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Last updated on July 6th, 2024 at 04:59 pm

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Mexican Stuffed Peppers Recipe [Video]

Mexican Stuffed Peppers are filled with taco-flavored ground meat, green chiles, and rice, topped with enchilada sauce and cheese. They are the perfect dinner for any night of the week, not just Taco Tuesday.

If you are looking for a new recipe for your bell peppers, you need to try this one. Not only are they quick and easy to make, but they taste incredible, and you can make them in 45 minutes with a handful of ingredients. When craving Mexican food, you don’t need to run to a Mexican restaurant. You can make this delicious meal at home, using fresh ingredients and knowing exactly what is going into it.

This is an easy recipe, but very flavorful and filled with Mexican-inspired spices. This is basically the classic version of stuffed peppers, with a southwestern spin. This meal is healthy, satisfying, and filled with delicious and rich flavors. I used various pepper colors to give it a more appealing look. You may already have what you need in the kitchen to make this quick and easy recipe. 

All you need is some peppers, ground beef and pork, rice, tomato sauce, cheese, chiles, onions, and garlic. They are really simple to make, too. After heating the meat in a skillet with the seasoning and other fillings, you just stuff the peppers and bake them for 15 minutes. Then, top them with sauce, add cheese, and bake for 20 more minutes.

Since you are making these at home, you get to decide whether you make them spicy or not. You can use diced mild green chiles or something hotter like jalapeno peppers. Or leave them out if you do not want them spicy at all. While you are at it, remember that you are in charge, so you can choose the meat you use, too.

I recommend you use lean ground beef so you do not have to lose too much of it as grease. If you get anything lower than 80/20 when you strain out the grease, most of the meat you bought goes with it. I add ground pork, just for extra flavor. There will be plenty of flavor anyway if you use my homemade taco seasoning.

Why you will love this recipe

  • You can stay home: You do not have to go out. Stay home and skip the traffic.
  • Make it how you like it: Hot and spicy or mild and mellow, and always fresh.
  • They taste incredible: You cannot deny it; they really do taste great.

What you’ll need to make Mexican stuffed peppers

Special items:

  • Baking dish A 9×13 baking dish is what I use.
  • Large skillet – For browning and mixing.
  • Cooking utensils


  • Bell peppers – Use a variety of colors to make this dish as attractive to the eye as it is to the stomach. Remember, they get sweeter as they ripen so they taste different too. See my expert tip for more details.
  • Oil – For the pan. I prefer canola because it has the least flavor.
  • Ground beef – I suggest 85/15 lean ground beef, so you do not have too much fat and grease. You will get plenty from the ground pork.
  • Ground pork – I add pork with the beef to give these peppers extra flavor.
  • Yellow onion – Chop them as small as you like. I prefer mine chunky.
  • Garlic – Mince right before using for the freshest taste without any bitter aftertaste.
  • Taco seasoning – I shared a link for my homemade recipe in the paragraphs above.
  • Tomato sauce – I prefer and recommend San Marzano tomato sauce. It has the richest and tangiest taste.
  • Diced green chiles – Any kind of canned diced green chiles will work.
  • Cooked rice – White or brown are both fine.
  • Enchilada sauceMild, medium, or even tomato sauce is fine.
  • Mexican blend cheese – Freshly shred your own cheese for the best flavor.
  • Salt
  • Pepper

How to make Mexican stuffed peppers?

  1. Preheat and prepare: Set your oven to 375 degrees and lightly spray a 9×13 baking dish with baking spray. Clean and remove seeds from the bell peppers before cutting them lengthwise. Set them aside.
  2. Brown the meat: Now, heat a large skillet over medium-high and add oil. Once it is hot, add the onion and cook it for one minute, stirring frequently. Then, add the garlic and cook for another 30 seconds. Crumble in the ground beef and pork, moving it around with a wooden spoon until it is no longer pink. Then, drain the grease.
  3. Fill the peppers: Next, add the taco seasoning, chiles, and tomato sauce and stir as it simmers for two to three minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste before pouring it into a large bowl. Stir in one and a half cups of cheese and the cheese. Use that filling to stuff the peppers, placing them into the baking dish as you go.
  4. Bake and serve: Cover the dish with foil and cook for 15 minutes. Remove and divide the enchilada sauce evenly between each pepper. Sprinkle the remaining cheese on top and bake for another 20 minutes before serving.

