Instant Pot Stuffed Peppers | A Mind “Full” Mom

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.

Stuffed Red Bell Pepper on white plate topped with parsley.

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

Ingredients for Instant Pot Stuffed Peppers labeled on counter.
  • 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. I walk you through how to prepare Instant Pot Rice to begin this stuffed pepper recipe.
  • 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.
Side by side photo showing pepper filling before and after mixing.

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.
Side by side photo showing bell pepper before and after stuffing for stuffed peppers.

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.
Close up of stuffed pepper inside instant pot.

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!

Stuffed peppers on a plate next to the Instant Pot.

More Instant Pot Beef Recipes

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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. 

Stuffed Peppers on trivet inside instant pot after pressure cooking.

Instant Pot Stuffed Peppers

Instant Pot Stuffed Peppers are a fast version of the classic recipe for Stuffed Peppers. Made with tender peppers filled with rice, meat, and a savory tomato sauce, this easy recipe delivers comfort fast!

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Course: Main Course

Cuisine: American

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Pressure Build-Up and Release: 30 minutes

Total Time: 55 minutes

Servings: 8

Calories: 164kcal

Prevents your screen from going dark while preparing the recipe.

Instructions

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, 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.

Notes

Bell Peppers: It is best to use peppers that are the same size and fairly flat on the bottom. Any color of pepper works for this recipe. 
Egg-Free Stuffed Peppers: Omit the egg if you have an egg allergy–the recipe will still work. 
Sodium Level: I recommend using low-sodium tomato sauce and Worcestershire sauce to control the sodium in this recipe. 
Storage: Leftover Instant Pot Stuffed Peppers will keep in the fridge for up to 3 days or can be frozen for up to 3 months. 
Note on Rice: Cook as much rice as desired and save leftover rice for another recipe. I find that preparing at least 2 cups of dried rice at any time is best when using an 8-quart pressure cooker. 
Each serving is based on half a stuffed pepper. 
For High Altitude Cooking, refer to Instant Pot Altitude Adjustments. 

Nutrition

Calories: 164kcal | Carbohydrates: 17g | Protein: 15g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 0.2g | Cholesterol: 58mg | Sodium: 594mg | Potassium: 571mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 3078IU | Vitamin C: 109mg | Calcium: 28mg | Iron: 3mg

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This recipe was originally shared in 2019 and then updated in 2022 with a new video.


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