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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.

air fryer stuffed peppers topped with cheese and parsley
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We love air fryer recipes because they keep dinner and cleanup easy. Another crazy good (and easy) air fryer recipe is our air fryer bacon wrapped chicken breast. Wait until you try the spiced maple glaze!

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.

The air fry stuffed peppers are delicious on their own as a complete meal, but you can serve them with a kale salad and chocolate chip pudding cookies for dessert.

Why You’ll Love these Air Fryer Stuffed Peppers

  • 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.

If you’re craving more stuffed pepper recipes, you will love our turkey taco stuffed peppers.

Ingredients and Brands I Love

Here are the simple ingredients to make stuffed peppers in the air fryer. Skip down to the recipe card for exact measurements.

ground beef, bell peppers, uncooked rice, garlic, onion and cheese on a tray
  • 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. We usually use a mixture of red, yellow, and green bell peppers. Learn how to cut a bell pepper and master this recipe.
  • Ground beef: We used 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. I love Kaizen low carb rice.
  • Shredded cheese: We used cheddar cheese here, but you could also use shredded mozzarella cheese or colby jack cheese.

Step-by-Step Instructions

Note: you can skip down to the recipe card below for the full, printable recipe.

  1. 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.
  2. 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).
  3. Cook the rice: Add the seasoning, diced tomatoes, Worcestershire, rice and water. Cover with a lid and simmer for 10-12 minutes.
  4. Stuff the peppers: Evenly scoop the meat mixture into the halfway cooked peppers all the way to the top.
  5. 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.
  6. Serve: Top with fresh parsley or green onions and eat hot!
how to make air fryer stuffed peppers

Expert Tips

We’ve tested this recipe for air fryer stuffed peppers several times and we’ve come up with a few tips that will ensure your recipe turns out every time.

  • Size and shape: Look for peppers that are roughly the same size so they cook evenly. Additionally, look for peppers with an even bottom so they aren’t wobbly. The hot air needs to circulate around them so they shouldn’t lean on each other.
  • Slice the peppers: Put your knife skills to good use if you know how to cut a bell pepper, and save the extra tops to put in the filling.
  • Shred the cheese yourself: Pre-shredded cheese usually contains chemicals to prevent it from melting, which is what we want!
  • Preheat the air fryer, just like you would an oven, for even cooking.
  • Use a quality air fryer that has enough room for the peppers! I use the Ninja Foodi duel basket air fryer.
  • Reuse extra filling for meal prep, more peppers later in the week, or as a pasta topping. Peppers vary in size, so you may have some extra!

FAQs and Troubleshooting

Should you cook meat before stuffed peppers?

Yes! You want to cook the ground beef to a safe and savory 160°F with the rest of the filling before stuffing.

How to soften the peppers before stuffing them?

While the filling is cooking air fry the peppers by themselves for 6 minutes to soften them.

How do you keep stuffed peppers from getting soggy?

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.

What makes this easier than traditional stuffed peppers?

LESS TIME (couldn’t we all use that?!). Air fryers typically cook 50% faster than the oven. 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.

Are stuffed peppers healthy?

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!

Do you boil peppers before stuffing them?

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

Enjoy this recipe on its own or serve it with side dishes salad or more veggies like roasted brussels sprouts, sweet potato fries, air fryer smashed potatoes, or a simple kale and goat cheese salad.

Recipe Variations

  • 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 or use dairy-free cashew queso.
  • More fiber: Add drained black beans to the mixture after the rice is cooked.
  • Meat: try using ground chicken, turkey, or pork instead. For more spice, try Mexican chorizo.
  • Seasoning: swap the Italian seasoning for Mexican spices or taco seasoning.
  • Rice: use cauliflower rice for low carb, or try brown rice, quinoa, or this low carb rice.
an air fryer stuffed pepper cut in half on a plate

Storing and Freezing

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.

If you love this recipe, don’t forget to leave a comment and star rating. Be sure to tag me on Instagram so I can see it and feature you!

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4.60 from 15 votes

Air Fryer Stuffed Peppers

Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 25 minutes
Total: 30 minutes
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 depth of flavor.

