Instant Pot Stuffed Peppers recipe made with ground beef or ground turkey, rice, and simple seasonings. Then cooked in an array of beautifully colored bell peppers topped with zesty tomato sauce.

For a quicker version, try my Instant Pot stuffed pepper soup.

Instant pot stuffed peppers served with yogurt and ground black pepper on top with juices on a plate.

My mom and grandma made ground chicken stuffed peppers non-stop from September to October during the bell pepper season. These days, I make Instant Pot stuffed peppers twice as fast, anytime throughout the year.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

  • Easy: It’s a great weeknight healthy dinner that you can pull off in under 1 hour. And it makes up to 8 or 9 peppers, depending on the size of your Instant Pot.
  • One pot meal: You can use pre-cooked rice or cook rice in the Instant Pot.
  • Classic taste: It’s one of Instant Pot recipes that has the traditional flavors and feel of classic comfort dish but with modern conveniences of fast and easy.
  • Budget-friendly: A great money saving meal as most ingredients are in your budget or in your pantry.
  • Can easily serve a crowd: But the recipe can also be cut in half for a smaller meal.
  • Makes great leftovers: And truth be told, they taste just as good cold!

Ingredients for Instant Pot Stuffed Peppers

To make Instant Pot stuffed peppers you will need just a handful of simple ingredients.

Ground meat, bell peppers, onion, chicken broth, tomato sauce, brown rice, salt, pepper, red pepper flakes, basil, thyme, oregano.
  • Bell peppers: Red peppers, orange peppers and yellow peppers are sweet. Green bell peppers are more bitter but can be used, I love them! Pick large and straight bell peppers, firm to the touch and without soft spots.
  • Ground meat: Lean ground beef, ground turkey, ground chicken, ground pork or ground lamb works. If you use ground poultry, it is more lean, so I recommend to add a few tablespoons of oil.
  • Rice: White rice or brown rice works. Prep time will be a bit longer because you have to pre-cook the rice and both require different cook times. If you have leftover rice, you can use that.
  • Tomato sauce: Low sodium canned tomato sauce.
  • Onion: Yellow onion or white onion.
  • Simple seasonings: Dried thyme, dried oregano, dried basil or replace with Italian seasoning. Red pepper flakes, salt and pepper.

How to Make Stuffed Peppers in Instant Pot

Here is a quick overview how to make stuffed peppers in Instant Pot.

Step by step process how to stuff bell peppers and then pressure cook them in Instant Pot.
  • Prep rice and peppers: I like to cook the rice in the Instant Pot while I am prepping the peppers. Wash bell peppers and cut the tops off with a paring knife as close to the tail part as possible. Then scoop out seeds with a tablespoon.
  • Make stuffing: In a large bowl, combine pre-cooked rice, ground meat, minced onion, dried oregano, thyme and basil, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper. Mix well with your hands.
  • Stuff the 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. Place them on top of trivet in the Instant Pot and pour broth on the side. Top each pepper generously with tomato sauce.
  • Pressure cook stuffed peppers in Instant Pot: Close the lid, set vent to Sealing position and press Pressure Cook button on High pressure or Manual button for 10 minutes. Once cook time is over, you can release pressure using Quick Pressure Release or let it subside on its own. Open the lid and your Instant Pot stuffed peppers are ready to be served.

What Size Instant Pot Can I Cook Stuffed Peppers in?

Size of Instant Pot you have changes how many stuffed bell peppers you can pressure cook at same time.

I have 8 quart Instant Pot and it’s large enough to cook all 8-9 bell peppers at once. If you own 6 quart Instant Pot, cook stuffed peppers in 2 batches or cut the recipe in half.

3 quart Instant Pot should fit 4 large peppers. Cut recipe in half and keep same pressure cooking time.

Tips for Best Results

  • You can use different rice: White rice and brown rice have different cook times. White rice cooks in pressure cooker in 3 minutes and brown rice needs 22 minutes.
  • You can replace rice with uncooked quinoa: To skip on pre-cooking the rice step, use dry quinoa instead. Pressure cooking time will change to 15 minutes in 8 quart Instant Pot and 20 minutes in a 6 quart Instant Pot.
  • If using ground turkey or ground chicken: Add a few tablespoons of oil to add moisture as poultry meat is pretty dry on its own.
  • Stacking peppers is fine: There is enough space between peppers for pressure to build up.
  • Add some cheese: If you would like a bit of melted cheese on your Instant Pot stuffed bell peppers, sprinkle a little on top before serving and let the residual heat melt it. Mozzarella cheese, cheddar cheese, provolone cheese or parmesan cheese are great choices.
  • Make them vegetarian: You can replace ground beef with finely diced sautéed mushrooms and black beans or pinto beans, or crumbled tofu. Cook time will stay the same.
Two stuffed peppers served with their juices and yogurt on a plate.

