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Spicy Beef Stuffed Bell Peppers

Our Mexican inspired stuffed peppers are spicy and delicious, and you can even assemble them ahead and then bake them whenever you are ready. We recommend using red or orange peppers, but you can use green ones for a more savory flavor or yellow ones if you prefer their sweetness. For our filling, we have chosen to include beef, onion, celery, rice, salsa, cheese, and then the spicy heat of chili powder and chilies. The peppers are first boiled for a few minutes, then filled with a cooked beef and rice mixture. Finally they are baked in the oven until piping hot.

These make a wonderful dinner, perhaps served with salad on the side and a dollop of sour cream to counter the spicy taste of the beef mixture. You can either take the tops off the peppers and fill them that way, or you can slice them in half lengthwise and fill them that way. Either way works, so it is your choice. If you take an inch off the top, you will be able to reach in and get the membrane and seeds out. If you slice them in half lengthwise you can do the same, perhaps easier. One stuffed pepper makes a filling meal for one person.

There are plenty of stuffed pepper recipes to choose from, offering fillings such as beef or pork, rice and beans, or even vegetarian ones with cheese and other vegetables. Some might include nuts and dried fruit, while others are filled with couscous, barley or another grain. We have gone the south of the border route with our recipe though, focusing on beef, rice and aromatic vegetables to provide most of the filling, and then we have chilies, salsa and cheese. You can tweak the amount of chilies and chili powder used if you prefer a milder or spicier result.

If you are looking for tasty ideas for Cinco de Mayo or another occasion, it is good to know you can assemble these in the morning or whenever you have time, then keep them covered and when you are ready to cook, give them 50 minutes in the oven, or until they are piping hot. Because they will have been in the refrigerator, make sure you check the temperature in the center of the filling, to make sure they really are hot enough to serve. If not, just give them a few more minutes. While they are cooking, toss together a mixed leaf salad for your side dish.

Bell Peppers with Mexican Beef and Rice
Summary: This simple, delicious recipe is hearty and filling. You get the satisfying flavors of beef and rice, along with plenty of nutritious veggies, and chilies to spice it all up.
Cuisine: Mexican
Recipe type: Entree
Serves: 6
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
  • 6 red or orange bell peppers
  • ⅓ cup chopped yellow onion
  • ⅓ cup chopped celery
  • 1 lb lean ground beef
  • 3 cups cooked white rice
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1¼ cups salsa
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon chopped green chilies
  • 4 oz (1 cup) shredded Mexican cheese blend
  1. Cut the tops off the bell peppers and discard them.
  2. Remove the seeds and membranes.
  3. Cook the peppers in boiling water for 4 minutes in a large pot.
  4. Drain them and set to one side.
  5. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  6. Sauté the celery, onion and beef in a nonstick pan until the meat is browned all over, then drain off any fat.
  7. Stir in the rice, 1 cup of the salsa, chili powder, chopped green chilies, and salt.
  8. Divide the rice mixture between the bell peppers.
  9. Grease a 13 x 9 inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.
  10. Arrange the peppers in there and pour ¼ cup of water into the dish.
  11. Cover and bake for 45 minutes or until the peppers and their fillings are piping hot.
  12. Sprinkle the cheese over the peppers and add the remaining ¼ cup salsa on top.
  13. Return to the oven and bake for another 3 minutes or until the cheese melts.

Photo Description:

Stuffed peppers are part of every home cook’s repertoire, but if you are looking for an interesting take on the classic recipe, consider our stuffed bell peppers recipe with its exciting Mexican twist. These peppers are stuffed with a rice and beef mixture, along with celery, onion, chilies, salsa, and Mexican cheese, so you can be assured one of these will not only please your palate but leave you feeling full and satisfied. Our stuffed sweet peppers recipe is easy to make and something the whole family will enjoy. This meal is colorful, appetizing and undeniably flavor-packed.

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Christine Szalay-Kudra

Hi, I'm Christine, and I'm pleased to welcome you to I have endeavored to gather as many delicious South of the border recipes here for you, including Mexican-inspired as well as traditional Mexican, and also some Tex-Mex and Mexican fusion dishes. Food is very important to our family's lives and Mexican food is certainly a favorite around here.

We have everything from appetizers and snacks to soups, drinks, entrées, and much more. You will find everything from mild dishes to super-spicy ones, simple recipes based on fresh ingredients up to more complex ones suitable for a dinner party.

Home cooks just starting out with Mexican cooking tend to be surprised how much of the emphasis is placed on using fresh ingredients and aromatic herbs and spices. Forget the typical ideas about Mexican food being all beans, cheese and beef (that applies a little more to Tex-Mex), take inspiration from authentic Mexican dishes based on fresh ingredients, and inject all your passion into cooking South of the border food, for perfect results every time.

Thanks for visiting,