There used to be a time when I HATED bell peppers. Like hated. And then I don’t know what happened. Now I eat them all the time. They’re in my taco casserole, they’re in my breakfast casserole, they’re in my southwest breakfast bake and now they’re the base of this whole Mexican Stuffed Peppers recipe. I guess some things DO change. Whaddya know!
This was my first time trying out a stuffed pepper recipe and I think they came out great if I do say so myself. Now I am just thinking of all the fun things I can stuff into peppers to make new versions. Buffalo chicken, philly cheese steak, Greek chicken- the possibilities are endless! When making your stuffed peppers, you can chop your bell peppers two different ways. Either by chopping off just the tops so your peppers stand tall or chopping them in half. I chose to go the half route but either way would work just fine.
If chopping your peppers in half like I did, a serving is two halves. This was satisfying for a light meal but if you are hungrier you can bump up your serving to three halves or serve it with your favorite side dish. Another note about chopping your peppers in half, is that you will need 2 9×11 dishes to bake your 12 pepper halves in. If you have only 6 peppers then one pan will do.
I used carnitas as the protein in this recipe but you can substitute any type you would like. Shredded beef or chicken works great as well. The carnitas gave the stuffing a nice robust flavor and was my personal favorite for this.
The base for this recipe is all paleo, keto and even Whole30 compliant ingredients but if dairy is something that works within your dietary choices, then feel free to top your peppers with mozzarella for some cheesy goodness. I made six of my halves without cheese and six with for a little variety. If you are not eating dairy, you can add nutritional yeast to get a subtle cheesy flavor.
These Mexican stuffed peppers held up perfectly for meal prep and we ate them for lunch for the next three days!
- 6 Bell Peppers, seeds removed and cut in half (I used a combination of red, green and orange)
- 1 lb carnitas or shredded beef
- 16 oz riced cauliflower (about 3 cups)
- 12 oz salsa or enchilada sauce
- 1 4 oz can diced green chilis
- 1/2 cup chopped onion
- 1 tbs avocado oil
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp minced garlic
- 1 tsp cumin
- ½ tbsp nutritional yeast (or 1 cup mozzarella if using cheese)
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Cilantro and olives to garnish
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees and line two 9x11 baking dishes with parchment paper
- Place riced cauliflower in a microwave safe bowl with 2 tbsp of water and heat covered for 2 minutes to soften
- Heat 1 tbs of oil in a large skillet
- Add onion and garlic and sauté for 1-2 minutes
- Add in cauliflower rice and sauté for about 3 more minutes
- Add in carnitas, diced chilis, seasonings and salsa (or enchilada sauce) and cook together for 1-2 more minutes or until cauliflower is tender
- Spoon carnitas mixture into peppers and top with black olives and nutritional yeast (or mozzarella if using cheese)
- Bake at 375 for 30 min (Note: if using mozzarella place in the broiler for 1-2 minutes until cheese is bubbly)
- Garnish with cilantro and serve!