How to Make Traditional Stuffed Bell Peppers – Family Recipe

Bell peppers are my favorite vegetables when it comes to making stuffed yummies. I know that there are so many varieties for stuffed bell peppers, and they all have different fillings. However, this recipe is as traditional as it gets—no fancy ingredients are allowed. I prepare these with a minimal number of herbs. In fact, I rely on good old ground black pepper to maximize the flavor. Trust me; this method creates a unique blend between the bell peppers and the ground meat so that the final result is spectacular. Well, at least for me! But I would highly recommend you to give it a try. Needless to say, I love this more than any kebab or burger! It is definitely my favorite winter meat meal of all time.

Simple and Tasty

This recipe’s trick is simple. We cook the meat with bell peppers, and the unique aroma from the peppers passes on to the meat mixture. Some prefer to cook the bell peppers before stuffing meat in them or fry the meat before stuffing the peppers. If you choose any of these methods, you don’t give enough time for the meat to absorb distinctive flavor from the bell peppers. It is incredible how some ground black peppers, tomato, bell peppers, and ground meat can create such a palatable dish. And, please do not be discouraged as it is so easy to prepare stuffed bell peppers. Once cooked, you can keep them in the fridge for 2-3 days.

Select your favorite bell pepper

You can use any kind of pepper as you wish for this recipe. In fact, red bell peppers are sweeter than green ones. Nevertheless, I strongly suggest that you first try it with the green ones. They add extra character with their mild bitterness. Also, make sure you purchase the smaller ones. Otherwise, the stuffing ratio becomes too big with the larger ones.

What you will need:

A handy stick blender would help when making tomato puree for the sauce. Other than that, you will just use regular kitchen tools. And, of course, you need some green bell peppers!

Minced Meat Stuffed Bell Peppers

I learned this recipe directly from mom. So, it is truly a traditional family meal that we have been cooking for a very long time. To me, it is a classic. I did not change a single ingredient, so you can also experience the original version.

Hope you enjoy it!

How to Make Traditional Stuffed Bell Peppers – Family Recipe

Recipe by OzgurCourse: MainCuisine: TurkishDifficulty: Easy


Prep time


Cooking time




Total time




  • 12 green bell peppers (select the smaller ones)

  • Stuffing
  • 1-pound (454 g) ground beef (or any other meat type you prefer)

  • 1/4 cup rice

  • 1 large white onion

  • 1 large tomato

  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

  • 1/2 tablespoon salt

  • Sauce
  • 2 large tomatoes

  • A pinch of salt

  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste

  • 2 tablespoons butter

  • 1 cup water


  • Sauce
  • Puree two large tomatoes in the food processor.
  • Add a pinch of salt.
  • Transfer the mixture to a large saucepan with la id.
  • Stuffing
  • Wash and drain the rice.
  • Add 1-pound ground beef and 1/4 cup of rice to a medium bowl and blend well.
  • Add 1/2 teaspoon of ground black pepper.
  • Add 1/2 tablespoon of salt.
  • Blend well and set aside.
  • Bringing it all together
  • Wash and drain the bell peppers.
  • Cut the top part of bell peppers and remove the seeds from the inside.
  • Fill the peppers with the ground meat mixture.
  • Place the stuffed bell peppers in the pan.
  • Place a slice of tomato (round) on top of each bell pepper.
  • Add two tablespoons of butter to the saucepan.
  • Cook at medium heat for 35 to 40 minutes.
  • Add extra water if necessary. (if all evaporates)
  • Your meal is done when the rice in the stuffing gets softened.


  • Sprinkle chopped green onions (scallions) before serving stuffed bell peppers for a more attractive and spicier experience.
  • This dish is traditionally prepared with green bell peppers. However, you can also large tomatoes and different bell peppers as well.
  • You can also place the stuffed bell peppers on the oven tray and bake them. It would take around 30 to 40 minutes to cook them in the oven.
  • If you want to make this recipe vegan, you can replace the ground meat with quinoa or additional rice.

Do you have to boil peppers before stuffing them?

There is no need to boil the peppers before stuffing them. Boiling would shorten the cooking time, but it would also decrease the flavor. When stuffed peppers are pre-boiled, they do not have enough time to absorb the aroma and flavor from the stuffing.

Why are my stuffed peppers bitter?

Peppers tend to go bitter when they lack water. In order to avoid this issue, you need to monitor the water level in the pan to keep them moist.

What flavors go well with bell peppers?

Bell peppers have a strong aroma on their own. You can still expand this by adding garlic, lemon, thyme, and even basil. However, adding a few herbs or spices such as ground black pepper would be sufficient most of the time.

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