A stuffed bell pepper on a green plate

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The Stuffed Bell Pepper; a classic Russian family dish. The peppers have the same basic stuffing/meat mixture as Golubtsi, except these are easier and quicker to make. One stuffed bell pepper is a meal in itself.

Use both yellow and red bell peppers and arrange them on a platter when finished for are lovely and impressive presentation. As with golubtsi, serve these up with a dollop of sour cream.
Stuffed Bell Peppers Recipe

Ingredients for Stuffed Bell Peppers:

2 1/2 cups cooked white rice
8 to 10 medium bell peppers (red or yellow)
1 to 1.3 lbs ground pork
1 lb ground turkey
2 eggs
4 medium carrots, grated
3 Tbsp oil
1 Tbsp butter
3/4 cup mushroom marinara
1 Tbsp salt for meat mixture
1 tsp salt for boiling water
2 Tbsp Vinegar

Podliva (Sauce) Ingredients:

2 Tbsp Oil
2 Carrots, grated
1 tsp Vegeta (or Mrs Dash, or similar seasoning)
1 Tbsp sour cream
3/4 cup mushroom marinara
3 cups reserved water from boiling the peppers

How to Make the Best Stuffed Bell Peppers:

Prepping the Peppers (that has a nice ring to it!):
1. Cut off the top of each pepper and clean out the junk  inside.

Stuffed Bell Peppers Recipe

2. Bring a large soup pot of water to a boil (at least 2/3 full). Add 2 Tbsp vinegar and 1 tsp salt.

3. Place all of the peppers in the pot. They should be mostly covered with water. Add more water if needed.

Stuffed Bell Peppers Recipe

4. Cover peppers and bring to a boil. After 3 minutes, leave the lid on, turn off the heat and let peppers sit in the hot water while you prepare the rest of the recipe (they should be in there around 45 minutes). They need to sit in order to soften.

5. Be sure to Reserve 3 cups of water from the peppers.

Meat Mixture:

1. In a large skillet, heat 3 Tbsp oil and 1 Tbsp butter over medium/high heat.
2. Add 4 grated carrots and saute until soft.
3. Once they soften, add 3/4 cup mushroom marinara and saute 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat.
4. In a large bowl (I use my kitchenAid with paddle attachment for this) mix: pork, turkey and cooked rice.
5. Stir in 2 eggs, sautéed carrots and 1 tbsp Salt. Mix well.

Stuffing the Peppers:

1. By now, your peppers should have softened, reserve 3 cups water.
2. Drain the peppers  and move them to a dry surface.
3. Fill each pepper full of meat mixture, don’t press it down, just fill it all the way
4. As you stuff your peppers, arrange them snuggly either in the same pot you used to cook the peppers or in a cast iron dutch oven.

Podliva (Sauce):

1. Heat 2 Tbsp canola oil. Saute 2 grated carrots with 1 tsp vegeta. Stir occassionally until carrots are soft.

2. Add 1 tbsp sour cream and 3/4 cup mushroom marinara. Saute another minute and remove from heat.

3. Pour Podliva over the top of each pepper and add 3 cups of reserved water from peppers.

Stuffed Bell Peppers Recipe

Two Ways to Cook these:

1. If using the pot, bring to a light boil, then cover and simmer 40 minutes over medium heat.

2. If using a dutch oven (recommended method), cover and bake at 450˚ F for 20-25 minutes. When it bubbles, reduce heat to 350˚ F and bake 1 hour.

Serve with sour cream.

Notes:

These make excellent left-overs. Before re-heating, cut the pepper in half and spoon the podliva (juice) over each half.
You may have some leftover meat depending on the size of your peppers. Use any left-over meat for Katleti.
Also, you will have leftover marinara sauce.

Stuffed Bell Peppers Recipe

5 from 12 votes
Author: Natasha of NatashasKitchen.com
Prep Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 25 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours 55 minutes

Ingredients 

Servings: 8 -10

Ingredients for Stuffed Bell Peppers:

  • 2 1/2 cups cooked white rice
  • 8 to 10 medium bell peppers
  • 1 to 1.3 lbs ground pork
  • 1 lb ground turkey
  • 2 eggs
  • 4 medium carrots, grated
  • 3 tbsp oil
  • 1 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cup mushroom marinara
  • 1 tbsp salt for meat mixture
  • 1 tsp salt for boiling water
  • 2 tbsp Vinegar

Podliva Ingredients:

Instructions

  • Cut off the top of each pepper and clean out the junk inside.
  • Bring a large soup pot of water to a boil (at least 2/3 full). Add 2 tbsp vinegar and 1 tsp salt.
  • Place all of the peppers in the pot. They should be mostly covered with water. Add more water if needed.
  • Cover peppers and bring to a boil. After 3 minutes, leave the lid on, turn off the heat and let peppers sit in the hot water while you prepare the rest of the recipe (they should be in there around 45 minutes). They need to sit in order to soften.
  • Be sure to Reserve 3 cups of water from the peppers.

