Stuffed peppers have always been one of my favorite meals and now these Low Carb Keto Stuffed Peppers are just as delicious and still one of my favorites. They are very easy to make and there are so many varieties of ingredients to try in them. The combinations are never-ending!
If you like stuffed peppers and have wondered how to make them low carb, your worries are over. We will show you how easy it is to make them and how they will become one of your family’s favorite meals. I love it when my family asks me to make them because it’s a good feeling when you cook something and it’s so loved!
I have made them this way for so many years, not even knowing they were low carb and neither did anyone else that I made them for. Try them, I guarantee you will like them. We will show you step by step how easy it is for you to make Keto stuffed peppers and they will become a favorite of your family too.
What are Stuffed Peppers?
Stuffed Peppers is a favorite dish around the world and are peppers stuffed with various ingredients. But one common denominator is that they are typically made with bell peppers, first hollowed out and then stuffed with a variety of meat, vegetables, cheese, rice or sauce.
You can tailor them to be Italian style or Mexican style….etc. It all depends on the type of meat and cheese, etc that you stuff them with.
Are Bell Peppers Healthy?
Peppers of any kind are very healthy. Anytime you are dealing with a fresh vegetable you can always expect it to be healthy to eat. We all know that oranges are a good source of vitamin C and in the case of peppers, they are even higher in vitamin C than oranges. S
Some veggies even though they are healthy they can be higher in carbs than others which can be bad if you are on a low carb diet but peppers are one of the best low carb veggies which makes them a winner.
Can You Eat Peppers on a Keto Diet?
Peppers, in general, are a must when you are on a Keto/Low Carb diet because they are one of the vegetables on the list of acceptable veggies…they are high in water content, low in calories, and low in carbs.
For example for 3.5 ounces of raw peppers it is 92% water, only 31 calories and 3.9 NET Carbs, a winner all the way around.
Are Stuffed Peppers Keto?
Sometimes Stuffed Peppers are not keto-friendly when people add things like rice, quinoa or other grains as fillers because using those things will make the carb content rise a lot, way out of range for a Keto diet.
The better choice for Keto/Low Carb Stuffed Peppers is to make them with meat and veggies and skip the added carbs like rice. You won’t even know the rice isn’t in there once you add some parmesan cheese inside and some mozzarella cheese melted on top. This way they are delicious with no extra filler required. Only 5.8 NET Carbs per pepper
What Ingredients are Low Carb Keto Stuffed Peppers
Ground Turkey – Using ground turkey is a good lean choice. But it can be substituted for ground beef or even ground chicken.
Ground Sausage – I like to add ground sausage to the turkey. It adds a little more fat and flavor. I prefer to use hot sausage instead of sweet sausage, but you can use either.
Onions – You can use any type of onions, including scallions.
Tomato Sauce – You can use jarred sauce or homemade sauce, whichever you want to. I always use homemade because I like it better. I make a big batch ahead and freeze it in small containers and take it out as need be.
Garlic – You can use jarred garlic or fresh…both are good.
Parsley – Dried or fresh are both good but if I have fresh in the house it’s better. The fresh parsley gives the peppers a fresh taste.
Parmesan Cheese – Always a good grated cheese for Italian foods
Mozzarella – The best cheese for melting on top of the peppers. Use already shredded or shred it yourself from a block.
What Peppers are Best for Stuffing?
The best peppers to use for making Keto Stuffed Peppers are Bell Peppers. They are grown to be a good size which enables you to put a lot of stuff inside of them. What’s the sense of stuffing a pepper when there are not enough goodies inside and all you taste is the pepper?
Plus bell peppers come in different colors such as green, yellow, orange, and red. When you use them all at the same time or at least two or three different colors at once, they make for a very colorful platter at dinner time.
Personally, my 3 favorites are red, orange, and yellow, which all have the same flavor. I just like the look and when I cook with them I try to have an even amount of the different colors to balance out my food. It’s just a thing that I do. The green ones tend to be a little cheaper than the colored ones, but if you buy the colored ones on sale they are very affordable.
What Meat Is Best for Keto Stuffed Peppers?
Any kind of meat that you like is good for Keto stuffed Peppers, but it needs to be ground up so that it’s easy to blend with other ingredients.
I have used different meats while making Stuffed Peppers over the years, sometimes it depends on what I have in my house when I decide to make them or who I’m making them for and what kind of meat they may like.
In this recipe, this time for the website I used ground turkey and added to it ground spicy sausage which is one of my favorite combos.
