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This easy Stuffed Pepper Casserole recipe is a perfect weeknight dinner! The comforting, flavorful meal includes ground beef, Italian sausage, sweet bell peppers, tender white rice, and plenty of cheese in a zesty Italian tomato sauce. Serve the healthy dish with a simple green salad and a loaf of crusty bread for a family-friendly, make-ahead supper that’s ready in less than an hour!

Close overhead shot of part of an undone stuffed pepper casserole.

Stuffed Bell Pepper Casserole

This easy casserole is such a fun twist on classic Stuffed Peppers. In fact, my boys love the undone, deconstructed casserole even more than the original dish, since the casserole is so much easier to eat! The rich, hearty flavors of the green bell peppers, ground beef, Italian sausage and rice come together in a cozy meal that’s perfect for chilly evenings. Italian seasoning adds a subtle touch of zesty freshness to the delicious veggie-packed meal, which you can assemble in advance for a healthy dinner on busy nights.

Cooked ground beef in a white Dutch oven.

Ingredients

This is a quick overview of the ingredients that you’ll need for a pan of the best stuffed pepper casserole. As always, specific measurements and complete cooking instructions are included in the printable recipe box at the bottom of the post.

  • Ground beef and ground Italian sausage: a flavorful blend that gives the dish a hearty, satisfying quality. Ground turkey or other ground meat will also work well!
  • Onion and garlic: add savory flavor to the casserole filling.
  • Bell peppers: I use green bell peppers, but you can try any color — red, yellow, orange or a combination.
  • Diced tomatoes and tomato sauce: the base of the sauce that holds the casserole together.
  • Soy sauce, Italian seasoning, garlic powder, onion powder, salt and pepper: all add flavor to the sauce.
  • Sugar: just a touch to balance the acidity in the tomato sauce and to create a more complex flavor.
  • Cooked rice: I use long-grain white rice, but any variety of rice is fine. You can also substitute with cooked quinoa or cooked couscous.
  • Sharp cheddar and Monterey Jack cheeses: with a Cheddar Jack blend, you get the flavor of the cheddar and the ooey, gooey, melty quality of the Monterey Jack. Feel free to substitute with any other type of grated cheese (mozzarella, Colby, or Pepper Jack are all good options).
Adding green bell peppers to a white Dutch oven.

How to Make Stuffed Pepper Casserole

This easy stuffed pepper casserole comes together with simple ingredients that you can assemble in advance.

  1. Brown the ground beef, sausage, onion and garlic.
  2. Add the bell peppers, diced tomatoes, tomato sauce and other seasonings.
  3. Simmer for 10-15 minutes.
  4. Stir in the cooked rice.
  5. Transfer the mixture to a 13 x 9-inch baking dish.
  6. Sprinkle shredded cheese on top.
  7. Bake the casserole in a 350°F oven for about 20 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and the filling is hot and bubbly.
Adding rice to a white Dutch oven.
Process shot showing how to make stuffed pepper casserole with cheese on top.
Side shot of an easy ground beef and Italian sausage dinner on the table

What to Serve with Undone Stuffed Pepper Casserole

Since this recipe includes veggies, rice and meat, it’s an entire stand-alone dinner! If you’d like to round out the meal with additional sides, here are a few good options to serve with the easy stuffed pepper casserole:

Close overhead shot of a bowl of stuffed pepper casserole.

Preparation and Storage

  • This is a great make-ahead dinner. You can assemble the casserole up to 24 hours in advance and keep it covered in the refrigerator until ready to bake. When ready to bake, allow the dish to sit on the counter and come to room temperature for at least 30-60 minutes.
  • You can freeze the casserole before baking. Wrapped tightly, the assembled casserole will keep in the freezer for up to 2 months.
  • Leftover stuffed bell pepper casserole will keep in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.
  • To reheat the casserole: If reheating an entire casserole, cover the dish loosely with foil and bake in a 350° F oven until warmed through (about 20-30 minutes). Individual portions can be reheated in the microwave for 1-2 minutes.
Side shot of a spoon in a cheesy casserole dish.

Recipe Variations

  • Instead of green bell peppers, try another color sweet bell pepper. Red, orange or yellow peppers are sweeter than green.
  • The Italian sausage adds great flavor, but you can omit the sausage and replace it with an additional ½ lb. of ground beef if you prefer.
  • Use ground turkey, ground chicken, or ground pork instead of the ground beef or Italian sausage.
  • Instead of the tomato sauce and extra seasoning, substitute with about 29 ounces of jarred spaghetti sauce.
  • Any good melting cheese will work in this recipe. In lieu of the Cheddar Jack, try mozzarella, white cheddar, Colby, or Pepper Jack.
  • Swap out the soy sauce and use Worcestershire sauce instead. These ingredients add salty, umami flavor to the sauce.
  • Any variety of rice will work. I like to use cooked white rice, but cooked wild rice or cooked brown rice will both be delicious, too. For a shortcut, try microwaveable packets of rice like Uncle Ben’s Ready Rice.
Overhead shot of a bowl of stuffed bell pepper casserole on a table with a side of bread.

