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, and tortilla chips for scooping.
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. 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.
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.
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.
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!
Other Tex Mex Meals
- Chicken Enchilada Casserole – Enchiladas, simplified. Instead of filling and rolling them, layer the enchilada ingredients in this easy, make-ahead casserole dish.
- Make-Ahead Breakfast Burritos – We always have a batch of these in the freezer. They’re filled with vegetables, eggs, and diced ham and make a quick weeknight dinner or warm breakfast.
- Tex Mex Burgers with Guacamole
- Mexican Pita Pizzas
- 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.
Slow Cooker Tex Mex Stuffed Peppers
- 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.)
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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