Your Complete Guide to Freezing Stuffed Peppers

Wondering if you can freeze stuffed peppers? Yes, you can! This can be a great way to prep meals ahead of time and reduce food waste.

top down view of an arrangement of baked stuffed peppers in a baking dish

Stuffed peppers make the best leftovers. They’re tasty the next day when you need a quick reheat-and-eat option, but they also can be prepped way ahead and frozen.

And guess what? You can freeze stuffed peppers.

If you’re not sure about the how-tos of freezing stuffed peppers, read on to learn the fool-proof method, plus how to heat them up so that they’re as good as the first time you cooked them. Just call it the perfect freezer meal.

How to freeze stuffed peppers

Here’s how to prepare stuffed peppers for freezing, according to registered dietitian and chef Julie Lopez, RD, owner of Chef Julie RD and Culinary Nutrition Studio:

close up of quinoa mixture in a bowl

1. Make your filling. One of the great things about stuffed peppers is that the filling is totally customizable. You can make these with meat or plant-based meat substitutes, beans, grains, vegetables, cheese, or a combination of all of these ingredients.

Often, using leftovers from your fridge—a random half cup of quinoa from the other night, some beans, or veggies that you have to use up—can come together well.

Just make sure that the filling is fully cooked before stuffing the peppers, says Lopez.

pepper cut in half lengthwise

2. Cut peppers in half lengthwise.

top down view of pepper halves stuffed with quinoa mixture

3. Stuff each half with your filling.

4. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. This prevents the peppers from sticking to the pan, Lopez says.

Stuffed red peppers filled with quinoa and vegetables

5. Place the stuffed pepper halves on the baking sheet and place in the freezer.

6. Once frozen, wrap each individual pepper half in plastic wrap.

7. Place pepper halves in a freezer safe bag.

Can you freeze uncooked stuffed peppers?

Do not freeze uncooked stuffed peppers, Lopez advises. If you’re using meat, you want that meat to be cooked through before it gets stuffed into the pepper.

Raw meat stuffed bell peppers on a white background

You’d cook the filling first before stuffing peppers, even if you weren’t planning on freezing them and were going to have them for dinner that night.

Same with vegetarian stuffed peppers—each component of the filling should be cooked, which allows the flavors to come together.

While each recipe will have its own method, here are the basic components of a stuffed pepper:

  • The peppers: You’ll need bell peppers—red, orange, yellow, or green are equally as good. Choose the one you like the most. Like a little spice? You can also use larger poblanos.
  • The protein: Ground poultry or beef, sausage, shredded chicken, or plant-based proteins, such as beans and lentils, tempeh or tofu, or plant-based meats, or meat substitutes like ground soy crumbles, are all tasty options.
  • The grain: Try cooked rice, quinoa, bulgur, or farro. If you’re making a low-carb stuffed pepper, you can trade out the grain for cauliflower rice. Grains should be fully cooked, as they will not cook inside the stuffed pepper.
  • The veggies: Onion, canned tomatoes, carrots, and any others you want, can bulk up the filling and sneak in extra fiber.
  • The seasoning: Garlic, dried herbs and spices make the filling pop with flavor.
  • The cheese: Although optional, shredded cheese, Parmesan, or feta can be stirred into the mix and/or used as a topping.

To make them, cook your meat or plant-based meat substitute first (if using), then remove from the pan onto a plate and set aside. Sauté garlic, raw veggies, and seasoning together. Don’t forget to add salt to taste.

close up of ground meat being cooked in a pan

Add in cooked grains, beans, and/or canned tomatoes. Add the cooked meat or plant-based meat substitute back to the pan (if using). Mix in some cheese, reserving some for the top.

Now that you have your filling made, you can work on stuffing, freezing, and wrapping the peppers to save for later.

How to reheat frozen stuffed peppers

The good news: “You can cook your stuffed peppers directly from frozen in the oven,” says Lopez. That means that you don’t even have to worry about putting them in the refrigerator to thaw.

top down view of stuffed pepper halves fresh out of the oven

You can get home after a busy day, look in your freezer, and know you have a balanced meal waiting for you.

From frozen, place on a baking dish or baking sheet, cover, and bake at 400° Fahrenheit for about 45 minutes.

Insert a thermometer into the middle of the stuffing—peppers should be reheated to 165° Fahrenheit to ensure food safety. Rather use your microwave instead? That’s totally fine, but still do a check to make sure the internal temp is at 165° F before digging in.

How long do stuffed peppers last in the freezer?

According to the USDA, leftovers can be frozen for three to four months. Food will stay safe forever in the freezer, but their texture and flavor starts to breakdown the longer they sit frozen.

Besides, with how yummy stuffed peppers are, I bet you’ll eat them up way before then!

Freezer-friendly stuffed pepper recipes

Try these recipes. Any of them can be made ahead of time and frozen—or you can make and eat them for dinner tonight:

Quinoa Veggie Stuffed Peppers by Krista King, RDN
This recipe combines tofu and quinoa with goat cheese, spinach, and smoked paprika for a flavor-packed vegetarian option.
Check out this recipe
quinoa veggie stuffed peppers
Vegan Stuffed Peppers with Beyond Meat by Desiree Nielsen, RD
This knocks it out of the park with this meaty (vegan!) spin on stuffed peppers that tastes like pizza thanks to pizza sauce and vegan cheese.
Check out this recipe
vegan stuffed peppers with Beyond Meat
Easy Taco Stuffed Bell Peppers by Hannah Magee, RD
This recipe is proof that you can take inspo for your stuffed peppers from any of your favorite meals. Love taco Tuesday? Here’s one that mixes up ground beef or chicken, spicy jalapeño and fajita seasoning, black beans, and corn. Just don’t forget the salsa and dollop of Greek yogurt on top.
Check out this recipe
Turkey Enchilada Poblano Peppers by chef Abbie Gellman, RD
It’s exactly like a turkey enchilada sans tortilla for a lower-carb spin.   
Check out this recipe
turkey enchilada poblano peppers

The bottom line

You can absolutely freeze stuffed peppers, and they make for a really great freezer-friendly dish. It’s important to make sure that your stuffing is fully cooked before it goes into the peppers and is then frozen.

Go ahead and pop a pepper out of the freezer and heat it up in the oven. Then grab a fork and knife and go for it.

Sources

Wondering if you can freeze stuffed peppers? Yes, you can! This can be a great way to prep meals ahead of time and reduce food waste.
Plant-Based Eating |

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