Tips for the Best Stuffed Pepper Casserole Recipe

  • Make sure that you purchase the large 29-ounce can of tomato sauce. You need plenty of sauce so that the casserole stays nice and moist and doesn’t dry out in the oven.
  • For a shortcut, use leftover rice from the night before or a packet of microwaveable rice (like Uncle Ben’s Ready Rice).
  • Garnish the finished dish with fresh herbs just before serving. They add a colorful, fresh touch!
  • Use red, orange or yellow peppers if you prefer a sweeter taste. Green bell peppers provide a zestier bite.
  • Bake the casserole just until it’s heated through. All of the ingredients are already cooked, so you just want to warm it in the oven until bubbly.
  • Cooking for a smaller family? Cut all of the ingredients in half and bake the casserole in an 8-inch square dish. The rest of the cooking instructions remain the same.
  • Divide the casserole ingredients between two 8-inch square baking dishes. Bake one now, and freeze the other for a later meal.
Overhead shot of easy stuffed pepper casserole recipe on a dinner table.

More Stuffed Pepper Recipes to Try

Close overhead shot of part of an undone stuffed pepper casserole.

Stuffed Pepper Casserole

Prep: 20 minutes
Cook: 20 minutes
Resting Time 10 minutes
Total: 50 minutes
Servings 6 – 8 people
Calories 336 kcal
This easy casserole is a perfect weeknight dinner! The comforting, flavorful meal includes ground beef, Italian sausage, sweet bell peppers, tender white rice, and plenty of cheese in a zesty Italian tomato sauce.

Ingredients
  

  • ½ lb. ground Italian sausage
  • ½ lb. ground beef
  • 1 large sweet onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
  • 3 medium green bell peppers, seeded and diced
  • 1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes, NOT drained
  • 1 (29 ounce) can tomato sauce
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 3 cups cooked white rice
  • 1 cup shredded Cheddar Jack cheese, or more to taste
  • Optional garnish: chopped fresh parsley

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease a deep 9 x 13-inch baking dish; set aside.
  • In a large Dutch oven, brown the sausage, ground beef, onion and garlic over medium-high heat until the meat is no longer pink; drain off fat.
  • Stir in the bell peppers, diced tomatoes with juices, tomato sauce, soy sauce, Italian seasoning, sugar, garlic powder, onion powder, salt and pepper. Bring the mixture to a simmer, then reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer gently for 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from the heat. Stir in the rice.
  • Transfer the mixture the prepared baking dish. Top with shredded cheese.
  • Bake for 20 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and the casserole is hot and bubbly. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving. Garnish with fresh parsley.

Notes

  • Make sure that you purchase the large 29-ounce can of tomato sauce. You need plenty of sauce so that the casserole stays nice and moist and doesn’t dry out in the oven.
  • For a shortcut, use leftover rice from the night before or a packet of microwaveable rice (like Uncle Ben’s Ready Rice).
  • Garnish the finished dish with fresh herbs just before serving. They add a colorful, fresh touch!
  • Use red, orange or yellow peppers if you prefer a sweeter taste. Green bell peppers provide a zestier bite.
  • Bake the casserole just until it’s heated through. All of the ingredients are already cooked, so you just want to warm it in the oven until bubbly.
  • Cooking for a smaller family? Cut all of the ingredients in half and bake the casserole in an 8-inch square dish. The rest of the cooking instructions remain the same.
  • Divide the casserole ingredients between two 8-inch square baking dishes. Bake one now, and freeze the other for a later meal.

Nutrition

Serving: 1/8 of the casseroleCalories: 336kcalCarbohydrates: 29gProtein: 17gFat: 17gSaturated Fat: 7gPolyunsaturated Fat: 2gMonounsaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 55mgSodium: 995mgPotassium: 749mgFiber: 4gSugar: 8gVitamin A: 821IUVitamin C: 50mgCalcium: 164mgIron: 3mg
Keyword: easy stuffed pepper casserole, stuffed bell pepper casserole, stuffed pepper casserole, undone stuffed pepper casserole
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: American, Italian
Author: Blair Lonergan
blair

Hey, I’m Blair!

Welcome to my farmhouse kitchen in the foothills of Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains. Inspired by local traditions and seasonal fare, you’ll find plenty of easy, comforting recipes that bring your family together around the table. It’s down-home, country-style cooking!

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