This unstuffed pepper skillet is everything you love about stuffed peppers all in a satisfying one pan meal. This skillet is loaded with ground beef, rice, corn, black beans, your favorite Mexican flavors and of course, you can’t forget the cheese!
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You’ve probably had stuffed peppers before, but have you tried unstuffed peppers? This unstuffed pepper skillet is for you if you love stuffed peppers but want to try something a little different to switch it up.
Think of this as deconstructed stuffed peppers. Rather than stuffing the filling instead whole peppers, the peppers are chopped up and mixed into the filling.
Unstuffed pepper skillet is easier to eat, store and transport, but doesn’t lack any of the flavor of stuffed peppers. In fact, the flavors are more balanced because the bell pepper is even disbursed throughout the filling.
This unstuffed pepper skillet features favorite Mexican flavors, including ground beef, rice, taco seasoning, sweet corn and black beans. Everything is topped off with a layer of gooey melted cheese.
This unstuffed pepper skillet is a great meal to make on weeknights or weekends for the whole family, and is also perfect for meal prep because it reheats fabulously.
If you love this unstuffed pepper skillet recipe, check out my other skillet recipes, including this ground turkey sweet potato skillet and this easy turkey taco skillet.
Bell peppers: I recommend a combination of two or more different types of bell peppers. I used red and green.
Ground beef: an 85% lean (or leaner) ground beef works best for this recipe. You can also use ground turkey or chicken.
Aromatics: onion and garlic add lots of flavor to this recipe.
Rice: use a long grain white rice like basmati or jasmine.
Taco seasoning: use your favorite store bought or homemade taco seasoning blend.
Fire roasted diced tomatoes: fire roasted tomatoes add a slight smoky flavor.
Broth: either beef or chicken broth can be used. I recommend bone broth for added protein and flavor.
Corn and black beans: for extra nutrients, flavor and color.
Shredded cheese: this skillet is finished off with a topping of melty Mexican shredded cheese.
Nonstick or stainless steal pan
Cutting board and knife
Measuring cups and spoons
Heat a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add ground beef and cook, while crumbling meat with a wooden spoon, until browned, about 5 minutes.
Use a slotted spoon to remove the ground beef from the pan. Remove excess fat from the pan until you have around 1 tablespoon remaining.
Add bell peppers and onion and sauté until tender, about 8 minutes. Add garlic and sauté one more minute.
Next, add the ground beef back to the pan along with rice, fire roasted diced tomatoes, taco seasoning, chicken broth, black beans and corn. Stir so everything is well combined and bring mixture to a simmer.
Once simmering, cook for 15 minutes, being sure to stir with a wooden spoon every 1-2 minutes, until the rice is cooked through.
Turn off the burner, top the skillet with shredded cheese and cover the pan with the lid. Allow everything to sit for 3-4 minutes, or until the cheese has melted.
Garnish unstuffed pepper skillet with chopped cilantro.
- Use a pan that is at least 10 inches in diameter and 3 inches tall to ensure it is big enough for this recipe.
- You do not need to use any oil in this recipe, as the rendered fat from the beef is plenty to cook the peppers and onion.
- A lot of your flavor and potential spice will come from the taco seasoning you use, so ensure you are using one you enjoy and meets your spice preference (I used a mild taco seasoning from Old El Paso).
- When stirring the unstuffed pepper skillet, be sure to scrape the bottom of the pan to ensure the rice does not stick and burn.
How many people does this unstuffed pepper skillet feed?
This unstuffed pepper skillet feeds four people, or will make enough meal prep for 4-5 lunches.
How to store unstuffed pepper skillet?
Allow the unstuffed pepper skillet to cool completely, then store in an air tight container in the fridge for up to 5 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months.
How can I reheat unstuffed pepper skillet?
Allow frozen unstuffed pepper skillet to thaw, then preheat the oven to 400°F. Place unstuffed pepper skillet into an oven safe baking dish and cook for 12-15 minutes, or until heated through.
Microwave: microwave on high for one minute, stir well and microwave again for another one to 1 1/2 minutes.
How can I switch up this unstuffed pepper skillet?
Peppers: use a variety of peppers, such as bell, poblano and jalapeño.
Spice: If you’d like to add some heat, add 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper.
Beans: switch up the beans by using pinto or kidney beans instead of black beans.
Green chilies: add a 4 oz can of green chilies for a slightly different flavor.
Ground beef: either ground turkey or ground chicken can be used in place of ground beef.
Taco seasoning: I use a store bought taco seasoning blend to reduce overall ingredients needed, but you can make a homemade taco seasoning blend.
Fire roasted tomatoes: if you cannot find fire roasted tomatoes, regular diced canned tomatoes or diced tomatoes with green chilies will work well.
Broth: either beef or chicken broth works for this recipe. Use bone broth for extra flavor.
Shredded cheese: The recipe calls for shredded Mexican cheese (for it’s ease), however I’ve also used Colby jack, pepper jack and sharp cheddar cheese in this recipe and all are delicious options.
More Recipes You’ll Love
- Southwest Chicken Bowls
- Broccoli Cheddar Chicken Orzo
- Ground Chicken Stir Fry
- Cajun Shrimp and Sausage Pasta
If you make this Unstuffed Pepper Skillet, be sure to leave a comment below and rate this recipe! If you snap a pic, be sure to tag me on Instagram @thechowdown! I love seeing your creations!
Unstuffed Pepper Skillet
- 1 lb lean ground beef 85% lean or leaner
- 2 red bell peppers deseeded and diced
- 2 green bell peppers deseeded and diced
- 1 small yellow onion diced
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1 cup long grain rice
- 1 15oz can fire roasted diced tomatoes with liquid
- 1 taco seasoning packet 1 oz packet
- 2 cups chicken or beef broth
- 3/4 cup black beans
- 3/4 cup corn
- 1 cup shredded Mexican cheese
- chopped fresh cilantro for garnish
- Heat a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add ground beef and cook, while crumbling meat with a wooden spoon, until browned, about 5 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to remove the ground beef from the pan. Remove excess fat from the pan until you have around 1 tablespoon remaining.
- Add bell peppers and onion and sauté until tender, about 8 minutes. Add garlic and sauté one more minute.
- Next, add the ground beef back to the pan along with rice, fire roasted diced tomatoes, taco seasoning, chicken broth, black beans and corn. Stir so everything is well combined and bring mixture to a simmer. Once simmering, cook for 15 minutes, being sure to stir with a wooden spoon every 1-2 minutes, until the rice is cooked through.
- Turn off the burner, top the skillet with shredded cheese and cover the pan with the lid. Allow everything to sit for 3-4 minutes, or until the cheese has melted. Garnish unstuffed pepper skillet with chopped cilantro.
This was a huge hit! Much easier than stuffing peppers and lots of flavor. Will definitely make again!
So happy to hear this!