4 bell peppers, 1 green, 1 red, 1 orange and 1 yellow in a casserole dish, fresh melted mozzarella cheese on top with fresh parsley and chopped green onions, spinach and ground meat in the peppers

KETO STUFFED PEPPERS

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These Keto Stuffed Peppers are packed and loaded with flavour and make the best Low Carb lunch or dinner. Stuffed with Italian sausage, mushrooms, spinach, fresh parsley, spices, parmesan and mozzarella cheeses, they’re a family favourite and certainly loved by all!

I gotta admit, I love when the word “stuffed” is used to describe something food related. Take this Creamy Mushroom and Prosciutto Stuffed Chicken, for example. Or how about this Stuffed Pork Tenderloin with Caramelized Onions, Goat Cheese and Cranberries? You see… these Keto Stuffed Peppers are no exception. And well dang, they fit right up there with the rest of the ‘stuff’ because they’re just as flavourful and delicious. See what I did there? 😉

These Keto Stuffed Peppers are a healthy, Low Carb alternative for anyone watching those bad boys. Which apparently is me. Apparently I’m the one watching my carbs these days.

Yeah, that’s right. The BF is making us go Keto. At least for now. At least for a little bit. I’m thankful, though, that unlike the Low FODMAP Diet, onions and garlic are not off limits. At least that’s a plus, right?! *sits here and sulks about the fact that there won’t be any Easy Homemade Garlic Bread or Vegan Mac and Cheese in the near future* While we’re still kinda just easing into it at the moment, there’s gonna be a lot more Keto stuff showing up around here. Like the Easy Chicken Parmesan and Cauliflower Rice Cilantro Lime recipes I recently posted, expect flavourful, delicious and dishes that’ll make you forget what carbs even are. Oh, the things I do for the BF.

INGREDIENTS YOU NEED TO MAKE THESE KETO STUFFED PEPPERS

Complete list of ingredients and amounts can be found in the recipe card below.

It might seem like quite a few ingredients at first glance but trust me, they all play a special role in making these Keto Stuffed Peppers insanely delicious! Let’s discuss them in a little bit more detail down below:

  • Italian Sausage: The base of the filling for these Keto Stuffed Peppers! I like using (mild or hot) Italian Sausage because it’s already pre-spiced and flavoured. However, if you prefer, you can use any kind of ground protein – beef, pork, turkey, chicken, lamb, veal, bison. If you are going for the sausages, you can either buy the meat loose from the butcher or grocery store or buy them whole and remove the sausage meat from their casings before using.
  • Bell Peppers: When choosing your peppers, get big, similar-sized ones with flat bottoms that are good for stuffing. We want to stuff them to the brim! Ones that can stand on a surface alone work the best. I used different coloured ones (because I’m extra like that) but they can all be the same colour if you want. If you’re reaaaallly watching your carbs green bell peppers have the lowest amount, then red peppers, then yellow/orange. But, bear in mind, the difference is pretty minimal so don’t stress out too much about this.
  • Spices: A simple combination of italian seasoning, cumin, paprika, salt and pepper is added to the filling. If you’re using regular ground meat as opposed to using the already pre-seasoned Italian Sausage meat, consider upping the amounts of each spice by a little bit.
  • Mozzarella Cheese: Don’t skimp on the cheese on this one! We use Mozzarella Cheese to both stir into the filling itself and also top the peppers before baking. The more cheese the better…am I right?
  • Parmesan Cheese: Speaking of more cheese…any dish that has two or more types of cheese is already a win in my book. The Parmesan Cheese adds a bit of sharpness to the dish and is stirred into the filling.

KEY TIPS TO MAKING THESE KETO STUFFED PEPPERS

  • The bigger and broader your bell peppers are the easier this whole thing is going to be. It’s going to be easier to core them, to stuff them and just to work with them in general. Plus, the bigger they are, the more filling will fit 😉
  • Get bell peppers that are similar in size so they all cook evenly.
  • Flat Bottomed Peppers are going to be your best friends here, y’all. There’s nothing worse than trying to fight with a pepper that won’t stay steady on a flat surface. PRO TIP: If, for whatever reason, you are unable to find flat bottomed peppers, slice a bit off the bottom so they don’t give you trouble when you try to stand them up!
  • Brush the peppers with a little bit of olive oil, salt and pepper to season them before stuffing/baking. But be warned, the olive oil makes them a tad bit slippery (hence why I emphasize the importance of flat bottomed peppers!)
  • Make sure the mushrooms and spinach are dry before adding them to the skillet to cook. The filling and peppers themselves release moisture as they bake in the oven which can in turn make them a little watery when you first cut into them when eating. Having dry ingredients will alleviate some of this moisture.
  • Brown the Italian Sausage Meat before mixing it with the other ingredients and adding it to the peppers.
  • When stuffing the peppers, don’t skimp on the filling! Pack them to the brim! Use your fingers to shove the filling into the crevices! Pack it in there, baby!
  • Remove the skillet from the hot burner when mixing the mozzarella cheese into the filling. This will ensure it doesn’t start overly melting on the spot. We want our cheese in tact so we can properly fill our peppers…the cheese will melt in the oven as it bakes! PRO TIP: Mix the mozzarella cheese into the filling as well as save some for the top for an extra cheesy treat!
  • Cover the baking dish with a piece of aluminum foil before baking to ensure the cheese doesn’t burn. PRO TIP: Partially stick a toothpick into the center of each pepper to ensure the foil doesn’t come into direct contact with the cheese. If you want the cheese more crispy and golden, remove the aluminum foil in the last 5 minutes of baking and broil on high. Pay attention to it though, you don’t want it to burn and ruin it in the final minutes of cooking.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

I DON’T HAVE ANY ITALIAN SAUSAGE ON HAND. WHAT ELSE CAN I USE?

