Unstuffed Peppers

4.97 from 620 votes

This unstuffed peppers bowl is loaded with flavor and is a great well balanced meal. With all the flavors of stuffed peppers, but so much quicker to make!

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If you love stuffed peppers, you’re going to love the idea of these Unstuffed Peppers! They have all the flavor and texture of traditional stuffed peppers but require less mess and less time to make. It’s a convenient quick recipe to make that’s loaded with so much goodness!

Two bowls of the unstuffed peppers recipes topped with cheese
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Unsuffed bell peppers are not only fast to make but they’re really delicious, too! Everyone in the family will love having this be what’s for dinner!

Perfect for a fast and easy weeknight meal or a fun way to cut out some carbs and focus on putting some good nutrition into your body.

Unstuffed versus stuffed peppers

  1. Less steps – Traditionally with stuffed peppers, you have to prepare the peppers in one dish, making the rice or quinoa in another pot, then core the peppers. Finally you bring all the ingredients together by stuffing them and baking them. Some nights that’s too many steps, and you just want to minimize the steps for making dinner.
  2. Less time – Instead of a 60 minute recipe, this one literally takes half the time from start to finish.
  3. Less clean up – Less cookware and bakeware involved when they’re not stuffed.
  4. Same amazing flavor – yes all the way!

IngredieNts to make Ground Beef unstuffed peppers

  • Bell peppers: You can use green or any other color. The closer to red, the sweeter the pepper.
  • Beef: It’s best to use lean ground beef for this recipe.
  • Rice: Use any type of rice to make the unstuffed peppers more filling and substantial.
  • Onions and garlic: For flavoring the ground beef and adding texture to the unstuffed bell pepper bowls.
  • Seasonings: Oregano, salt and pepper.
  • Tomato paste and tomato sauce: Tomato sauce brings the dish altogether. You can use canned or jarred and your favorite brand.
  • For serving: The unstuffed pepper mix is served in a bowl and you can add any toppings you want. I usually just add shredded cheese and chopped fresh parsley.
Ingredients to make unstuffed peppers

HOW to Make healthy Unstuffed Peppers

  1. Cook the ground beef and peppers in a skillet over medium heat. 
  2. Add the tomato paste once the beef is browned.
  3. Put in the diced tomatoes, rice, and water. Bring to a boil then reduce.
  4. Make sure the mixture is stirred well so that the seasonings are dispersed.
  5. Let cool a bit to help the rice soak in the flavors.
  6. Fluff with a fork and serve!
6 image collage to show how to make the recipe in one pot

Tips for making beef unstuffed peppers

  1. Use a different protein. You can easily make this with another ground meat like chicken, turkey, lamb or bison.
  2. Mix up your bowls. I love the flavor and texture of quinoa in these bowls, but you can easily swap it for rice or even pasta if you prefer.
  3. Add in other veggies. If you really want to load the veggies in, you can add in mushrooms, peas or beans when you cook the onions.
  4. Use spaghetti sauce. If you’re not a fan of tomato paste, you can easily use spaghetti saunce in its place.
  5. Leave out the meat. If you want to have a vegeterian unstuffed pepper, just leave out the meat and add in other peppers instead. Adding colored belll peppers can add a fun brightness to this dish!
Skillet with the unstuffed peppers recipe before serving

how to store ground beef bell peppers

Leftoves of this healthy pepper recipe are the best! Just add them to an airtight container and store them in the fridge. They’ll stay good for 2-3 days and reheat to perfection.

How to reheat unstuffed peppers with beef

The fastest way to reheat healthy unstuffed peppers is to use the microwave. Reheat in 30 second intervals until it’s hot. Make sure that you store in between times so that the heat gets dispersed all the way through.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you make this easy unstuffed peppers ahead of time?

Yes! These unstuffed peppers are so great for meal prep. The beef and pepper mixture will keep well for 3 to 4 days in the fridge. You can then quickly reheat it and add it to your bowl.

Can you freeze healthy unstuffed peppers?

Yes! You can make up a big batch of the ground beef mix and it makes for a great freezer meal. It will keep well for around 3 to 4 months. Thaw it in the fridge overnight and reheat it to serve.

What color bell pepper should you use?

You can use whatever color peppers you like in this recipe. I like to use a mix of red and orange for a sweeter flavor, but green will work just as well for a slightly more bitter flavor if you prefer. You can even use the sweet mini peppers.

