Stuffed Peppers Recipe

4.19 from 11 votes

This post may contain affiliate sales links. Please read my disclosure policy.

An amazingly savory and sweet stuffed peppers recipe, filled with pork, beef, and rice served with a tasty tomato sauce. A hearty, delicious dinner. Enjoy as is, or mop up with bread. 

I grew up eating this sweet and savory version of stuffed peppers. There are so many different kinds and ways to make stuffed peppers and I’m thrilled to share this saucy recipe with you today!

Stuffed peppers

These stuffed peppers fall under the ‘make it until it tastes right’ family recipe category. Meaning there are no measurements–just ingredients. So, after a few days of trial and error, I got the measurements DOWN so you too can make my Mom’s stuffed peppers… It’s just a delicious, stick to your ribs kind of recipe. Good food for the upcoming months.

How to Make Stuffed Peppers

{For full recipe with measurements and cook time, see the printable recipe card below}

  1. Prepare bell peppers by cutting the tops off and removing the seeds and the ribs. Wash and set aside.
  2. Make the meat mixture by mixing ground beef, pork, onion, rice, salt, and pepper together.
  3. Stuff bell peppers and place into a large pot.
  4. Top stuffed peppers with tomato juice. Try to submerge them as best as possible.
  5. Cook several hours until peppers are tender and rice is completely cooked.
  6. Make a roux using vegetable shortening and flour. Cook roux to be a medium brown color.
  7. Thicken the tomato sauce using the prepared roux. It will bubble and that is totally normal! Sweeten sauce with sugar.
  8. Serve stuffed peppers hot with rye bread–or any other bread you have around, but really, rye is the best.

Uncooked stuffed peppers

Ingredients for Stuffed Peppers

This list is quite minimal, based on how much flavor you get out of this stuffed pepper recipe! The longer you cook these, the better they taste! And be sure to not skip browning the roux. It’s the secret ingredient.

  • Green Bell Peppers – I like using green peppers because that is how my mom made this recipe, but red or yellow work well too!
  • Ground beef and pork – The combination of these two meats makes for a moist and flavorful filling.
  • Rice – I use uncooked long grain white rice. Uncle Ben’s is my go-to.
  • Onions – diced up and added for flavor
  • S&P – seasonings!
  • Tomato juice – this is the cooking liquid for our stuffed peppers.
  • Vegetable Shortening or lard – part of the roux.
  • Flour – thickening agent for the tomato sauce
  • Sugar – I love a sweet tomato sauce to accompany the savory stuffed peppers! Add as much or as little sugar as you’d like.

Hope you all are in the mood for some German food tonight! Or maybe it’s Hungarian. (My ancestors are from both places, so we eat food from both places and things get confusing!) Either way, these stuffed peppers are mighty tasty.

Printable recipe card below! Enjoy!

Stuffed peppers

Recipes similar to Stuffed Peppers you will love:

Stuffed peppers
PrintPrint Pin ItPin It
4.19 from 11 votes

Hungarian Stuffed Peppers Recipe

An amazingly savory and sweet stuffed peppers recipe, filled with pork, beef, and rice served with a tasty tomato sauce. A hearty, delicious dinner.
servings 6 servings
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours
Total Time 2 hours 25 minutes


  • 1 lb. ground beef 80/20
  • 1 lb. ground pork
  • 1 medium onion diced
  • 1/2 cup long grain white rice
  • salt & pepper
  • 6 green bell peppers*
  • 46 oz tomato juice 1 can
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 cup lard or shortening
  • 1/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar


