Pressure cooker, Sunday dinner
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Instant Pot Stuffed Peppers

A stuffed yellow pepper in a blue bowl
Instant Pot Stuffed Peppers

I was positive that Instant Pot Stuffed Peppers were a bridge too far.

It’s Saturday afternoon, and I’m testing stuffed peppers. Should I cook the onions and the meat first, or stuff everything in the peppers raw, like I’m making pepper-wrapped meatballs? How long should I pressure cook? Natural release or quick release? As I mix meat and stuff peppers, I keep thinking: “There’s no way the kids are going to touch these.”

As I cook the peppers, the vultures start circling. “That smells great. What are you cooking?”

“Stuffed peppers.” I say, waving a bell pepper cap at them, sure it will be the final straw. But, no, they still seem interested.

Dinnertime rolls around, and I unload peppers from different pressure cookers. I start the hard sell: “Suppertime – and everyone has to take at least a bite from each of these different peppers to let me know…” They start scooping peppers on to their plates without any hesitation. Some even back for seconds. The “start with raw meat” version is clearly the favorite. But, more important is, my kids, eating food that’s stuffed in a vegetable. I’m pleased…and shocked.

Now, I can’t say these peppers will be a hit with your kids. But, don’t dismiss them out of hand, like I almost did. Instant Pot Stuffed Peppers could surprise you.

Recipe: Instant Pot Stuffed Peppers

Four uncooked stuffed peppers in red, yellow and green, inside Instant Pot

Instant Pot Stuffed Peppers

  • Author: Mike Vrobel
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 4 peppers 1x


Instant Pot Stuffed Peppers. Peppers stuffed with beef, onions, rice, and tomatoes, cooked in under a half an hour in the pressure cooker.



  • 4 large red, yellow or green bell peppers, caps removed, seeds and veins removed
  • 1 pound lean ground beef (90/10 or leaner)
  • Caps from the 4 bell peppers, minced
  • 1 small onion, minced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons dried Italian seasoning (or dried oregano or thyme)
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt 
  • ½ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste 
  • 1 (10- to 14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes with green chilies
  • ½ cup cooked white or brown rice
  • Minced fresh parsley for garnish (optional)


  1. Stuff the peppers: Cut the caps from the peppers and scrape out the seeds and white veins with a spoon. In a large bowl, break up the ground beef into small pieces. Sprinkle with the minced pepper caps, onions, garlic, Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper. Stir gently until everything is evenly mixed. Spread the tomato paste, diced tomatoes with chilies, and rice over the top, then mix again, working everything together without packing it tight. (Overworking the meat results in tough peppers.) Stuff the peppers with the meat mixture.
  2. Pressure Cook for 10 minutes with a quick pressure release: Put a rack in the pressure cooker and pour in 1 cup of water. Set the peppers on the rack in the pot. Lock the lid and cook on high pressure for 10 minutes (“manual” or “pressure cook” mode in an Instant Pot), then quick release the pressure. (Timing is the same for both stovetop and electric pressure cookers.)
  3. Serve: Carefully remove the peppers, sprinkle the tops with minced parsley, and serve. (The peppers are fall-apart tender; it helps to have a pressure cooker rack with handles, so you can lift the whole rack to get at the peppers.)


  •  Don’t have leftover rice? Cook a single-serving package of minute rice. Done!
  • Want a little extra something? Sprinkle the cooked peppers with shredded cheddar or parmesan cheese.
  • I thought I could add a couple of extra peppers with my 8-quart Instant Pot, but I could barely squeeze in one more, for a total of five peppers. Turns out the bigger pot isn’t that much wider when it comes to peppers.


  • Category: Sunday Dinner
  • Method: Pressure Cooker
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: Instant Pot Stuffed Peppers, Pressure Cooker Stuffed Peppers

Four uncooked stuffed peppers in red, yellow and green, inside Instant Pot
Peppers, stuffed and ready to cook

What do you think?

Questions? Other ideas? Leave them in the comments section below.

Related Posts

Pressure Cooker Penne with Sausage and Peppers
Pressure Cooker Chinese Pepper Steak
Pressure Cooker Chicken Drumsticks With Peppers and Paprika
My other Instant Pot Pressure Cooker Recipes

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Filed under: Pressure cooker, Sunday dinner


Hi! I’m Mike Vrobel. I’m a dad and an enthusiastic home cook; an indie cookbook author and food blogger with a day job, a patient spouse, and three kids who would rather have hamburgers for dinner.


  1. Rita says

    Nice job! Must try! Tell us, Mike, did your kids prefer one color of pepper over another? 🙂

    Also, considering a 6-quart IP, do you think it would be feasible to top the filled peppers with a rack and add 4 more, setting them over the spaces between the bottom peppers? Too tall? Too heavy? Thoughts?

  2. Thanks Mike for this post. I have been wondering fo quite awhile about IP stuffed pepers, weather to cook the meat &rice first or not. Now I know and will try them.
    But you must add some frozen corn kernels to the mix. My mother always did & so will I.

  3. Susan in Las Vegas says

    Instead 1/2 cup of cooked rice, could you use 1/4 cup of uncooked rice? I’d love to see a pic of the cooked peppers in the IP, ready to come out…
    Cabbage rolls next??

  4. Miriam B says

    Fantastic! I took the suggestion to top with cheese, and grated up some Parmesan and Gouda, then baked at 475 until the tops browned.

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