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These tender stuffed peppers are packed full with seasoned chicken and rice, and just the right number of spices for an easy weeknight meal.
Who is in the mood for stuffed peppers? I know I am! I’m always in the mood for stuffed peppers, especially large, sweet bell peppers.
Flavorful Stuffed Peppers
Bell peppers are perfect for stuffing, aren’t they? It’s like they were specifically designed for it. The peppers are mostly hollow and large enough to fill with all sorts of wonderful flavors. You can make a whole meal out of a single pepper!
Like this recipe. We’re talking large bell peppers stuffed with fluffy, seasoned rice and lots of chunky chicken. I’ve added a nice blend of seasonings to the mix, along with tomato paste for extra sweetness, and Parmesan cheese to bring it all together.
It’s a bit of an Italian treatment and the flavors are outstanding.
How to Make the Chicken and Rice Filling
- Cook the chicken. Season the chicken with salt and pepper, add it to a hot pan and cook until the chicken is mostly cooked through. Transfer out of the pan and onto a plate to rest.
- Cook the Vegetables and Rice. Saute onion and jalapeno peppers with some garlic, then add rice and let it lightly brown. Toasting the rice builds in another layer of flavor for your stuffed peppers filling.
- Add Tomato Paste and Spices. Stir in tomato paste and vegetable broth. I usually like to cook the paste for 30 seconds to 1 minute, stirring a bit, though you don’t have to. Add spices and, if you want, some hot sauce. Extra hot sauce for me, please! Sriracha is a nice addition, or swirl in a bit of chili paste. Use your favorite for a nice flavor builder!
- Cook the Rice. Bring the rice to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until all of the liquid has been absorbed. If the rice isn’t soft enough, add a bit more broth and keep it simmering until it is cooked to your personal preference. See how the mixture thickens up as the rice absorbs all that flavor?
How to Make Stuffed Peppers
- Soften the Peppers. While the rice is cooking, bring a large pot of water to a boil. Slice the tops off of the bell peppers and remove the innards. Slice them in half lengthwise and boil them for 5 minutes to slightly soften. This will cut the baking time for your stuffed peppers, making for a quicker meal.
- Assemble Stuffed Peppers with Chicken and Rice Filling. Grab the chicken that you set aside and stir it into the rice with some Parmesan cheese. Stuff each pepper half full. You may have extra stuffing, depending on the size of your peppers. You can freeze that for another use or save it to serve on the side.
- Bake the peppers until softened. Remove from the oven and Boom! Done! It’s a very easy recipe, perfect for quick weeknight dinners, or hey, quick weekend dinners, too!
Recipe Tips & Notes
- Other Peppers. This recipe is ideal for large sweet bell peppers, though you can make it with any chili pepper, realistically. Larger peppers are better for stuffing and for serving as meals, but smaller peppers work great, too. Stuff smaller peppers and served as appetizers. Try it with poblano peppers, like this Cream Cheese Stuffed Poblano Peppers. One of my favorites!
- Heat Factor. Mild-Medium, though you can really spice these up with a great hot sauce. I used a jalapeno pepper along with the onion for some heat, but feel free to add in hotter peppers.
- Other Flavors. You can very easily alter the choice of seasonings in this recipe to your own tastes. I added chipotle for this Chipotle Chicken Stuffed Peppers and topped it with extra melty cheese. So good!
Top with your favorite hot sauce, fresh chopped herbs, and spicy chili flakes. These Stuffed Peppers are delicious served with some of our favorite sides, like Roasted Broccoli, Olive Garden Salad, and Cheesy Garlic Bread.
That’s it, my friends. I hope you enjoy the recipe. If you really love stuffed peppers, try my Stuffed Pepper Soup recipe. It’s a stuffed pepper in a bowl!
Chicken and Rice Stuffed Peppers
- 10 ounces chicken breast or thigh, chopped
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 medium yellow onion chopped
- 2 jalapeno peppers chopped
- 4 cloves garlic chopped
- 3/4 cup long grain rice
- 3 ounces tomato paste
- 2.5 cups vegetable broth + more as needed
- 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon cayenne powder
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
- 1-2 tablespoon favorite hot sauce If desired for extra spiciness
- 4 bell peppers any color
- Optional for serving: Hot Sauce, spicy chili flakes, fresh chopped herbs
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Heat the oil in a large pan to medium heat. Season the chicken with a pinch of salt and pepper, then add to the pan. Cook for 6-8 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the chicken is mostly cooked through. Transfer cooked chicken to a plate and set aside.
- Add the onion and jalapeno peppers to the same pan and cook for 5 minutes to soften. Add garlic and cook another minute, until you can smell the gorgeous garlic.
- Add the rice and stir. Cook for a couple minutes, stirring frequently, to very lightly brown the rice.
- Stir in tomato paste, vegetable broth, smoked paprika, cayenne, oregano, salt and pepper, and hot sauce if using. Stir and bring to a quick boil.
- Reduce heat and simmer uncovered for about 20 minutes, or until the rice has absorbed all of the liquid and is softened to your liking. If it needs more cooking, add a bit more broth and keep it simmering until you love the texture.
- While the rice is cooking, bring a large pot of water to a boil. Slice the tops off of the bell peppers and remove the innards. Slice them in half lengthwise Boil them for 5 minutes to slightly soften.
- Stir the Parmesan cheese and reserved chicken into the rice mixture.
- Stuff each pepper full. You may have extra stuffing, depending on the size of your peppers. Save for another use or serve on the side of the stuffed peppers. Placed peppers on a lightly oiled baking sheet and bake for 30 minutes, or until the peppers are softened.
- Top with your favorite hot sauce, fresh chopped herbs and spicy chili flakes and serve immediately.
Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.
Can this be made with instant white rice instead?
The recipe is meant to flavor the rice as it cooks. However you could use instant rice and just simmer for the time it calls for on the box. Note that the flavors won’t be as intense.