This Dirty Rice Stuffed Bell Peppers recipe is the Louisiana Creole recipe you’ve been craving. It’s an entire meal in a convenient, edible bowl.
Since I used the peppers from the garden, I had a limited amount, and some of them were fairly small. It was really no problem because I had no issue with eating this delicious dirty rice stuffing all by itself.
- Use Lean Ground Beef
- Do you have to boil bell peppers before stuffing them?
- Why is it called Dirty Rice?
- What do you serve with stuffed peppers?
This year, we had a lot of bell peppers ready for picking at the same time. I needed to come up with a recipe to use them.
I was able to squeeze eight bell peppers into the baking dish. It’s important that you try to squeeze those peppers in there.
During cooking, they will shrink a little. You don’t want them to fall over but, if they do, eat them anyway!
Use Lean Ground Beef
Try to use lean ground beef, if you have it. I use 85% lean with this recipe.
All the dirty rice stuffing ingredients go right into the bell peppers, including the fat. If you have too much fat, things are going to be greasy.
If you don’t have lean ground beef, go ahead and remove some of the fat before you add the vegetables. You don’t want everything swimming in grease.
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I’ll admit that I’m fairly obsessed with Better Than Bouillon. It adds delicious flavor and color to the dish. We keep both beef and chicken flavors in the refrigerator.
If you don’t have it, you can use stock or broth instead of the water. No worries.
Stuffed Bell Pepper Tips
It really depends on the recipe. For this recipe, I’m using a fully cooked stuffing. You boil the peppers for 10 minutes before stuffing since you don’t need a full cook time in the oven.
The rice in the recipe is intended to soak up the liquid. Use lean ground beef to avoid all that grease that can make your peppers soggy.
This is usually caused by not cooking the peppers long enough. Pre-cooking, like in this recipe, is the answer.
And one last tip, but it’s a biggie!
I chopped up a bell pepper to put in the dirty rice stuffing. While I was cooking the rice, I prepped the bell peppers by cutting off the tops.
I later used the tops for a salad but I realize now that I could have cut off the tops and used them in the dirty rice instead of the extra pepper. Live and learn, right?!
Why is it called Dirty Rice?
It’s fairly simple, really. The rice is cooked with ground beef and bits of vegetables. This makes the rice appear “dirty.”
You can also find Dirty Rice called other names like Cajun Rice or Cajun Fried Rice. Read more about the History of Dirty Rice at the McCormick website.
Tony Chachare’s Creole Seasoning
I’ve used two teaspoons of Tony Chachare’s Creole Seasoning. It’s delicious, but may not be entirely mild. If you prefer mild, decrease the amount of seasoning to one teaspoon.
If you want, you can skip the creole seasoning altogether. Use only salt and pepper, if you want completely mild.
Baking the Stuffed Peppers
Choose a pan that is a little deep. When the peppers start baking, they’re going to get softer. You don’t want them to spill out.
The peppers need to be packed in there a little. You don’t need to break the peppers putting them in there, but make sure they sit up next to each other well.
If you find that you’re now a fan of Dirty Rice, you’ll want to also try my Instant Pot Dirty Rice with Pork Sausage.
What to serve with the peppers?
Stuffed bell peppers, especially when stuffed with delicious dirty rice, are a meal by themselves. You don’t need to serve them with anything at all.
If you want to serve something, though, you may want to go for something light. A nice green salad will be great.
This would also be great with this Focaccia Bread recipe. Serve with some extra virgin olive oil for dipping.
For an easy side dish, my recipe for Sauteed Baby Bella Mushrooms would be perfect.
Try my Tomato Pepper Soup if you have even more bell peppers you need to use.
Dirty Rice Stuffed Peppers (+video)Tap to leave a star rating
For more information, be sure to check the recipe details in the attached 24Bite® post.
- Large skillet with cover
- Deep Baking Dish, size to accomodate number and size of peppers (9×11" used)
Dirty Rice Stuffing
- 1 pound 85% Lean Ground Beef
- 1 Onion, chopped
- 3 Celery Stalk, chopped
- 4 Garlic Cloves, minced
- 1 Green Bell Pepper, chopped
- 2 teaspoons Tony Chachare's Creole Seasoning
- 1 teaspoon Beef Flavor Better Than Bouillon
- 1 ½ cups Long Grain Rice, uncooked
- 3 ½ cups Water
Stuffed Bell Peppers
- 8 Bell Peppers, whole, any color, not chopped, see note below
- Cooking Spray, like Pam
- 1 cup Spaghetti Sauce
- 1 cup Mozzarella Cheese, shredded, or any preferred cheese
Dirty Rice Stuffing
- In large skillet, crumble and brown ground beef over medium high heat until done, about 4-6 minutes. There shouldn't be any excess of fat, but you can remove as much as you like, especially if you're using a ground beef that's not so lean.
- Stir in onion, celery, garlic and (one) bell pepper (see note below). Continue cooking about 3-4 minutes until fragrant.
- Stir in seasoning and bouillon until combined.
- Stir in rice and water. Bring to a boil, cover and reduce heat to simmer. Simmer for about 20-25 minutes, until rice is cooked and water is absorbed.
Stuffed Bell Peppers
- While rice is cooking, place a large pot of water on high heat and bring to boil.
- Cut off the top of each remaining bell pepper, remove seeds and membranes. Place peppers in boiling water and cook for 10 minutes. Remove carefully and allow to drain.
- Preheat oven to 350℉.
- Spray a deep baking pan with cooking spray. The standard will be 9×11" or so. Use the peppers to determine exactly what size will work for you. It really depends on the size of your peppers.
- Fill each pre-cooked pepper with dirty rice stuffing and place in sprayed baking dish. Squeeze them in there, if you can, because they will shrink and fall over if there's too much space.
- Spoon over a little spaghetti sauce on each. Place baking dish in center of pre-heated oven and cook for 18-20 minutes. Reserve any extra spaghetti sauce to use a condiment when serving.
- Remove baking pan from oven and place a few pinches of shredded cheese (or more, if you like) on top of each pepper. Place backing dish back in oven for 3-5 minutes until cheese is melted.
- Remove from oven and let rest for 10-15 minutes before serving.
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