What Should I Serve Stuffed Peppers with?

These juicy stuffed peppers are filled to the brim with seasoned tender meat and rice and topped with rich tomato sauce. We like to serve them with cool creamy yogurt or 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. The flavorful combination of tomato sauce and tangy yogurt or sour cream is delicious!

Stuffed peppers are a complete meal because every bell pepper comes with a vegetable, grain, and protein. However, if we serve it with something, it’s usually a simple salad like butter lettuce salad or cucumber bell pepper salad.

How to Store and Reheat

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

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

Can I Make Them Ahead of Time?

Yes, you can prepare stuffed peppers ahead of time and cook them in Instant Pot later. Stuff the bell peppers, place them in a large baking dish, cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to 2 days. Cook as per recipe when ready to eat!

I do not recommend to freeze assembled bell peppers because peppers will disintegrate upon thawing. Some readers still do it and are OK with the results.


Can I skip pre-cooking the rice?

No. I don’t recommend using uncooked rice because it will come out undercooked, peppers and ground beef overcooked. There is also not enough liquid in the meat mixture to cook the rice. Some readers have used uncooked instant brown rice but I haven’t tried.

Can I replace rice with cauliflower rice?

My concern is that cauliflower rice will lose a lot of moisture being under pressure for 10 minutes. However, one of the readers used cauliflower rice with a few tablespoons of breadcrumbs to soak up the juices with great results. You may try and let me know!

What color of bell peppers should I use?

Use a combination of colors you like. All bell peppers are the same but the color determines when it was taken off the vine at one point. The longer bell pepper grows, the riper and sweeter it gets. Green bell peppers are harvested first, which is why they are much more bitter than their sweeter red counterpart. Orange and yellow bell peppers are in the middle.

Do you have to blanch bell peppers before stuffing?

No, there is no need to blanch bell peppers before stuffing them. Pressure cooker will cook them in minutes.

Can I make these stuffed peppers in slow cooker?

This recipe is versatile. You can cook these stuffed bell peppers in a slow cooker on low heat for 6-7 hours or high heat for about 3-4 hours.

More Stuffed Recipe to Try

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Looking for more dinner ideas? Check out my most popular collection of 45 healthy Instant Pot recipes.

Cooked stuffed peppers topped with tomato sauce in Instant Pot.
Instant pot stuffed peppers served with yogurt and ground black pepper on top with juices on a plate.

Instant Pot Stuffed Peppers

Instant Pot Stuffed Peppers with ground beef, rice, and simple seasonings cooked in bell peppers topped with tomato sauce. 1 hour one pot meal!
4.94 from 16 votes
Servings 6 servings
Calories 547
Diet Gluten Free
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Pressure Up & Down Time 20 minutes
Total Time 1 hour




  • In Instant Pot, add 3/4 cup rice and 3/4 cup cold water. Close the lid, set valve to Sealing and pressure cook on High pressure white rice for 3 minutes and brown rice for 22 minutes. After natural release the pressure for 10 minutes.
  • While rice is cooking, using the paring knife cut around the tail of each bell pepper and discard seeds using a tablespoon. Set aside.
  • In a large mixing bowl, add ground beef, cooked rice, onion, oregano, thyme, basil, salt, red pepper flakes and ground black pepper. Using your hands or spatula, mix really well. Stuff peppers with mixture, dividing evenly.
  • To Instant Pot, add trivet and vegetable 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 stuffed peppers with their juices from the bottom of the pot (turkey baster is the best to scoop those up), plain yogurt or sour cream and toasted whole wheat or rye bread.



  • Store: Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 3-4 days. Not recommended to freeze.


Serving: 1.5peppers | Calories: 547kcal | Carbohydrates: 34g | Protein: 30g | Fat: 31g | Saturated Fat: 12g | Cholesterol: 107mg | Sodium: 615mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 9g
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: Ukrainian
Author: Olena Osipov
Did you make this recipe?Mention @ifoodreal or tag #ifoodreal!

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About Olena

Welcome! I grew up in Ukraine watching my grandma cook with simple ingredients. I have spent the last 11 years making it my mission to help you cook quick and easy meals for your family!

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  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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?

  5. 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!!

    1. You are very welcome! Sure. Sometimes I add more salt to a meal, depends on a day and my taste buds that day.:) Glad you enjoyed!

  6. 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.:)

  7. 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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