Other possibilities to use for Low Carb Stuffed Peppers are ground beef and ground chicken which are both good choices too. I have tried combos with these 4 types of meat too and they are all good so just try them all and see which ones you prefer.
I’m not a big cheese lover like most people are, but I do cook with it all the time because cheese is a key ingredient in making a lot of foods on the Keto diet/Low Carb way of eating. It adds volume to things and of course flavor too.
So when making Keto stuffed peppers I use a grated cheese mixed in with the stuffing mixture or sprinkled on the top….I’ve done it both ways. The 2 main types that I use are parmesan and pecorino romano.
Then I always use shredded mozzarella on the top which melts over it all and makes it creamy and gooey and it also keeps a top over the pepper so that the stuffing doesn’t fall out.
If you want to change the flavor of your pepper to Mexican for instance, then change your cheese to Monterey Jack, or for a little kick you can use some Pepper Jack cheese.
Can I Put Rice in Low Carb Stuffed Peppers?
Rice is not something that can be added to your Stuffed Peppers if you want to eat Keto/Low Carb because rice is very high in carbs, about 52 grams of carbs in 1 cup! That would push you way over the top in your daily carb count. I just love rice but can’t put it in the peppers because of the carbs, but honestly, in this recipe, it’s just as good without the rice…I promise!
Do not despair, if you are a big rice lover, you could substitute it with cauliflower rice. It’s the biggest craze right now and is a great alternative.
You can either make it yourself from a head of cauliflower or it comes frozen already riced up and all you have to do is throw it in boiling water, cook for only a few minutes and then drain it in a colander. Now you have something that resembles rice in looks and texture. You’ll learn by eating low carb that cauliflower is a wonderful substitute for so many foods in so many recipes.
Shopping for and Picking Out the Right Peppers
Usually, the grocery stores have a good choice of bell peppers. You can buy them in a bag that has several peppers, or you can buy them singularly. I pick out whichever ones look the best without bruises.
Bell peppers bigger in size are also easier for stuffing, but I always make sure to evaluate the price difference when making my decision.
What Type of Pan is Best for This Recipe?
We all tend to cook with our favorite knife or pan or bowl….When it comes time to cook your stuffed peppers you can use a glass baking pan, a cast iron pan, or skillet. I have used them all, so I personally think it’s up to you, either what you actually have or what your favorite is. You certainly don’t have to go out and buy a special pan to make stuffed peppers.
I think that the most important thing you need to do is to make your choice of what pan to use depending on how many stuffed peppers that you have. You want your peppers to stand up in the pan and not fall over while cooking because your stuffing will fall out if the peppers are tipped. So pick one of your pans that will comfortably fit your peppers without letting them flop over.
How Long to Bake Stuffed Peppers in the Oven?
Typically, I would say that the cooking time when making Keto stuffed peppers will vary a little bit, depending on how hot your oven runs, what temperature you cook them at, and how firm you want your peppers to come out.
It’s kind of like the story of goldilocks, some like them firm, some like them soft, and some like them in between. Also, it depends if you par-cook your peppers first before stuffing them so I will explain how we do it and how others do it and you can decide for yourself which way you would like to try.
So for me, my preferred way is to cook the peppers ahead of time before I stuff them. I cut off the tops first, then boil them for 5 minutes. After they finish boiling, then drain them and let them cool.
Once they have cooled down, I stuff them and place them in my baking dish and bake at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes until the pepper is not hard but not mushy and then the cheese is all melted and gooey.
Some people like to roast their peppers in the oven at 400 for 15 minutes and then stuff them and then finish baking them at 350 degrees until the pepper reaches doneness and the cheese is melted.
Another way to cook your peppers is not to pre-cook them at all, so instead just stuff the peppers and place them in your baking dish, then put 2-3 tablespoons of water in the bottom of the pan and cover with foil. It will help them to stay moist.
How to Make Keto Stuffed Peppers
Now we are going to show you step by step how to make these Keto stuffed bell peppers, how to cut them, how to stuff them, and finally how to bake them.
Making the Filling
The first thing you need to do is to prepare your filling. Once you decide which type of meat to use, get a large frypan, and add your meat to it and start to cook it up.
Once the meat is cooked thoroughly then add the onions and stir in.
As they start to saute then add the salt, pepper, garlic, parsley and any other spices and mix them in.
The next thing is to add the tomato sauce and blend it in.
