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Unstuffed Pepper Casserole

Review Recipe
a overhead shot of Unstuffed Pepper Casserole in a pan
Our unstuffed pepper casserole is classic comfort food packed with delicious flavors, veggies, beef, and plenty of cheese.
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Table of Contents
  1. Unstuffed Pepper Casserole Ingredients
  2. Substitutions and Additions
  3. How to Make This Unstuffed Pepper Casserole Recipe
  4. How To Serve
  5. Storage
  6. More Recipes You’ll Love
  7. JUMP TO RECIPE

If you’re looking for a delicious and easy meal with bold flavors and no fuss, look no further than this unstuffed pepper casserole. The hearty dish is loaded with bell peppers, ground beef, rice, tomatoes, and spices – all the classic flavors of traditional stuffed peppers without having to fill each one!

a close up shot of a piece of Unstuffed Pepper Casserole in a bowl

Unstuffed Pepper Casserole Ingredients

Unstuffed Pepper Casserole raw ingredients that are labeled

You’ll need:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil (or any vegetable oil)
  • ½ cup chopped onions (I used sweet onions, but you can use white or red onions)
  • 2 cups of diced bell peppers (I used ⅔ cup of each red bell pepper, orange bell pepper, and yellow bell pepper)
  • 1 pound ground beef (I used ground chuck 80-20)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon minced onion
  • 1 teaspoon paprika (smoked or sweet paprika)
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2½ cups beef broth
  • 1 (14.5-ounce) can of petite diced tomatoes, not drained
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 cup rice
  • 2 cups shredded mild cheddar cheese, divided in half

PRO TIP:

I like to freshly shred the cheese from a block as it melts easier. However, you can use any cheese mixture for this flavorful meal.

Substitutions and Additions

GARLIC: You can substitute onion powder with garlic powder and minced onion with minced garlic in this easy casserole.

TOMATOES: Instead of diced tomatoes, you can substitute with a can of Rotel diced tomatoes and green chilies.

SPICE: Instead of paprika, add a pinch of cayenne or red pepper flakes or substitute ground pepper with lemon pepper seasoning.

PEPPERS: Any combination of colors for the peppers will be fine in this great recipe as long as it adds up to 2 cups. You can use a variety, add green peppers to the mix, or just use one color.

GROUND MEAT: Any ground meat that you would use in stuffed peppers would work for this recipe as well. Try ground pork, ground turkey, or ground chicken.

BEEF BROTH: You can substitute the beef broth with 1 cube of beef bouillon and 2½ cups of hot water.

RICE: I used long white rice, but you could substitute it with brown rice. Just keep in mind that the cooking time of the rice may vary.

CHEESE: You can use your favorite cheese blend in this unstuffed bell pepper casserole. Try Colby Jack, Monterey Jack, or Pepper Jack for a hint of spice.

How to Make This Unstuffed Pepper Casserole Recipe

STEP ONE: In a large skillet, over medium heat, pour the olive oil and add the onions. Stir and cook for 1 to 2 minutes until the onions are nice and warm. 

STEP TWO: Add the chopped peppers and keep cooking and stirring until they are warm (1 to 2 minutes) and the onion starts to be translucent. Don’t overcook the vegetables, as we want a slight crunch when serving. 

STEP THREE: Add the ground beef, salt, onion powder, minced onion, paprika, and ground pepper. 

beef, salt, onion powder, minced onion, paprika, and pepper added to a pan

STEP FOUR: Using a heat-proof spoon, over medium heat, break the meat into pieces and mix so the seasoning can spread throughout the mixture. Keep cooking until the meat is fully cooked, with no more pink.

STEP FIVE: Pour in the beef broth, diced tomatoes, and tomato paste. Mix well. 

beef broth, tomatoes, and tomato paste mixed with the beef mixture

STEP SIX: Add the uncooked rice and mix, so all the ingredients in the mixture are evenly distributed.

rice added to the casserole and mixed well

STEP SEVEN: Bring to a simmer, cover, and cook for 20 to 25 minutes or until the rice is nice and tender. 

OUR RECIPE DEVELOPER SAYS

I like to stir the mixture every 5 minutes so it does not stick to the bottom. 

STEP EIGHT: Once the rice is cooked, sprinkle 1 cup of the shredded cheese. Mix well so the cheese can melt in the skillet. This step is optional; if you are skipping this step, only use 1 cup of cheese in the ingredients. 

STEP NINE: Sprinkle the remaining cheese on top. Cover and let the cheese melt. 

