This recipe for stuffed bell peppers without rice loads tender baked peppers with ground beef, melted cheese, and a seasoned tomato sauce. Eliminating rice from this popular meal drastically cuts down on the carbs, making it Keto-friendly. Not to mention, also making it a more satisfying meal your whole family will love. Well, in my humble opinion at least!
Why I love this recipe
- This easy meal can be ready to eat in 30 minutes. The trick is to bake the bell peppers while you are cooking the beef mixture on the stovetop.
- Making these without rice packs in more meaty flavor into each bite! My stuffed bell peppers recipe isn't nearly as dry as many classic recipes loaded with brown rice.
- Two layers of cheese! Not only are these peppers topped with gooey melted cheese, there is a second layer hidden inside ensuring each bite is wonderfully cheesy!
- The recipe is flexible. You can use other meats like Italian sausage, ground turkey, or ground venison. This is a great recipe to use up what you have on hand.
Ingredients You Will Need
Most stuffed peppers recipes call for brown rice as the primary filling. I eliminated it in this keto stuffed peppers recipe and replaced it with more seasoned beef instead. White rice is also often used as a cheap filler that doesn't bring much flavor, or nutrition, to the party so I think you will find these meaty peppers to be more flavorful than the classic alternative.
- Bell peppers - Green bell peppers work well, but orange, yellow, and red bell peppers will be sweeter.
- Lean ground beef - I prefer 90/10 beef for this recipe because I don't want a lot of fat pooling in the peppers.
- Yellow onion
- Tomato sauce - You can substite a lesser amount of tomato paste instead if that is what you have on hand.
- Diced tomatoes - Drain the can of diced tomatoes so the meat mixture doesn't get runny.
- Worcestershire sauce
- Seasonings - Kosher salt, smoked paprika, ground black pepper
- Shredded Cheddar cheese - You can use any of your favorite cheeses. I used a blend of sharp cheddar cheese and Monterey Jack cheese in my photos.
Tip: Using ground meat isn't the only way to make stuffed peppers without rice. If you aren't concerned about making this meal low carb you could add black beans as well.
How to make it
The easiest and best way to make these stuffed bell peppers is to bake your peppers while cooking the filling separately. This greatly reduces the overall cooking time and actually helps the pepper bake more evenly.
Prepare your bell peppers by cutting off the top, so the pepper opens like a bowl. Set the peppers on a rimmed baking sheet or baking dish and bake for 25 minutes at 400 degrees.
While your peppers are baking add the lean ground beef and chopped onion to a large skillet or saute pan. Cook over medium heat until your beef is well browned and the onion is tender. Check out how to brown ground beef properly for even more tips.
Stir in the minced garlic and cook for an additional minute. Then add the remaining ingredients for the beef mixture: tomato sauce, Worchestershire sauce, diced tomato, paprika, salt, and pepper. Cook the mixture an additional two minutes to thicken slightly.
Your peppers are now ready to be stuffed. Removed the baked peppers from the oven and fill halfway with the beef mixture, then add a layer of cheese, top with additional beef, and finally the second layer of cheese.
Finish your peppers under the broiler until the cheese is melted. Then let them cool for five minutes prior to serving.
Tip: Pay close attention to your peppers as they broil so you don't burn them.
Storage and Reheating Tips
The stuffed peppers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to five days and reheated in a microwave. Due to the thickness of the peppers, the reheating can be inconsistent and difficult. For best results, I recommend scooping out the filling and reheating the filling and the pepper separately. Once everything is heated you can recombine them.
Customizing this recipe
This is a great base recipe to customize to fit your own tastes. Try any of these great ideas:
- Use your favorite BBQ sauce rather than tomato sauce.
- Add mushrooms to make it more like my Philly Cheesesteak Stuffed Peppers.
- Spice it up with hot sauce or crushed red pepper flakes.
- Change up the ground meat and use Italian sausage instead.
- Use your favorite cheese. Mozzarella cheese and pepper jack would both be great alternatives.
- Add herbs such as fresh basil or thyme.
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Stuffed Bell Peppers without Rice
- 4 bell peppers
- 1 pound ground beef
- 1 medium yellow onion chopped
- 2 garlic cloves minced
- 8 ounces tomato sauce
- 14.5 ounce can diced tomatoes drained
- 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
- Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
- Cut off the tops of the peppers to create a bowl out of each bell pepper. Place the peppers on a rimmed baking sheet and bake in the oven for 25 minutes.
- While the peppers are baking add ground beef and chopped onion to a large skillet set over medium heat. Crumble the beef while cooking and saute until beef is well browned and onion is tender. Add garlic and cook for an addition minute.
- Add tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, Worcestershire sauce, salt, paprika, and black pepper to the skillet and stir to combine. Let simmer for two minutes to thicken slightly.
- Remove the bell peppers from the oven and set broiler on high heat.
- Spoon the ground beef mixture into the baked peppers, filling it almost halfway. Add a layer of shredded cheese and fill the rest of the pepper with more of the beef mixture. Finally, top with a second layer of cheese.
- Set peppers on a baking sheet and place on the top rack of the oven to broil until the cheese is melted and bubbly.
- Remove stuffed peppers from the oven and let cool for five minutes then serve.