by Olena

Instant Pot Stuffed Peppers

Olena Osipov
5 from 13 votes

Instant Pot Stuffed Peppers is my family’s Ukrainian recipe where ground beef or turkey are mixed with rice and simple seasonings, cooked in colourful peppers and served with their juices, sour cream and rye bread. Flavorful, healthy and easy weeknight meal.

Instant Pot Stuffed Peppers

Instant Pot Stuffed Peppers Recipe

Instant Pot stuffed peppers. Tender meat and rice deconstructed in flavorful sauce on your plate, with a bit of yogurt or sour cream, and a healthy dose of freshly cracked pepper. Who can resist?! My mom and grandma made stuffed peppers non-stop September to October during the bell pepper season. Nowadays, we can make stuffed peppers twice faster and year round.

Before making this recipe, I asked mom what she used to add to her peppers. She laughed and said “Salt, pepper and fried onion. We had no other spices”. So here you go, glorified and simplified mom’s stuffed peppers in Instant Pot.

Only thing easier is Instant Pot stuffed pepper soup.

Instant Pot Stuffed Pepper cut in half and served with yogurt and pepper

Ingredients for Instant Pot Stuffed Peppers

  • Bell peppers: Red, orange and yellow peppers are sweeter, green is more bitter (which I love). Pick large and straight bell peppers, firm to the touch and without soft spots.
  • Ground meat: Ground beef, turkey, chicken, pork, lamb works. Poultry is more lean, so we add a few tablespoons of oil.
  • Rice: White or brown rice works, just different cook times as we have to pre-cook rice.
  • Tomato sauce: Low sodium canned tomato sauce.
  • Onion and simple seasonings: Yellow or white onion. Dried thyme, oregano and basil. Red pepper flakes, salt and pepper.

Instant Pot Stuffed Peppers topped with tomato sauce

How to Make Stuffed Peppers in Instant Pot

  • Pre-cook rice: Cook 3/4 cup rice with 3/4 cup cold water in Instant Pot while you are prepping peppers: white rice – 3 minutes and brown rice – 22 minutes. Natural release pressure for 10 mins.
  • Prep peppers: Cut pepper tops off with a paring knife as close to the tail part as possible. Then scoop out seeds with a tablespoon.
  • Make stuffing: Combine pre-cooked rice, ground meat, minced onion, dried oregano, thyme and basil, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper. Mix with your hands well.how to make Instant Pot Stuffed Peppers step by step
  • Stuff peppers: Divide stuffing evenly among the hollowed out peppers. They will be pretty full and it is fine as mixture will not double in size.how to make Instant Pot Stuffed Peppers step by step
  • Arrange stuffed peppers in Instant Pot: Add stock, trivet and peppers in layers. 8 quart will fit all 8-9 peppers. For 6 quart, cook in 2 batches or cut recipe in half. Top each pepper generously with tomato sauce on each layer. how to make Instant Pot Stuffed Peppers step by step
  • Pressure cook: Close the lid, set vent to Sealing and press Pressure Cook on High or Manual for 10 minutes. After you can release pressure using quick release or let it subside on its own. Open the lid and your stuffed peppers are ready to be served.Instant Pot Stuffed Peppers inside the pot

Tips for Best Stuffed Peppers

  • Can I skip pre-cooking rice? No. You can’t use uncooked rice because once mixed with meat it will be undercooked and peppers and meat overcooked. I heard some readers used uncooked instant brown rice but I haven’t tried.
  • You can replace rice with uncooked quinoa: Stuffed peppers cook time will change to 15 minutes in 8 quart and 20 minutes in 6 quart Instant Pot respectively.
  • If using ground turkey: Add a few tablespoons of oil to make it more moist.
  • Dried herbs: Any Italian dried herbs work.
  • How many peppers can I fit in Instant Pot? I have 8 quart Instant Pot and it’s large enough to cook all 8-9 peppers at once. If yours is 6 quart, cook in 2 batches.
  • 3 quart Instant Pot: It should fit 4 large peppers. Cut recipe in half and keep same cooking time.
  • Stacking peppers is fine: There is enough space between peppers for pressure to build up.
  • Choose peppers carefully: I find often when buying a pack of 6 peppers, there is a bad one hiding behind the print on the bag. Touch them and check closely.
  • More help: If you still don’t have an Instant Pot, check out which one you should buy. And then I have Instant Pot guide that will help you get started.

How to Store, Reheat and Serve

Serving: We serve stuffed peppers with their juices, plain yogurt/sour cream and rye bread. Toasted whole wheat bread mimics freshly baked rye bread as well. I like to break stuffed peppers on my plate, mix with yogurt and dip bread into the sauce.

Stuffed peppers are a meal on its own. We usually do not make any sides to go with the recipe besides green smoothie, if we feel like it.

