These German stuffed bell peppers are filled with seasoned meat and rice and then baked in a quick tomato sauce. Gefüllte Paprika is super yummy and less messy than carving pumpkins if you decide to turn this into a carving project like we did.
How to make them
Typically the bell peppers are stuffed with a mixture of ground beef and ground pork, which adds a better texture and flavor. However, feel free to also use one or the other, depending on personal preference.
The meat is cooked in a skillet with onion and garlic, then seasoned with paprika powder, herbs, and mustard.
While letting the meat mixture cool, I carve the bell peppers. You can of course skip adding fun faces, but if you feel like it and it's October, you should give it a go!
Once the cooked meat is cooled, I turn it into a more cohesive mixture by adding egg and just a little bit of rice.
I then prepare a super quick tomato sauce (thickened with flour, but you can use cornstarch to make it gluten-free). Add the filled peppers to the sauce and bake for about 30 minutes.
When the stuffed bell peppers finish baking, they are served with more rice.
If you want to mix it up, I think some fries tossed in my Pommesgewürz (German French fry seasoning) would be great for a side, too. Of course, they're also great on their own (I would double the recipe if not serving a side).
You should have most ingredients for these German stuffed bell peppers at home already, except maybe the bell peppers and meat.
- Bell Peppers. I used a mixture of different colored bell peppers, so use any color you like.
- Ground meat. I like using a mixture of ground pork and ground beef just like my Oma usually did (in Germany you can even buy it mixed already). I like the combined flavor more than just using either.
- Onion. I use yellow onion for my recipe and cook it with the beef.
- Garlic. Fresh garlic is the way to go!
- Herbs. I like using a mixture of half thyme and oregano but feel free to switch those up.
- Paprika Powder. This is such a staple spice in German cooking. I use the mild kind (not spicy or half-sharp).
- Mustard. I use a German-style mustard that's mild or medium spicy.
- Tomato Paste. The tomato paste is used for making the sauce the bell peppers bake in.
- Broth. Add this to the simmering sauce.
- Butter. You're making a roux with this for the sauce.
- Flour. If making this recipe gluten-free, skip adding the flour to the butter, then whisk together a little cornstarch with some cold broth and add it to the sauce to thicken.
German Stuffed Bell Peppers (Gefüllte Paprika)
- 5 bell peppers any color is great
- 500 grams ground beef and ground pork, mixed you can also use one or the other
- 1 small yellow onion
- 2 cloves garlic
- 2 teaspoon paprika powder
- ½ teaspoon dried thyme
- ½ teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon mustard
- 100 g rice weight is for uncooked rice, then cook according to package instructions
- 1 egg
- Preheat oven to 350℉/180℃.
- In a deep skillet, cook the meat and crumble it apart. Add the onion, garlic, paprika powder, herbs and mustard and season to taste with salt and pepper. Allow to cool down a bit.
- In the meantime, core and remove seeds of peppers (carve in faces if desired).
- To make the filling, stir together the ground meat mixture, cooked rice and egg and fill the peppers.
- Melt the butter in a deep, oven-safe skillet, add flour and stir in the skillet for a minute or two until it turns a golden caramel color.
- Add the broth gradually while whisking, then stir in the tomato paste and season to taste with salt, pepper and a little sugar.
- Add the stuffed bell peppers to the sauce and bake for 30 to 40 minutes or until the peppers are soft. Serve with more rice.