If you are going to use the grated parmesan, now would be a good time to add it to the filling and stir it in.
Now you are ready to stuff your peppers.
Preparing and Cutting the Peppers
The first thing to do before you can stuff the peppers is to wash them and then cut off the tops and rinse out the seeds.
There are two ways to cut your bell peppers in preparation for stuffing them, just cutting the tops off and standing them up, or cutting them in half. Some people like to leave them whole because of how they look, especially when making them for guests.
If you don’t leave them whole you could cut them in half from top to bottom and lay them down and stuff them in half.
An advantage of cutting them in half and then stuffing them is that you get more filling and less pepper per filling. It’s also a bit quicker to stuff them when they are cut in half.
If you only want to eat half of the pepper, then this is the way to go so that you are not wasting the other half. Then you can have half the carbs from the pepper and more filling with the same amount of mozzarella!!
Not that it’s hard to stuff them whole, it’s actually really easy. If your pan is small, when you leave them whole they take up a lot less room, and when you cut them in half they take up double space, so keep this in mind.
Should I Save the Tops?
If you decide to keep your pepper whole for stuffing, you could always save the tops that you cut off to put back on your pepper after you stuff them, or even in the stuffing. Some people do this but I don’t. I like to just put the mozzarella on top of the pepper after I stuff it.
But please don’t throw away the tops because there is some usable pepper that you cut off that can be used later in your salad or fried up with some onions and served on top of your hamburger….etc.
Do You Have to Pre-cook the Peppers Before Stuffing Them?
You do not have to precook the peppers before stuffing them but if you don’t they will take longer to cook. Plus they may remain kind of crunchy which you may not like. There are several ways to make sure that your peppers are cooked through.
If I am going to pre-cook my peppers, I cut off the tops and then put the peppers in a large pot of boiling water and boil for about 5 minutes.
Not too long, because we don’t want the peppers to get soggy, but just enough to break through the outer layer to start to soften the peppers just slightly. Then take them out of the water and cool enough to be able to stuff them.
Some people stick the peppers in the oven first and roast them at 400 degrees for about 10 minutes to also start the cooking process. You can also do the same thing if you stick them outside on the grill for a few minutes, just be careful not to burn them.
One more possible way to par-cook the peppers is to pop them in the microwave for 5 minutes before filling them, which will soften them just enough to take the crisp out.
Adding the Stuffing
When you are ready to stuff your peppers, use a small spoon and fill it with stuffing and then scoop it into the pepper’s cavity.
Keep on stuffing it till the stuffing reaches the top of the pepper.
Once all of the peppers are stuffed then top them off with shredded mozzarella cheese.
Baking the Stuffed Peppers
Once the Stuffed Peppers are in your favorite baking dish or pan, and they are stuffed and topped off with the cheese, cover them with a piece of foil and place in the oven.
Bake at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes.
Take them out when the pepper is cooked to your desired texture and when the cheese is melted. If you are not sure if the pepper is done just stick a knife into it.
Best Tips for Keto Stuffed Peppers
Let’s share some tips with you on how to make stuffed bell peppers the best way that you can…
There are so many things that you can add to your filling, depending on what you like. One helpful thing to do, so you don’t waste, is to use up things in your refrigerator such as a partial cut onion, leftover meat, etc.
Using fresh parsley rather than dried and fresh garlic is always better than using jar garlic. What I do with fresh parsley is to chop up a bunch or two and put it in a plastic container in the freezer and then take out just what is needed for each recipe.
Using homemade sauce is always better than jar sauce. What I do is make a big batch of sauce and then freeze it in small containers and take it out for recipes such as this one.
After stuffing your peppers and putting them up in the dish, if they don’t stand up straight then just cut a small piece off the bottom which should balance them out. That way they don’t topple over and your filling won’t spill out.
While you are stuffing your peppers, preheat the oven. It will save you a few minutes of cooking time.
If you are afraid that your peppers will take too long to soften up you can put a half cup of water in the bottom of the pan and then cover with foil. It will make steam and in turn cook your peppers.
If you are afraid the foil will stick to the tops of the peppers/cheese just spray the underside of it with cooking spray.
Make sure if you freeze the peppers that they are not hot or warm when you wrap them up.
Should I Cover the Peppers in the Oven?
By covering the Stuffed Peppers they will cook faster because the foil or lid will trap in the steam which will, in turn, cook the pepper faster. But some people like them with more of a baked texture rather than steamed texture even though it may take a little longer.
