Easy Air Fryer Stuffed Peppers

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Air Fryer Stuffed Peppers come together so quickly… without giving up on flavor!! Made with ground beef, fire-roasted tomatoes, New Mexico chili powder, smoked paprika, and a Mexican cheese blend, my stuffed peppers in air fryer are a fun update to a classic! Tasty, satisfying, and perhaps best of all…easy!!

titled: Air Fryer Stuffed Peppers


 

Air Fryer Stuffed Peppers

There are tons of ways to prepare and cook stuffed peppers! I’ve got quite a few recipes up on the site already — Italian-style stuffed peppers, this Greek version, and one you can make in the crockpot

Next up on my list? Air fryer stuffed peppers with a Mexican flair!!

I’m so happy with how these came out, guys.

Not only are they packed with flavor thanks to a special combination of spices, seasonings, and cheeses, but they also come together in just about 30 minutes. 

A main dish prepped and ready to go in a half hour? Yes, it is possible with your air fryer!

All you need are a handful of simple, mostly pantry ingredients to make them too. Save this one for your busy weeknights!

ingredients for stuffed peppers in air fryer

Ingredient Notes and Substitutions

  • Bell Peppers – Make sure to choose bell peppers that are large enough to fit the filling!

    You’ll also want to use ones that can sit flat on a surface. It helps prevent them from tipping over when they cook.

You can use one color, or a variety like I did!

  • Ground Beef – I like ground beef best, but you could also use turkey or chicken. 

Or, make it vegetarian-friendly by adding some cooked rice and doubling up on the beans!

  • Black Beans – I’m using canned to make everything a lot easier. Make sure you drain and rinse them first.
  • Diced Tomatoes – Fire-roasted canned diced tomatoes are a staple in my pantry — they’re so much more flavorful than regular.
  • Onion & Garlic – Our small but mighty flavor creators! These aromatics add so much flavor to the stuffed bell peppers.

    Incorporate them into the skillet while the meat cooks.
  • Cheese – I like a Mexican cheese blend — typically made of Monterey Jack, cheddar, Asadero, queso quesadilla, and mozzarella.

    This is one of those rare recipes where using the pre-shredded stuff is okay.
  • Seasonings – I season the filling with ground cumin, New Mexico chili powder, smoked paprika, salt, and pepper.

    If you want it spicier, add some chopped jalapenos or green chilies for extra heat!
  • Garnish &Toppings – I garnish the tops of each air fryer stuffed pepper with some diced green onions.

    I also often serve them with sour cream, avocado, and salsa for even more flavor.
tops cut off of bell peppers

Tips and Tricks to Make Perfect Stuffed Peppers in Air Fryer

  • Preheat the air fryer.

So many air fryer recipes forget this important step! 

You want it to be preheated to the proper temperature before you add the stuffed peppers to promote even and quick cooking — 350°F will do the trick.

  • Make sure to precook the filling.

Some traditional stuffed pepper recipes call for raw filling, but precooking the ground meat mixture does a few different things.

First, you guarantee that the meat is fully cooked and safe to eat.

Additionally, cooking the meat with onion, garlic, beans, tomatoes, and seasonings will make it a million times more flavorful!

  • Don’t overcrowd the basket.

I have a pretty large air fryer, so I’m able to air fry 4 stuffed bell peppers at a time.

Yours may be smaller… and in that case, it’s important not to crowd the basket with too many peppers!

An air fryer works by circulating hot air around food in order to cook it. You need to leave enough space between each pepper, or they won’t cook properly.

  • Keep an eye on the cheese.

Air fryer stuffed peppers can go from perfectly crisp to overcooked in the blink of an eye! 

The cheese can burn easily, so check in on the stuffed peppers in air fryer after about 12 minutes. It should be ooey, gooey, and golden brown. 

Don’t hesitate to pull them out early if you need to! 

ground beef, onion, black beans and diced tomatoes cooked in a skillet

Prep Ahead

  • Cut the tops off and remove seeds and membranes from peppers
  • Drain and rinse the beans
  • Chop onion and garlic
  • Preheat the air fryer to 350°F

Kitchen Tools You Will Need

  • Air Fryer – Different brands and sizes may require different cooking times, so be familiar with your model and make adjustments as needed.
  • Cutting Board – A big solid cutting board makes prepping a breeze. I use mine daily, so it’s worth the investment to get a good quality one.
  • Skillet – This is my go-to pan that I’ve had for over a decade! It heats evenly and cleans up beautifully with a little baking soda so it still looks brand new.
bell peppers filled with ground beef mixture in air fryer basket

Serving Suggestions 

Air fryer stuffed peppers are best served hot and fresh from the air fryer! The cheese will be perfectly melted and the filling hot and juicy. YUM.

