This Mexican Stuffed Peppers recipe combines colorful bell peppers with a seasoned ground beef mixture full of Mexican flavors, all topped with melty cheese.
You can use red bell peppers, green bell peppers, yellow bell peppers, or an assortment, depending on what you prefer. You can even use miniature bell peppers if you want to make these even more kid-friendly, or to serve them as appetizers.
The next time you’re looking for a healthy, easy dish that’s full of flavor, give this easy Mexican stuffed bell pepper recipe a try.
Why You’ll Love Mexican Stuffed Peppers
What’s not to love?
- Easy: Mexican stuffed peppers are incredibly easy to make. This quick recipe will get dinner on the table in a flash.
- Flavorful: With savory spices, fresh cilantro, and creamy, melted cheese this Mexican-inspired update on the classic recipe will be a hit with the whole family.
- Versatile: These easy peppers are as fabulous for an easy weeknight dinner as they are for feeding a crowd.
This list may seem a little long, but rest assured these are all simple ingredients that you can easily find at the grocery store.
- Bell peppers: These vibrant peppers serve as the edible vessel for the Mexican-inspired beef stuffing.
- Vegetable oil: Used for sautéing the ground beef and onion, the oil adds a touch of richness and prevents the ingredients from sticking to the pan. You can also use avocado oil or olive oil.
- Lean ground beef: This beef forms the hearty foundation of the Mexican stuffing. Using lean beef will prevent greasiness or the need to drain the beef.
- White onion: The chopped onion adds both sweet and savory notes to the stuffing.
- Black beans: Black beans help to make the meat mixture even heartier.
- Petite tomatoes: Drained tomatoes add a juicy texture and bright flavor to the stuffing mixture.
- Corn: Sweet and golden corn kernels impart a subtle sweetness and crisp texture that balances the dish.
- Cumin: The warm and aromatic spice adds earthy flavor.
- Chile powder: With its smoky and spicy profile, chile powder infuses the dish with a kick of spice. Be sure to choose chile powder (which is made of purely dried chiles) as opposed to chili powder which may incorporate other spices.
- Dried oregano: This herb has a hint of floral and earthy notes.
- Coarse kosher salt: Salt brings out the flavor of the other ingredients.
- Cilantro leaves: Fresh cilantro leaves add bright, herbal flavor to the filling.
- Sharp cheddar cheese: The sharp cheddar cheese adds another layer of flavor.
- Queso fresco: Crumbled queso fresco adds a mild and slightly salty flavor.
- Desired toppings: Use your own favorite taco toppings like sour cream, fresh salsa, crushed tortilla chips, guacamole or avocado.
How to Make Mexican-Style Stuffed Peppers
These easy stuffed peppers are a cinch to make.
- Bake peppers. Bake deseeded and halved peppers for recommended time in the prepared baking dish. After removing the baked peppers from the oven, blot them with a paper towel.
- Brown beef. Add the ground beef to a large skillet that has been heated and drizzled with oil. Brown ground beef until completely cooked through.
- Add rest of ingredients. Add the onion and cook briefly before adding the beats, tomatoes, corn, cumin, chile powder, dried oregano, and salt. Heat briefly before removing from heat.
- Add cilantro and cheese. Then, fold in the cilantro and cheddar cheese.
- Add to peppers, bake. Divide the meat mixture evenly between aloof the pepper halves. Top with remaining cheddar and queso fresco. Place the pan back in the oven and bake the peppers briefly.
- Enjoy! Once the cheese has melted, remove the peppers from the oven and allow to rest. Garnish and serve.
What to Serve with Mexican-Inspired Stuffed Peppers
You can also top it with a variety of sauces from enchilada sauce, homemade Mexican crema, or ranchero sauce to quesadilla sauce, cilantro sauce, or avocado crema. Or, try topping them with a seasoned tomato sauce.
There are lots of ways to customize these Mexican stuffed bell peppers.
- Meat: Instead of beef, use any ground meat. Lean ground turkey, ground chicken, or your favorite plant-based substitute will all work well.
- Beans: Swap out some or all of the black beans for another variety — try pinto beans or kidney beans.
- Cheese: Instead of cheddar, try using pepper jack cheese or Colby Jack.
- Spices: Use your own homemade taco seasoning or a store-bought seasoning blend.
- Heat: Try adding diced green chiles, red pepper flakes, or a little bit of cayenne pepper to increase the spiciness of the dish.
- Herbs: If you’re not a fan of cilantro, try using parsley or Thai basil instead.
- Rice: While this recipe is fairly low carb, if you want to add a starch, try folding some prepared wild rice or brown rice into the meat mixture.
Storage, Make Ahead and Freezing
These tasty stuffed peppers are perfect for meal prep since they’re so easy to store and reheat.
Make-Ahead: You can make the filling ahead of time and store in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours.
Refrigerator: Store these peppers in their original casserole dish, in an airtight container, or wrap them individually with aluminum foil. They can be stored for up to 4 days.
Freezer: Wrap the peppers with foil and place in freezer bags. Then, freeze for up to 3 months.
Common Questions About Mexican Stuffed Peppers
After the peppers cool to room temperature, you can either wrap them in aluminum foil individually and place in freezer bags, or you can wrap the entire pan with aluminum foil, then plastic wrap.
While you can freeze stuffed peppers before doing the final baking, it will be easiest to reheat them if you complete the entire cooking process before freezing.
The first tip is to blot them after you bake them initially. Then, avoid making a filling that contains too much liquid (drain if necessary), and bake only as long as necessary once filled.
More Mexican-Inspired Meals
Mexican Stuffed Peppers
- 4 large bell peppers
- 2 teaspoons vegetable oil
- 1 pound lean ground beef
- 1/2 white onion , chopped
- 15 ounces black beans , rinsed and drained
- 15 ounces petite tomatoes , drained
- 15 ounces corn , drained
- 2 teaspoons cumin
- 2 teaspoons chile powder
- 2 teaspoons dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon coarse kosher salt
- 1/2 cup cilantro leaves
- 1 1/2 cups sharp cheddar cheese , shredded and divided
- 1/4 cup queso fresco , crumbled
- desired toppings
- Preheat the oven to 350°F and coat a large baking dish with cooking spray.
- Cut the bell peppers in half, removing the membranes and seeds. Bake for 15 minutes. Remove and blot the insides dry with a paper towel and leave the oven on.
- Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat.
- Add the ground beef, searing well and browning. Do not push it around, just let it get nicely browned, then flip.
- When the beef is cooked, add the onion, cooking for 3 minutes. Add the beans, tomatoes, corn, cumin, chile powder, dried oregano and salt. Heat for 2-3 minutes.
- Remove from the heat and fold in the cilantro and 1 cup of the cheddar cheese.
- Spoon the ground beef mixture into the pepper halves. Top with additional cheddar cheese the queso fresco. Return the baking dish to the oven for 5 minutes or until the cheese melts.
- Remove and set aside for 5 minutes. Garnish with your desired toppings.
- If you’ve tried this recipe, come back and let us know how it was in the comments or star ratings.