This recipe originally appeared on A Food Lover’s Kitchen.
Instant Pot Stuffed Peppers are packed with ground beef, rice, and onions, then cooked to perfection in the Instant Pot in just 10 minutes. They turn out so flavorful and fork tender.
I love the way these stuffed peppers turn out in the Instant Pot. I used to cook them in the oven and they’d take so long to get cooked through in the center so the pepper was always soggy. Cooking them in the Instant Pot not only saves time, it ensures that the filing is cooked and the pepper is still firm.
If you just got your Instant Pot or you haven’t used it yet, this is a great recipe to start with. It’s impossible to mess it up, even if you don’t know what you’re doing.
Why Use An Instant Pot?
The Instant Pot is an incredible tool in the kitchen for making dishes that usually take a long time. If you don’t have one yet, check out our guide on which one to buy. You can also read up on how to use it, in case you’re not sure if it’s for you.
The Instant Pot drastically cuts down the cooking time for cuts of meat that usually have to cook slowly for a long time in order to become tender. And there are many accessories you can use with it to cook in lots of different styles. It’s one of the most useful kitchen appliances you can buy.
What Peppers to Use
In this recipe, we use red bell pepper, but you can really use any pepper for stuffed peppers. Even if you use oblong Romano peppers, they’ll still cook up nicely in the Instant Pot.
Bell peppers are my choice because they stand upright, are firm enough to hold the ingredients, and have a mild sweetness to them.
There is a slight difference in sweetness between red and green peppers. Green are more bitter and slight more firm, but you can use green or yellow bell peppers, if you wish.
If your peppers don’t have flat bottoms, they won’t stand upright and will be difficult to serve, so pick them carefully. In addition, you want peppers that are about the same size so they will cook at the same rate. A medium size red bell pepper with a flat bottom is what I usually choose.
How to Make Instant Pot Stuffed Peppers
Start by cutting the tops off the peppers. Take the seeds and membranes out. You don’t have to get too technical about it, just shake out the pepper and pull out the thickest of the white ribs.
This gives you a little boat in which to put the filling. You can keep the tops and put them back on the peppers, if you want. It would just be for looks though. There’s no technical reason to keep or use the tops.
In a bowl, combine the ground beef with the remaining ingredients. I just mix it up with my hands. It’s easiest to get everything well incorporated that way. You can mix it with a spoon or even put it in the food processor, if you want.
For the hamburger, I use a 15% fat ground beef. This gives the beef the fat it needs to be really tender and juicy. It adds a lot of great flavor to the peppers.
Once it’s all mixed up, stuff the mixture evenly into each pepper. If you have medium peppers, the mixture will fill each pepper to the top.
Pour 1 cup of water into the bottom of the Instant Pot’s inner pot and insert the trivet. Place the peppers upright on the trivet. Lock the lid and set the vent to sealing.
Set the Instant Pot to pressure cook for 8 minutes. You can then do a manual pressure release. Allowing the pot to naturally release pressure will continue the cooking process for longer, which isn’t ideal for these because the pepper can easily become overcooked.
Test the internal temperature of the peppers with an instant read thermometer to make sure it reached 165 degrees F (74 degrees C).
Serve the peppers with fresh parsley or basil for garnish. You can also serve it with extra tomato sauce or some sour cream, if you want.
Variations for Stuffed Peppers
As mentioned, there are many variations you can make to these peppers to mix things up a bit.
- Serve them with cheese melted over the top (cheddar, smoked gouda, or mozzarella are our favorites)
- Mix the ground beef with 1/4 cup of cream cheese instead of tomato sauce
- Use different rice, such as brown rice, Mexican rice, or cilantro lime rice
- Mix in 2 teaspoons of homemade taco seasoning and serve with fresh tomatoes, shredded lettuce and salsa on the top
- Use cauliflower rice instead of white rice, for a low-carb alternative
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Instant Pot Stuffed Peppers
- Instant Pot
- 6 medium bell peppers
- 1 1/2 lb ground beef 85/15 (750g)
- 1 cup cooked rice 150 g
- 1/4 cup tomato sauce 55 g
- 1 small onion diced
- 1 clove garlic minced
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp onion powder
- 1/4 tsp ground cumin
- 1/8 tsp ground black pepper
- 1/8 tsp oregano
- Parsley or basil for garnish
- Cut the tops off the peppers. Take the seeds and membranes out.
- In a bowl, combine the ground beef with the remaining ingredients. Mix well to fully combine.
- Stuff the mixture evenly into each pepper.
- Pour 1 cup of water into the bottom of your Instant Pot and insert the trivet. Place the peppers upright on the trivet. Lock the lid and set the vent to sealing.
- Set the Instant Pot to Pressure Cook for 8 minutes. Manually release the pressure.
- Test the internal temperature of the peppers to make sure it reached 165 degrees F (74 degrees C).
- Serve with fresh parsley or basil for garnish.