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Slow Cooker Mexican Stuffed Peppers

These easy Slow Cooker Mexican Stuffed Peppers are filled with taco-seasoned ground turkey, rice, tomatoes, green chiles, taco sauce and cheese. Just 20 minutes of prep time is all you need, and then the slow cooker does the rest of the work!

Topped off with melted cheese, they’re full of flavor…and a drizzle of taco sauce and a sprinkling of sliced green onions and chopped fresh cilantro take them to the next level! It’s a delicious and satisfying dinner that’s sure to be a hit!

So, one of my current cooking goals is to use my slow cooker more often and to come up with some really, really good slow cooker recipes. Sadly, we’ve been disappointed with many that I’ve tried over the years.

As we head into the summer months, I’m working on doing just that. I think summer is a great time to use the slow cooker because that means no turning on the oven and heating up the kitchen on a hot day.

I’m starting things off with these Mexican-style stuffed peppers that are inspired by my love of tacos. I’ve made them many times now, and they most definitely do not disappoint!

They’re simple and quick to put together, and then you can go about doing other things (or taking a much-needed break) while they cook low and slow to perfection.

Let’s get right to making them!

Ingredients You Need

all of the ingredients needed to make slow cooker Mexican stuffed peppers; each ingredient is labeled

Note: Ingredient amounts are in the recipe card at the bottom of the post.

  • Bell peppers (any color; I like to do a combination of colors for a pretty presentation)
  • Ground turkey (I use 93/7, but 85/15 can also be used; or you can use ground beef or ground chicken)
  • Onion
  • Taco seasoning (I use my Homemade Taco Seasoning; or you can use your favorite store-bought taco seasoning)
  • Taco sauce (I use my Homemade Taco Sauce; or you can use your favorite store-bought taco sauce)
  • Cooked white rice (any kind is fine, such as long-grain, medium-grain, jasmine, or basmati; cooked brown rice would also work)
  • Diced tomatoes with green chiles (canned; I use mild, but you can also use medium or hot)
  • Monterey Jack cheese
  • Salt and pepper
  • Green onions (for topping; optional but recommended)
  • Fresh cilantro (for topping; optional but recommended)

Special Equipment Needed

  • 6-quart slow cooker or larger (I use a 6-quart oval slow cooker)

How To Make Slow Cooker Mexican Stuffed Peppers

4 bell peppers with the tops cut off and seeds removed on a cutting board with a knife

Cut the tops off of the peppers and remove the seeds and membranes; set the peppers aside.

cooked ground turkey and onions in a pan on a stove with a wooden spoon

Cook the ground turkey and onions in a large skillet over medium heat until the turkey is cooked through. Drain off any excess grease.

a collage of 2 images; one is of taco seasoning added to the ground turkey in the pan, and one is of the taco seasoning being mixed into the turkey

Add the taco seasoning; stir to combine.

a collage of 2 images; one is of the rice, tomatoes and cheese added to the pan with the turkey, and the other is of the mixture being stirred together in the pan with a wooden spoon

Add the cooked rice, diced tomatoes with green chiles, taco sauce, cheese, salt, and pepper; stir until well combined.

four peppers stuffed with the turkey mixture in a slow cooker

Pour ½ cup of water into the slow cooker. Stuff the peppers with the turkey mixture and place them in the slow cooker.

the 4 stuffed peppers in the slow cooker with the lid on

Place the lid on the slow cooker; cook on LOW for 4 hours.

a collage of 2 images; one is of the 4 stuffed peppers in the slow cooker topped with shredded cheese, and the other is of the cheese topped peppers in the slow cooker with the lid on

Top each stuffed pepper with cheese; put the lid back on the slow cooker and let the cheese melt.

one Mexican stuffed pepper topped with taco sauce, green onions and cilantro on a white plate with text overlay that says enjoy

Top each stuffed pepper with taco sauce, green onions and fresh cilantro; enjoy!

Note: This is just a brief overview of the steps. The full printable recipe with ingredient amounts and detailed instructions is in the recipe card at the bottom of the post.

Recipe Tips & Tidbits

  • If you don’t already have some cooked rice (this recipe is great for using leftover rice), you’ll need do that first before starting the recipe. This will take about 20 minutes for white rice, but you can use the time to prep your other ingredients.
    • ⅓ cup of uncooked rice will make 1 cup of cooked rice; cook according to the package directions. I use a small 1-quart pot with a lid for a small batch like this.
    • You can also cook a larger batch (it takes the same amount of time) and freeze the rest to use in future recipes.
    • For a quick shortcut, you can use an instant rice such as Minute Rice or a microwaveable “ready rice” like the one made by Uncle Ben’s.
  • Don’t throw away those pepper tops. Chop them up and save them to use another time (freeze them if they won’t be used right away).
  • Medium to large bell peppers should give you plenty of room to fit all of the filling. Pack the filling down gently, as needed, so you can fit more in each pepper.
  • Try to select peppers that aren’t too narrow at the bottom so they will stand up better.
    • If any of your peppers are a little wobbly, you can slice a very small amount off the bottom to make them flatter so they won’t fall over (just make sure you don’t cut off so much that you are left with a hole in the bottom of the pepper).
  • Don’t remove the slow cooker lid during the cooking time. The slow cooker loses heat when you do, and it will take time to come back up to temperature (which means you’ll have to extend the cooking time). You’ll also lose moisture, which can dry out your food.
4 Mexican stuffed peppers on a white plate with small bowls of taco sauce, green onions and cilantro in the background