Large bowl of unstuffed peppers topped with shredded cheese

This Unstuffed Peppers recipe is such a fun creative take on traditional stuffed peppers. And, like the other 74 bowl recipes in Lindsay’s book, it’s packed with superfoods and flavorful combinations of grain, protein, and vegetables! This is a whole complete comforting meal in just one bowl.

For more stuffed peppers recipes:

If you try this healthy-ish feel good Unstuffed Peppers recipe or any other recipe on Feel Good Foodie, then don’t forget to rate the recipe and leave a comment below! It helps others who are thinking of making the recipe. We would love to hear about your experience making it. And if you snapped some shots, share it on Instagram so we can repost on Stories!

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Unstuffed Peppers

This unstuffed peppers bowl is loaded with flavor and is a great well balanced meal. With all the flavors of stuffed peppers, but so much quicker to make!
5 from 620 votes
Servings 4 servings
Calories 333
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
0 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes
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  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 2 green bell peppers chopped
  • 1 small onion chopped
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves minced
  • 2 teaspoons oregano
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • ½ cup long grain white rice uncooked
  • 15 ounce canned diced tomatoes
  • ½ cup water
  • ½ cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • ¼ cup chopped parsley


  • Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the ground beef, green peppers, onions, garlic, oregano, salt and pepper. Cook until beef is browned, about 7-10 minutes.
  • Add the tomato paste and saute until well combined and fragrant, about 2-3 minutes. Add the rice, diced tomatoes and water and stir to combine. Bring mixture to a boil, then reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 45 minutes.
  • Remove from heat but keep covered for an additional 5-10 minutes. Fluff the rice with a fork to separate.
  • Serve in bowls garnished with shredded cheddar cheese and parsley.


Note: Cooking time will vary depending on the type of rice used. This recipe calls for regular long-grain white rice, which will take 45 minutes to fully cook.
Storage: Store any leftovers in an airtight container and eat within 2-3 days. 


Calories: 333kcal, Carbohydrates: 27g, Protein: 31g, Fat: 11g, Saturated Fat: 6g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 4g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 85mg, Sodium: 815mg, Potassium: 701mg, Fiber: 3g, Sugar: 4g, Vitamin A: 819IU, Vitamin C: 57mg, Calcium: 160mg, Iron: 4mg

Nutrition information provided is an estimate. It will vary based on cooking method and specific ingredients used.

Cuisine American
Course: Main Course
4.97 from 620 votes (581 ratings without comment)

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Recipe Rating


  1. Amber Kohlbeck says:

    Darn! Tripled the recipe since I had 3lbs of ground beef. Used the amounts as directed for that amount. Flavor was really bland and needed way more! Would try again but needs maybe Italian seasoning and more salt?

    1. Yumna J. says:

      I really appreciate your feedback, Amber. So sorry it didn’t turn out how you had hoped. I hope you were able to add more seasoning to your taste preferences and save the dish!

  2. Janette says:

    I tried this recipe and it was delicious. Thank you for sharing it.

    1. Yumna J. says:

      Yay, so happy to hear that! You’re welcome!

  3. Desiree Kramer says:

    These stuffed peppers were easy and amazing. I made the recipe as is extra cheese at the end plus some sriracha hot sauce. Rice cooked in about 20 minutes, I just made sure to boil it for a minute or two at first. I use medium grain, which is supposed to take the longest and had no issues. Definitely going in the recipe book!!

    1. Yumna J. says:

      Yay, I’m so glad you liked this one!! Hot sauce and extra cheese are always winners. Thanks, Desiree!

    2. Sarah says:

      Easy recipe, but a bit bland. I feel it needs more seasoning. I added a beef stock cube, cumin, and smoked paprika. I would’ve also added mild chili powder if I had it in the house. I also served with chopped cilantro on top in addition this the shredded cheese.

      1. Yumna J. says:

        Thanks for the feedback, Sarah! I’m glad you were able to adjust the seasoning and make it your own. Love the cilantro garnish too!

  4. Vickie says:

    This is simple to make and tastes delicious! I’m going to make it again today

    1. Yumna J. says:

      So glad you liked this recipe and found it easy to make!! Thanks, Vickie!

  5. Tommy says:

    Love this recipe

    1. Yumna J. says:

      Yay, I’m so happy you liked it!!

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