These are full of south-of-the-border-inspired flavors, which is why I love pairing them with Mexcian Red Rice, homemade tortilla chips and guacamole, and Mexican street corn salad

And why not whip up a batch of frozen margaritas for your 21+ guests?

Storing and Reheating Stuffed Bell Peppers

Store leftover air fryer stuffed peppers in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 5 days. 

To reheat, microwave in 30-second bursts until heated through. Or, place back in the air fryer at 325°F and heat for 4-6 minutes. 

You can also freeze stuffed peppers from air fryer for an easy meal on busy weeknights. Follow the recipe instructions as directed, cool, and place in a freezer-safe container and store for up to 2-3 months. Let them thaw in the fridge overnight before reheating.

Stuffed Peppers Air Fryer FAQ

Should I cook my bell peppers before stuffing them?

No, you don’t have to for my stuffed peppers air fryer recipe. I know some people do pre-cook them so they’re nice and soft, but I find that they soften up perfectly in the air fryer! 

Skip that extra step and simply assemble, air fry, and enjoy.

How do you keep stuffed peppers from getting soggy?

The key to preventing soggy results is to precook the filling and drain any excess grease before adding it to the stuffed peppers in air fryer. 

You also need to remember not to overcrowd the basket — leave enough room for the hot air to circulate, and things won’t go mushy!

Why do my stuffed peppers taste bland?

You likely didn’t add enough aromatics or seasonings! I cook the ground meat with onion, garlic, and a combination of Mexican-inspired spices. 

Another quick tip: salt the inside of the bell peppers before you add the filling. This extra dose of flavoring can go a really long way!

4 air fryer stuffed peppers on a plate

Enjoy!
With love, from our simple kitchen to yours.

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closeup of air fryer stuffed pepper

closeup of an air fryer stuffed pepper

Easy Air Fryer Stuffed Peppers

Donna Elick
My Air Fryer Stuffed Peppers are full of tasty Mexican-inspired flavors! Prepped and ready in 30 minutes, they’re a fun, easy dinner option.
Tried this recipe?Please comment and review!
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Mexican
Method Air Fryer
Servings 4

Equipment

Ingredients
 

  • 4 large bell peppers, any color
  • 1 pound ground beef, or turkey
  • 1 cup canned black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup canned fire-roasted diced tomatoes
  • 1 small yellow onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon New Mexico chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 cup shredded Mexican cheese blend
  • Green onions, chopped (for garnish)

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the air fryer to 350°F (176°C).
  • Cut the tops off the bell peppers and remove the seeds and membranes and set aside.
  • In a skillet over medium heat, cook the ground beef until no longer pink, breaking it apart with a spatula as it cooks.
  • Add diced onion and minced garlic to the skillet with the beef and cook for 2-3 minutes until softened.
  • Stir in the black beans, diced tomatoes, ground cumin, chili powder, smoked paprika, salt, and pepper. Cook for another 2-3 minutes to allow the flavors to meld.
  • Fill each bell pepper with the beef mixture, pressing gently to pack it in.
  • Place the stuffed peppers in the air fryer basket, making sure they are stable and not tipping over.
  • Air fry the stuffed peppers at 350°F (176°C) for 12-15 minutes or until the peppers are tender, the filling is heated through.
  • Top each stuffed pepper with shredded Mexican cheese blend, dividing it evenly among the peppers. Continue to cook for another 4-5 minutes, until the cheese is melted and has a golden crust.
  • Once done, carefully remove the stuffed peppers from the air fryer and let them cool slightly before serving. Garnish the Air Fryer Mexican Stuffed Peppers with chopped green onions and serve.

Nutrition

Serving: 1 | Calories: 449cal | Carbohydrates: 23g | Protein: 33g | Fat: 26g | Saturated Fat: 12g | Cholesterol: 104mg | Sodium: 433mg | Sugar: 9g | Fiber: 8g | Calcium: 260mg | Iron: 5mg

All nutritional information is based on third party calculations and is only an estimate. Each recipe’s nutritional value will vary depending on the ingredients used, measuring methods, and portion sizes.

Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
Air Fryer Stuffed Peppers - PIN

Originally published June 2024

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