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.
Lately I’ve been trying to shed a couple of pounds for our upcoming Mexico trip. 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
Indeed they can be cooked in only 20 minutes and it’s not magic, I just used the microwave! 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 used this same technique for my Vegetarian Stuffed Peppers and it worked like a charm!
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!
- 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.
Make the Low Carb Beef Filling on the Stovetop
- Beef Filling: The filling 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 American Chop Suey.
- 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 them.
- 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
- 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 This Recipe
What to serve with These 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.
More Low Carb Recipes To Try
If you love peppers, then you should try my 20 Minute Low Carb Turkey and Peppers
Here’s a cookbook review for a Keto Soup book with a recipe for Keto Chicken Soup.
You may also like this Low Carb Baked Omelet from my friend Carolyn’s book.
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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