Stuffed Red Peppers (Rocoto Relleno)

Close-Up Of Red Bell Peppers At Market
Hemant Jain / EyeEm / Getty Images
Prep: 30 mins
Cook: 15 mins
Total: 45 mins
Servings: 4 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
665 Calories
34g Fat
47g Carbs
46g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4
Amount per serving
Calories 665
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 34g 44%
Saturated Fat 11g 57%
Cholesterol 174mg 58%
Sodium 656mg 29%
Total Carbohydrate 47g 17%
Dietary Fiber 7g 27%
Protein 46g
Calcium 355mg 27%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

When newcomers grocery shop for the first time in Peru, they nearly always mistake the fiery hot rocoto pepper for a regular red bell pepper. They are very similar in appearance, and for some reason, they always side by side in the stores and markets and sometimes get mixed up in the bins. Biting into a super spicy rocoto pepper when you're expecting a sweet bell pepper can be a shock!

In Peru, this recipe is made with rocotos, but they are difficult to find in the US. Red bell peppers work well as a substitute. You can up the spiciness by including more hot peppers in the seasoned beef filling.


  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1 onion (chopped)
  • 1 clove garlic (minced)
  • 2 chile peppers (anaheim or similar, seeds and veins removed, chopped)
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 3/4 cup beef broth
  • 1 hard-boiled egg (coarsely chopped)
  • 1/3 cup sliced black olives
  • 1 cup crumbled queso fresco
  • 4 red bell peppers

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. Preheat oven to 350 F.

  3. Place the raisins in a small bowl and cover with boiling water. Let them plump in the water for 10 minutes.

  4. Sauté the chopped onions, garlic, and peppers in the olive oil until soft and fragrant.

  5. Add the cumin and paprika and cook 2 minutes more, stirring. Add the ground beef and cook until browned.

  6. Drain the raisins and add them to the ground beef. Add the beef broth and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes more, or until most of the liquid is gone.

  7. Stir in the hard-boiled egg and the black olives. Season mixture with salt and pepper to taste.

  8. Remove beef mixture from heat and let cool for 5 minutes. Stir in 1/2 cup crumbled queso fresco.

  9. While the beef is cooking, bring a large pot of salted water to a rolling boil. Slice the tops off of the peppers and reserve. Clean the inside of the peppers, removing the seeds and veins.

  10. Cook the peppers in the boiling water until bright red and just tender, about 8 to 10 minutes. Drain peppers and blot dry with paper towels.

  11. Fill each pepper with some of the seasoned ground beef mixtures. Top with remaining queso fresco.

  12. Place the peppers on a baking sheet, with the tops alongside them (but not covering the filling). Bake the peppers for 10 to 15 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and the filling is heated through.

  13. Serve warm.

  14. Enjoy!