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Slash the calories and carbs of traditional stuffed peppers by swapping white rice for cauliflower "rice." The riced cauliflower is hearty and won't turn to mush during baking. Use an assortment of red, yellow, orange and green peppers to make an appealing presentation.

EatingWell.com, May 2018


Read the full recipe after the video.

Recipe Summary

40 mins
1 hr

How We Made Stuffed Peppers Healthy

1) Traditional stuffed pepper recipes call for rice in the filling, but we use cauliflower rice instead. It bulks up the filling, adding fiber while keeping carbs and calories in check.

2) We use lean ground beef and part-skim mozzarella cheese to keep saturated fat to a minimum. 90% lean or leaner ground beef works well here without taking away from the texture of the filling.

3) No-salt added tomato sauce keeps the peppers moist while they cook without adding extra sodium.

How to Prep Stuffed Peppers

1) Find peppers that are all roughly the same size so they cook evenly together. You can vary the color if you want to mix things up. Bell peppers are perfect for stuffing, but poblano peppers and smaller peppers like lunchbox peppers and even hot peppers like jalapeños can all be used for stuffing.

2) You can halve peppers lengthwise and stuff each half or you can cut the stem ends off the peppers as we do here and stuff them as they sit vertically in the pan. If you choose to do it this way, cutting a small portion off the bottom of the pepper so they sit flat may be helpful. For either method, you will want to remove the seeds before stuffing.

3) We pre-cook the peppers in a steamer basket before stuffing them to soften them up. This helps jumpstart the cooking process and helps ensure the peppers and the filling are all done cooking at once.

Can I Make Stuffed Peppers Ahead?

Yes! Prepare the stuffed peppers through Step 5 and refrigerate for up to 1 day. Bake as directed when you're ready to enjoy them.

Additional reporting by Hilary Meyer


Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

  • Slice off stem ends of bell peppers. Cut the flesh from the stem and chop. You should have about 1 cup. Scoop out seeds from the pepper cavities. Bring about an inch of water to a boil in a large pot fitted with a steamer basket. Steam the peppers until starting to soften, about 3 minutes. Remove the peppers from the pot and set aside.

  • Pulse cauliflower in a food processor until broken down into rice-size pieces. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the cauliflower rice and a pinch each of salt and pepper. Cook, stirring, until softened and starting to brown, about 3 minutes. Transfer to a small bowl.

  • Wipe out the pan. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon oil, the chopped bell pepper and onion. Cook, stirring, until starting to soften, about 3 minutes. Add beef, garlic, oregano and the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Cook, stirring and breaking up the beef with a wooden spoon just until no longer pink, about 5 minutes. Add tomato sauce and the cauliflower rice; stir to coat.

  • Place the peppers upright in an 8-inch square baking dish. Fill each pepper with a generous 1 cup of the cauliflower rice mixture. Top each pepper with 2 tablespoons cheese.

  • Bake until the filling is heated through and the cheese is melted, 20 to 25 minutes.

Nutrition Facts

1 stuffed pepper
374 calories; protein 29.3g; carbohydrates 16.5g; dietary fiber 3.5g; sugars 7.2g; fat 21.7g; saturated fat 7.2g; cholesterol 82.8mg; vitamin a iu 621.3IU; vitamin c 250.1mg; folate 81.3mcg; calcium 155.2mg; iron 4mg; magnesium 60.3mg; potassium 1010.5mg; sodium 521.7mg; thiamin 0.1mg.

3 1/2 medium-fat protein, 3 vegetable, 1 fat