Meat Mixture:

  • In a large skillet, heat 3 tbsp oil and 1 tbsp butter over medium/high heat.
  • Add 4 grated carrots and saute until soft. Once they soften, 3/4 cup mushroom marinara and saute 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat.
  • In a large bowl (I use my kitchen Aid with paddle attachment for this) mix: pork, turkey and cooked rice.
  • Stir in 2 eggs, sautéed carrots and 1 tbsp Salt. Mix well.

Stuffing the Peppers:

  • By now, your peppers should have softened, reserve 3 cups water.
  • Drain the peppers and move them to a dry surface.
  • Fill each pepper full of meat mixture, don't press it down, just fill it all the way
  • As you stuff your peppers, arrange them snuggly either in the same pot you used to cook the peppers or in a cast iron dutch oven.

Podliva (Sauce):

  • Heat 2 tbsp canola oil. Saute 2 grated carrots with 1 tsp Mrs. Dash. Stir occasionally until carrots are soft.
  • Add 1 tbsp sour cream and 3/4 cup mushroom marinara. Saute another minute and remove from heat.
  • Pour Podliva over the top of each pepper and add 3 cups of reserved water from peppers.

Two Ways to Cook these:

  • If using the pot, bring to a light boil, then cover and simmer 40 minutes over medium heat.
  • If using a dutch oven (recommended method), cover and bake at 450°F for 20-25 minutes. When it bubbles, reduce heat to 350°F and bake 1 hour.

Serve with sour cream.

    Notes

    These make excellent left-overs. Before re-heating, cut the pepper in half and spoon the podliva (juice) over each half. You may have some leftover meat depending on the size of your peppers. Use any left-over meat for Katleti.
    Course: Main Course
    Cuisine: American, Russian
    Keyword: Stuffed Bell Peppers
    Skill Level: Medium
    Cost to Make: $$
    Natasha's Kitchen Cookbook

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    Natasha Kravchuk

    Welcome to my kitchen! I am Natasha, the creator behind Natasha's Kitchen (established in 2009), and I share family-friendly, authentic recipes. I am a New York Times Best-Selling cookbook author and a trusted video personality in the culinary world. My husband, Vadim, and I run this blog together, ensuring every recipe we share is thoroughly tested and approved. Our mission is to provide you with delicious, reliable recipes you can count on. Thanks for stopping by! I am so happy you are here.

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    Recipe Rating




    Comments

    • Tara
      September 22, 2021

      Hi My favourite go to Recipe girl!!!
      Is it possible for you to do a video on the stuffed peppers
      I am dying to try them it’s just I follow video better than words I think I read into it to much lol
      Thanks

      Reply

      • Natasha's Kitchen
        September 22, 2021

        Hi Tara, good to hear that this is your new go-to recipe! Thanks for your suggestion, I’ll try to add that to our list.

        Reply

    • Isabelle Séguin-Lapointe
      September 9, 2021

      Hi Natasha, I would love to see a video of this recipe. I have never made stuffed peppers. Thanks

      Reply

      • Natashas Kitchen
        September 9, 2021

        Thank you so much for that suggestion, Isabelle!

        Reply

    • Christina Velichko
      July 22, 2020

      Hi Natasha. I don’t have a dutch oven but I have a heavy duty stainless steel pot that is oven safe. Would that work instead of dutch oven? I want to cook it in the oven. I haven’t tried this recipe yet.

      Reply

      • Natashas Kitchen
        July 22, 2020

        Hi Christina, if its oven-safe and has a heavy bottom I bet that could work! I would love to know how you like this recipe!

        Reply

        • Christina Velichko
          July 23, 2020

          Have you tried making this in an instant pot??

          Reply

          • Natashas Kitchen
            July 23, 2020

            Hi Christina, I have not tested this in an instant pot to advise but I bet it may work! If you experiment, please let me know how you like it.

            Reply

    • Lena
      April 24, 2020

      It turned out sooooo good. I did add parsley into the stuffing mix to add an element of freshness, and a sautéed onion for flavor but otherwise… mmmm. Thank you for the recipe!