Expert tip

The different colors and flavors of bell peppers

There are four different colors of bell peppers. Green is the least ripe. Then there are yellow, orange, and red, which is a fully ripened bell pepper. Other varieties and strains come in purple, lavender, white, and brown, but they are different.  Green bell peppers are the ones most commonly bought from the grocery store due to their unique taste and inexpensive cost. They are the least expensive because they spend less time on the plant (least care).

Green peppers are picked before they have the natural sugars that the others get so they are bitter and have a tangy taste for pizza, pasta, and salad. Also, suitable for this pepper recipe. Yellow is the next in line and has some sugar with a bit of a sweet taste, lots of crunch, and some tanginess. It is perfect for salads, grilling, and snacking. Orange is sweeter and fruity but slightly softer, so they are not as good on the grill. Great for salads and snacking on, though.

Red bell peppers have the most nutrients, with a surplus of vitamins C, K, and E as well as B6. Yellow peppers are the only ones that have violaxanthin, and red peppers are the only ones that have capsanthin and lycopene. So, for this recipe, I chose to use all of them. You can choose to use what you like or what you can find. Some places may not have certain colors during certain times of the year.

Recipe variations and add-ins:

  • Other grains: Feel free to substitute quinoa, buckwheat, or brown rice for white rice.
  • Low carb: Instead of regular rice, use my cauliflower rice for a low-carb meal.
  • Low fat: Similarly, you could cut some of the fat by using ground chicken or turkey instead of beef and sausage.
  • Chorizo: Replace the ground beef and pork with ground chorizo.
  • Vegan peppers: Use beans, tempeh, or tofu instead of meat for vegan peppers. Also, make sure you use vegan cheese.
  • Add veggies: Speaking of veggies, feel free to add more of them like corn, mushrooms, sun-dried tomatoes, spinach, jalapenos, and avocados. 
  • Taco style: Add salsa and refried beans to the meat mixture for taco-style Mexican peppers.
  • Cheesy: Use a mixture of cheese you like the most. We have used cheddar cheese for topping. However, any others will work just as fine. Such cheeses as mozzarella, pepper jack are also blending nicely with this recipe.
  • Dairy-Free Stuffed Peppers. Omit the cheese and top the finished peppers with lots of creamy avocados instead, or homemade guacamole. Also, feel free to use a dairy-free cheese alternative.

Serving suggestions:

You can serve these alone or with all kinds of side dishes. Try one of these ideas.

  • My favorite way to serve these is with this Mexican street corn. This stuff is just excellent and so easy to make!
  • It is always easy to make Mexican night a hit with nachos, tortillas, guacamole, homemade salsa, and tequila.
  • A delicious Mexican black bean salad will be perfect with this dish.
  • They also go wonderfully with a huge pot of my instant pot Mexican chili. With a handful of ingredients, you can make this in less than 30 minutes.
  • You can top these yourself or set out an array of toppings such as sour cream, lettuce, chopped tomatoes, shredded cheese, avocado slices, onions, olives, guacamole, beans, salsa, cilantro, and lime.
  • Everyone can appreciate a slice of creamy tres leches poke cake after some hot and spicy Mexican food.

Frequently asked questions

Should I boil peppers before stuffing them?

You can, but I do not. There are two reasons. First, they are much easier to stuff when not cooked. Once they are boiled, they are soft and easy to rip or tear. You want them to be firm enough to hold the stuffing without tearing. Also, if you boil them first, they will probably become overcooked and mushy. Don’t worry. They will have plenty of time to cook in the oven.

Why do you cut them longways?

I know many other recipes call for cutting the tops off and stuffing them that way. Sure, it looks more appealing that way to some. However, it could get cooked better. Also, the bottom of the peppers collects all that grease and usually ends up falling apart. I believe they look better when cut sideways with the little stem still on them. There is no need to cut it off. It looks better that way and is able to cook more evenly.

Why are my stuffed peppers falling apart?

