These Smoked Stuffed Peppers will be the star of your next BBQ party! Packed with flavor and oh-so-easy to make, you’ll be craving these smoky, cheesy, meat-stuffed delights all summer long!
Smoked Stuffed Pepper – An Easy Dinner Recipe
There’s just something about the way the smoky flavor permeates through the hearty filling and tender peppers that makes this recipe a surefire hit. And don’t even get me started on that layer of bubbly, melted cheese on top – pure barbecue bliss!
Now, I’ve been grilling and smoking for years, but trust me when I say this recipe is a cinch to whip up, no matter your BBQ expertise. Even if you’re a beginner just getting to know your smoker, or an old hand looking for a new go-to dish, these stuffed peppers have got you covered. I’ll guide you through each step of the process, making sure you feel confident and excited about creating this crowd-pleaser.
The tools needed for this smoky feast are simple and straightforward: a reliable smoker (a pellet grill works great here), some flavorful wood pellets (I recommend Pit Boss Hickory Blend or Competition Blend), and a trusty digital thermometer to ensure those peppers are cooked to perfection.
With years of experience under my belt, experimenting with various recipes and grills, I’ve learned a thing or two about what makes a BBQ dish fantastic. I’m thrilled to share my knowledge, tips, and tasty recipes like these smoked stuffed peppers with you. Let’s dive in and get that smoker fired up – deliciousness awaits!
How To Make Smoked Stuffed Peppers
Prep the Peppers
Start off by giving your bell peppers a good wash. You can use any color bell pepper here, but we recommend making a variety of red, orange, and green peppers. Then, cut each one in half lengthwise and get rid of the seeds and membranes inside. This leaves you with perfect little ‘bowls’ ready to be filled with all that tasty stuffing.
Cook Meat and Veggies
Next, put a large skillet on the stove and set it to medium heat. Pop in your ground beef, diced onion, and garlic. Stir these around and cook them until the seasoned beef is browned and there’s no pink left. Make sure to break up the meat into smaller pieces as it cooks, and drain off any excess fat.
Feel free to substitute Italian sausage or ground turkey in this step, depending on your preferences.
Add Rice and Cabbage
Now it’s time for the rice and shredded cabbage. You can use any type of rice here, both white rice and brown rice will yield great results. Scoop these ingredients into your skillet and stir it all together. You want everything mixed well and heated through. The cabbage will wilt a bit and blend nicely with the meat.
Season the Mixture
This is where the flavor really ramps up. Pour in your marinara sauce and sprinkle in the Italiano seasoning, salt, and pepper. Give that a really good stir to make sure everything is evenly coated. Let it heat up for a minute or two before taking it off the heat.
While you’re prepping the peppers, you should also start preheating your smoker. You want it to reach a nice, steady 325 degrees F. This is important for getting those peppers perfectly smoked.
Back to your prepped peppers. Using a spoon, fill each pepper half with the stuffing mixture. Make sure they’re nice and full, then sprinkle the shredded cheese on top of the stuffed sweet peppers. Cheesy, meaty, goodness right there!
Smoke Stuffed Peppers
Lay a piece of parchment paper on a rimmed baking sheet. Put your stuffed peppers on this sheet to catch any cheese that might melt off. Now, put the baking sheet directly onto the grill grate of your preheated smoker. Close the lid and cook stuffed peppers for 30 minutes. You’re looking for the peppers to be heated through with a delicious smoke flavor and the cheese to be bubbly and golden on top.
Check for Doneness
You’ll know your peppers are done when they’re tender and can be easily pierced with a fork. They should be hot, the cheese should be bubbly, and they should smell incredible.
Serve and Enjoy!
And there you have it, folks! Perfectly smoked stuffed peppers. Serve these bad boys up while they’re hot, and watch everyone dig in. Whether it’s a weekend BBQ or a weeknight dinner, these are sure to be a hit!
Tips For Making Smoked Stuffed Peppers
Here are some easy tips to help make your first go at these Smoked Stuffed Peppers a success. Remember, every BBQ journey starts with a single grill, so don’t stress and just have fun with it!
- Prep Ahead: Save yourself some time on the day of the cookout by cooking your rice and chopping your veggies the night before. You can even stuff your peppers ahead of time and keep them in the fridge until you’re ready to smoke them.
- Wood Pellets Matter: The type of wood pellet you use can influence the flavor of your peppers. Hickory gives a strong, hearty flavor that complements beef well, while a Competition Blend provides a balanced, versatile flavor.
- Season to Taste: Don’t be shy with the seasonings! Italiano seasoning, salt, and pepper add a lot of flavors, but feel free to experiment with other spices like garlic powder, red pepper flakes, or paprika. Just remember to taste as you go along!
- Check for Doneness: The peppers are done when they’re tender and can be easily pierced with a fork. Make sure the cheese is bubbly and golden on top – that’s when you know you’ve nailed it!
Variations on this Smoked Stuffed Peppers Recipe
One of the greatest things about this smoked stuffed peppers recipe is its versatility. You can mix and match ingredients to suit your tastes or dietary needs, or even just to shake things up a bit. Let’s explore some fun and tasty variations:
Swap out the marinara sauce for tomato sauce to give a slightly tangier, more robust flavor. This is a simple swap but it’ll make a big difference to the overall taste. Feel free to experiment with different tomato sauces to achieve different flavor profiles. You really can’t go wrong!
