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Stuffed peppers with ground meat, rice and tomato sauce are a classic of Austrian cuisine. This version of my granny is a bit faster and easier to prepare than other traditional variations. [Directly to recipe]

What sets this recipe apart from the traditional recipes for stuffed peppers?

In most traditional recipes for Stuffed Peppers, the peppers are left in hot water for 10-20 minutes to soften them. This step is left out here, therfore the baking time is longer.

Some other stuffed bell pepper recipes require more preparation time for the tomato sauce, which is also simplified in this recipe.

That’s how my grandma does it:

The recipe from my granny is the preparation in the oven, without pouring hot water over the peppers in the first time. The peppers are stuffed with the raw ground meat mix and baked in the oven until the meat is through. Only then comes the tomato sauce. By roasting in the oven, the peppers get a very good taste, but it also takes longer to finish.

My quick version of the recipe:

My version of the recipe is for the impatient among us. The meat is fried in a pan beforehand, which shortens the cooking time. The stuffed peppers are then cooked in the tomato sauce on the stove top.

For the sauce I use ready-made plain tomato sauce. Because especially in the wintertime, the Austrian tomatoes taste like nothing anyway and therefore the effort to make it from scratch is not worth it.

Instructions for preparation:

  • Whether the specified amount of meat and rice fits exactly into the peppers depends strongly on their size. Who wants to play it safe, can buy 1-2 peppers extra.
  • If you have leftover rice that is already cooked, you can count on about 2 US cups {~400 g} of rice. This corresponds approximately to the amount of 2/3 US cups {~125 g} of raw rice.
  • I use a lot of parsley for my stuffing mix because I like it when traditional comfort food gets a fresh touch with more greens.
  • I also like it when the vegetables stay crisp. That’s why I do not cook the peppers that long. Typically “Austrian” would be to cook your veggies veeeery soft, until they have nothing in common with veggies anymore… ; D
    So, if you prefer it softer, just let the peppers cook longer. The “lid” of the peppers stays a little crisper, but will also be steamed in the pot.

You may also be interested in:

My grandmother’s original recipe for cabbage roulades with oven roasted winter veggies:

Traditional Austrian Cabbage Roulades with Oven-Roasted Winter Veggies - Granny Recipes - Cabbage Rolls with Ground Meat, Onions, Garlic and Eggs. Served with oven-roasted butternut squash, cauliflower, turnip cabbage and green beans.

Here’s my recipe for Krautfleckerl – Austrian Cabbage Pasta with caramelized onions, bacon and celery:

Here is a longer pic to pin on your Pinterest Boards:

Stuffed Peppers with ground meat and tomato sauce

And here is the recipe for stuffed peppers:


Stuffed peppers with ground meat, rice and tomato sauce are a classic of Austrian cuisine. This version is a bit faster and easier to prepare than other traditional versions.
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Prep Time 25 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Total Time 45 mins
Servings 8 small bell peppers
Calories 250 kcal


For the peppers

  • 2/3 US cup rice {125g} or 2 US cups cooked rice {400g}
  • 1 tablespoon oil e.g. sunflower, corn, or rapeseed oil
  • 1 onion small to medium
  • 5 cloves garlic
  • 1 lb ground meat {500g} beef and/or pork
  • 1/2 US cup bacon {80g} diced
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon marjoram
  • 4-5 tablespoon parsley fresh or from the freezer
  • salt
  • pepper
  • 8 bell peppers 8 small or 6 bigger ones

For the tomato sauce

  • 2 US cups plain tomato sauce
  • 4 bay leaves
  • salt, pepper, marjoram to taste


  • Boil rice with 4/3 US cups {250 ml} of cold water in a small saucepan with lid on top. As soon as the water boils, turn off the heat and let it rest with the lid closed until the water is completely absorbed by the rice.
    Put rice in a big bowl and let cool.
  • Chop onions and cook in pan with a spoonful of oil, until golden brown. Press garlic and cook in pan for a minute or so.
    Add to the bowl.
  • Chop parsley and bacon and mix with the cooled rice, onions, garlic, (raw) ground meat, eggs, marjoram, salt and pepper.
  • Prepare the peppers: cut off the lid of each pepper, hollow out the cores. Fill the peppers with the mixture and place in a saucepan.
  • Pour the tomato sauce with about 1/2 US cup of water to the peppers and season with bay leaves, salt, pepper and marjoram.
  • Cook in the oven at ~ 360°F/180°C for 45-60 minutes until the peppers have softened and the ground meat is done. For the first 20-30 minutes, cover with lid or aluminium foil.


Traditionally served with cooked potatoes, but because of the rice, side dishes are not a must.


Serving: 300gCalories: 250kcal
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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