PRO TIP:

Once you put the cheese on top, you can put it under the broiler for 1 or 2 minutes until the cheese is nice and golden for a different look and texture. 

shredded cheese sprinkled and mixed well

STEP TEN: Serve and Enjoy!

PRO TIP:

When serving this dish, you can sprinkle some fresh herbs and additional cheese.

How To Serve

This stuffed bell pepper casserole is excellent served with a side salad, such as our Caesar salad or tomato cucumber salad. Add a warm batch of these soft dinner rolls to mop up the plate.

If you’re looking for even more delicious casserole recipes, we are sure you’ll like this cabbage roll casserole and cheese burger casserole.

Storage

IN THE FRIDGE: The leftovers of this easy stuffed pepper casserole recipe can be kept in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 4 days. This dish is perfect for preparing and reheating the desired portions on a busy night. 

IN THE FREEZER: You can freeze this unstuffed stuffed pepper casserole using freezer bags or containers for up to 2 months.

a close up shot of Unstuffed Pepper Casserole in a pan

This one-pan dish is sure to become a go-to in your family’s meal rotation thanks to its tasty mix of bell peppers, ground beef, brown rice, and plenty of bold seasonings. Plus, this unstuffed pepper casserole comes together quickly, so you can have dinner on the table in no time!

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Can I use ground pork instead of ground beef in this easy recipe?

You could use any ground meat, including ground turkey, ground chicken, or ground pork, in this stuffed bell pepper casserole.

How do I turn this into vegetarian stuffed peppers?

You could replace the ground beef with black beans and the beef broth with vegetable broth to turn this recipe into a vegetarian recipe.

Can I freeze the leftovers of this cheesy stuffed pepper casserole?

This unstuffed peppers casserole freezes well and can be stored for up to two months.

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Unstuffed Pepper Casserole

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Our unstuffed pepper casserole is classic comfort food packed with delicious flavors, veggies, beef, and plenty of cheese.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 29 minutes
Total Time 39 minutes
Servings 6

Ingredients
  

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, or any vegetable oil
  • ½ cup chopped onions, I used sweet onions, but you can use white or red onions
  • 2 cups diced bell peppers, I used ⅔ cup of each red bell pepper, orange bell pepper, and yellow bell pepper
  • 1 pound ground beef, I used ground Chuck 80-20
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon minced onion
  • 1 teaspoon paprika, smoked or sweet paprika
  • ½ teaspoon ground pepper
  • cups beef broth
  • 14.5 ounces petite diced tomatoes, not drained
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 cup rice
  • 2 cups shredded mild cheddar cheese, divided in half

Instructions
 

  • In a large skillet, over medium heat, pour the olive oil and add the onions. Stir and cook for 1 to 2 minutes until the onions are nice and warm.
  • Add the chopped peppers and keep cooking and stirring until they are warm (1 to 2 minutes) and the onion starts to be translucent. Don't overcook the vegetables as we want a slight crunch in them when serving.
  • Add the ground beef, salt, onion powder, minced onion, paprika, and ground pepper.
  • Using a heat-proof spoon, over medium heat, break the meat into pieces and mix so the seasoning can spread throughout the mixture. Keep cooking until the meat is fully cooked, with no more pink.
  • Pour in the beef broth, diced tomatoes, and tomato paste. Mix well.
  • Add the rice and mix so all the ingredients in the mixture are evenly distributed.
  • Bring to a simmer, cover, and cook for 20 to 25 minutes or until the rice is nice and tender.
  • Once the rice is cooked, sprinkle 1 cup of the shredded cheese. Mix well so the cheese can melt in the skillet. This step is optional, if you are skipping this step, only use 1 cup of cheese in the ingredients
  • Sprinkle the remaining cheese on top. Cover and let it melt.
  • Serve and Enjoy!

Notes

  • I like to freshly shred the cheese from a block as it melts easier. However, you can use any cheese mixture for this flavorful meal.
  • I like to stir the mixture every 5 minutes so it does not stick to the bottom.
  • Once you put the cheese on top, you can put it under the broiler for 1 or 2 minutes until the cheese is nice and golden for a different look and texture.
  • When serving this dish, you can sprinkle some fresh herbs and additional cheese.

Nutrition

Calories: 554kcal | Carbohydrates: 36g | Protein: 27g | Fat: 33g | Saturated Fat: 14g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 13g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 91mg | Sodium: 1194mg | Potassium: 715mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 2326IU | Vitamin C: 72mg | Calcium: 329mg | Iron: 3mg
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