Crockpot stuffed peppers are one of the easiest recipes to make! They don’t require any cooking upfront and are filled with so much amazing flavor. Not to mention, they taste better the next day which makes them a perfect meal prep option. If you’re looking for a go-to crockpot recipe that the entire family will love, then these crockpot stuffed peppers are it!
It’s the time of year when I get out my favorite crockpot recipes to get me through the busy fall season. With school and dance starting up for my girls along with trying to run a business and keep some sort of order in my house, I have very limited time to cook during the week.
This is when I depend on my trusty crockpot recipes.
With the cooler weather coming along, there’s nothing like a comforting bowl of chili or soup to enjoy on a chilly night. Well now, you can add stuffed peppers to that list too!
Even though it’s easy to cook stuffed peppers in the oven, I always wondered if you could cook stuffed peppers in the crockpot.
A year or so ago, I was thumbing through my America’s Test Kitchen Slow Cooker Revolution cookbook and came across a stuffed pepper recipe. I have many stuffed pepper recipes that I love to make from time to time in the oven but I don’t know why I never made a classic stuffed pepper using my slow cooker.
I will say I’ve made many delicious slow cooker recipes from this cookbook so I gave this one a try. By the way, if you’re looking for a slow cooker cookbook that has tried and tested recipes, I highly recommend this cookbook. It never fails me!
Anyway, I’ve been making these crockpot stuffed peppers ever since. Of course, I’ve learned some tips along the way and also put my own twist on them.
With that being said, I’m going to share my basic crockpot stuffed pepper recipe! This is the one I make most often but I’ll share some other variations (like this Italian Stuffed Pepper recipe) below.
Frequently Asked Questions About Stuffed Peppers
Before I do that, let’s go over some questions I frequently see from readers…
Which are the best type of peppers to use for stuffed peppers?
You will want to use bell peppers for this recipe. It doesn’t really matter which color. I like to use a variety so it looks pretty but I tend to use red and green the most!
Honestly, any color will work fine.
Do you have to cook the meat before stuffing the bell peppers?
No, and that’s the beauty of this recipe!
I went back and forth with whether I should cook the meat first because I do prefer the taste ground beef gets from being browned in a pan. However, I wanted to keep this recipe easy and meal prep friendly.
So, I mix the raw ground beef in with other ingredients and then just stuff the peppers.
Should the peppers be cooked before stuffing?
Nope. The peppers will fully cook in the slow cooker.
Keep in mind that the peppers will release more liquid while cooking in the slow cooker rather than being cooked in the oven. This is because the liquid doesn’t evaporate like it does in the oven. This isn’t a huge deal but something I experience and something to be aware of.
How long do the stuffed peppers take to cook in the crockpot?
The stuffed peppers I cook in the crockpot cook perfectly on low for 6 hours. I’ve also cooked them on high for 3 hours.
It’s going to depend on the size of your peppers but a good rule of thumb for cooking stuffed peppers in the crockpot is 6-7 hours on low or 3-4 hours on high. Unfortunately, this recipe is not one you can cook for 10 – 11 hours on low. You’ll end up with mushy peppers.
Can I use ground turkey?
You sure can! I’ve used ground turkey many times in this recipe. The cooking time is about the same.
My advice is to check the internal temperature. The turkey should read 165 degrees to be considered fully cooked.
Which side dishes pair the best with stuffed peppers?
Stuffed peppers are really like the perfect portioned-controlled meal that meets all the craving requirements. But, if you must have a side dish, these would work really well:
Supplies For Crockpot Stuffed Peppers
Here is a list of supplies you will need to make these stuffed peppers in the crockpot.
- Hamilton Beach 6qt programmable slow cooker – I’ve had this slow cooker for years and it works great for all of the slow cooker recipes I make. This is the perfect size for 6 medium-sized stuffed peppers!
- Rice cooker – I use my rice cooker weekly. It’s so easy to whip up a batch of rice for stuffed peppers or any recipe.
- Meat thermometer – This helps to make sure that the stuffed peppers are cooked completely.
- Glass meal prep containers – These 36-ounce glass rectangle lock-lid containers work great for storing stuffed peppers. Take a look at this blog post that showcases all of the best glass meal prep containers!
The Best Meal Prep Tips For Crockpot Stuffed Peppers
- Cook the rice the day or two before. Or, you can use leftover rice that you froze ahead of time.
- Prepare the peppers beforehand. If you want to cook these during the week but don’t want to take the time to put them together, then you can do that during your meal prep on Sunday. You can store them in the refrigerator until you’re ready to cook or freeze. If you freeze them, make sure the peppers are completely thawed prior to cooking in the slow cooker.
- Cook the crockpot stuffed peppers on the weekend to warm up during the week for dinner. I think all stuffed pepper recipes taste even better the next day and throughout the week. I eat these for dinner but you can also pack them up to bring for lunch. You can portion out and store individually using glass meal prep containers or you can put them in one or two containers and just take what you need during the week.
