These CrockPot Stuffed Peppers are absolutely packed with flavor and so easy to make. Tender ground beef, chopped veggies, mexican rice and melty cheese are cooked and served right inside colorful flavor-packed bell peppers. You won’t need to turn on the stove or the oven to prepare them. Just chop, mix and stuff and they are ready to go.
CrockPot Stuffed Peppers
One of my absolute favorite cookbooks is Slow Cooker Revolution from America’s Test Kitchen. So when I wanted to develop a recipe for stuffed bell peppers in the crockpot, I used their technique for Tex-Mex Stuffed Bell Peppers as a guide. It’s perfect because you do not need to brown the ground beef ahead of time. When I use my slow cooker, I am always looking for a way to avoid precooking. The slow cooker insert takes up enough room in the dishwasher, I don’t want another pan in there too!
How to Make Stuffed Bell Peppers in the Slow Cooker
Start with leftover Mexican Rice.
Finely dice 1/2 cup of yellow onion. Pour a cup of tomato sauce into a heat proof bowl and add diced onion. Heat the onion/tomato sauce mixture in the microwave for about 5 minutes to soften onions. I cover my bowl with a paper towel to avoid splatters. Cut the tops off of four bell peppers, I like to use yellow, red or orange as the green bell peppers are not as sweet. Remove stems and seeds and dice the tops of the bell peppers. The diced bell peppers will become part of the stuffing.
Pour 1/3 of a cup of water into the bottom of the crock pot, add a rack or foil balls and nestle bell peppers on top. This keeps the bell peppers up out of the liquid and allows them to cook through without falling apart. In a large mixing bowl, combine one pound of uncooked ground beef, onion/enchilada sauce mixture, diced bell peppers, 1 cup of shredded jack cheese, 3/4 cup of cooked mexican style rice, 1 1/2 teaspoons of salt and 1/2 teaspoon of pepper. Fill bell peppers with ground beef mixture and top with more cheese. Don’t forget that you need to have the water at the bottom of the crock pot.
The bell peppers are soft, but not too soft, and the filling is so flavorful. I kept my bell peppers kid friendly, but you can bump up the flavor by adding a little canned chipotle chile in adobo if you want more spice!
What to Serve with Stuffed Peppers
- 4 bell peppers
- 1 pound 85/15 ground beef
- 1/2 cup onion finely diced
- 8 oz can of tomato sauce
- 3/4 cup mexican rice cooked, use leftover mexican rice
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 1/2 teaspoons chili powder
- 1 1/4 cups colby jack cheese shredded and divided
Pour tomato sauce into a heat proof bowl and add diced onion. Heat the onion/tomato sauce mixture in the microwave for about 5 minutes to soften onions. Set aside to cool.
Cut the tops off of bell peppers. Remove stems and seeds and dice the tops of the bell peppers. Pour 1/3 of a cup of water into the bottom of the crock pot, add a cooking rack or foil balls to the bottom of crock pot and place bell peppers on top.
In a large mixing bowl, combine one pound of uncooked ground beef, cooled onion/tomato sauce mixture, diced bell peppers, 1 cup of shredded colby jack cheese, 3/4 cup of cooked mexican rice, 1 1/2 teaspoons of kosher salt and 1/2 teaspoon of pepper.
Fill bell peppers with ground beef mixture and top with remaining cheese. Cook on low for about 6 hours or high for 3 hours. You can test mixture with meat thermometer for doneness. It should be cooked to 160 degrees.
You must used pre-cooked rice. I used leftover mexican rice, but you can also use cooked white rice. Just bump up your seasoning so that the mixture is not too bland. You can add chili powder, garlic powder, cumin, chipotle in adobo. Whatever sounds good to you!
adapted from Slow Cooker Revolution by America’s Test Kitchen
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