Stuffed peppers without rice will become one of your new favorite low-carb dinners. With only 7 basic ingredients, it can be ready in under an hour for the whole family to enjoy!
Why you should make this recipe
These stuffed peppers are a treat to make! Bright, colorful peppers stuffed with a low-carb mince and cauliflower filling topped with melted cheese and herbs. All ready in under an hour!
It’s the ultimate comfort food that is both hearty and delicious.
These peppers can easily be prepared ahead of time and then popped in the oven to alleviate some of that dinner stress.
These delicious stuffed peppers call for very basic ingredients that are available in every grocery store:
- bell peppers: We used a combination of yellow, red, and green peppers. Use your favorite full-size bell peppers.
- cooking oil: Extra-virgin olive oil is a good choice but you can substitute any healthy cooking oil.
- ground meat: Ground beef is always good but ground chicken, turkey, or pork will work.
- white or yellow onion
- fresh garlic
- riced cauliflower (buy or make your own cauliflower rice)
- chunky marinara sauce: Make sure to use a good quality sugar-free marinara sauce.
- fresh thyme
- shredded mozzarella
- salt and pepper
Making stuffed peppers low-carb while still keeping them full of flavor is relatively easy.
Step 1: Wash and dry the bell peppers. Cut in half lengthwise and remove the membrane and seeds with a spoon. Place the bell peppers in a casserole dish cut side up. Season with salt and pepper.
Step 2: Heat a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Add olive oil and allow to heat. Sauté onions for 3 – 4 minutes until translucent. Add garlic and cook for another minute. Add ground beef and cook for 6 – 8 minutes, breaking up the meat. Cook until beef has browned and there is no pink visible. Set aside in a bowl.
Step 3: In the same pan, add riced cauliflower and sauté over medium heat for 5-7 minutes until softened and some moisture has evaporated.
Step 4: Add marinara sauce, fresh thyme, salt, and pepper to the pan and mix together. Turn the heat down to medium-low for 2 minutes until completely heated through.
Step 5: Transfer the ground meat mixture back to the pan and stir to combine. Take off the heat and stir in the shredded cheese (but leave a little to sprinkle on top).
Step 5: Spoon the meat and sauce mixture into the peppers. Top each pepper half with the remaining cheese.
Step 6: Cover the baking dish with foil and bake for 30 minutes at a pre-heated oven at 350°F (180°C). Remove foil and bake for an additional 5 minutes until cheese is melted and bubbly.
Remove from oven and serve warm.
I like to garnish these peppers with some fresh herbs (basil works great) but you don’t have to. The dish already has plenty of flavors.
Although these low-carb stuffed peppers are fairly easy and come together quickly, there are things you can do to cut your hands on time further.
- Out of fresh thyme? No worries – just use 1/2 teaspoon of dried thyme.
- Fresh garlic is always best but you can use jarred minced garlic instead. Three medium-sized cloves are equivalent to 3 teaspoons or 1 tablespoon. But when it comes to garlic, measure with your heart, not your spoon.
- When covering the baking dish with foil, take extra care for the foil not to touch the cheese by tenting it.
This recipe can easily be modified to suit your dietary needs and preferences. Check out these ideas:
- Skip the cheese for dairy-free stuffed peppers.
- Sub Italian sausage for ground beef (but be sure to check the ingredient list for added sugar and salt). It adds great flavor!
- You can use lean ground beef or ground turkey to cut calories.
- Marinara sauce may be replaced with spaghetti sauce or plain tomato sauce.
- Add other veggies like diced zucchini and cook with the cauliflower rice for added nutrition.
Stuffed peppers are packed with flavor and nutrition and are great on their own. But if you are serving this for guests or just want something a little more, a low-carb salad or roasted vegetables would pair incredibly well and make a very well-rounded meal.
If serving the peppers with a roasted vegetable, you can even bake both in the same at the same time.
This recipe is so good that having leftovers probably won’t be a problem! If you do have some leftover peppers, you can store them in the refrigerator. Store in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
To reheat, use a microwave or heat in the oven for 15 minutes at 350°F (180°C) until the cheese is melted and the filling has completely warmed through. Put on the broil for your oven at the end to make the cheese nice and bubbly.
These delicious stuffed peppers are naturally gluten-free and can easily be modified to be dairy free. They pack in a nice serving of protein while keeping the carbs low.
The most important thing to remember when making these stuffed bell peppers is to check the labels for added salt and sugar in packaged foods.
For that reason, I recommend sugar-free marinara sauce to keep these truly low-carb.
Additionally, you can use leaner ground meat like chicken or turkey if you’re watching your calories.
Frequently asked questions
As long as the stuffed bell peppers are covered with aluminum foil for the initial 30 minutes of cooking time, they are perfectly softened. Therefore, no separate pre-cooking of the bell peppers is necessary.
Yes! This is an important step because it steams the bell peppers, softening them to tenderness. This also ensures that the meat stuffing doesn’t dry out. You only have to cook the peppers covered for 30 minutes of cook time. Then remove the foil to melt and gently brown the cheese.
Not surprisingly, the sweeter the bell pepper, the higher the carb count. Green bell peppers have the least amount of carbs, clocking in at only 4.5 grams of net carbs per medium-sized pepper, followed by red bell peppers at approximately 6.2 grams of net carbs. Lastly, yellow bell peppers have the most carbs at 10 grams of net carbs.
Other healthy low-carb dinner recipes
If you liked this recipe, here are some other easy low-carb recipes you might enjoy:
You can also read this roundup I created of 10 healthy dinner recipes for diabetics for even more great low-carb dinner recipe ideas.
When you’ve made these stuffed peppers without rice, please don’t forget to let me know how you liked them and rate the recipe in the comments below!
Stuffed Peppers without Rice
- 3 bell peppers
- 2 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 medium yellow or white onion, diced
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 pounds ground beef (you can use any meat you have available)
- 2 cups riced cauliflower
- 1 cup chunky marinara sauce (sugar-free)
- 1 teaspoon fresh thyme
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- 1 cup mozzarella, shredded divided
- fresh herbs (to garnish)
- Wash and dry the bell peppers. Cut in half lengthwise and remove the membrane and seeds with a spoon. Place the bell peppers in a casserole dish cut side up. Season with a pinch of salt and pepper.3 bell peppers
- Heat a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Add oil and allow to heat. Sauté onions for 3 – 4 minutes or until translucent. Add garlic and cook for another minute. Add ground beef and cook for 6 – 8 minutes, breaking up the meat. Cook until beef has browned and there is no pink visible. Set aside in a bowl.2 tablespoon olive oil, 1 medium yellow or white onion, diced, 3 garlic cloves, minced, 1 pounds ground beef
- In the same pan, add riced cauliflower on medium heat and sauté for 5-7 minutes or until softened and some moisture has evaporated.2 cups riced cauliflower
- Add marinara sauce, fresh thyme, salt, and pepper and mix together. Turn the heat down to medium-low for 2 minutes until completely heated through.1 cup chunky marinara sauce, 1 teaspoon fresh thyme, ½ teaspoon sea salt, ¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- Transfer the ground meat mixture back to the pan and stir to combine. Cook for an additional minute or until heated through. Take off the heat and stir in 1/2 cup of shredded cheese.1 cup mozzarella, shredded
- Spoon the meat and sauce mixture into the halved peppers. Top each pepper half with the remaining cheese.1 cup mozzarella, shredded
- Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove the foil and cook for an additional 5 minutes.
- Garnish with fresh herbs if desired, serve and enjoy.fresh herbs