  • Prepare bell peppers by cutting the tops off and removing the seeds and the ribs. Wash and set aside. In a large bowl, mix together beef, pork, onion, rice, salt, and pepper. Stuff bell peppers with meat mixture.
  • *If you do not have enough green peppers, then form meatballs with the remaining stuffing--this is a great way to get your kids to eat this meal, too!*
  • In a large pot, pour in the entire can of tomato juice. Rinse can out with 1/2 cup water. Place stuffed peppers and any meatballs into the pot. Try to submerge them as best as possible. Cover with lid and heat pot over medium-high heat. Once it comes to a boil, reduce heat to low and simmer lightly for 1-2 hours.
  • In a large skillet, melt shortening over medium heat. Sprinkle in flour and whisk until smooth. Cook roux until it deepens in color to be a medium brown. Stir frequently to make sure it doesn't burn.
  • Using a slotted spoon, remove stuffed peppers and meatballs from the pot leaving the hot cooking liquid. Pour the browned roux into remaining tomato juice (it will bubble violently for a few seconds at first, so just be aware that it is totally normal). Stir well. After a few minutes, the tomato juice should thicken and become more of a sauce. Stir in sugar and more salt and pepper. It will be sweet--as it should be 🙂 Serve with rye bread--or any other bread you have around, but really, rye is the best. 


You can use all ground beef if you don't have/can't find ground pork.


Calories: 599kcal | Carbohydrates: 49g | Protein: 30g | Fat: 31g | Saturated Fat: 11g | Cholesterol: 108mg | Sodium: 121mg | Potassium: 1171mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 28g | Vitamin A: 1495IU | Vitamin C: 137.9mg | Calcium: 70mg | Iron: 3.9mg
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: German
Keyword: beef, cooking, german food, meatballs, pork, rice, stuffed peppers, stuffed peppers recipe


Share a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

Recipe Rating

60 Responses
  1. Candy

    5 stars
    I loved this recipe, it took me back to memories when my mother made them. Tasted just like hers. I did cut the sugar back to 1/4 cup. I was trying to think what I could make with the extra gravy. Great Recipe

  2. Bunny

    5 stars
    I love this recipe and made it several times but I have a new DIL who doesn’t eat meat and I will make a few with ground Turkey. Any adjustments due to the low fat content of the Turkey?

  3. Gail Tammeling

    This recipe is the way my German grandmother made stuffed peppers! I don’t recall the onion; forgive me, it was 50 years ago. I’ve tried to make it her way, but never got the meat right. But I always used tomato juice and sugar. Can’t wait to make them again. Thanks for the recipe.

  4. Andrea

    I am so excited to find this and maybe get insight on the origins of the stuffed peppers my grandparents used to make! I knew the meat had to go in raw bc they came out like a meatball – perfect since neither my mom or I would eat green bell peppers. They made theirs in a pressure cooker (until one night it failed to depressurize and my grampa chucked the whole thing into the yard. 😂)

  5. Linda

    5 stars
    This recipe is terrific. I had a German exchange student years ago and she made this and I’ve been searching for a ‘simmered stuffed pepper’ recipe ever since. This one was the best. I’m not a fan of sweet stuff, so did not add all the sugar (sorry for not following recipe exactly!). Hints: mix the ground meat with all but rice, then take a bit and fry in a pan so you can adjust seasonings. When it suits, mix in the rice. My college freshman and several of her friends gobbled this up. I was thinking I’d have a freezer full of single servings to send to my father in law!! So- making more today. To freeze, I add one (or a half, depending on size) into a vacuum seal bag, add a bunch of the gravy, and vacuum seal then freeze. My FIL takes a bag and throws it into a pot of simmering water to heat.

  6. Leah

    5 stars
    One time while making a recipe a lot like this I was out of my tomato juice so I improvised. Used a jar of garden variety spaghetti sauce and a can of tomato soup!! Family loved it and I’ve been doing it that way since.

  7. Alia

    This is the closest to what I do! I use spaghetti sauce to cook them in and don’t do the roux. Yours sounds delicious!

  8. Sandra Bennett

    5 stars
    Thank you for sharing this wonderful recipe! I had to make some substitutions: I didn’t have tomato juice, so I puréed a 28 oz can of diced tomatoes and added 28 oz of water. I used avocado oil instead of lard, gluten free cup for cup flour for regular flour and coconut sugar for regular sugar. I added 1/4 cup of sugar and it was sweet enough for my family. We all loved it!

