low carb mexican stuffed peppers
These cheesy spicy Mexican stuffed bell peppers come together in only 20 minutes for a low-carb, gluten-free and totally delicious weeknight meal.
I originally shared this recipe on January 15th, 2016. I have updated some of the text today. This post contains affiliate links.
Why I Came Up with This Mexican Stuffed Pepper Recipe
Did I tell you that I am going to Mexico next month? The whole fam dam is jetting off for a week and I am trying to not get too excited too soon. I may or may not have been spending many minutes hours on Zappos mooning over breezy white cover ups and braided teal leather flip-flops. I may or may not have received these items on my doorstep yesterday afternoon and stripped down in the kitchen to try them on as soon as they came.
And I totally didn’t buy a brand new new suitcase either.
Help me. My name is Katie and I am addicted to Zappos. One day shipping! Free returns! How can you not love free returns?
When the boxes arrived, the girls were almost as excited as me. They helped me unload the new suitcase which came in a comically huge box. The girls quickly forgot all about the stuff I was un-packing (and barely noticed that I was in the kitchen in a state of undress) and proceeded to turn the box into a giggle fest filled game of hilarity. I am not sure what the premise was. I think it involved them being store owners. Didn’t they know brick and mortar is dead and Zappos is where it’s at? Sorry. Not Sorry.
Also in preparation for our trip and wearing not much more than a bikini, said breezy white cover-up and teal flip flops, I am amping up my workouts. Jase is too. (Back to back classes this morning for me and way more cardio for him) and we’ve been avoiding the evening snack fest. I’m not dieting or anything like that, since as a chronic dieter turned intuitive eater, I know that doesn’t work for me. But I am reigning it in to drop a couple holiday lbs before we go. Hopefully this strategy won’t backfire.
Basically, I’ve been steering away from excessive amounts of carby stuff at dinner (sorry rice and chicken casserole you have to wait a little longer.) I’ve been bulking up on mega veggies and lean protein and filling but homey recipes like Keto Chicken Soup. I’ve been having a slice of whole-grain toast with my egg in the morning. Eating off a small plate. All that good stuff. Nothings off limits, I’m just giving everything the “do I really want to eat this?” test before I go for it.
Do I really want to eat these Mexican Stuffed Peppers? Yes, yes I do. And they fit perfectly with this plan. They are awesome since they are low-carb, veggie forward and totally yum. And there is melted cheese so the world can continue to spin. I certainly don’t feel deprived in any way shape or form. And they have a decidedly Mexican flair that puts me in the mood for flip flops!
While I am obsessing about our Mexican trip and all things Mexican, I’ve gotta try this yummy Homemade Taco Sauce by Veggie Balance. And I will most certainly be making this low carb Mexican Chicken Salad in lettuce cups for lunches as much as humanly possible. And for snacks it’s obvi all about the guacamole with raw veggies!
How to make Low Carb Mexican Stuffed Peppers
How to Cut the Peppers
Cut the bell peppers in half right through the stem. This will give you two even sides that lay flat. They’re perfect for filling! Next using a kitchen spoon and pairing knife, scoop out the core, seeds and ribs from the inside of the pepper. Leave the stem intact though so the filling won’t fall out the sides!
Ready in only 20 minutes
- Microwave: It’s not magic, I just used the microwave! Take the peppers halves and set them in a microwave safe baking dish. Place them cut side down so they cook evenly. Add some water so they will steam.
- Cover: To microwave veggies and trap the steam use plastic wrap, but make sure to put a layer of parchment (or wax paper works in a pinch) over the food so the plastic doesn’t touch the food.
- Precook The peppers: Microwave the peppers until they’re tender. Note the times in this recipe are based on a 1200 watt microwave, so you’ll need to adjust depending on the model you have. This gives them a head start. That way, they will already be cooked when you fill them and top them with cheese they only need another minute or so to melt the cheese. I don’t know if you’ve ever had a stuffed pepper and wondered why the pepper was undercooked, but the reason is that they probably skipped this step of pre-cooking the pepper!
Make the Low Carb Beef Filling on the Stovetop
- Beef Filling: The filling for these low-carb Mexican stuffed peppers is made with ground beef, in a style that resembles taco meat. To cook it, just heat some oil in a large heavy skillet and add the beef. Break it up in the skillet as it browns the same way you would for chili or bolognese pasta sauce.