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Servings: 6 peppers

Ingredients

  • 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)

Instructions 

  • 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.
Last step! If you make this, please leave a review letting us know how it was!

Notes

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. There are 11.5 net carbs in this option.
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.
Storage: allow the peppers to cool completely then store them in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3-4 days.
Freeze: 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.

Video

Equipment

  • Air Fryer

Nutrition

Serving: 1pepper | Calories: 403kcal | Carbohydrates: 39.1g | Protein: 26.1g | Fat: 15.7g | Cholesterol: 67mg | Sodium: 734mg | Fiber: 5.1g | Sugar: 8.4g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

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Recipe Rating




24 Comments

  1. Kym says:

    5 stars
    This was delicious and the first time that I’ve made them in the air fryer. I will definitely make them again!😊

    1. Molly Thompson says:

      Thanks, Kym!!

  2. Marlene says:

    4 stars
    Great flavor. Easy easy recipe? Did use 1/2 ground turkey and 1/2 turkey Italian sausage. Changed nothing else! Really good!

  3. Paige says:

    5 stars
    We all loved it! Used mozzarella cheese instead

    1. Molly Thompson says:

      Thank you!

  4. Erika says:

    should we use the air fryer basket when cooking this?

  5. Kristi says:

    5 stars
    Thanks for this recipe! I made these last night and they were delicious! I wasn’t able to fit all 6 peppers in my air fryer so I put the leftover filling in a container and my 2 remaining peppers (without softening them) in refrigerator separately. My question is if I want to freeze these assembled, should I go ahead and softened the peppers and fill them then freeze and then air fry them after I thaw them or do I need to cook them all the way through with cheese and everything and then freeze them? Thank you!

    1. Molly Thompson says:

      Thanks, Kristi!

    2. Molly Thompson says:

      Great question! You can soften the peppers and fill them then thaw overnight in the fridge and air fry from there!

  6. Marlene says:

    4 stars
    Easy recipe. I didn’t have time to cook my rice so just added to my cooked ground beef what I had in the fridge – zucchini and chopped tomatoes. I also used up my feta cheese and shredded mozzarella cheese for the topping. My only problem was that my peppers were smaller and they toppled over in the air fryer. Next time I will use some parchment paper to catch the spills.

  7. Kim Norman says:

    5 stars
    Delicious and on the table on 30 minutes!!! I don’t have a fancy air fryer either. Great recipe!

  8. Kristie says:

    Can the filling be frozen after it is cooked?

  9. Angelina says:

    1 star
    Followed the instruction and my rice didn’t cook fully. Came here for answers but it looks like you only respond to positive one.

    1. Molly Thompson says:

      Hey Angelina! Bummer you’re rice didn’t cook fully. You may have needed to let it simmer a little longer, until it’s tender. What kind of rice did you use? Sometimes this can change the cook time. I respond to all comments, not just positive ones. This post only has positive ones, which is what you’re seeing my responses to. Thanks!

  10. Lori M says:

    5 stars
    Delicious. I did add a third of a jalapeño chopped up and used basmati rice. Will definitely make again. Thank you

    1. Molly Thompson says:

      Thanks, Lori!! We’re having these tonight!!

  11. Laura says:

    5 stars
    I had excess bell peppers recently so I food prepped this recipe with the four peppers I had then ate the rest of the filling in a bowl format and it was super tasty. Excited to thaw the stuffed peppers for an easy dinner in the future.

    1. Molly Thompson says:

      Great idea, Laura!

  12. Andrea Entz says:

    My rice did not cook with this method at all! Simmered for 30 minutes and still hard. Am I missing something?

    1. Nashagdra Frazier says:

      Mine didn’t either!

      1. Paul says:

        Precook rice.Long grain white is best

      2. Sammi says:

        I added more liquid. Normally the radio for cooking rice is 1:2 so I added 2 cups beef broth and simmered for about 20 mins.

  13. Amelie says:

    5 stars
    This was my first time making stuffed peppers, LOVED it! Quick, easy, and the family devoured it 😋 Thank you, Molly!

    1. Molly Thompson says:

      Love that, Amelie!!! You’re welcome:)