Instant Pot Stuffed Peppers are made with all the delicious flavors of the classic recipe in a fraction of the time. Tender peppers are filled with a hearty, seasoned mixture of rice and meat, delivering comfort food fast.
Growing up, we spent many Sundays enjoying dinners at my grandparent's house enjoying meals made by my Papa.
Through the years I have shared many of his recipes with you that I have adapted for the Instant Pot. From Instant Pot Pot Roast to Instant Pot Chicken and Dumplings to this recipe for Instant Pot Stuffed Peppers, these recipes are all simple and delicious, just like my Papa's recipes.
This recipe for Instant Pot Stuffed Peppers has all the classic flavors of the original recipe. From the tender peppers to the flavorful rice filling to the tangy tomato sauce. Plus there is no need to par-boil the peppers before stuffing as they will soften up perfectly as they cook in the Instant Pot.
This recipe is simple, classic, and comforting. It is easy enough to make for a weeknight dinner, but also makes a perfect Sunday Supper enjoyed with family and friends.
Notes on Ingredients
- Peppers: Use any color bell pepper you like or a variety of colors. When selecting peppers to use for Instant Pot Stuffed Peppers, you do want to look for peppers that are uniform in size and have a flatter bottom, so that your stuffed peppers stay upright when placed on the trivet in the Instant Pot and they cook evenly.
- Rice: This recipe requires cooked rice. You can begin the recipe by cooking rice in the instant pot OR you can use leftover cooked rice.
- Ground Meat: Use lean ground beef, chicken, or turkey to make the filling for the stuffed peppers. Don't use anything with more than 15% fat content, or your filling can become greasy.
- Tomato Sauce: You need plain tomato sauce for both the filling and to top the peppers. One 15-ounce can of tomato sauce is perfect.
- Egg: Adding an egg to the filling helps to bind the filling together, but feel free to omit it if you have an egg allergy. It will not change the flavor of the filling, only the texture.
How To Make Instant Pot Stuffed Peppers
I love using my Instant Pot to prepare these stuffed peppers because not only can I quickly prepare Instant Pot rice to use for the filling, the moist heat cooks the peppers to perfection, while not drying out the filling.
Step One: Prepare Rice
The first step is to prepare the rice if you do not happen to have leftover rice ready to go. I recommend preparing more rice than you need for this recipe. Then you will have leftover rice on hand to use later in the week for dishes like Vegetable Fried Rice or to serve with Stir-Fried Chicken and Bok Choy or to freeze for future use.
- Place rinsed rice into the inner pot of the instant pot.
- Using a 1:1 ratio, add as much water or broth to the inner pot as you did rice.
- Gently submerge the rice into the liquid.
- Place the lid on the inner pot and cook for 3 minutes on high pressure for white rice, or 22 minutes for brown rice.
- Let the pressure release naturally.
- Remove the rice from the inner pot, clean the inner pot to remove the residue from the rice, and let the rice cool.
Speed It Up: If you want to cool the rice down quickly, spread the rice out on a sheet pan and pop it in the freezer for 5-10 minutes.
Step Two: Prepare Stuffed Pepper Filling
Once the rice is cooled to the touch, you can prepare the filling for the stuffed peppers.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the rice, meat, seasonings, egg, and some of the tomato sauce. Mix together until JUST combined, being careful to not overmix, as that will result in tough meat.
Step Three: Prepare the Peppers
- Wash and dry the peppers.
- Slice off the tops of each pepper, to remove the stem and reveal the cavity of the pepper.
- Using a spoon, scoop out the seeds and ribs, leaving the pepper intact.
- Divide the stuffing evenly between the peppers, filling the peppers to the top of the opening.
Step Four: Pressure Cook
- Place the trivet inside the Instant Pot.
- Pour in cold water and place the peppers upright on the trivet.
- Spoon the remaining tomato sauce on top of each pepper.
- Set to cook on high pressure for 15 minutes.
- Once pressure has been released, check to be sure the filling is fully cooked, by placing an instant thermometer inside the center of the pepper. You want to be sure the filling has 165 degrees F. If not, pop the lid back on the Instant Pot and set it to cook for another 2-3 minutes on high pressure.
Step Five: Serve
To serve your peppers, they are great as is, or with a side of mashed potatoes--talk about carbs on carbs! But that is how I grew up eating stuffed peppers and is something I still crave to this day!
More Instant Pot Beef Recipes
- Instant Pot Hamburger Helper
- Instant Pot Beef Stroganoff
- Instant Pot Beef Stew
- Instant Pot Beef and Barley Soup
- Instant Pot Mongolian Beef
- Instant Pot Corned Beef and Cabbage
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If you tried out this recipe for Instant Pot Stuffed Peppers, I would love for you to leave a comment below.
