Tex-Mex Stuffed Peppers


Adapted from Cook’s Illustrated Slow Cooker Revolution, these cheesy Tex-Mex stuffed peppers are hearty and full of spicy southwestern flavor.

Tex-Mex stuffed peppers in the slow cooker

This recipe is slightly adapted from the Cook’s Illustrated version found in the Slow Cooker Revolution cookbook. This cookbook is wonderful for anyone (like me) who loves the slow cooker and who loves Cook’s Illustrated’s meticulously tested recipes.

Make ahead: Peppers can be stuffed a day ahead and kept covered and refrigerated until cooking the next day. The leftover filling can be frozen, thawed, and used to stuff fresh peppers at a later date. This recipe makes double filling, so you have two options: 1) Make 8-10 peppers (which will require two slow cookers) or 2) freeze extra filling for later.

Savvy suggestions:

  • To save a few dollars, buy green peppers. For a lovelier presentation or for taking these to a friend who needs a meal, I would certainly splurge on the colored peppers. For my family alone, however, I just buy the inexpensive green bell peppers.
  • To save time, use Uncle Ben’s ready rice or make rice the day before and keep in the fridge until ready to use.
  • To make a healthier version, use brown rice or quinoa in place of white rice.

Note: I have this 6-quart slow cooker and could only fit five peppers into it. I’ve recently discovered small-medium colored peppers that come in a package and are located in the refrigerated produce case (near cucumbers, carrots, etc….). I think these smaller peppers would be the perfect size and much easier to fit into most slow cookers.

The recipe below makes double filling. If you don’t want to freeze the extra, you can half the recipe. Extra filling could also be kept in the fridge for up to two days and used to make chicken enchiladas or baked in the oven and served with a salad.

Ground Beef: To Brown or not to brown? This recipe and most every other stuffed pepper recipe does NOT call for browning the beef. BUT…..I plan to brown mine the next time I make these to see the difference. I like my ground meat to have a  browned color and texture, which the meat in these peppers does not have (although it is cooked completely).  I’d love to hear from any of you who have an opinion on the “to brown or not to brown” issue.

I would love to hear back from you if you try these, so please feel free to leave comments. Thanks so much for stopping by! Be blessed, and stay savvy!!!

Tex-Mex Stuffed Peppers

Tex-Mex Stuffed Peppers

Yield: 5
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 6 hours
Total Time: 6 hours 20 minutes

Flavorful Tex-Mex stuffed peppers that cook all day in the slow cooker.


  • 2 onions, diced
  • 9-10 garlic cloves, minced
  • 4 TB chili powder
  • 2 TB vegetable oil
  • 4-5 peppers (most slow cookers will hold only 5 medium peppers)
  • 2 slices high quality white sandwich bread, torn into quarters
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • *1 1/2 lb ground chuck (see note on browing below)
  • 2 cups frozen corn
  • 2 1/2 cups shredded Monterey Jack (I mixed in a bit of Pepper Jack and cheddar)
  • 1 1/2 cup cooked rice
  • 4 tsp minced canned chipotle chilie in adobo sauce
  • 3 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 4 TB minced fresh cilantro


  1. Microwave onion, garlic, chili powder, and oil in a bowl, stirring occasionally, until onion is softened, about 5 minutes.
  2. Cut top 1/2 inch off each pepper, removing core and seeds.
  3. Save 3 of the pepper tops. Chop finely, discarding stems.
  4. Mash bread and milk into paste in large bowl.
  5. Mix in onion mixture, chopped pepper tops, ground chuck, corn, 1 cup cheese, cooked rice, chipotles, salt & pepper.
  6. Mix together with gloved hands until well incorporated.
  7. Stuff meat mixture into peppers (you will have filling left over).
  8. (If cooking the next day, put the peppers into the fridge, covered with foil or cling wrap.)
  9. Place 1/3 cup water in slow cooker.
  10. Place stuffed peppers upright in cooker.
  11. Cover and cook 4-6 hours on LOW until meat is fully cooked to 165 degrees on meat thermometer.
  12. Add additional cheese the last hour or so of cooking.
  13. Gently lift peppers from cooker with tongs or slotted spoon, and transfer to a serving plate.
  14. Freeze leftover filling, if desired.
  15. *Browning is not necessary, but if you like the color and texture of browned meat, I suggest browning the meat before adding to stuffing mixture.
Nutrition Information
Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 3168Total Fat 170gSaturated Fat 77gCholesterol 624mgSodium 10985mgCarbohydrates 200gSugar 33gProtein 234g

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