)
- 1 small yellow onion diced
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 22 ounces chicken stock
- 14.5 ounces diced tomatoes (with liquid)
- 8 ounces tomato sauce
- 1 cup uncooked long grain white rice
- 3 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
- Over medium heat, spray a large oven proof skillet with cooking spray so that the bottom is coated. Add ground turkey and break up, cooking until it begins to brown, about 4 minutes.
- Add in the basil, oregano, salt, and pepper. Stir to combine.2 teaspoons dried basil, 2 teaspoons dried oregano, 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- Add in the peppers, onions, and garlic. Sauté, stirring often, until the peppers are tender. About 5 to 7 minutes.
- Pour in the chicken stock, diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, and uncooked rice. Stir to combine and bring to a boil. Once boiling, turn the heat down to medium low. The bubbles should be about the size of peas and shouldn't go more than about 3 seconds between them. Read more about this here.22 ounces chicken stock, 14.5 ounces diced tomatoes, 8 ounces tomato sauce, 1 cup uncooked long grain white rice
- Stirring often, let your casserole simmer for 20 to 25 minutes or until the rice is tender. Simmer uncovered, and make sure to scrape the bottom of the dish as you stir so no rice sticks there.
- Stir in half the mozzarella cheese. Top with the remaining half and put under the broiler just long enough for the cheese to melt. Serve and enjoy!