These healthy stuffed peppers make a crowd pleasing dinner! The stuffed peppers are loaded with ground beef, rice, and plenty of cheese.
Need dinnertime inspiration? Here is an easy and healthy dinner that is always a massive hit in our house: healthy stuffed bell peppers.
Also known as stuffed capsicums, these are hollowed out peppers filled with a delicious mix of rice, meat, and cheese. We make them once a week, especially after making fried rice (and have an abundance of rice leftover). It’s a fantastic way to pack in lots of vegetables in one dish.
Why you’ll love this recipe
- Easy to make and healthy. These peppers are packed with protein, fiber, and vegetables, making it healthy and nutritious. The steps are easy to follow and can be easily followed, even if you rarely cook.
- Delicious and filling. One stuffed pepper works well as a main dish or dinner, and it keeps you nicely full and satisfied.
- Family-friendly. Most kids love rice and cheesy dishes and this is no exception: these stuffed peppers will please everyone at the dinner table and is a kid friendly dinner!
- Bell peppers. Larger bell peppers are easier to stuff. I like using green, yellow, and red ones, for aesthetic purposes.
- Oil. To pan-fry the filling.
- Onion. A must when cooking ground beef.
- Beef. I used lean ground beef but any cut of ground beef works. If you use a fattier cut, drain the excess liquid.
- Tomatoes. Canned in their juices.
- Taco seasoning. Skip the expensive store-bought kind and make your own.
- White rice. I used white rice, but any rice works.
- Cheese. I used a Mexican shredded cheese blend, but cheddar, tasty, and Pepper jack all work.
How to make healthy stuffed peppers
Healthy stuffed bell peppers are easy to make: the only thing to remember is to reserve some cheese to top the stuffed peppers with before baking them in the oven. Here’s the basic idea of making stuffed peppers (or see the recipe below for specifics):
- Cut the peppers: Slice the bell peppers in half and remove the seeds, then arrange them in the prepared baking dish.
- Prepare the stuffing: Add oil to a pan. Once hot, add the onions and saute until fragrant. Add beef and onions and simmer until most of the moisture has evaporated. Remove the pan from the stove, and add the cooked rice and shredded cheese.
- Fill the bell peppers: Add the prepared stuffing to the bell pepper halves and top with extra cheese.
- Bake the stuffed bell peppers in the oven for 30 to 35 minutes. Make sure that you don’t cover the peppers while baking. Once done, serve hot after sprinkling some parsley or cilantro.
Should peppers be boiled before stuffing?
There is no need to boil peppers before stuffing, as they will cook quickly while baking.
Tips to make the best recipe
- Use different colored bell peppers for a pop of color.
- Do not over-bake the peppers or else the sides will crisp up and become soggy.
- Reserve extra cheese to top the peppers with.
Dietary swaps and substitutions
This recipe is easy to customize with different meats or for different diets out there. Here are some tested options:
- Replace ground beef with chicken, bison, ground pork, or ground turkey.
- Make vegan stuffed peppers by omitting meat from the recipe and substitute it with extra veggies or veggie-based meatless crumble.
- Cut the carbs and use cauliflower rice instead of rice or make keto stuffed peppers instead.
- Use canned tomatoes instead of fresh ones for an easy option.
Wondering what is the best way to store healthy stuffed peppers? Here are best practices for stuffed peppers storage:
- To store: You can store leftovers in the refrigerator in airtight containers for up to 4 days.
- To freeze: Place the cooked and cooled peppers in a shallow container and store them in the freezer for up to 6 months.
- Reheating: Thaw and then heat in the microwave to enjoy them again.
What to serve with healthy stuffed bell peppers?
Stuffed bell peppers are a meal in itself, so pair it with simple vegetable sides for a well balanced and nutritious meal. Here are some of our favorites:
Frequently Asked Questions
Red colored bell peppers are the healthiest because they are harvested late and have the most nutrients.
To soften bell peppers before stuffing, blanch them in a large pot of boiling water for at least 2-3 minutes and allow them to dry on paper towels before stuffing.
The key to preventing stuffed peppers from becoming soggy is to NOT over-bake them.
Healthy Stuffed Peppers
- 4 large bell peppers cored and halved
- 1 tablespoon oil
- 1 small onion chopped
- 1 lb lean ground beef
- 2 tablespoons taco seasoning
- 15 oz canned tomatoes diced in juices
- 1 cup coked rice
- 2 cups shredded cheese divided
- Preheat your oven to 180C/375F. Lightly coat a 9×13-inch baking dish with nonstick spray. Place the bell pepper halves in the dish.
- Add the oil to a large non-stick pan and place it over medium heat. Add the beef and onion. With a wooden spoon or spatula, break the meat into small pieces. Cook for 6-7 minutes, or until the beef is browned.
- Add the taco seasoning then pour in the can of diced tomatoes along with the juices, and let it simmer. Remove off the heat.
- Stir through the cooked rice and half the cheese.
- Evenly distribute the mixture amongst the eight bell pepper halves and top with the remaining cheese.
- Bake the stuffed peppers for 20-25 minutes, or until the cheese has melted.
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