Instant Pot Stuffed Peppers
- 4 large bell peppers any color
- 1 ½ cups cooked rice
- 1 pound lean ground beef or turkey or chicken
- 15 ounces low-sodium tomato sauce divided
- 2 teaspoons garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- ½ teaspoon ground pepper
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons paprika
- 1 tablespoon low-sodium Worcestershire sauce
- 1 large egg, beaten optional
To Prepare Rice
- Rinse and drain 1 cup of dry rice using a fine mesh strainer. Add the rice and 1 cup of cold water to the Instant Pot. Cook on HIGH pressure for 3 minutes for white rice or 22 minutes for brown rice. Let pressure release naturally. Remove the rice from the inner pot and rinse and return the inner pot to the pressure cooker.
For the Stuffed Peppers
- Once the rice has cooled slightly, measure out 1 ½ cups of the cooked rice into a large mixing bowl. Add in the ground meat, seasonings, Worcestershire Sauce, egg, and 1 cup of tomato sauce. Mix well to combine, but be careful to not overmix, or the meat may become tough.
- Place a trivet inside the Instant Pot and then pour in 1 and ½ cups cold water.
- Cut off the tops of each pepper and remove the seeds and core. Divide the rice mixture evenly between the peppers, filling up to the brim of each cavity.
- Place the peppers on the rack and then top each pepper with 1-2 tablespoons of the remaining tomato sauce.
- Place the lid on the pressure cooker and be sure the vent knob is sealed. Cook on high pressure for 15 minutes, by selecting manual or pressure cook and using the +/- buttons to adjust the time.
- Once cook time has elapsed let the pressure release naturally for at least 10 minutes. Test the internal temperature to be sure that 165 degrees F has been reached. If not, cook for an additional 3-5 minutes.
This recipe was originally shared in 2019 and then updated in 2022 with a new video.
Can I use ground turkey instead of beef?
Absolutely, you can use ground turkey!
I'm wanting to make this tonight but I don't understand where the egg comes into play in the recipe. I see it says to mix the rice, meat, seasonings and sauces together but where is the egg added?
Hey Megan! So sorry if it was missed, it is listed with the seasonings and meat. Enjoy!
Can you use minute rice and not cook it before hand? I know when I make stuffed peppers in the oven, that is what I use.
Hi Mae, I honestly have not tried myself with minute rice, but in theory, it should work. I would love to hear back with the results if you try it out.
Prob stupid question but did you cook the burger before you put it in the peppers?
No, the meat is raw. It will cook as the peppers pressure cook😊
I was gonna ask the same question.
I made these tonight. Followed the recipe exactly. I used 4 peppers, and put slits in the bottoms so they could drain. They did not fall apart. These came out perfectly!!
Thanks for sharing Marie! I am so glad you enjoyed the peppers.
Could I substitute something for the tomato sauce?
You could use ketchup or BBQ Sauce. Or do you need a tomato free product?
Hands down the best stuffed pepper I have ever had. I used 85/15 ground beef and some leftover long-grain white rice. My Instant Pot took a while to come to pressure, so I only did 5 minutes of natural pressure relief. Amazing! They aren't super saucy on the inside (which I prefer) and the pepper was super tender. Definitely a keeper.
Thanks so much Emmi for taking the time to leave a review. I am so happy to hear you enjoyed these Stuffed Peppers.
Great recipe, thank you. I made it vegan for a family member by using vegan ground ,vegan Worcestershire sauce and adding some oil with the rice. Also added a tablespoon of coconut sugar and some dried mint to the rice mixture. The peppers were cooked perfectly in the instant pot with the suggested time and quick release. I imagine you could change the flavors easily ,will definitely make again.Thank you!
Hi Jan! Thanks for sharing your modifications--they sound delicious!
Can I cook the hamburger before pressure cooking? I've made stuffed peppers in the oven with uncooked hamburger and there was alot of grease.
Hi Debbie! Using lean ground beef (at least 90/10 higher is even better) should prevent excess grease, but you can cook the beef first. The texture of the filling will not be the same though.
I loved this recipe, however the peppers fell apart when I tried to take them out. Do you have any suggestions?
Hi Jennifer, I am glad you enjoyed the stuffed peppers. You can try cutting back the cooking time by a minute or two (no longer or the filling won't be done). Stuffed peppers are intended to be on the softer side though.
I put a few cuts in the bottoms of the peppers so that they could drain out a bit
I loved this but mine fell completely apart. I used five pretty good size peppers and cooked for 15 minutes. I'm not sure how much I need to reduce it by to make it not fall apart. That aside, the flavors were AMAZING.
Hi Sara! Did you do a quick release of pressure? That can impact the structure of the peppers? Reducing cooking time is tricky to ensure the meat is cooked through.
The best I ever made. Left out the red pepper
I LOVE hearing that Pietro! Thank you for sharing.