Ma’s Stuffed Bell Peppers

When my sister Ann and I were growing up in Grimes, California, there were always plenty of fresh vegetables in the summer time.

Our mother, aunties, grandmothers and grandpa’s all worked hard so that there would be plenty of fruit and vegetables to can for winter.

I remember many summer days sitting for hours with my sister and snapping beans or shelling green peas.

When the chores were done we were rewarded with 25 cents which would buy an RC Cola and a candy bar. – life was simpler then. Better somehow.

One of my favorite dishes mother made was when the green peppers were ripe and she would make Stuffed Green Peppers.

Everyone has their own way of preparing stuffed green peppers. Here’s my way.

Cut the peppers in half at the center of each pepper. Clean out the seeds and membrane from the peppers, rinse them and arrange them cut side up in the bottom of a 5 quart flat bottom Dutch oven or other oven safe deep baking pan. Add 1 1/2 cups water to bottom of the pan.

In a large cast iron or non-stick frying pan brown 1 pound lean ground beef, 1/2 cup chopped white onion, 3 of the mini red or yellow peppers chopped and 1 dried Ancho Chili cut into small pieces. First cut of the stem off of the chili and rinse out the seeds with warm water.

Put a little shredded cheddar and Jack cheese in the bottom of each pepper. Spoon the meat mixture into each pepper filling it completely and packing it down a little. Put a liberal amount of the shredded cheese on the top of each pepper.

When meat, mini peppers, chili and onion is cooked, drain off any excess fat. Stir in 1 cup cooked white rice and 1/2 cup tomato sauce. Blend well and season to taste with salt and pepper.

Cover the Dutch oven with its lid or tin foil and place in a preheated 350 degree oven for 25-30 minutes. 25 minutes will result in a tender but firm green pepper. 30 minutes baking will result in a more tender pepper.

Using kitchen tongs carefully transfer the stuffed peppers to a serving tray.


  • If peppers don’t sit up evenly carefully trim away a small amount of the pepper to balance it. Don’t cut away the bottom though.
  • For dishes calling for white rice, I use the little boiling bags of rice. Once prepared, take out what you need and reseal the bag to save for future recipes. Seal a meal works great on these little bags.
  • Ancho Chili can be found on Amazon. I use Revstar Direct Chili.


  • The Ancho chili is optional. If you want a spicier filling use a little red pepper flakes or chili powder in its place.
  • Use a different cheese if you like. I like the cheddar and Jack combo. But there are many cheeses from which to choose.

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