These air fryer stuffed peppers are full of healthy ingredients and take less than half the amount of time than traditionally cooked stuffed peppers. The filling is full of protein, veggies and spices and the charred peppers add so much flavor.
Why We Love Stuffed Peppers in the Air Fryer
- Quick and easy: they take half the time to make compared to traditional stuffed peppers in the oven.
- Healthy: they're naturally gluten-free and can easily be made dairy-free by omitting the cheese on top. They're also such a great way to get kids to eat vegetables.
- Meal-prep friendly: you can prep the filling ahead of time and throw them in the air fryer for a quick weeknight dinner.
- Family favorite: adults and kiddos love this recipe, so you know it's one of the go-to easy recipes the whole family will love.
Stuffed peppers are a classic dinnertime staple for so many! Making this recipe cuts down on the time, but none of the delicious flavor or ingredients. It's such a classic comfort food that reminds me of my favorite recipes growing up.
Another crazy good (and easy) air fryer recipe is our air fryer bacon wrapped chicken breast. Wait until you try the spiced maple glaze!
Here are the simple ingredients to make stuffed peppers in the air fryer. Skip down to the recipe card for exact measurements.
- Onion and garlic: the base of every good recipe! If you don't have fresh garlic you can add garlic powder with the italian seasoning.
- Fresh bell peppers: any color pepper is great, but we always find green peppers are the most affordable.
- Ground beef: we used a lean ground beef for this recipe! You could swap this for ground chicken, lean ground turkey or italian sausage.
- Italian seasoning and salt for flavor!
- Canned diced tomatoes: I love the texture the tomatoes give this recipe, but you could swap this for tomato sauce as well.
- Worcestershire sauce (or coconut aminos for sugar free option)
- Rice: any type of rice is great. We love white rice or brown rice but you could also use quinoa or cauliflower rice for a low carb option (more on this below). You can make this recipe even faster if you have leftover rice.
- Shredded cheese: we used cheddar cheese here, but you could also use shredded mozzarella cheese or colby jack cheese.
How to Make Air Fryer Stuffed Peppers
Follow these step by step photos and instructions to see how easy it is to make this recipe.
- Cut and air fry the sweet peppers: Preheat the air fryer then cut the tops of the peppers off(watch how to cut a bell pepper). Place them upright in the air fryer tray then air fry just the peppers at 400°F for 6 minutes.
- Make the filling: Cook the onion and diced peppers in a large skillet with olive oil over medium high heat, then add the garlic and cook another minute. Add the ground beef and brown until no pink remains and beef reaches 160°F with a meat thermometer (use this guide to learn more about determining beef doneness).
- Cook the rice: Add the seasoning, diced tomatoes, Worcestershire, rice and water. Cover with a lid and simmer for 10-12 minutes.
- Stuff the peppers: Evenly scoop the meat mixture into the halfway cooked peppers all the way to the top.
- Air fry: Close the basket and air fry the stuffed peppers at 400°F for 4 minutes, then open the basket, add the cheddar cheese and continue cooking for 4 more minutes.
- Serve: Top with fresh parsley or green onions and eat hot!
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Frequently Asked Questions
Yes! You want to cook the ground beef to a safe and savory 160°F with the rest of the filling before stuffing.
While the filling is cooking air fry the peppers by themselves for 6 minutes to soften them.
Make sure your filling doesn't include too much water. I love cooking the rice right in the pan because it saves on dishes and the uncooked rice soaks up any extra liquid.
LESS TIME (couldn't we all use that?!). Traditional stuffed peppers bake for about 45 minutes where these air fryer stuffed peppers only need 10 at the end. This recipe from start to finish takes 30 minutes.
Stuffed peppers are packed full of protein and veggies. This recipe is completely gluten free and can easily be made dairy free by omitting the cheese or swapping in a vegan cheese. I'm even sharing a low carb option below!
We're rounding out the end of January as I write this and I know so many now (and anytime of year) are looking for healthy meals. We love to add beef to our dinner routine because a 3-ounce serving provides half of your daily recommended value of protein!
Some recipes call for boiling peppers before stuffing and roasting them to help them cook quickly in the oven, however, it is not necessary. This recipe for air fryer stuffed peppers calls to air fry for a few minutes to help them soften up first.
What to Serve with Stuffed Peppers
Eat this recipe on it's own or serve it with a side salad or more veggies like roasted brussels sprouts, sweet potato fries, diced potatoes or whatever you have on hand.
- Low carb: swap the rice with cauliflower rice! Instead of simmering the rice, add frozen cauliflower rice to the meat mixture and cook until it's warmed through.
- Dairy-free: omit the shredded cheese on top.
- Gluten-free: this recipe is naturally gluten-free!
- More fiber: use brown rice and add drained black beans to the mixture after the rice is cooked.
Fridge: allow the peppers to cool completely then store them in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3-4 days.
Freezer: place the stuffed peppers in an air tight container or freezer bag and store in the freezer for up to 4 months. Thaw overnight in the fridge.
Reheat: place the stuffed peppers back in the air fryer and cook at 400 degrees f for 10 minutes, or until heated through.
This recipe is sponsored by The Ohio Beef Council. All thoughts and opinions are my own. Thank you to brands like them who believe in me and my recipes so I can keep sharing free content with you!
If you love this recipe, don't forget to leave a comment and star review. You can tag me on Instagram so I can see it and feature you!
More Easy Air Fryer Recipes
Air Fryer Stuffed Peppers
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 small yellow onion diced
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 6 bell peppers (any color)
- 1 lb ground beef
- 2 1/2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 (15 ounce) can diced tomatoes (not drained)
- 1 tablespoon coconut aminos or Worcestershire sauce
- 1 cup uncooked white or brown rice
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese or vegan cheese (optional)
- Air Fryer
- Preheat the air fryer to 400°F for 3-5 minutes. If your air fryer is smaller pre-heat for 3 minutes and if it’s larger pre-heat for 5 minutes.
- While it’s heating, cut the tops off the peppers and scoop out any seeds. Dice the tops of the peppers and set aside to use in the mixture. When the air fryer is preheated, place the peppers in the basket of the air fryer and cook for 6 minutes.
- While the peppers are cooking, make the filling. Heat the olive oil in a large and deep skillet over medium high heat. Once the olive oil is hot, add the onion and leftover diced peppers and cook for 2-3 minutes until soft and translucent. Add the garlic and cook for another 1-2 minutes until fragrant. Add the ground beef and brown until no pink remains (it should reach an internal temperature of 160°F).
- Add the Italian seasoning, salt, diced tomatoes and coconut aminos (or worcestershire sauce) and stir to combine. Add the uncooked rice and water and stir. Turn the heat to medium low, cover the pot with the lid and simmer for 10-15 minutes, until the rice is tender.
- When the beef and rice mixture is done scoop it evenly into each of the partially cooked peppers and place the peppers back in the air fryer. Air fry at 400°F for 4 minutes then open the drawer, top with shredded cheese and cook for another 4 minutes until melted and bubbly. If you aren’t using cheese just air fry for 8 minutes.