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 toppings and enjoy a low-carb, keto and gluten-free meal that the whole family will love. Ready in just 30 minutes, this is a delicious taco Tuesday recipe you'll make on repeat!
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.
This easy recipe calls for all your typical taco basics like a homemade taco seasoning, beef and cheese!
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 keto stuffed peppers make a great meal 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.
Here's what you'll love about them:
- they are gluten-free, paleo, low-carb diet and keto diet friendly
- the process is quick and straightforward- a 30-minute meal that makes an easy weeknight dinner
- they are family-friendly and make awesome leftovers
Bell peppers are a great alternative to carb-heavy tortillas or corn taco shells. When you're preparing these keto stuffed peppers, make sure to pay attention to the size of your peppers.
Large bell peppers are easier to stuff and you won't have to worry about the beef taco filling slipping out of the pepper halves out during the baking time.
To make taco stuffed peppers, you will need these simple ingredients:
- large bell peppers, any color (if you prefer sweeter peppers, choose yellow, orange or red bell peppers over green bell peppers)
- avocado oil (or olive oil)
- ground beef
- yellow onion, chopped (or sub red onion)
- garlic, minced
- salt and pepper
- ground cumin
- chili powder
- smoked paprika
- dried oregano
- chipotle powder (optional-omit for less spiciness)
- tomato paste
- shredded cheese like cheddar cheese or Mexican blend cheese
- favorite toppings for tacos (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 keto stuffed peppers
This taco stuffed peppers recipe consists of just a few simple steps. But here's the key to a good keto stuffed pepper: 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 to melt the cheese.
If you meal prep and want to make the process even easier, prepare the taco meat mixture in advance. You could even bake the bell peppers to soften them ahead of time.
To make these easy taco stuffed peppers:
To make these easy taco stuffed peppers:
- Cut and bake the bell peppers. Rinse and slice each pepper in half. Carefully cut off the top of the peppers 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. In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium heat and cook the ground meat 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 the ground beef mixture into each bell pepper and top each with a bit more grated cheese. Transfer to the preheated oven and 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. It helps to use a wooden spoon to break up the meat as it browns. 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 in an airtight container.
variations for keto stuffed peppers
While this easy keto recipe is a low-carb spin on tacos, you can swap out the Mexican flavors and ingredients to create different variations of keto stuffed peppers.
For instance, ground Italian sausage mixed with tomato sauce, Italian seasoning and topped with a blend of mozzarella cheese or Parmesan cheese is a great way to enjoy an Italian-inspired stuffed pepper.
The stuffing mixture can be super versatile- think sloppy Joes, a keto lasagna version or even a cheeseburger-inspired mix. I imagine this sausage, sage and cream cheese mixture would also be tasty and it's next on my list to try.
The options are practically endless when it comes to the different adaptations possible for this stuffed bell pepper recipe!
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.
These are a fun spin on taco night! Keto stuffed peppers are a great option if you're looking for an easy weeknight meal with fresh veggies, protein and loads of flavor. They also taste better the next day as leftovers (that is, if you have any remaining...). 😉
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- 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.