      Reply

      • Natasha's Kitchen
        April 24, 2020

        Nice to know that Lena. Thank you for sharing that with us!

        Reply

    • Olga
      December 27, 2019

      Could I half this recipe?

      Reply

      • Natasha
        December 27, 2019

        Hi Olga, yes this would work well to cut the recipe in half.

        Reply

    • Guest
      December 17, 2019

      Hey Natasha, can I use mini bell peppers instead? How would the timing change? I want to make them for a appetizer for a party.

      Reply

      • Natashas Kitchen
        December 17, 2019

        Bake time may be slightly less but should take a good amount of it!

        Reply

    • Olga
      December 11, 2019

      Do you reheat by microwaving them?

      Reply

      • Natashas Kitchen
        December 11, 2019

        Hi Olga, you can reheat in the microwave or in the oven. I hope that helps.

        Reply

    • Olga
      December 10, 2019

      Hi Natasha,
      I am not a fan of mushrooms. Are there bits of them in the Mariana sauce? If so could I use just regular Mariana sauce?

      Reply

      • Natasha
        December 10, 2019

        Hi Olga, you definitely can use a plain marinara sauce without mushroom.

        Reply

    • Natalie
      November 20, 2019

      Best sauce ever. I never bought mushroom marinara before and didn’t know how it tastes. So happy I tried it. It’s sooo good for stuffed peppers. And bet, for cabbage rolls too. Overall the recipe is wonderful. The only change I made was I added a little bit of sweet Italian sausage. Very flavorful and delicious. Thank you Natasha!

      Reply

      • Natashas Kitchen
        November 20, 2019

        I’m so happy to hear that! You’re welcome & Thank you for sharing your great review!

        Reply

    • Anna
      November 12, 2019

      First time making these and they turned out amazing.thank you for the confidence boost.

      Reply

      • Natashas Kitchen
        November 12, 2019

        You’re welcome! I’m so happy you enjoyed that, Anna!

        Reply

    • Rachel
      March 11, 2019

      I am stuck on the reserved water part. Does the reserved water just go in the bottom of the pot?

      Reply

      • Natashas Kitchen
        March 11, 2019

        Hi, Rachel, the reserved water is added in step 3 of the Podliva (Sauce). “3. Pour Podliva over the top of each pepper and add 3 cups of reserved water from peppers.” I hope that helps!

        Reply

    • Janette
      October 20, 2018

      I have made this receipe a couple of times and everyone loves it. Actually, I substituted the ground beef for Quorn Grounds to make it vegetarian. I served this dish to my father in law, who grew up in Russia. He loved it and said that it tasted just like his mom’s, whom from what I have always heard was a magnificent cook. Thank you for keeping the flavors authentic.

      Reply

      • Natashas Kitchen
        October 20, 2018

        I’m so inspired reading your review. Thank you, Janette!

        Reply

    • Inna
      September 22, 2018

      Hi Natasha 😊
      If I were to use mini bell peppers would bake time be any different?
      Thanks!

      Reply

      • Natashas Kitchen
        September 22, 2018

        Hi Inna. Bake time may be slightly less but should take a good amount of it!

        Reply

    • Elaina Vayntrub
      September 7, 2018

      Hi Natasha!
      You’re recipes are wonderful. I’ve been learning how to be a good Russian mom (like my mom) from your recipes.
      I only have ground veal in the freezer. You think that would work for this recipe?

      Reply

      • Natashas Kitchen
        September 7, 2018

        Hi Elaina! Although I have tried this with veal myself, I think it could work! Please let me know how you like it if you experiment!

        Reply

    • Alena
      June 6, 2018

      Hi. How can I freeze these? Also can I cook them in a slow cooker? (If I cook them in a slow cooker, should I freeze them raw?) Thank you in advance!

      Reply

      • Natasha
        June 6, 2018

        Hi Alena, these do freeze well after they are cooked. One of my readers reported using a slow cooker, setting it on low and after a days work, it was done. I don’t have any more specific info on that though. If you test it out, let me know how it goes 🙂

        Reply

        • Sveta
          February 19, 2019

          Natasha, I made stuffed peppers and stuffed cabbage in the slow cooker on high for 4 hours and they were just delicious. Thank you for the recipe and marinara was a good choice instead of tomato sauce. Just fyi..

          Reply

          • Natashas Kitchen
            February 19, 2019

            Thank you for sharing that with us!

            Reply

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