I think the best thing to do is to cover them half of the cooking time and uncover them for the other half. That way they get a little bit crispy at the end. If you are worried about the foil sticking to the cheese then just spray it with cooking spray and cover.
Can I Bake Stuffed Peppers without Pre-Cooking the Meat/Filling?
You may be in a hurry to put the stuffed peppers together and wonder about stuffing them with raw meat. I have found that you can do it but it takes longer to cook them in the oven than if the meat is already pre-cooked. One way or the other, the meat has to cook so it will take time.
Especially when you are using chicken, turkey, or sausage you need to make sure the meat is thoroughly cooked and I have found that it is easier on the stove to make sure this happens. Plus if you are using onions they have to pre-cook anyway so you may as well cook it all on the stove together.
If you were stuffing your peppers with a kind of meat that’s already cooked such as ham or kielbasa then that would be different, but ground beef, chicken, or turkey is better to pre-cook before stuffing.
Different Variations of Low Carb Stuffed Peppers
Here are a few ways to add variety to your stuffed peppers:
- Any kind of meat can be used …..beef, chicken, turkey, sausage.
- Cauliflower rice can be used to replace white rice which will make it low carb.
- Peppers/ cordon blue which is ground chicken, ham, and swiss cheese stuffed inside.
- Vegetarian…any veggies of your choice.
- Italian/meatless…several types of cheese and tomato sauce, basil and garlic like lasagna without the noodles.
- Breakfast Peppers…eggs, bacon, sausage, spinach, onions.
- Buffalo chicken…with ground chicken, low carb BBQ sauce, and cheddar cheese.
- Mexican…ground beef, or ground chicken, cheddar cheese or Monterey jack cheese, scallions, taco seasoning.
Other Cooking Methods for Stuffed Peppers
- Grilled Stuffed Peppers – Stuff the peppers and wrap them in foil tightly and put them on the grill on low to medium heat. Cook for about 30 minutes.
- Instant Pot Stuffed Peppers – Add one cup of water, and stuffed peppers and cook for 5 minutes.
- Air Fryer Stuffed Peppers – Place the peppers in the air fryer at 400 degrees and cook for 8-10 minutes.
- Crock Pot Stuffed Peppers / Slow Cooker, Stuffed Peppers – The beauty of a slow cooker is that it cooks for you while you are doing other things. You can prepare your peppers the same way and put them in the crockpot in the morning on low heat for 6 hours and you will have a yummy treat for dinner.
Other Diets This Recipe is Good For
- Gluten-free – All these variations of types of peppers are great and have no gluten.
- Nut-free – No nuts or nut flour in stuffed peppers.
- They can be made dairy-free by simply omitting the cheese, or by using a vegan cheese instead
How to Make Stuffed Bell Peppers Vegetarian
There’s not a big difference between making regular stuffed peppers and vegetarian stuffed peppers. The main difference is that of course, the vegetarian version does not have any meat in them. When you make your stuffed bell peppers add as many veggies in your stuffing as you would like, such as cauliflower rice, onions, mushrooms, tomatoes…etc. Some people add beans too but you need to watch the carb content in beans.
Another way to show you how to make vegetarian peppers is to think of making lasagna…so stuff it with several kinds of cheese such as ricotta, parmesan, romano, add some garlic and basil and tomato sauce and top with mozzarella.
What to Serve with Stuffed Peppers?
Stuffed Peppers are a meal in themselves because they have meat and veggies all in one. But if I am going to eat anything along with them I would make a green salad.
Or if you are like me there is always room for a side of sausage when you are eating Italian food, especially if you don’t put sausage inside your peppers.
Can I Make Low Carb Stuffed Peppers Ahead?
We all lead such busy lives and meal prep doesn’t have to take a long time, especially if we plan it out ahead of time. It helps to know what day we want to make meals and if you have the extra time, to do your food prep.
For instance, you can prep your stuffed peppers and leave them in the refrigerator for a day or two before baking them in the oven.
How to Store Stuffed Peppers
Once your Stuffed Peppers are cooked and you need to store the leftovers, just wrap them up securely in a plastic container with a tight-fitting lid. Stick them in your refrigerator for 3-4 days.
If you are not going to eat the leftovers in a few days, then you could freeze them so that they don’t go to waste.
How to Reheat Stuffed Peppers
To reheat your yummy leftover Keto stuffed peppers, just put them in a baking dish and pop them into the oven at 350 degrees for about 15 minutes, covered with a piece of foil to trap in the heat.