- Onions and Mushrooms for Bulk: Next, add in onions for flavor and finely chopped mushrooms to add more bulk to the servings but very little calories or carbs.
- Bloom the Spices: Once the veggies are softened, add in the spices to bloom them in the hot pan. They’ll smell amazing!!
- Make it Saucy: Then just add tomato puree to make them saucy!
Stuff the Peppers
Once the peppers are soft, and the filling is cooked, you’re ready to assemble the Low Carb Mexican Stuffed Peppers.
- Drain Peppers: First, carefully remove the plastic from the dish of peppers. There will be steam trapped inside, and it’s easy to get burned by it. Then tilt the water out of the pepper dish, and flip them cut side up.
- Fill with Beef: Spoon the beef mixture into the peppers, dividing evenly.
- Top with cheddar cheese: I like to use sharp cheddar cheese because it has the strongest cheesy flavor, so you get the most cheesy flavor per serving!
Cook the Stuffed Peppers
- Now it’s time to cook the Low Carb Mexican Stuffed Peppers. So, without covering them again (which would stick to the cheese) pop the dish back into the microwave and microwave them until they are nice and soft and the cheese is completely melted. This takes about two or three minutes!
- Note, they’ll be really hot when they come out of the microwave, so let them sit for a moment so you don’t burn your mouth. (You can browse on Zappos while you wait. I won’t judge.)
Steps To Make Mexican Stuffed Peppers
What to serve with Low Carb Mexican Stuffed Peppers
- For a low carb meal, I like to serve these Mexican Stuffed Peppers with a classic healthy coleslaw or giant spinach salad with bacon and scallions.
- For meals where carbs aren’t too much of a concern, this skillet Mexican street corn is super yummy and really fast to prepare. Or I might like to make this Mexican Bean Salad with creamy avocado dressing.
- Probably the easiest thing would be to make a cauliflower rice or cucumber salad to serve with these stuffed peppers.
How To Reheat Mexican Stuffed Peppers
Microwave: To reheat the leftover stuffed peppers place them on a microwave safe plate and reheat for about 2 minutes. They should be steaming hot and make sure they are hot all the way through by testing with a thermometer.
Oven: To reheat them in the oven place them in an ovenproof baking dish and bake loosely covered with foil for about 20 minutes at 350 degrees. They should be steaming hot.
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These cheesy spicy Low Carb Mexican Stuffed Peppers come together in only 20 minutes for a totally delicious, keto-friendly and family friendly weeknight meal.
- 3 large bell peppers, cut in half lengthwise and cored
- 2 teaspoons coconut oil or avocado oil
- 1 pound grass fed beef
- 1 cup chopped red onion
- 1 cup chopped white or crimini mushrooms
- 1 tablespoon ground cumin
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- ½ teaspoon ground chipotle chili
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
- ½ cup canned tomato puree
- 4 ounces shredded sharp cheddar cheese
- chopped fresh cilantro leaves for garnish, optional
- Place the peppers, cut side down in a microwave safe baking dish. Add 1 cup water to the baking dish. Cover with a layer of parchment or wax paper. Cover with plastic wrap. Microwave on high until the peppers are just starting to soften, 4 to 5 minutes. Carefully remove cover, drain off water and turn the peppers cut-side up in the baking dish.
- Meanwhile, heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add beef and cook, crumbling with a wooden spoon until the meat is browned, about 5 minutes. Add onion and mushrooms and cook, stirring often, until the mixture is browning along the edge of the pan and the vegetables are softened, 4 to 6 minutes. Stir in cumin, chili powder, chipotle, salt and cinnamon and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Remove from heat and stir in tomato puree.
- Fill the peppers with the meat mixture (about ½ cup per pepper half). Top with cheese, dividing evenly. Microwave the peppers in the baking dish, uncovered until the cheese is melted and the peppers are tender, 2 to 3 minutes. Serve warm with cilantro on top if desired.
Microwave Tip: This recipe was tested in a 1200 watt microwave. Adjust cooking times depending on your microwave oven.
Once the peppers have been steamed, carefully remove the plastic from the dish of peppers. There will be steam trapped inside, and it’s easy to get burned by it.
- Serving Size: 1 stuffed pepper half
- Calories: 247
- Sodium: 402
- Fat: 15
- Saturated Fat: 8
- Carbohydrates: 9
- Fiber: 4
- Protein: 22
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