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Stuffed Bell Peppers Cook Up Tender in the Air Fryer in 20 Minutes — 2 Delicious Recipes

This chef's tip ensures that the filling stays perfectly intact for each bell pepper

Stuffed bell peppers are a fantastic way to turn that ordinary vegetable into the star of your dinner table. This dish takes bell peppers and stuffs them with a meat or vegetarian filling before they’re cooked. The cooking process softens and caramelizes the veg’s natural sugars. So, you’ll end up with sweet and tender bell pepper that pairs well with the savory filling. The best part: You can cook stuffed peppers in as little as 20 minutes in the air fryer. Here’s how to make this dish as it’s sure to wow your dinner crowd!

The basics of bell peppers

Though they’re technically a fruit, bell peppers are versatile veggies known for their mild, sweet flavor and various colors (red, green and yellow). Bell peppers are also rich in fiber and vitamin C, which are key nutrients for your gut health and immune system. While there are various ways to prepare this veggie, stuffing it with a blend of ingredients is the best way to maximize its flavor.

How stuffed peppers are made

Making stuffed peppers typically starts with cutting the veg (either just the top or in half) and scooping out the seeds. The peppers are then filled with a mixture of cooked meat or vegetables, rice and/or seasonings. Additional ingredients such as cheese or tomato sauce are sometimes incorporated into the dish for extra flavor. While many stuffed pepper recipes involve baking them, cooking this dish in the air fryer is a quicker method that yields yummy results. Ultimately, preparing stuffed peppers correctly produces a tasty main that’s sure to satisfy your appetite!

Related: We’ve Been Cutting + Storing Bell Peppers All Wrong — Here’s How to Keep Them Crisp

Chef’s secret to delicious stuffed peppers

While recipes for stuffed bell pepper vary, Rena Awada, owner and head chef at the Healthy Fitness Meals food blog, says you should always avoid overstuffing the veggie. “When filling your peppers, make sure to leave a little space at the top,” she suggests. “As the filling cooks and expands, this will prevent it from spilling out of the peppers.” The mixture staying within the peppers also prevents them from falling apart as they’re being served.

2 yummy recipes for stuffed bell peppers

Below, you can find two stuffed bell pepper recipes from our test kitchen — one with a meat filling and another that’s vegetarian. Pick the recipe that suits your taste buds and whip it up in no time! (Enjoy bell peppers other dishes like Sheet Pan Fajitas and a Denver Omelette.)

Sausage-Stuffed Bell Peppers

Sausage stuffed bell peppers served on a white plate

Couscous mix seasoned with roasted garlic ensures these gems cook up flavorful.


  • 1  (5.8 oz.) pkg. roasted garlic-and-olive oil couscous
  • 2 tsp. + 1 Tbs. olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 3 links Italian-style chicken sausage, casings removed
  • ¼ cup grated Parmesan 
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 tsp. chopped fresh thyme
  • 3 red peppers, halved


  • Active: 25 mins
  • Total time: 1 hr.
  • Yield: 6 servings
  1. Cook couscous per package directions with 2 tsp. oil; transfer to bowl. In skillet, heat remaining oil over medium heat. Add onion; cook 7 to 8 minutes. Add sausage; cook, breaking up, 8 to 10 minutes. Add onion and sausage, Parmesan, egg and thyme to couscous; combine. Fill pepper halves.
  2. Heat air fryer to 300°F. Coat air fryer basket with cooking spray. In batches, place peppers in basket. Air fry 25 minutes. Return first batch to air fryer; heat 5 to 7 minutes. Serve.

Vegetarian Stuffed Peppers

Vegetarian stuffed bell peppers served on a blue plate

Premade corn muffins make a moist and flavorful filling for this vegetarian main.


  • 4 green and/or yellow peppers 
  • 4 corn muffins, about 8 oz. 
  • 4 cups baby spinach, 2 oz., roughly chopped 
  • 3 cups mushrooms, 6 oz., sliced 
  • 1½ cups shredded mozzarella cheese, 6 oz. 
  • ⅔ cup vegetable broth
  • ¼ cup pine nuts
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh parsley 
  • 1 cup tomato and basil pasta sauce 


  • Active: 20 mins
  • Total time: 1 hr.
  • Yield: 4 servings
  1. Heat 7-quart air fryer according to manufacturer’s directions for bake at 300°F. Slice peppers in half lengthwise. Remove seeds and ribs; discard. Cut corn muffins into 1-inch pieces. In large bowl, combine corn muffin pieces, baby spinach, mushrooms, 1 cup mozzarella, vegetable broth, pine nuts and parsley; stir until broth is absorbed. 
  2. Divide corn muffin mixture evenly among pepper halves. Top with remaining ½ cup cheese. In 2 batches, place peppers in air-fryer basket; place in air fryer. Cook until peppers are tender and filling is lightly golden brown, about 20 minutes. 
  3. Meanwhile, in small microwave-safe bowl, microwave pasta sauce in 15-seconds intervals, stirring until warmed. Once cooked, serve peppers with sauce.

Keep reading for more easy and tasty air fryer recipes!

Air Fryer Churros Are Crispy Sweet Treats That Prep in 30 Minutes — Easy Recipe

Air Fryer Hush Puppies Recipe for a Healthier Bite That Cooks Up Fast + Mess-Free

These Air Fryer Steak Bites Are Full of Fancy Flavor, Yet So Easy to Make in 20 Minutes

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