If you’re counting carbs and missing taco nights, I’ve got your cure-all right here. Mexican Stuffed Peppers are packed with smoky, spicy, melty, cheesy goodness that you don’t have to wait until cheat night for. Made with my signature taco seasoning for an added kick, and without any starchy fillers to weight you down, these keto friendly, low carb edible dreamboats are not your grandma’s stuffy, old stuffed peppers.
I am far too pasta-obsessed (and my husband far too taco-obsessed) for us to ever live a fully ketogenic lifestyle, but I am also not contentious enough to not acknowledge that I absolutely feel different after a starch-free, low-carb meal.
I also know that I’ve given several alternatives to taco shells on this very blog, but a lettuce wrap is not going to create the same joy as a tortilla; just a different joy. Or at least, appreciation.
There’s something about warm, saucy, self-contained Mexican food that is undeniably comforting. It’s a bit like a food hug (I mean, in tacos, burritos, enchiladas, and tamales your food is literally being hugged), and I get why people who are on a keto diet like to direct side eye at those of us who are not on Taco Tuesdays. So I was pretty pleased with myself when I whipped this up after a friend was lamenting about trying to find satisfying alternatives on such an occasion.
I was even more pleased at not feeling like I needed elastic waist pants after this meal. Low carb and keto friendly, Mexican Stuffed Peppers are indulgent without being heavy. They are absolutely guaranteed to simultaneously comfort your cravings and your irrationally guilty diet conscience (stop that already!).
How to make low carb Mexican stuffed peppers
If there’s anything I love more than delicious food, it’s easy-to-prepare delicious food. And honestly, I kind of love recipes that can have a bit more cook time so I can forget about it in the oven while I clean up, set the table, and make sides. Mexican Stuffed Peppers just happen to have all three of those qualities. The meat is prepared as you would traditional seasoned ground beef for tacos, but then baked into cleaned, halved bell peppers and topped with sharp cheddar for some extra love.
- Slice four bell peppers in half. Remove the seeds and ribs using a paring knife, then arrange cut side up in a 9″ x 13″ casserole dish.
- Make the ground beef stuffing. Sautee onions with ground beef until the beef is no longer pink.
- Add one portion of homemade taco seasoning, along with tomato paste and beef broth. Simmer 5 minutes until the mixture is thick.
- Remove from heat and stir in shredded sharp cheddar cheese.
- Divide the stuffing between the bell peppers.
- Add half a cup of water to the casserole dish – just enough to barely cover the bottom of the dish.
- Bake at 375°F for 35-40 minutes, or until the peppers are soft.
- Remove from the oven and sprinkle with the remaining cheese; the residual heat will mostly melt the cheese, but you can also return the peppers to the oven for an additional 5 minutes for a meltier cheese experience.
Serve stuffed peppers with your favorite taco inspired toppings:
- Pico de gallo
- Sliced jalapeno
- Sour Cream
What are the best bell peppers to use?
- If your long game is nutrient variety, use tri-colored peppers (red, yellow, orange).
- If your long game is lowest carb possible/keto, use green bell peppers.
What to serve with Mexican stuffed peppers?
Stuffed peppers are pretty filling and don’t require a side dish, but if you like sides for the purposes of adding extra vegetables or stretching out a main dish, here are some natural companions:
Are these stuffed peppers keto friendly?
They sure are! Use green bell peppers for the lowest carb count. If you want to go even lower, substitute xantham gum or glucomannan powder for the thickener in the taco seasoning; you should only need about 1/2 tsp to thicken. The peppers themselves should come in around 6-7 grams of net carbs per 1/2 Stuffed Pepper.
When it comes to toppings, be mindful! Pico will give you added carbs from the tomato and onion. Top with avocado for a blast of healthy fat and flavor without the carbs.
How to store Mexican stuffed peppers
- Store leftovers: store in sealed container in the fridge for up to 3 days.
- Reheat leftovers: best reheated in a 350°F oven fo 10-15 minutes, or until warmed through
- Freezer instructions: arrange the peppers in a foil tray, stuffed, then freeze; defrost in the fridge overnight. Frozen and defrosted peppers will cook more quickly, closer to 20-25 minutes. They will also release some moisture as they defrost, so there’s not need to add water to the foil casserole dish.
Tips for Making This Recipe Perfectly
- If you’re squeamish about using a paring knife for this kind of job, a melon baller or a regular old spoon work well too.
- If you’ve made a big batch of my taco seasoning (or are planning to for easy future use), you’ll just need to measure out 1/4 cup for this recipe.
- Take the time to grate your own cheese. It’s always worth it.
More healthy Mexican-inspired recipes
- Taco Stuffed Sweet Potatoes
- Grilled Mexican Street Corn Stuffed Peppers
- Fajita Steak Salad
- Taco Soup
- Slow Cooker Cilantro Lime Chicken
Did you make these Mexican stuffed peppers? I’d love to know how they turned out! Leave a comment and a rating below
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Low Carb Mexican Stuffed PeppersPrint Recipe Rate this Recipe Pin Recipe
- 9x13 Casserole Dish
- Paring Knife
- 4 bell peppers, cut in half, seeds and ribs removed
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 medium yellow onion, diced to ½”
- 1 lb ground beef
- 3 tbsp tomato paste
- 1 c beef broth
- 1.5 c sharp cheddar cheese, shredded, divided
Homemade Taco Seasoning
- Pico de gallo
- Sour cream
- Heat oven to 375°F. Slice the peppers in half lengthwise, then remove the seeds and ribs using a paring knife. Arrange the peppers in a single layer in a 9x13” casserole dish.
- Make the taco seasoning. Combine all taco seasoning ingredients in a lidded jar; shake to combine.
- Make the ground beef filling. Heat a 10” skillet over medium high heat. Add the olive oil and heat until it shimmers. Add the onions, toss to coat in the fat, and saute until soft, stirring occasionally, 7-8 minutes.
- Add the ground beef. Cook with the peppers, stirring occasionally to break up the beef, until no longer pink, 4-5 minutes.
- Add the taco seasoning and tomato paste and work into the onions and beef. Pour in the beef broth and scrape any browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Sautee the ground beef mixture 5 minutes more, then remove from heat. Add 1 c cheese and mix into the beef.
- Distribute the taco stuffing eveningly among the bell peppers. Add ½ c water to the casserole dish, or enough to just barely cover the bottom of the dish. Transfer to the oven and bake uncovered for 35-40 minutes.
- Remove the casserole dish and sprinkle the remaining cheese on top of the peppers. Return to the oven and bake 5 minutes, or until the cheese is melted.
- Rest peppers 5 minutes, then garnish with your favorite toppings and serve immediately.
- Nutritional information below represents 2 halves before adding toppings.
- Make it Keto:
- Substitute 1/2 tsp xantham gum or glucomannan powder for the cornstarch
- Sse 4 medium green bell peppers
- Top each half with diced avocado
- Total Fat: 40g; Total Calories: 561
- Total carbs: 18g; dietary fiber: 6g; net carbs: 12g