Crockpot Stuffed Peppers Recipe
Now, let’s get this recipe. Here is a list of ingredients you will need to make these peppers.
Note: This recipe is very versatile so you can switch up based on the ingredients you have on hand.
- Bell peppers
- White onion, chopped
- Garlic cloves, minced
- Olive oil
- Wheat bread
- Low-fat milk
- Ground beef
- Parmesan cheese, grated
- Brown rice, cooked
- Cheddar and pepper jack cheese, shredded
- Spaghetti sauce, divided (Take a peek at this homemade marinara sauce I used)
- Ground pepper
How To Make Stuffed Peppers
Let’s cook these peppers!
Cut off the tops of the peppers and remove the ribs and seeds from inside and discard. Set the cleaned peppers aside.
In a medium microwave-safe bowl mix the onions, garlic, and olive oil together. Place into the microwave and heat for 5 minutes on high. Be careful when you take this out of the microwave because the bowl will be hot. Set aside to cool for 3-5 minutes.
This little trick is to help bloom the onions and garlic which gives them more flavor. If you were to just put them in raw, they would essentially steam and not have any flavor.
In a large bowl, mash together the bread and milk until a paste forms. Then, add in the ground beef, parmesan cheese, brown rice, shredded cheese, spaghetti sauce, and the mixture of onion and garlic. Mix everything together until all of the ingredients are evenly distributed throughout the ground beef.
Spread the remaining sauce onto the bottom of the slow cooker insert.
Stuff each pepper with the ground beef mixture and then place it into the slow cooker insert standing up on top of the sauce.
Put the lid on and set the slow cooker to cook on low for 4-6 hours. The ground beef should be cooked thoroughly. Again, if you’re unsure then use a thermometer. My peppers were fully cooked at 6 hours.
When you have about 5 minutes left, add the remaining shredded cheese to the peppers and place the lid back on. Then, serve after the cheese has melted!
Note: To warm up cook stuffed peppers just put in the microwave 2-3 minutes or until heated through.
- Look for peppers that are the same size as this helps the peppers cook evenly.
- Look for peppers with a flat bottom because this helps the peppers stand up straight instead of falling over.
- You can also add ½ cup of broth to the bottom of the insert instead of sauce.
- If you don’t want to use fresh onion and garlic, you can use 1 teaspoon of onion powder and 1 teaspoon of garlic powder.
- You can add quinoa, bulgur, or other grains instead of rice.
- If you want to create a Mexican-version by swapping out the spaghetti sauce for taco sauce and adding 2 tablespoons of taco seasoning and ¼ cup of taco sauce to the meat mixture. You can also add taco sauce to the bottom of the insert.
- Try making these stuffed peppers with different shredded cheeses. I’ve used mozzarella cheese, Colby jack, taco cheese, pepper jack, and provolone. They all work great!
More Crockpot Recipes
If you loved this recipe for crockpot stuffed peppers, take a look at some of these other slow cooker recipes to add to your recipe book!
- Guinness Beef Stew
- Slow Cooker Teriyaki Chicken
- Spicy Turkey and Vegetable Chili
- Slow Cooker Morning Glory Steel Cut Oats
- Beef and Broccoli
- 6 bell peppers
- 1 medium white onion, chopped
- 6 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 slice wheat bread
- 3 tablespoons low-fat milk
- 1 lb lean ground beef
- ¼ cup grated parmesan cheese
- ¾ cup cooked brown rice
- 1.5 cups shredded cheddar and pepper jack cheese, divided
- ¾ cup Spaghetti sauce, divided
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon ground pepper
- Cut off the tops of the peppers and remove the ribs and seeds from inside and discard. Set the cleaned peppers aside.
- In a medium microwave-safe bowl mix the onions, garlic, and olive oil together. Place into the microwave and heat for 5 minutes on high. Be careful when you take this out of the microwave because the bowl will be hot. Set aside to cool for 3-5 minutes.
- In a large bowl mash together the bread and milk until a paste forms. Then add in the ground beef, parmesan cheese, brown rice, ¾ cup shredded cheese, ¼ cup spaghetti sauce, and the onion and garlic mixture, salt, and pepper. Mix together until all of the ingredients are evenly distributed throughout the ground beef.
- Spread the remaining sauce onto the bottom of the slow cooker insert.
- Stuff each pepper with the ground beef mixture and then place it into the slow cooker insert standing up on top of the sauce.
- Put the lid on and set the slow cooker to cook on low 4-6 hours. The ground beef should be cooked thoroughly. My peppers cook fully at 6 hours.
- With about 5 minutes left add the remaining shredded cheese to the peppers and place the lid back on. Serve after the cheese has melted.
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