  9. Denise

    5 stars
    Loved this recipe, the sauce is so,so good. made a batch several weeks ago and now have more green peppers from the garden and am making them for a second time. Going to try freezing them for a quick night meal in the future.

  10. Alfreda Elliott

    5 stars
    I make this for my family. Got the recipe from my wonderful mother in law. One difference in I add sauerkraut in the juice around the peppers. Yum!!

  11. Janet

    2 stars
    taste was good but stuffing turned out like a rock. All was cooked but it was too much of a meatball, I like the filling to be a little more crumbly.

  12. Sybil S.

    5 stars
    I love this recipe. I have made it several times, and I have cooked it in the oven. I have also tried using brown rice, but I have to precook the brown rice.

  13. Bre

    5 stars
    Finally! Someone who knows how to make stuffed peppers the right way! Putting the hamburger in the peppers uncooked gives them so much better flavor. I add a can of diced tomatoes in mine, and reserve the juice from the guid tomatoes to mix with the tomato juice. Thank you for reminding me of the ingredients & how long to cook this yummy dish,

  14. Amy

    Thank you so much for posting this stuffed pepper recipe! My mom gave me her recipe (this one) years ago but it’s been lost for a while. Gotta love Google! We are making this tonight and will remember my mom who passed away 9 yrs ago.

  15. Elisabeth Carlson

    Can I trust that the rice will be soft if not precook it? As well as the onion? Please someone let me know as I want to make this receipe for a very important luncheon on Wednesday. Thank you!!

    1. Lauren

      Whenever I have made this, everything has been soft: rice, onions, peppers, etc.. I suppose if its not completely soft, keep cooking!

    2. Elisabeth Carlson

      This recipe was wonderful! It turned out perfect. The rice and onions were soft. Made a batch and a half and I am so glad I did so could have leftovers. It was a hit with my company. Giving this recipe 5stars. Thank you Lauren

  16. Sugar Cookie Bars | Lauren's Latest

    […] for Sugar Cookie Bars. Everyone except my Mom. She was the one making lemon glazed cookies and stuffed peppers. Cause she’s cool like that. ANYWAYS, I’ve been seeing these recipes pop up all over […]

  17. T

    3 stars
    I made these stuffed peppers today and while I thought it came out delicious right up until the roux was added to the sauce. I prefer my stuffed peppers to not be as sweet, so my advice would be to try the sauce and the roux BEFORE adding all of that sugar!! Ended up throwing out all of the sauce and starting over 🙁

    Was much happier with the same exact recipe minus the sugar.

    Happy cooking all!

  18. Darryl Vickers

    5 stars
    Peppers were delicious but my rice wasn’t all the way cooked?? Should I cook the rice first or cook the peppers longer?. I been looking for this sauce recipe forever. It’s just like my mother-in-law used to make!!!!
    Thanks again
    Darryl Darryl p

    1. Susie

      5 stars
      My Hungarian mom said to use leftover cooked rice. She also cooked the onions first, with garlic and paprika. I use ground turkey instead of beef and pork, and it turned out super tasty!

  19. Laura Hardin

    5 stars
    I have to admit, your receipe left me in tears! I have been craving my grandma’s receipe for stuffed peppers for years and havent found anything even close until I found yours. We too are German so Im sure thats why the receipe is is close to hers. Grandma always put some lemon juice in her sauce, it really freshend up the tomato juice. And measurements lol, nope. It was always ” a little of this, alot of that and NEVER forget the love! She never measured the juice or anything, just had to be enough to cover the peppers and meatballs. She served it over mashed potatos and buttered rye bread. thanks for sharing

  20. jill

    Hi Lauren. I’m a new widow with two sons and am just now getting back to cooking regularly after we had to relocate. I lost all my “go to” places to get many food items so when I saw the rolls in your photo, I wanted to ask if you had a good recipe for buttery rolls so I can make some for Thanksgiving next week. My sons adore bread and miss terribly the soft, buttery rolls we used to get. Fingers crossed you have something or can point me to a good recipe. Thank you. I enjoy your posts and hope to muster myself up to make some of your recipes this week.

