by Olena

Ground Chicken Stuffed Peppers with Rice

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Olena Osipov
5 from 3 votes

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Ground Chicken Stuffed Peppers with Rice use lean ground chicken, brown rice, and simple seasonings. The filling is saucy, savory, and delicious. What an easy and tasty way to enjoy sweet bell peppers!

Don’t miss other stuffed recipes for healthy dinner ideas. Stuffed pepper soup has the same flavors in a bowl. For a modern approach, make Instant Pot stuffed peppers.

Ground chicken stuffed peppers with rice in a large dish.

Ground chicken stuffed peppers are easily one of my favorite healthy meals to make any night of the week!

The stuffing mixture is made with brown rice, ground turkey, organic tomato sauce and loads of seasonings. It’s filling, saucy, and so, so good. You won’t even miss the cheese on top!

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!

Who doesn’t love stuffing food with food? Especially when they’re quick and easy like these Parmesan mushrooms.

Why Are Stuffed Peppers Healthy?

I make ground chicken stuffed peppers lighter, leaner, and more wholesome than the classic stuffed peppers. Ground turkey is a lean protein which helps cut the saturated fat. Brown rice is a whole grain with a ton of fiber, and is lower in starch than white rice.

The bell peppers provide antioxidants and tons of vitamins and minerals as do the mushrooms, onions, and garlic.

We’re lowering the carbohydrates and calories by leaving out the cheese, but there is always room for customization.

Ingredients You’ll Need

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!

  • Brown rice & water: The instructions include cooking the rice. However, if you have any leftover rice you want to use, you can. Save a bit of time!
  • Bell peppers: Tops and seeds removed.
  • Onion & garlic: Sautéed with mushrooms, just before adding the meat. It’s the base of flavors that the rest of the flavors are built on.
  • Mushrooms: Adds great texture and nutrients.
  • Oil: Any oil for sauteing.
  • 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.
  • Dried oregano: Herbs are a way to enhance the flavor of the meat as well as the overall dish. Dried basil is a suitable stand-in.
  • Salt & pepper: To season your ground chicken stuffed peppers up a bit.
  • Boiling water: This is needed to help thin out the sauce to help it absorb nicely into the mixture.
Ground chicken, rice, tomato sauce, mushrooms and seasonings in blue bowl.

Variations

  • Seasoning. Swap the dried herbs for Italian seasoning and add some red pepper flakes for heat if you’d like.
  • Sauce. I love using tomato sauce but next time I might try fire roasted diced tomatoes.
  • Cheese. If you can’t imagine not putting cheese on top, go ahead! Mozzarella, Swiss and even cheddar cheese would be great. Feta is another option. Sprinkle on top or mix it right into the filling!
  • Meat. Ground chicken is the leaner choice but ground beef can be used. And so can ground Italian sausage.
  • Stuffed pepper halves: You could also cut peppers in half and place them in layers in a deeper dish.

How to Make Ground Chicken Stuffed Peppers

Have the peppers cut and ready to go ahead of time. Don’t forget to scoop out the seeds and keep the lids for presentation!

  • Cook the rice: Start by rinsing your rice well, getting rid of as much debris and starch as you can. Add it to a pot with the water and bring it to a boil. Lower the heat and cook for 30 minutes or until the water has evaporated. Set it aside. You can also use my Instant Pot brown rice recipe for this.
  • Sauté onion, garlic, and mushrooms: While the rice is cooking, preheat a nonstick skillet over low-medium heat and swirl in the oil to coat. Cook veggies and aromatics for 5-7 minutes until soft and translucent. You should start to smell the wonderful aromas by now.
  • Make the mixture: Transfer the veggies to a large bowl. Add in the rice, ground chicken, tomato sauce, balsamic vinegar, oregano, salt, and pepper. Mix well to combine. Don’t be afraid to get in there with your hands.
  • Stuff the peppers: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Fill each pepper about 3/4 of the way up with the meat and rice mixture. Put each one into a heavy bottom pan or pot with a lid. You can also use a Dutch oven if you have one. Place the pepper lids in between the stuffed peppers if you remembered to keep them.
  • Add more liquid: In a small bowl, mix water and the remaining tomato sauce. Pour it over peppers and add some to the bottom of the pan. Cover with the lid and bake for 40-60 minutes. The tighter your lid, the faster it cooks, so keep an eye on it.
Ground chicken stuffed peppers with rice mixture in peppers with tops removed.

