Ground Chicken Stuffed Peppers use lean ground chicken, rice and simple sauce. Savory delicious filling is finished with melted cheese on top. What an easy and tasty way to enjoy sweet bell peppers!
Table of contents
The stuffing mixture is made with rice, ground chicken, tomato sauce and Parmesan. It’s filling, saucy, and so, so good!
They’re so easy to make because bell peppers have a natural cup or bowl shape to them. It takes little effort to make them as adorable as they are. Unlike cabbage, which is the reason for unstuffed cabbage rolls.
So, if you’ve been hesitant to try stuffing peppers, follow along, I promise you’ll never turn back. Unless it’s to go get seconds!
Ingredients and Notes
As with anything homemade, these ground chicken stuffed peppers are flexible to add in or omit what doesn’t align with your dietary needs. That’s the beauty of home cooking!
- Rice: White rice or brown rice work. The instructions include cooking the rice. However, if you have any leftover rice like Instant Pot long grain white rice or Instant Pot jasmine rice, you can use that. Save a bit of time!
- Bell peppers: Choose medium to large size, any color peppers.
- Onion & garlic: It’s the base of flavors that the rest of the flavors are built on.
- Ground chicken: It’s lean and less flavorful than beef but you wouldn’t know it in this recipe. It’s got the same texture and ends up just as delicious.
- Tomato sauce: Just be on the lookout for added sugars and high sodium levels.
- Balsamic vinegar: Adds a bit of a sweet tangy flavor to the mixture.
- Spices: Italian seasoning and red pepper flakes.
- Cheese: Parmesan cheese adds flavor to the stuffing. Mozzarella cheese goes on top and melts. Any melting cheese will work.
- Seasoning. Swap the dried herbs for Italian seasoning substitute.
- Sauce. I love using tomato sauce but next time I might try fire roasted diced tomatoes.
- Meat. Ground chicken is the leaner choice but ground beef can be used. And so can ground Italian sausage.
- Stuffed whole peppers: You could also cut the pepper tops off, stuff and bake covered for about 50 minutes.
How to Make Ground Chicken Stuffed Peppers
Prep: To prepare bell peppers, cut them in half lengthwise and remove the seeds and white membrane. You can also cut off the stem, if desired.
Also cook about 1/2 cup dry white or brown rice as per package instructions. You can also use my Instant Pot brown rice recipe for this step.
Sauté onion, garlic and meat with spices: While the rice is cooking, preheat a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat and swirl in the oil to coat.
Cook onion, garlic, ground chicken, Italian seasoning, salt, pepper and red pepper flakes until fully cooked, about 10 minutes. Stir often and break up the meat into small pieces.
Make the mixture: When the meat is fully cooked add in the cooked rice, tomato sauce, balsamic vinegar, and Parmesan cheese.
Cook for about 5 minutes longer to incorporate the flavors and cook off some of the juices.
Stuff the peppers and bake: Spoon the filling into the halved bell peppers, stuffing well with slight domes.
Pour in water or broth into baking dishes, cover with foil and bake at 350 degrees F for 35 minutes.
Add cheese: Remove the foil, sprinkle peppers with mozzarella cheese, and bake for another 10 minutes until cheese has melted.
What Type of Ground Chicken Should I Use?
Honestly, whatever you have on hand or whatever is on sale.
If you are headed to the grocery store and want to consider the differences, ground chicken breast is leaner than the ground chicken thigh, which has more fat but also more flavor.
Need more ideas with what to do with chicken? Browse these 65 healthy chicken recipes!
Can I Use Mini Peppers?
Yes. They would be great for appetizers or younger kids! The cooking time will be shorter and you could probably make more at once.
What Is A Good Side Dish to Serve with This?
My mom loved making chicken stuffed peppers. As a kid, I loved the stuffing but didn’t like the soft-baked bell peppers. My kids are the same. That’s why I bake them in a small amount of liquid now.
We usually serve stuffed bell peppers with plain organic yogurt and whole wheat toast.
How to Store Leftovers
Keep any leftovers in an airtight glass container in the fridge for up to 5 days. To reheat, simply pop them back in the oven at 350 degrees F to warm through for about 10 minutes.
If you’re only reheating one, the microwave will suffice!
How to Meal Prep
Preparing parts of these ground chicken stuffed peppers separately is an easy way to prepare them ahead of time. Next day just stuff and bake.
Cook and cool the stuffing completely the night before and keep the mixture in the fridge. You can also refrigerate prepped peppers in a resealable bag.
Come dinner time the next day, all you need to do is stuff the peppers and continue with the recipe as directed.
Or you can refrigerate them stuffed and covered. Bake as per recipe.
This is completely up to you. I love using red, yellow, and orange because they are much sweeter than the green bell peppers. However, there’s no rule! Green will work just fine.
No, you don’t at all. If you were to do this, they would be way too soft to hold the filling and be overcooked by the end.
Great question! No, you do not.
Absolutely, you can use marinara sauce. There are no hard and fast rules around the tomato sauce. Some people have used tomato paste and diced tomatoes, while others have just used diced tomatoes.
I’m going to let you in on a little secret in that if you’re making it with Mexican flavors, like in my Mexican stuffed peppers, salsa works too!
Your best defence is not adding too much liquid to the baking dish and not overcooking them. Also I do not recommend to freeze them as this is what makes them soggy.
More Stuffed Recipes
- Mexican stuffed peppers
- Chicken stuffed with brie
- Turkey stuffed acorn squash
- Instant Pot stuffed pepper soup
Ground Chicken Stuffed Peppers
- 1 1/2 cups white or brown rice cooked
- 6 large bell peppers
- 1 medium onion finely chopped
- 2 large garlic cloves minced
- 1 lb ground chicken
- 1 tbsp Italian seasoning
- 3/4 tsp salt
- Ground black pepper to taste
- 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1 tbsp oil for frying
- 15 oz can tomato sauce
- 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese grated
- 1 cup mozzarella shredded
- 1 cup water or broth for baking
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and cook rice as per package instructions.
- To prepare bell peppers, cut them in half lengthwise and remove the seeds and white membrane. You can also cut off the stem, if desired. Add to 9×13 baking dish and another 8×8 baking dish and set aside.
- Preheat large skillet on medium-high heat and add onion, garlic, ground chicken, Italian seasoning, salt, pepper and red pepper flakes. Cook until fully cooked, about 10 minutes, stirring often and breaking up the meat.
- When the meat is fully cooked add in the cooked rice, tomato sauce, balsamic vinegar, and Parmesan cheese. Cook for about 5 minutes longer to incorporate the flavors and cook off some of the juices.
- Spoon the filling into the halved bell peppers, stuffing well with slight domes. Pour in water or broth into baking dishes, cover with foil and bake for 35 minutes.
- Remove the foil, sprinkle peppers with mozzarella cheese, and bake for another 10 minutes until cheese has melted.
- Remove peppers from the oven and serve hot.
- Store: Refrigerate leftovers for up to 5 days in an airtight container. Reheat in microwave or place in a pot with a splash of water, cover and simmer for 5-10 minutes until steamed through.
- Freeze: Do not freeze as peppers will become too watery when thawed.