Another way to reheat stuffed peppers, a quicker way, is in the microwave. That’s how I always heat mine up especially when I take them to work for my lunch. Just heat them for about 2 minutes, lightly covered, and it will come out perfect.
Can You Freeze Stuffed Peppers
If you feel like making a batch of stuffed peppers ahead of time, it will save you some time when you don’t have time to cook one night, especially after a full workday. Just put them in an airtight container and freeze them for up to 3 months.
When you want to serve them, just take them out of your freezer the night before and thaw them out in your refrigerator. Reheat gently in the oven at 350 degrees for 10-15 minutes, or in the microwave for about 2 minutes.
My family likes a lot of cheese so if you are the same way you could always put some extra mozzarella on top when heating them up in the oven.
More Keto Recipes
If you’re in the mood for some other Low Carb Recipes then try our:
- Keto Stuffed Zucchini Boats
- Cheesy Keto Stuffed Mushrooms
- Keto Fried Zucchini
- Keto Egg Roll in a Bowl “Crack Slaw”
- Low Carb Meatloaf
They all are Keto-friendly and low carb, and will be a hit at your next meal!Print
Keto stuffed peppers are a favorite low carb meal in many families. Easy to make, delicious to eat and can be made so many ways with so many different ingredients.
- 2 pounds Ground Turkey
- 1 pound Ground Sausage
- ½ cup Chopped Onions
- 1 tsp Black Pepper
- 1 tsp Garlic Powder
- 1 tsp Salt
- 1 cup Tomato Sauce
- 10 Bell Peppers, any color
- ¼ cup Parmesan
- 2 cups Mozzarella
How to make the filling:
- The first thing you need to do to make the filling is to get a large frypan and cook your meat in it. You can cook the turkey and sausage at the same time. You can also replace them with ground beef or ground chicken.
- Once the meat is cooked then add the onions and continue to saute.
- As the onions start cooking then now is a good time to add the parsley and spices.
- Now add the tomato sauce and mix well.
- Then add the parmesan cheese to the mixture. Now your filling is done and ready to stuff the peppers.
Preparing and cutting the peppers:
- The first thing to do before you can stuff the peppers is to wash them and then cut off the tops and rinse out the seeds. Empty out all of the water.
- There are 2 ways to cut your peppers in preparation for stuffing them. You can leave them whole or you can cut them in half lengthwise from top to bottom and lay them down and then stuff them.
- To par-cook the peppers before stuffing them, just drop them in a pot of boiling water for 5 minutes.
- Take them out of the water and drain and cool enough to stuff them.
Adding the stuffing:
- When you are ready to stuff the peppers, use a small spoon and fill it with the stuffing and scoop it into the cavity of the pepper. Keep on stuffing it until the filling reaches the top of the pepper.
- Once all of the peppers are stuffed then you can top them off with the shredded mozzarella.
Baking the stuffed peppers:
- Once the peppers are in your favorite baking dish or pan, and you have topped them off with shredded mozzarella, put ½ cup of water in the pan and then cover them with a piece of foil and place them in the oven.
- If you think that the foil may stick to the cheese you can spray the underside of the foil before placing it on the peppers.
- Bake the Keto Stuffed Peppers at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes.
- Test the texture of the peppers to see if they are done by sticking the tip of a knife into the pepper.
- When the cheese is completely melted too take the peppers out of the oven and serve.
5.8 NET CARBS Per Whole Pepper
Use fresh parsley instead of dried if you have it.
Use fresh garlic instead of garlic in a jar if you have it.
If you can make homemade tomato sauce instead of using jar sauce, that’s great too. If you make the sauce then make a big pot and freeze it in small containers so that when you need it you can just take it out of the freezer.
If your peppers don’t stand up straight in the baking dish then cut a small piece of the pepper off the bottom of it and that way the filling won’t fall out.
If you want to par-cook the peppers before stuffing you can boil them for a few minutes or roast them in the oven or cook them on the grill for 10 minutes.
If you do not par-cook the peppers ahead of time then you can put ½ cup of water in the pan and cover it with foil which will help the peppers to steam and cook quicker.
If you are afraid that the foil is going to stick to the cheese on top of the peppers then spray the underside of the foil before covering the peppers.
If you freeze the peppers make sure they are cooled off before putting them in the freezer.
- Category: Main Courses
- Method: Baking
- Cuisine: Italian
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