Photo of Italian-style stuffed peppers by WW

Italian-style stuffed peppers

Total Time
1 hr
15 min
45 min
These family-friendly stovetop stuffed peppers have a simple but flavorful mixture of lean ground beef, white rice, sweet peppers, tomato juice, and Parmesan cheese. The stuffed peppers cook thoroughly thanks to the sauce in the saucepan that cooks the filling and softens the peppers from below and the steam that is generated in the covered pan that cooks the top. Stuffed peppers can be made with any combination of starches, meat, sauces, and even beans, making them the perfect vehicle to reinvent leftovers in a satisfying way. Substitute couscous, orzo, or quinoa for the rice and stir some beans into the mix too. Use 1 cup cooked brown or white rice and 2 teaspoons dried basil in place of the seasoned rice and skip Step 1.


Uncooked white rice

cup(s), seasoned with tomato and herb

Sweet red pepper(s)

4 small

Uncooked lean ground beef

¾ pound(s), (7% or less fat)

Canned tomato juice

1½ cup(s), or vegetable juice

Grated Parmesan cheese

2 Tbsp

Table salt

½ tsp

Black pepper

¼ tsp, freshly ground


  1. Cook the rice according to the package directions, omitting the butter or the vegetable oil. Let cool about 10 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, with a sharp knife, slice off the top inch of each bell pepper and remove and discard the seeds; set the peppers aside.
  3. Combine the cooked rice, ground beef, 1⁄4 cup of the vegetable juice, the Parmesan, salt, and ground pepper in a medium bowl. Spoon the rice mixture evenly into the peppers.
  4. Place the peppers in a 3-quart saucepan; pour the remaining 1 1⁄4 cups vegetable juice around the peppers and set the pan over medium-high heat. Bring the juice to a boil; reduce the heat, cover, and simmer until the peppers are tender and the beef is cooked through, 20 – 25 minutes. Serve the peppers with the sauce. Yields one pepper per serving.