Slow Cooker Tex Mex Stuffed Peppers


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Tex Mex Stuffed Peppers in the slow cooker

Slow Cooker Tex Mex Stuffed Peppers are filled with a mix of spices, rice, and beef. Make a complete meal out of this dish by serving the peppers with sour cream, guacamole, tortilla chips and Black Bean and Corn Salsa

I’ve been making stuffed peppers since I lived in DC in my mid-20s. I’d make a big batch and take them for lunches all week. There’s something about this filling, healthy, compact meal that makes me happy to find it in my lunch or for dinner as leftovers. This is my favorite version to-date (a close second and third are these vegetarian versions – Mexican Stuffed Peppers and Vegetable and Rice Stuffed Peppers). And I love that it can be made in the slow cooker! Here’s how!

By the way, do you love freezer meals as much as I do? Check out all of my freezer-friendly meals which each include a printable label to attach to the meal.

bell peppers in the instant pot

Why Make Stuffed Peppers In the Slow Cooker

Stuffed peppers take a bit of legwork to assemble. They’re not exactly the type of meal that you to start making from scratch at the end of a long day. All the more reason to bake them in the slow cooker. You can do all of the prep work the night before, put them in the slow cooker in the morning, and come home to a dinner that’s ready to go. The peppers also cook best at low and slow temperatures, allowing the meat filling to warm up and cook through just as the peppers themselves are turning super tender.

bell peppers with the tops cut off, sitting on a sheet pan

Tex Mex Stuffed Peppers Ingredients

  • Bell Peppers – Use any color of bell peppers for this dish. Use your favorite, get whatever is on sale, or use a mix. This recipe uses four bell peppers that are about 6 to 8 ounces each. You can adjust, using five smaller or three larger peppers. 
  • Ground Beef – Use 80% lean beef for best results. This has enough fat content to prevent the filling from drying out as it cooks. 
  • Instant / “Minute” Rice – Instant (sometimes labeled “Minute” rice) works best in this recipe. The moisture in the slow cooker helps to cook the rice to tender perfection while it gains flavor from the other seasonings. (In testing, cooked rice got too soggy while cooking and regular, uncooked white rice didn’t cook all the way through.) 
  • Frozen Corn – Frozen corn adds texture and a nice balance to the filling in the peppers. You can also use canned corn here, but be sure to drain and rinse it well before adding it to the filling. 
  • Tomato Sauce – Look for tomato sauce or tomato puree in cans. Just be sure to buy a plain version (not one with Italian seasonings like garlic and basil added). 
  • Shredded Cheese – Add some shredded Mexican blend cheese to the filling for these peppers and then sprinkle some on top. Any type of cheese will work – cheddar or Monterey Jack are great here too.
  • Garlic, Chili Powder, Cumin, and Salt – These all add flavor to the recipe.

 Tex Mex Stuffed Peppers in a slow cooker

Freeze This Meal

This is a great freezer meal. Just assemble the peppers and freeze them (before cooking) in a freezer-safe bag for 4 to 6 months. (Be sure to press out as much air as possible before sealing the freezer bag.

And be sure to print the recipe below for a printable label that you can attach to the meal! 

Tex Mex Stuffed Peppers on a sheet pan


Slow Cooker Tex Mex Stuffed Peppers in a freezer bag

Other Tex Mex Meals

Tex Mex Stuffed Peppers in a slow cooker

Favorite Tools

  • KitchenAid 6 Quart Slow Cooker – This slow cooker keeps a low, even temperature which keeps all of the peppers cooking evenly and holds them at a moderate low temperature on the “warm” setting after cooking. 

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Tex Mex Stuffed Peppers in a slow cooker
4.34 from 6 votes

Slow Cooker Tex Mex Stuffed Peppers

Slow Cooker Tex Mex Stuffed Peppers are filled with a mix of spices, rice, and beef. They are great for serving with sour cream, guacamole, and tortilla chips for scooping.
Prep: 25 minutes
Cook: 3 hours
Total: 3 hours 25 minutes
Servings: 4


  • Slow-Cooker


  • 4 large Bell Peppers, any color (see note)
  • 1 pound Ground Beef (80% lean)
  • 4 cloves Garlic, chopped
  • 3/4 cup Instant or “Minute” Rice (white or brown)
  • 1 cup Frozen Corn
  • 1 8 ounce can Tomato Sauce
  • 1 Tablespoon Chili Powder
  • 2 teaspoon Ground Cumin
  • 1 1/4 teaspoon Salt
  • 1/2 cup Shredded Mexican Blend Cheese
  • 1 cup Shredded Mexican Blend Cheese


  • Prepare bell peppers by slicing off and discarding the stem. Carefully run a knife around the inside of the pepper to loosen the core. Then pull out and discard the core and seeds. (It’s okay if a few seeds remain in the bottom.)
  • Combine ground beef, garlic, instant rice, corn, tomato sauce, chili powder, cumin, salt, and 1/2 cup of cheese.
  • Spoon filling into peppers, pressing firmly to fill. (Note: At this point the peppers can be frozen in a freezer-safe plastic bag or other container.)
  • Arrange peppers in a slow cooker, leaning them against each other so they stay upright.
  • Pour 1 cup of water around the peppers.
  • Sprinkle remaining 1 cup of cheese on top of peppers.
  • Cover and cook on low for 3 to 4 hours or high for 2 to 3 hours. (Slow cooker can then switch to the warming function for up to 3 hours.)


Bell peppers come in many different sizes, so you may need to play around with this a bit. When bell peppers are in season and are very large (about the same length of my hand, from wrist to the top of my middle finger), 4 is just right (they should each weigh 6 to 8 ounces). If I buy the smaller peppers (like those that often come in 3-packs), I find that I need 6 peppers. If you ever have leftover filling, you can place it in a small mason jar or ramekin and slow cook it alongside the peppers. 
If you are making this meal ahead for yourself or someone else, assemble the peppers and freeze them (before cooking) in a freezer-safe bag for 4 to 6 months. (Be sure to press out as much air as possible before sealing the freezer bag.) Refrigerate for up to 3 days. Freeze for up to 4 months. Print and attach the label below so cooking instructions are ready when you are!
tex mex stuffed peppers freezer label


Calories: 516kcal | Carbohydrates: 36g | Protein: 37g | Fat: 25g | Saturated Fat: 12g | Cholesterol: 114mg | Sodium: 1140mg | Potassium: 936mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 6017IU | Vitamin C: 213mg | Calcium: 327mg | Iron: 6mg

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

Author: Jess Smith via Inquiring Chef
Cost: $11.50
Calories: 516
Keyword: easy freezer meal, freezer friendly, gluten free, slow-cooker
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The pumpkin patch we went to this year had a giant tub filled with dried corn kernels! The kids could have played in here for hours. They also asked me if we could take it home and cook it.

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About Jess Smith

Jess is the recipe creator and photographer at She spent nearly a decade as the Chief Recipe Developer for the award-winning meal planning app Cook Smarts. Her colorful, healthyish recipes have been featured in popular online publications including Parade, Hallmark, and HuffPost.

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