Pressure cooker, Sunday dinner
comments 31

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

clock clock iconcutlery cutlery iconflag flag iconfolder folder iconinstagram instagram iconpinterest pinterest iconfacebook facebook iconprint print iconsquares squares iconheart heart iconheart solid heart solid icon
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.)


  • From a question in the comments: Yes, I’m stuffing the peppers with raw meat. I stuffed peppers with raw meat and cooked meat; the raw meat version was much better.
  • 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

Enjoyed this post? Want to help out DadCooksDinner? Subscribe to DadCooksDinner via email and share this post with your friends. Want to contribute directly? Donate to my Tip Jar, or buy something from through the links on this site. Thank you.

Sharing is caring!

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. HS says

    We certainly enjoyed making and eating this stuffed pepper recipe. I appreciate that your recipes are always delicious and that your posts are straightforward and not unnecessarily bloated with fluff and/or repetition. Thank you for your effort!

  2. Bambi says

    New to insta potting. Tried this an so far ive had to make this 4 times! Everyone loves this. It is very good an so easy to make. No more pepper blanching! lol Thanks for great receipe.

  3. I substituted 1/2 cup uncooked minute rice for cooked rice and it came out fine. I used to do the same in the crock pot. Because mine is a 5 quart Foodi, placed peppers directly into pot, with no rack. I also added about 8 oz of fresh green beans to the pot for a side. Also came out great.

  4. Gina says

    I don’t have instagram or twitter. I found your recipe on Pinterest and have used it a few times. this recipe has been the easiest and best tasting for me and my family. thank you for sharing it.

  5. Cathy says

    This recipe was easy and SO DELICIOUS!! I too used raw ground beef and it was perfect. They fell apart taking them from the IP which was an annoyance at first, but I said what the heck..and transferred all to a casserole dish, topped w/pepper jack cheese and broiled in the oven till all melted …hubby loved this!! Thanks!!!

  6. Need clarification on the rice. Instructions say “½ cup cooked white or brown rice.” Is it 1/2 cup of already cooked rice or do you measure 1/2 C. of raw rice, cook it and then use that cooked rice in the recipe?

  7. Chuck says

    Hi Mike,

    Do you add all of the juices from the diced tomatoes with green Chile’s or do you drain it off first?


  8. Vicki says

    Hi Mike, if I put 3 in a 3qt instant pot would the timing be the same? Thanks in advance. Can’t wait to try this.

  9. Jessica says

    Would it work the same with raw Italian sausage instead of beef? My husband requested sausage…

  10. Jackie P says

    Great recipe, but my husband likes them with “more sauce.” Any suggestions on how to do this with the IP? I thought about just adding sauce at the end?

    • Yes, more sauce at the end sounds like the right answer. I’d pour it in the pot and simmer (sauté mode set to low) for 10 minutes to cook it a bit. If you try it, let me know how it goes.

  11. Bethany says

    Someone Just forwarded me this recipe, so I haven’t tried it yet, but from notes above, you mentioned only 5 fit. Did you try to stack the peppers with a rack between layers to get an additional 4 into the pot?

    • There’s not enough headspace in the pot. Maybe it would work with small peppers, or an 8 quart pot, but a second layer wouldn’t fit in my 6-quart pot with the peppers I get from my local grocery store.

  12. Lauren says

    This recipe is great! These are classic stuffed peppers. Every recipe I’ve tried from your site has been thorough and great tasting. Thank you so much!

  13. 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.

  14. 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??

  15. 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.

  16. 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?

    • No room for a second layer in a 6-quart IP – the peppers are too tall.
      (And the kids didn’t seem to prefer one color of pepper over the other.)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe rating

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.