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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 the traditional version. [Directly to recipe]

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

So much for the traditional Austrian stuffed peppers recipes:

In most traditional recipes for Stuffed Peppers, the peppers are left in hot water for 10-20 minutes to soften them. Then they are stuffed with the still raw ground meat and baked in the oven. Only then is the tomato sauce added.

That’s how my grandma does it:

An alternative version 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 the traditional version.
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Prep Time 25 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Total Time 45 mins
Servings 8 small bell peppers


For the peppers

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

For the tomato sauce

  • 2 US cups plain tomato sauce
  • 4 bay leaves
  • salt, pepper, marjoram, thyme 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 hot plate and let it rest with the lid closed until the water is completely absorbed by the rice.
  • Chop small the onions and with oil, cook in a pan until golden brown.
  • Press garlic and with the ground meat, add to the pan. Sear until the meat is no longer raw.
  • In the meantime chop the parsley and the bacon, and prepare the peppers: cut off the lid of each pepper as shown in the picture. Hollow out the cores.
  • Allow rice and ground meat to cool, so that the eggs that are mixed with the filling do not get too hot.
  • When chilled, mix all ingredients (except the tomatoes and spices for the sauce) to a mass.
  • Fill the peppers with the mixture and place in a saucepan. For 8 peppers, I used two pots and divided the sauce on both pots.
  • Pour the tomato sauce with about 1/2 US cup of water to the peppers and season with bay leaves, salt, pepper, marjoram and thyme.
  • Boil on the stove with lid on top and then let simmer at medium temperature for about 20 minutes until the peppers have softened.
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