If you’re a cheese lover like me, why not try different types of cheese? Pepper jack cheese will add a spicy kick and is a great choice if you’re craving some heat. If you prefer a milder flavor, opt for mozzarella cheese which gives an ooey-gooey texture to your peppers. You could even stuff them with cream cheese for a decadently creamy filling!
Mini Stuffed Peppers
If you’re entertaining or looking for a fun appetizer, try using mini sweet peppers instead of regular-sized bell peppers. You’ll need a lot more but they’re cute, bite-sized, and perfect for parties.
Spicy Jalapeno Poppers
Speaking of appetizers, why not transform this recipe into smoked jalapeno poppers? Use jalapeno peppers instead of bell peppers, stuff them with the meat mixture and cheese, and smoke ’em up!
If you’re looking for a low-carb variation, try swapping out the rice for cauliflower rice. Cauliflower rice is a low-carb alternative that is just as filling. Plus, it will give your peppers a light, fresh twist.
Bring in some southwestern flavor by adding corn, black beans, and some taco seasoning to your meat mixture. This will give your peppers a fun, Tex-Mex twist.
Remember, BBQ is all about having fun and making food that you love to eat. So, feel free to experiment with these variations or even come up with your own. Happy grilling!
Best Beer To Serve With Smoked Stuffed Peppers
Alright beer-lovers, let’s talk about the all-important task of pairing our delicious smoked stuffed peppers with the perfect brew. No BBQ is complete without a cold one to sip on, right? When it comes to these stuffed peppers, we’ve got a mix of hearty, rich flavors and smoky goodness, so we need a beer that can stand up to all that. Here are my top three picks:
Amber ales are known for their balance of malt and hop flavors, as well as their medium body. They’re like the Goldilocks of beers—not too heavy, not too light, but just right. This makes them a versatile partner for our stuffed peppers, able to hold up to the robust, smoky flavor without overpowering it.
Now, for those of you who really want to go all out and double down on those rich, smoky flavors, reach for a stout. With their strong, roasted flavors and full body, stouts can hold their own alongside our hearty stuffed peppers. Imagine taking a bite of smoky, cheesy, beefy goodness, followed by a sip of a robust stout. Now that’s a match made in BBQ heaven!
If you’re looking for something to cut through the richness of the stuffed peppers and cleanse your palate between bites, a pale ale is your beer. It’s hoppy, often citrusy flavor profile offers a refreshing contrast to the savory stuffed peppers, making each bite taste like the first.
Smoked Stuffed Peppers Recipe
- 6 bell peppers any color
- 1 lb lean ground beef you can sub in ground turkey, ground chicken, or ground sausage
- 1 onion chopped
- 4 garlic cloves minced
- 1 cup rice cooked, any variety
- 3 cups marinara sauce
- 4 cups cabbage shredded
- 1 cup cheddar cheese shredded, sub for any variety
- 1 tbsp Italian seasoning
- salt and pepper to taste
- Start by halving your bell peppers, removing the seeds and membranes (white ribs).
- Get your large skillet nice and hot over medium heat. Throw in your ground beef, diced onion, and garlic.
- Cook until your meat is browned and no pink remains. Break it up into smaller pieces and drain any fat.
- Now, add in your cooked rice and shredded cabbage. Mix it all up until it's well combined and heated through.
- Time to stir in your marinara sauce, Italiano seasoning, salt, and pepper. Give that a good mix and let it heat up for a minute or two before taking it off the heat.
- Preheat your smoker to 325 degrees F.
- Now the fun part! Spoon your ground beef mixture into the halved peppers and top each one with your shredded cheese.
- Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper and place your stuffed peppers on it. This'll catch any cheese that tries to escape.
- Place the baking sheet with your stuffed peppers directly onto the grill grate of your preheated smoker. Close the lid and let them smoke for 30 minutes. You're looking for the peppers to be heated through and the cheese to be bubbling and golden. If the peppers are tender and easily pierced with a fork, they're done!
- Serve up these beauties and enjoy the smoky, hearty flavor!
Smoked Stuffed Peppers FAQs
Should I boil peppers before stuffing them?
No, you don’t need to boil peppers before stuffing them for this recipe. They will become tender when smoked.
What goes good with stuffed peppers?
Stuffed peppers pair well with a variety of sides like coleslaw, cornbread, grilled veggies, or a fresh salad.
Why are my stuffed peppers watery?
Your stuffed peppers may turn out watery if there’s excess moisture in your filling. Be sure to drain your cooked meat properly and cook any veggies until they release their moisture before stuffing.
How long do peppers take to cook in a smoker?
For this recipe, stuffed peppers take about 30 minutes to cook in a smoker preheated to 325 degrees F.
How long does it take to smoke peppers at 225?
If you’re smoking peppers at a lower temperature of 225 degrees F, it will take longer, usually around 1.5 to 2 hours.
How long does it take to smoke bell peppers at 250?
If you’re smoking bell peppers at 250 degrees F, they should be done in about 1 to 1.5 hours.
How do you smoke peppers in a smoker?
To smoke peppers in a smoker, prepare and stuff your peppers, preheat your smoker to the desired temperature (for this recipe, 325 degrees F), then place your peppers directly on the grill grate and smoke for the recommended time.