Storing: Refrigerate stuffed peppers for up to 5 days. I do not recommend to freeze cooked or uncooked peppers because fibers in bell pepper are not too strong for the freezer. Pepper will almost disintegrate once thawed.

Reheating: To reheat stuffed peppers, place them in a pot with the juices, cover and cook on low for 10 minutes. Steam will warm them through.

Instant Pot Stuffed Peppers recipe served on a plate and garnished with yogurt and pepper

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Pressure Cooker Stuffed Peppers in Instant Pot

instant pot stuffed peppers

Instant Pot Stuffed Peppers {Ukrainian Recipe}

Instant Pot Stuffed Peppers is my family's Ukrainian recipe where ground beef or turkey are mixed with rice and simple seasonings, cooked in colourful peppers and served with their juices, sour cream and rye bread. Flavorful, healthy and easy weeknight meal.
5 from 13 votes
Print Save Rate
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: Ukrainian
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Pressure Up & Down Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Servings: 6 servings
Calories: 547kcal
Author: Olena Osipov

Ingredients

  • 8-9 medium-large bell peppers
  • 2 lbs any ground meat I used ground turkey
  • 3/4 cup uncooked rice or 2-2 1/2 cups cooked
  • 1 large onion minced
  • 1 tsp oregano dried
  • 1 tsp thyme dried
  • 1 tsp basil dried
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp red pepper flakes
  • Ground black pepper
  • 15 oz can tomato sauce low sodium
  • 1 cup stock low sodium

Instructions

  • Cook 3/4 cup rice with 3/4 cup cold water in Instant Pot: white rice - 3 mins and brown rice - 22 mins. Natural release pressure for 10 mins.
  • While rice is cooking, using the paring knife cut around the tail of a pepper and discard seeds using a tablespoon. Set aside.
  • In a large mixing bowl, add ground meat, cooked rice, onion, oregano, thyme, basil, salt, red pepper flakes and ground black pepper.
  • Using your hand or spatula, mix all ingredients really well.
  • Stuff peppers with mixture diving evenly.
  • To Instant Pot, add trivet and stock.
  • Arrange 1 layer of peppers and top with half of the tomato sauce. Lay remaining peppers and top with remaining sauce.
  • Close the lid, turn release vent to Sealing and press Pressure Cook or Manual on High Pressure for 10 minutes.
  • Release pressure right away by turning the valve to Venting - Quick Release. Or let it subside on its own.
  • Serve with their juices from the bottom of the pot (turkey baster is the best to suck those up), plain yogurt/sour cream and toasted whole grain or rye bread.

Store: Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 3-4 days.

    Make Ahead: Refrigerate stuffed uncooked peppers for up to 2 days and cook when ready.

      Video

      Notes

      • If using ground turkey: Add a few tablespoons of oil to make it more moist.
      • Dried herbs: Any Italian dried herbs work.
      • How many peppers can I fit in Instant Pot? I have 8 quart Instant Pot and it’s large enough to cook all 8-9 peppers at once. If yours is 6 quart, cook in 2 batches.
      • Can I skip pre-cooking rice? No. You can't use uncooked rice because once mixed with meat it will be undercooked and peppers and meat overcooked. I heard some readers used uncooked instant brown rice but I haven't tried.
      • You can replace rice with uncooked quinoa: Stuffed peppers cook time will change to 15 minutes in 8 quart and 20 minutes in 6 quart Instant Pot respectively.
      • 3 quart Instant Pot: It should fit 4 large peppers. Cut recipe in half and keep same cooking time.
      • Stacking peppers is fine: There is enough space between peppers for pressure to build up.
      • Choose peppers carefully: I find often when buying a pack of 6 peppers, there is a bad one hiding behind the print on the bag. Touch them and check closely.

      Nutrition

      Serving: 1.5peppers | Calories: 547kcal | Carbohydrates: 34g | Protein: 30g | Fat: 31g | Saturated Fat: 12g | Cholesterol: 107mg | Sodium: 615mg | Potassium: 796mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 9g | Vitamin A: 4998IU | Vitamin C: 204mg | Calcium: 52mg | Iron: 4mg
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      olena osipov in the studio

      Hello and welcome to iFOODreal.

      My name is Olena Osipov. I'm a mom to 2 boys, a wife to Alex and we reside on magical Vancouver Island in British Columbia, Canada. This is our healthy family recipes blog. Originally from Ukraine, I grew up on real food. As an adult, I struggled with diets for years because none worked long-term. Now for over 10 years, I cook easy healthy meals for my family. I can help you with “What’s for dinner?” too.

      42 comments on “Instant Pot Stuffed Peppers

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      1. Can I use green onions? I am not sure how that would taste instead of white onions. Thanks looks delicious.

      2. 5 stars
        Loved this! My Instant Pot is a 6 qt so I have to cook in 2 batches. I am new to Instant Pot. The stackable steamer pans are on their way. Would I be able to utilize those to cook more at one time?