This can happen for several reasons. If you boil or precook your peppers, it can cause them to be overcooked, making them too soft. As mentioned above, your peppers do not need to be precooked for this recipe. If you are worried that they will be too firm, use red and orange peppers. They are softer. It may also be that you should have drained all the grease from your meat. Be sure to do that because too much grease will weigh down your peppers. Last, cut your peppers lengthwise so they are not too heavy. They will not fall apart.

Can I use instant rice?

If you want to use instant rice, you should wait to cook it. Instant rice cooks too fast for that. So, if you are using instant or Minute rice, add it to your pan when cooking your meat with the taco seasoning. It will have plenty of time to cook then and when in the oven. I prefer to use regular rice and cook it ahead of time. You can even cook it the day before and add it when you are ready to start cooking. 

How to store leftovers:

  • Refrigerate: Refrigerate leftovers for three days in an airtight container.   
  • Freezing: You can also freeze your leftover peppers. Wrap them in plastic wrap and place them in a freezer bag. They can stay frozen for up to three months.   
  • Defrost: For the best texture and flavor, thaw overnight in the fridge.
  • Reheating: Then, reheat thawed leftovers in the microwave or oven.

More delicious Mexican inspired recipes:

Recipe tips:

  • To make ahead, make the mixture and fill the peppers. Then, please place them in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 24 hours before baking them.
  • Do not precook your peppers. They will end up falling apart because they will be overcooked.
  • Using instant rice is okay if you wait to cook it.
  • Green peppers are the least expensive but have the least amount of nutrients.
  • Red peppers are the ripest and the sweetest but are also the most expensive.
  • Making this dish at home means you can use the freshest ingredients and adjust the amount of spiciness.

Mexican Stuffed Peppers

Mexican Stuffed Peppers are filled with taco-flavored ground meat, green chiles, and rice, topped with enchilada sauce and cheese.

  • Prep Time30 MIN
  • Cook Time30 MIN
  • Servings 8 servings

Mexican Stuffed Peppers

Mexican Stuffed Peppers are filled with taco-flavored ground meat, green chiles, and rice, topped with enchilada sauce and cheese.

  • Prep Time30 MIN
  • Cook Time30 MIN
  • Servings 8 servings


  • 4-5 bell peppers a variety of colors
  • 2 tablespoon canola oil or vegetable oil
  • 1/2 lb lean ground beef
  • 1/2 lb ground pork
  • 1 yellow onion diced
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 tablespoons taco seasoning
  • 2 cups tomato sauce
  • 1 4oz can diced green chiles
  • Salt and Pepper
  • 2 cups cooked rice white or brown
  • 1 cup enchilada sauce or more tomato sauce
  • 2 cups Mexican blend cheese divided


  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  • Lightly grease olive oil on a 9×13 baking dish and set aside.
  • Wash and remove the seeds from the bell peppers. Cut them in half lengthwise and set aside.
  • Place a large skillet over medium-high heat and add oil. Once the oil is hot, add onion and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Next, add garlic and cook for another 30 seconds.
  • Add ground beef and pork, use a wooden spoon to crumble it, and cook until it is no longer pink. Drain grease.
  • Add taco seasoning, tomato sauce, and diced green chiles. Add salt and pepper to taste. Stir and let the mixture simmer for 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat and add it to a large bowl.
  • Stir in cooked rice and 1 1/2 cups of cheese.
  • Press the mixture well with a spoon to stuff the bell pepper halves. Arrange them in the prepared baking dish.
  • Cover with foil and cook for 15 minutes.
  • Remove from oven, discard foil, and fill the pepper halves with enchilada sauce, dividing it equally. Sprinkle with the remaining 1/2 cheese on top and bake for 20 minutes.
  • Serve garnished with sour cream and cilantro.

Nutrition Facts

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So delicious! Can't wait to make this!



I am loving the Mexican flavor for this classic. A delicious way to change up dinner.

Cathy Mini

Cathy Mini

This Mexican Stuffed Pepper looks so delicious. I am so intrigued about the taste, I will definitely try this!



One of my favorite ways to make a fast dinner - stuffed peppers are so versatile!

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