Substitutions & Variations

  • Ground beef or ground chicken can be used instead of ground turkey.
  • Cooked brown rice can be used instead of white rice. Or, if you have some leftover Mexican rice, this would be a great way to use it!
  • I prefer to use the mild versions of diced tomatoes with green chiles and taco sauce. You can use a medium or hot version if you like things more hot and spicy.
  • Different cheeses can be used, such as pepper-jack, colby-jack, a Mexican blend or cheddar (you just want to be sure to use a cheese that melts well).
a Mexican stuffed peppers cut in half on a plate with a fork and some salad on the side

Storing Leftovers & Reheating

  • Once cooled, store leftover stuffed peppers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 to 4 days.
    • Freeze for longer-term storage. For the best results, use within 2 to 3 months. Thaw completely in the refrigerator before reheating.
  • To reheat the stuffed peppers, cut them in half from top to bottom so they will heat through more quickly and place them in a baking dish (cut side up). Cover the dish with foil and bake in a preheated 325°F oven until heated through.
    • You can also reheat them in the microwave.
a Mexican stuffed pepper and a side of chopped lettuce topped with sour cream and salsa on a white plate with a fork

What To Serve With Mexican Stuffed Peppers

Since this is an all-in-one dish that has meat, veggies and a starch, I keep things simple and serve it with a side of chopped lettuce topped with sour cream and salsa.

And I highly recommend that you do the same because it really gives you that taco vibe. The fresh and crunchy lettuce is the perfect contrast to the soft stuffed pepper, the sour cream and salsa add even more flavor, and a forkful that combines it all is sooo delicious.

Tortilla chips and salsa or jalapeno poppers would be a great starter, and some not-fried “fried” ice cream for dessert would be the perfect finish.

I hope you try this Slow Cooker Mexican Stuffed Peppers recipe and love it as much as I do. Thanks for visiting today!

michelle signature

More Recipes To Try

Want even more Mexican-inspired recipes? Be sure to check out my Mexican and Tex-Mex recipe page!

If you make this recipe, I’d love to know how it went! Please leave a star rating and comment below. Thanks!

a Mexican stuffed peppers topped with taco sauce, green onions and cilantro on a white plate

Slow Cooker Mexican Stuffed Peppers

These easy Slow Cooker Mexican Stuffed Peppers are filled with taco-seasoned ground turkey, rice, tomatoes, green chiles, taco sauce and cheese. Just 20 minutes of prep time is all you need, and then the slow cooker does the rest of the work!
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Author: Michelle
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 4 hours
Total Time: 4 hours 20 minutes
Servings: 4
Estimated Calories: 484

Ingredients

  • 4 medium to large bell peppers, any color or combination of colors
  • 1 pound ground turkey, I use 93/7
  • 1 cup diced onions
  • 3 tablespoons taco seasoning, or to taste (I use my Homemade Taco Seasoning)
  • 1 cup cooked white rice
  • 1 (10-ounce) can diced tomatoes with green chiles
  • ½ cup taco sauce, I use my Homemade Taco Sauce
  • cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese, divided
  • salt, taste
  • black pepper, to taste

For Topping (optional but highly recommended)

  • additional taco sauce, mild, medium or hot
  • thinly sliced green onions
  • chopped fresh cilantro

Special Equipment

  • Slow cooker (6-quart or larger; I use a 6-quart oval)

Instructions

  • Cut the top and stem off of each pepper (cut as close as you can to the top so you have maximum stuffing space), and then remove the seeds and membranes/ribs. Set the peppers aside.
    Discard the stems, seeds and membranes/ribs, but don't throw away the tops; dice them up and save them to use in another recipe.
  • In a large skillet over medium heat, cook the ground turkey and onions, stirring frequently and breaking up the meat into crumbles as you go, until the turkey is cooked through, about 6 minutes. Drain off any excess grease or liquid.
  • Add the taco seasoning; stir to combine.
  • Add the cooked rice, diced tomatoes with green chiles, taco sauce, 1 cup of the cheese, salt, and black pepper; stir until well combined.
    A note on the salt and pepper: The homemade taco seasoning that I use already contains 1 teaspoon of kosher salt. I then add an additional ½ teaspoon of kosher salt in this step plus ½ teaspoon of black pepper. You can adjust these amounts to suit your own tastes and depending on the amount of salt in your taco seasoning and the type of salt you use (kosher salt is not as salty as regular table salt).
  • Pour ½ cup of water into the slow cooker. Stuff the peppers with the turkey mixture, gently packing it down as needed so you can fit all of the filling in the peppers, and place them standing upright in the slow cooker.
  • Put the lid on the slow cooker and cook on LOW for 4 hours.
    The peppers should be soft, and the temperature of the filling should be at least 165°F (it will probably be higher than this).
  • Remove the lid and top each stuffed pepper with 2 tablespoons of the shredded cheese. Replace the lid and allow the cheese to melt, about 5 minutes.
  • Carefully remove the stuffed peppers from the slow cooker (I use a large slotted spoon and tongs for this).
  • To serve: top each pepper with a drizzle of taco sauce, sliced green onions and chopped fresh cilantro, if desired. Enjoy!

Notes

  • If you don’t already have some cooked rice, you’ll need do that first before starting the recipe (⅓ of uncooked rice will make 1 cup of cooked rice; cook according to the package directions). This will take about 20 minutes for white rice, but you can use the time to prep your other ingredients.
  • If any of your peppers are a little wobbly, you can slice a very small amount off of the bottoms to make them flatter so they won’t fall over (just be careful that you don’t cut a hole in the bottom of the pepper).
  • For both the diced tomatoes with green chiles and the taco sauce, I use mild versions. You can use medium or hot of either if you like more spicy heat.
  • Don’t remove the slow cooker lid during the cooking time. The slow cooker loses heat when you do, and it will take time to come back up to temperature (which means you’ll have to extend the cooking time). You’ll also lose moisture, which can dry out your food.
  • Please see the post for more info and tips, information of substitutions and variations, storing and reheating leftovers, and serving suggestions.
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