          1. Thank you for the advice. I decided to return the stackable pans and put the money towards a second instant pot.?

        1. Hmmm I don’t see how peppers can be falling apart with raw quinoa…Maybe Instant Pot didn’t come to pressure. Sorry, I am not sure. 20 mins under high pressure is enough to cook even thickets chicken breasts.

      3. Hi there
        I used quinoa and let it cook for 20 min as I have a 6 quartz. The pepper fell apart when I removed it… what could I have done wrong?
        Thank you
        Camila

      4. 5 stars
        I’ve done a LOT of cooking lately…so glad to have these recipes.

        For the keto version to fit my way of eating I use riced cauliflower instead of rice. The taste is amazing. My husband loves the rice version those…so easy to do both.

        Thank you for this recipe.

      5. What can I substitute for the rice? Barley? If so how much? Thank you love you recipes so delicious

      6. 5 stars
        I made these rongiht as I have so many peppers left (they were on sale) to use up and I had rice left from a chicken and rice dish I made the night before. I threw some chopped spinach into the brown rice and turkey burger mix and I halved the recipe to use in my 6qt. I mashed up a 1/4 of an avocado with some plain greek yogurt and added a splash of lime juice to use as a topping, added a mixed greens salad and Wha-La! An easy and incredibly delicious dinner! Thank You for making my family think I’m a great cook!! I’ll definitely be adding this to our dinner rotation! 🙂

      7. 5 stars
        These were the best stuffed peppers I’ve ever made. It was the first time to try quinoa and my husband was okay with it.
        I stumbled onto your website somehow yesterday and then spent many happy hours browsing your recipes. I am thrilled with your Instant Pot recipes, your low carb recipes, and especially for the recipe for thawing meat in the Instant Pot! After spending so much time browsing I needed to quickly thaw the ground turkey for the stuffed peppers.
        Your house and studio are awesome! Your family’s story is encouraging to all. Thank you for sharing and a special thank you for providing this wonderful web site!

        1. Thank you so much for your kind words and well wishes, Deanne!!! So happy you enjoyed and hubby approved the quinoa. He will come around haha.

      8. 5 stars
        Made this tonight. It was amazing. Didn’t see the part about using cooked rice, so I let it naturally release for 20 minutes. There’s none left. I did cut the recipe in half and used a 6qt. Will make again with my own tweaks.

      9. 5 stars
        These are amazing! I love stuffed peppers and I couldn’t believe how great these were. I also made a meatloaf inspired by the filling on these peppers and it is my new go-to recipe.

      10. These recipes look great. For he stuffed peppers…in your directions it says Before: add triver+ 1Cup water. I’m guessing triver is a typo. What am I supposed to add?

      11. 5 stars
        Loved this! So easy and delicious. Next time I would actually add a bit more salt. I don’t love a ton of salt, but I think a bit more would bring out the flavors. I halved the recipe for my 6 qt and put 4 in the pot and froze one for later 🙂 Thanks for the recipe!!

      12. 5 stars
        Please understand that I modified this recipe as follows to suit our tastes.

        First, I used ground beef (85%) ,instead of turkey. I did not dice and include the pepper tops. I used Uncle Ben’s Ten Minute Brown Rice as well. Further, I used Italian spiced tomato sauce and mixed half of the can in with the stuffing. I also left out the red pepper flakes. As I have a 6 quart pot I made six peppers. Could probably have gotten eight in there tho. I did not change any of the ingredient amounts or proportions.

        Cooked the dish for 35 minutes. Came out great, maybe a bit dry, but I will up the amount of tomato sauce and tweak the spices a bit next time.

        All in all a good and satisfying dish.

        1. I think because you didn’t use pepper tops the stuffed peppers were a bit dry. But main reason think you cooked them way too long. It’s a pressure cooker so it cooks food faster. Try 15 mins as I did and see. They will be cooked otherwise I wouldn’t be serving raw peppers to my family. Im not crazy. I’m sure they will be less dry.:)

          1. 5 stars
            Only reason I cooked them that long was the rice. I wanted to be sure it would be cooked. Will surely cut the time on the next try.

            1. Ooooh, you made them with the rice and not quinoa…My bad, missed that. Maybe 20 mins will be enough since it’s 10 minute rice. Try and see.:)

      13. 5 stars
        Deee-licious! My husband and 14 year old daughter had TWO each! This is saying a lot because my husband doesn’t usually like stuffed peppers I had 1.5.
        I served this with yogurt that I made in the Instant Pot 🙂

        Good tip from your Chicken and Rice recipe to vent the Instant Pot outside. I’m sure the neighbors are wondering why there is steam coming off my deck so frequently recently!

        I’m going to try making the Beef Stew next…

        1. That’s awesome! Not to mention your entire neighbourhood smells amazing.:) I always have 2 of those peppers too. Glad it was a hit!!!

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