Deconstructed stuffed peppers have all of the deliciousness of traditional stuffed peppers with less work.
Unlike traditional stuffed peppers, the savory beef filling is cooked on top of the stove in one pan with peppers for a healthy and easy dinner with all of the classic flavors of traditional stuffed peppers.
Unstuffed peppers are tender, slightly crispy, and full of flavor. If you prefer vegetarian stuffed peppers, give these vegetarian stuffed peppers a try for another easy healthy dinner.
Why you will love this recipe
- You only need 8 ingredients to make this recipe.
- Deconstructed stuffed are a quick recipe, dinner will be ready in less than an hour.
- It's healthy, made with ground beef, brown rice and nutrient-rich bell peppers.
Here is what you will need
- Ground Beef
- Chopped Onions
- Green Peppers
- Red, Yellow or Orange Bell Peppers
- Diced or Crushed Tomatoes
- Cooked Brown Rice
- Worcestershire Sauce
- Shredded Cheddar Cheese
How to Make Deconstructed Stuffed Peppers
Prepare the ingredients: cook and measure the rice, chop and measure the onion & garlic, slice the peppers, shred and measure the cheese, and measure the tomatoes and Worcestershire sauce.
Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Once the skillet is hot, add the meat, reduce to medium heat and cook it for a couple of minutes until it begins to turn brown.
Add the chopped onions and garlic. Continue to cook until the onions begin to soften (about 3 to 5 minutes).
Add the tomatoes, peppers, Worcestershire sauce, and cooked rice to the skillet, and mix everything together.
Reduce the heat to low and let the mixture simmer for 15 minutes or longer.
Sprinkle the deconstructed peppers with cheddar cheese and serve.
Ingredient Notes & Substitutions
Ground Beef - The best ground beef to use in this stuffed pepper recipe is 85 to 90% lean ground beef. We get our meat from ButcherBox a great source of humanely raised meat.
Substitutes for ground beef are any type of ground meat, use an equal amount of lean meat such as ground chicken, ground turkey or ground pork.
Tomatoes - Fresh diced tomatoes or low-sodium canned diced or crushed tomatoes will work in this recipe.
If you choose to use fresh tomatoes, you might need to add ½ cup of tomato sauce if the mixture is dry.
Bell Peppers - Any color of bell peppers can be used in this recipe. I like to use green bell peppers, along with red bell peppers and yellow or orange bell peppers.
Rice - Short or long-grain cooked brown rice works best in this recipe. Instant rice is not recommended.
Worcestershire Sauce is a savory, salty, slightly tangy sauce that adds a hint of umami flavor to the deconstructed stuffed peppers.
If you don't have Worcestershire sauce, you can leave it out or use a one-to-one swap of tamari or soy sauce, or one-part soy or tamari and one-part apple juice. In this recipe, you would use ½ teaspoon tamari and ½ teaspoon apple juice.
Shredded Cheddar Cheese - Freshly shredded cheddar cheese adds a nice flavor to round this dish out.
Substitutes for Cheddar Cheese - Mozzarella, American, or Provolone. If you are on a dairy-free diet or don't like cheese, you can leave the cheese out.
How to make deconstructed stuffed peppers ahead of time
This recipe can be made ahead of time which is perfect for meal prep. Here are a few make-ahead options.
- Up to three days ahead of time: cook the rice and brown the meat with the onions and garlic ahead of time and cut up the peppers. Store the meat mixture, rice, and peppers in separate containers in the refrigerator.
To prepare the unstuffed peppers, add the cooked meat mixture, rice, tomatoes, Worcestershire, and peppers to a skillet and cook until the peppers begin to soften (about 15 to 20 minutes).
- Day of: Cook the meat with onions and garlic ahead of time, add the tomatoes and Worcestershire, and cook the rice. Store the cooked meat mixture and the rice separately in the refrigerator until just before serving.
To serve, add the peppers, cooked rice, and meat mixture - cook until everything is heated through and the peppers begin to soften.
Serve deconstructed stuffed peppers with side dishes like this Arugula Salad with Pistachios or Spinach Salad with Basil for a full dinner.
If you are looking for more easy and delicious ground beef recipes, check out these Grass Fed Ground Beef Recipes!
Storing and Using Leftovers
Store leftover deconstructed stuffed peppers in the refrigerator for up to three days in an airtight container.
Reheat leftovers on top of the stove over low heat until they are heated through or reheat them in the microwave.
Serve leftover stuffed peppers as they are or toss them with romaine lettuce for an unstuffed pepper salad, or stuff them in a pita pocket or a wrap for a stuffed pepper sandwich.
Freeze leftovers in a freezer-safe container for up to three months. Defrost the frozen pepper in the refrigerator overnight.
Do you like this recipe? You might also like our recipe for stuffed zucchini with ground beef and rice!
Unstuffed Pepper Variations
Italian Unstuffed Peppers - Instead of diced tomatoes, use marinara sauce, a teaspoon of oregano or Italian seasoning, and top it off with provolone or mozzarella cheese.
Mexican Unstuffed Peppers - Use salsa in place of diced tomatoes, add diced jalapeno or poblano pepper, and top them with a shredded jack or cotija cheese.
Greek Unstuffed Peppers - Keep the diced tomatoes and add ½ cup of sliced kalamata olives, and oregano, and top it with feta cheese.
Low-Carb Unstuffed Peppers - Replace the rice with one cup of steamed cauliflower rice.
Deconstructed stuffed bell pepper bowls - Instead of adding the rice to the skillet, add it to a bowl and top it with the meat and pepper mixture.
You can add up to one tablespoon of olive oil to the skillet if the meat is sticking to the pan.
- This recipe is a great way to use up leftover cooked rice or whole grain.
If you prefer your peppers soft, loosely cover the skillet while it is simmering.
No, it is not recommended. Uncooked rice, especially brown rice needs a lot of liquid and time to cook which would have an impact on the texture and simplicity of making this easy recipe.
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- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 pound lean ground beef
- ¾ cup chopped onion approximately 1 small onion
- 2 cloves garlic chopped
- 3 bell peppers julienne sliced any color
- 2 cups diced or crushed tomatoes
- 1 cup cooked rice
- 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- 2 to 3 ounces grated cheddar cheese
- Cook the rice according to the package instructions.
- Add the onions and garlic to the skillet and cook for a few minutes until they start to soften.
- Heat a cast-iron skillet over medium to high heat and add the ground beef and cook until the beef begins to brown.
- Stir in the rice, crushed tomatoes, Worcestershire sauce and peppers.
- Reduce the heat to low. Simmer for about 20 minutes until the peppers begin to soften and the flavors blend together.
- Top with shredded cheese and serve.
Nutrition information provided is an estimate and can vary based on cooking methods and ingredients used
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This looks yum! I going to try the vegetarian version.
Easy to make, great flavor, enjoyed by my family. If you like it spicier add jalapeños along with the peppers! A great recipe for children to enjoy vegetables. Very colorful if you use a variety of peppers.
Thank you Heidi, I am happy to hear that your family enjoyed it!