  21. Susan

    This recipe looks like an example of the genius of home cooks ( that is,fabulous), but you never clarified the questions asked six years ago regarding the size of a “large can of tomato juice.” I have no idea what you mean by a large can; are you referring to a 36 ounce large can, or…? Canned tomato juice is not a product that I normally buy, so I do not have a frame of reference. Please help! I would love to make this recipe#

  22. Patricia

    You never answered the many questions about what size can of tomato juice. Nor, did you correct this recipe although it appears it was originally posted over 5 years ago.

    So, I ask – what size of tomato juice?

  23. Judi

    This quite similar to the recipe my grandmother from Cincinnati passed down. I live in California and when a friend asked if I had a good stuffed pepper recipe, I copied it word for word. Not until after my Latin American friend got the strangest look on her face while reading it did it occur to me that my grandmother called them ‘mangos’!! we had quite a laugh, but I still love cooking them this way instead of baking. Thanks for bringing back a sweet memory.

    1. Jane

      I’m from Cincinnati too and my grandmother also referred to green peppers as mangos. A fun memory! Thanks for sharing! I am making these for dinner tonight but I don’t remember Grandmother thickening the sauce.

  24. Simple Sugar Cookie Bars | Lauren's Latest

    […] for sugar cookie bars. Everyone except my Mom. She was the one making lemon glazed cookies and stuffed peppers. Cause she’s cool like that. ANYWAYS, I’ve been seeing these recipes pop up all over […]

  25. dave

    well i have to say i will try these sound really tastey. i havent had a good stuffed pepper since my mother passed on. she used to make theam with canned tomatoe juice from are garden and work her magic at the stove from there. i too am hungarian slovak i iknow these will be good maybe better than my moms .i”ll let yaha know and buy the way you forgot the mashed potatoes thank you for the recipe dave

  26. Debra Darcey

    When I make my Mom’s Stuffed Green Peppers, I make a meatloaf/meatball type mixture from ground beef, egg, bread crumbs, chopped onion, spaghetti seasonings (including grated parmesan and romano cheese, oregano, a splash of crushed red pepper spice, parsley, garlic (grated or powder) and onion powder, salt and pepper, etc.) to taste. Stuff the green peppers with this mixture (press and fill – meat will shrink as it cooks). In the meantime, I have made a meatless spaghetti sauce (or use jarred sauce – doctoring until tastes like mine with many of same spices added to meat mixture). Place stuffed peppers upright in baking dish next to each other. Spoon sauce over and around green peppers so they are covered with the sauce (or as close to covered as you can get). Start with baking dish covered. Uncover for last 30 minutes. Bake in 350 degree oven until green pepper very soft and meat mixture cooked through (1-1/2 to 2 hours)(may take longer but house will smell incredible). Place green pepper and sauce (and I always make extra meatless spaghetti sauce) over spaghetti. Cover with romano and parmesan. Serve. I have never heard complaints. This was a special dish requested for birthday dinners when we got to ask for anything we wanted.

  27. Julianne

    These look delicious! Just a quick question, how large is the can of tomato juice that you use? Also should the rice be cooked or uncooked when making the meat mixture? Can’t wait to make this!

    1. Kash Targonski

      Cooked rice ( I season mine with salt pepper onion and garlic powder a little while cooking ) and the tomato sauce amount varies on your pot and amount of peppers or cabbage rolls. Always have enough to almost cover it all. I like to add sautéed chopped mushrooms and onions to the ground pork and beef aswell. Wild rice gives it a nice earthy flavour aswell to switch it up. Parsley is also nice to add. Also you can try a mushroom cream sauce instead of tomato sauce. I like it with cabbage rolls. ❤️

    1. Judi

      5 stars
      This is very similar to the recipe that my mother used to make!!! I’ve been searching for it for so long!! Making it tonight❣️Thank you Lauren 😘