Taco stuffed peppers are bold and flavorful, with a mild chipotle kick that goes perfectly with the light cilantro crema topping. Load these up with your favorite taco night fixings and enjoy a low-carb, keto and gluten-free meal that's ready in 30 minutes!
Tender, baked bell peppers are stuffed with a yummy seasoned taco meat, topped with cheese, and baked a bit more to get that perfect melt-y, cheesy goodness.
While the cilantro crema is an extra step in your dinner prep, it's totally worth it and is so, so good. (If you go that route you may agree that the taco stuffed pepper is really just a convenient vessel for loads of cilantro crema-lay it on there).
And if you choose to skip that extra step, that's okay too, as these taco stuffed bell peppers are super tasty on their own.
why you'll love them
Not only are taco stuffed peppers easy and flavor-packed, but they're also a quick and hearty meal that falls right in that sweet spot of comfort-food-that's-also-healthy. Kind of like this keto shepherd's pie. And this low-carb chicken tortilla soup.
What else you'll love about them:
- they are gluten-free, low-carb, paleo and keto stuffed peppers
- the process is quick and straightforward- a 30-minute meal
- they are family-friendly and make awesome leftovers
To make taco stuffed peppers, you will need:
- bell peppers, any color (choose large peppers so they're easy to stuff)
- avocado oil
- ground beef
- yellow onion, chopped
- garlic, minced
- salt and pepper
- ground cumin
- chili powder
- smoked paprika
- dried oregano
- chipotle powder (optional-omit for less spiciness)
- tomato paste
- grated cheddar cheese or Mexican cheese blend
- taco toppings of choice (avocado, sour cream, sliced jalapeños, cilantro, green onion, etc.)
For the cilantro lime crema, you will need:
- sour cream
- lime juice
- garlic powder
- salt and pepper
how to make taco stuffed peppers
This taco stuffed peppers recipe consists of just a few steps. Make sure to pre-bake the bell peppers before stuffing them, otherwise they'll remain crisp.
Once stuffed, the bell peppers only need to bake for a few more minutes, just to get the cheese melted.
If you meal prep and want to make the process even easier, prepare the taco meat in advance. You could even bake the bell peppers to soften them ahead of time.
To make these easy taco stuffed peppers:
- Cut and bake the bell peppers. Rinse and slice each pepper in half. Carefully cut out the stem and remove any seeds. Drizzle/brush/spray each pepper with a little avocado oil and place them on a lined baking sheet. Bake for 15 minutes at 375°F.
- Cook the taco meat. Heat avocado oil in a pan and cook the ground beef until it's almost browned, about 5 minutes. Add the chopped onion and garlic and cook another 3-5 minutes. Add the salt, pepper, spices and tomato paste and stir until combined. Remove from heat. Stir in ⅔ cup of grated cheese.
- Stuff the bell peppers and bake. Before stuffing the peppers, pour out any water that pooled at the bottom of each (you can also dab it out with paper towels). Spoon taco meat into each bell pepper and top each with a bit more grated cheese. Bake for 5-8 minutes or until the cheese melts.
- Prepare the cilantro crema. Place all of the ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Top the taco stuffed peppers with the crema and fixings of choice.
tips for the best taco stuffed peppers
- Don't skip the pre-bake! The bell peppers will soften during the first bake, while the second bake is primarily to melt the cheese and warm everything through. For bell peppers on the crisp side, pre-bake them for 10 minutes instead of 15 minutes.
- Remove excess water from the peppers. You'll notice that a bit of water pools in the bottom of the hollowed-out peppers. Use tongs to carefully tip each of the peppers and dump the water out. You can also use a paper towel to dab it out.
- A leaner ground beef works best for this keto stuffed peppers recipe. Spoon out any excess fat after browning the meat. Ground chicken, turkey, or bison are okay substitutes, too.
- To lighten up the taco stuffed peppers, you can add riced cauliflower. Replace ½ pound of meat with 1 cup of cauliflower rice.
- These taco stuffed peppers are good for up to 5 days, stored in the refrigerator.
frequently asked questions
Yes. Otherwise, the peppers will remain very crisp and will not get tender.
Bake the peppers at 375°F for 15 minutes and remove any excess water that pools up inside each pepper. If you prefer the peppers to be slightly more crisp, bake them for only 10 minutes.
Yes, for this taco stuffed peppers recipe, it is a must to cook the taco meat before filling the peppers. This ensures the meat is cooked through and is well-seasoned with all of the taco spices.
Taco stuffed bell peppers are a fun spin on taco night and come together quickly. They even taste better the next day as leftovers (that is, if you have any remaining...). 😉
- 3 large bell peppers, any color
- 2 tablespoons avocado oil, divided
- 1 pound ground beef, grass-fed when possible (I use 85% lean, 15% fat)
- ½ cup chopped yellow onion
- 1-½ teaspoons minced garlic
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1-½ tablespoons ground cumin
- 2 teaspoons chili powder
- ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- ½ teaspoon chipotle powder (optional, omit for less spiciness)
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1 cup grated cheddar or Mexican blend cheese, divided
- taco toppings of choice (jalapeños, green onion, avocado, cilantro, tomatoes)
- ¾ cup full-fat sour cream
- ½ small avocado
- ¼ cup cilantro
- 1 lime, juiced
- Pinch of garlic powder
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Preheat the oven to 375°F and line baking sheet with parchment paper or a baking mat (for easy clean-up).
- Rinse and slice each pepper in half, lengthwise. Carefully cut out the stem and remove any seeds.
- Drizzle/brush/spray each pepper with approximately 1 tablespoon of avocado oil and place each on the baking sheet, cut-side up. Bake for 15 minutes. When they are done, drain the excess water out of each pepper (you can also dab it out with a paper towel).
- Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Cook the ground beef until it is almost brown, about 5 minutes. Spoon out any extra fat and discard.
- Add the chopped onion and garlic and cook another 3-5 minutes or until the meat is completely browned.
- Stir in the salt, pepper, cumin, chili powder, smoked paprika, oregano and chipotle powder (optional). Add the tomato paste and stir until everything is well combined. Remove from heat.
- Stir in ⅔ cup of the grated cheese and set aside the remaining ⅓ cup.
- Spoon the taco meat into each bell pepper, filling them. Top each one with about a tablespoon of the remaining cheese.
- Transfer the taco stuffed peppers to the oven and bake for 5 minutes or until the cheese melts.
- To prepare the cilantro crema, combine all of the crema ingredients in a blender or food processor. Blend/process for 30 seconds or until combined.
- Serve the taco stuffed peppers with taco fixings of choice and the cilantro crema spooned on top.
- For bell peppers that are a bit more crisp, reduce the pre-bake time to 10 minutes (instead of 15 minutes).
- To remove excess water from the pre-baked peppers, use tongs to carefully tip the water out. You can also use a paper towel to dab it out.
- A leaner ground beef works best. Spoon out any extra fat after browning the meat. Ground chicken, turkey, or bison are okay substitutes, too.
- To lighten up the taco stuffed peppers, you can replace ½ pound of meat with 1 cup of cooked cauliflower rice (add it to the mixture when you add the seasonings).
- Taco stuffed peppers are good for up to 5 days, stored in the refrigerator.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 398Total Fat: 27gSaturated Fat: 11gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 13gCholesterol: 81mgSodium: 557mgCarbohydrates: 14gNet Carbohydrates: 10gFiber: 4gSugar: 3gProtein: 25g
This nutritional information is approximate and is provided for convenience as a courtesy.