FAQs

What color bell peppers should I use?

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.

Do I need to pre-cook my bell peppers?

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.

Do I need to pre-cook my ground chicken?

Great question! No, you do not.

Can I use marinara sauce instead of tomato sauce?

Absolutely. 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!

How do I prevent stuffed peppers from getting soggy?

Your best defence is not adding too much liquid to the peppers and not overcooking them. Part of why we sauté the mushrooms ahead of time is because when added raw, they will produce more liquid.

Also I do not recommend to freeze them as this is what makes them soggy.

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.

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.

We usually serve stuffed bell peppers with plain organic yogurt and whole wheat bread for dipping into the sauce.

You can also never go wrong with a salad! Cucumber and tomato salad and Mexican bean salad are a few of my favorites!

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 for easy combining for a quick dinner the next day.

Make the rice, chicken, and sautéed veggies the night before and keep the mixture in the fridge. Come dinner time the next day, all you need to do is stuff the peppers and continue with the recipe as directed. The cooking time will be less saving you a ton of time!

Or you can refrigerate them stuffed and covered. Bake as per recipe.

More Stuffed Recipes

Ground Chicken Stuffed Peppers with Rice

Ground Chicken Stuffed Peppers with Rice

Ground Chicken Stuffed Peppers use lean ground chicken, brown rice and simple seasonings. The filling is saucy, savory, and delicious.
5 from 3 votes
Print Save Rate
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: American Ukrainian
Prep Time: 8 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 28 minutes
Servings: 8 servings
Calories: 250kcal
Author: Olena Osipov

Ingredients

  • 1 cup brown rice uncooked
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 8 large bell peppers tops and seeds removed
  • 1 medium onion finely chopped
  • 2 large garlic cloves minced
  • 8 oz any mushrooms finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp oil for frying
  • 1 lb ground chicken
  • 1 1/2 cups tomato sauce divided
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tsp oregano or basil dried
  • 1 1/4 tsp salt
  • Ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 cup boiling water

Instructions

  • Rinse rice well with cold water and drain. Add to a medium pot with water and bring to a boil. Cover and cook for 30 minutes or until water has evaporated. Set aside.
  • In the meanwhile, preheat non stick skillet on low-medium heat and swirl oil to coat. Add onion, garlic and mushrooms; cook for 5 – 7 minutes or until translucent and fragrant, stirring occasionally. Transfer to a large bowl along with rice, chicken, 1/2 cup tomato sauce, balsamic vinegar, oregano, salt and pepper; mix well with your hands.
  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Fill each bell pepper 3/4 full with meat and rice mixture; place in a heavy bottom pot/pan with a lid or a dutch oven. Place pepper tops in between (do not throw them out!).
  • In a small bowl, mix water and remaining tomato sauce and pour over peppers and some at the bottom of a pan. Cover with a lid and bake for 40-60 minutes, depending how tight your lid fits (mine didn’t, so it took 60 minutes for me).
  • Remove from the oven and serve hot with plain yogurt and whole wheat bread, if desired.

Store in a glass airtight container for up to 5 days.

    Nutrition

    Serving: 1pepper | Calories: 250kcal | Carbohydrates: 31g | Protein: 15g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 49mg | Sodium: 495mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 8g

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    16 comments on “Ground Chicken Stuffed Peppers with Rice

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    1. Hi Olena,
      I’m going to try this recipe because it seems to be what I’m looking for. My question is: if
      I cut the peppers lengthwise, will they still take an hour to cook?

    2. Could you make the filling as a freezer to Instant Pot version and then just stuff the peppers with the hot mixture and roast for a shorter time?

        1. I love all your freezer to instantpot recipes, so I was thinking of assembling and freezing the raw filling ingredients as a meal prep version. Then on a weeknight, I can bring the frozen filling out and cook in the Instantpot, stuff the peppers and roast at a higher temperature for a shorter time. Do you think it would work?

    3. 5 stars
      I made this recipe before and last night I made it again. I use lean ground beef instead of ground chicken. I know it’s not necessary but I cook the meat first and let it drain to get rid of the ‘fat’ meat juices. I think your recipe is very tasteful and we all love this dish. My eldest girl is not too fond of bell peppers so I made her tomatoes with the same filling.

    4. This looks great. I was going to add shredded cheddar to this. Do you recommend that and if so should I blend it in or sprinkle on top and broil at the end?

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