I like the pre-seasoned, pre-flavoured factor you get when you use Italian Sausage. However, any ground protein would work great here – Ground Beef, Turkey, Chicken, Pork, Veal, Lamb, Bison. Heck, even crumbled Tofu would be a great option.

MY PEPPERS WERE WATERY WHEN THEY CAME OUT OF THE OVEN. WHAT SHOULD I DO?

It’s natural for the bell peppers and filling to release moisture as they bake in the oven. Before serving the peppers, you can slit a portion of the pepper or cut them in half completely with a knife. This will release water which you can just drain before serving. In fact, I find them more enjoyable this way so the released water doesn’t affect the filling and overall taste of the dish. They could become quite a watery mess if you skip this step.

HOW SHOULD I STORE/REHEAT LEFTOVER KETO STUFFED PEPPERS?

Any leftovers should be stored in an airtight container in the fridge (and will be good for up to 3 days…the pepper might start getting a little bit soggy after that). To reheat, simply do so in a 400° oven for about 10 minutes or until heated through. Alternatively, you can use a microwave.

CAN THESE KETO STUFFED PEPPERS BE MADE IN ADVANCE?

Yes. You can certainly make the filling up to a day or two before as long as you keep it stored in an airtight container in the fridge until ready to use. No need to heat it beforehand, just go on and stuff your peppers then top them with cheese…it’ll all heat through while baking in the oven.

DO I NEED TO BLANCH THE BELL PEPPERS BEFORE STUFFING AND BAKING?

No. You don’t need to blanch the peppers at all prior to stuffing and baking. You can stuff them raw and they’ll soften/tenderize while baking in the oven.

CAN I FREEZE THESE KETO STUFFED PEPPERS?

Yes, simply allow them to cool then put them in an airtight container or one of these disposable aluminum baking dishes wrapped in plastic wrap or aluminum foil. They’ll be good in the freezer for up to 3 months. When ready to eat, no need to thaw first. Simply place in a 400 degree oven until heated through (allow for at least an hour if frozen solid). PRO TIP: Take them out of the freezer a couple hours before putting them into the oven for baking and let them rest on the counter.

an orange stuffed pepper cut in half showcasing the ground meat, spinach and mushroom filling. 2 forks on the plate, red stuffed pepper in the background with some fresh parsley

KETO STUFFED PEPPERS RECIPE

Yield: 4 Servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour

An easy Low Carb lunch or dinner perfect for any day of the week!

Ingredients

  • 4 (flat bottomed) Bell Peppers, cored and tops removed
  • 1 pound Italian Sausage*
  • 225g White Mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 bunch Fresh Spinach, ends trimmed, washed and dried
  • 1 cup Mozzarella Cheese, shredded
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 1/2 cup Green Onions, sliced
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan Cheese, grated
  • 1/4 cup Fresh Parsley + more for garnish, chopped
  • 1 Clove Garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil + more for brushing
  • 1 tsp of Worcestershire Sauce
  • 1/2 tsp Italian Seasoning*
  • 1/2 tsp Cumin
  • 1/2 tsp Paprika
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 1/2 tsp Pepper

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400°.
  2. Wash, dry and core/seed the peppers. Lightly brush the insides and outsides with some olive oil then sprinkle with a pinch of salt and pepper, place in a baking dish and set aside.
    casserole dish with 4 hollow bell peppers, 1 red, 1 yellow, 1 orange and 1 green, salt and pepper on them with oil
  3. Brown the meat in a large non-stick skillet over medium heat. Use some oil to keep it from sticking (like I didn't). Drain, if needed, transfer to a bowl and set aside.
    skillet with browned sausage meat
  4. To the same skillet, add the onions and olive oil and sauté, stirring constantly, for 1 minute.
    skillet with chopped white onions
  5. Add the mushrooms and sauté, stirring occasionally, until both the mushrooms and onions are soft and mostly cooked through.
    skillet with sliced mushrooms, minced garlic and diced onions
  6. Add the garlic and stir until combined and fragrant, about 30 seconds.
    skillet with sliced mushrooms, minced garlic and diced onions
  7. Add half the green onions and stir an additional minute.
    skillet with mushrooms, white onions and green onions
  8. Add the cooked sausage meat back to the skillet along with the parmesan cheese, all the spices and 1/4 cup of chopped fresh parsley. Stir until combined.
    skillet with browned ground sausage meat, parmesan cheese, mushrooms, spinach, onions
  9. Add the worcestershire sauce and spinach and cook for a few minutes until the spinach is wilted through and nicely combined into the filling. Remove the skillet from the heat.
    skillet with browned ground meat and fresh spinach
    skillet with spinach, mushrooms, browned ground meat
  10. Add the shredded mozzarella and stir until well combined. We're ready to fill our peppers!
    skillet with ground meat, shredded mozzarella, mushrooms, spinach and a silver spoon
  11. One by one, first using a spoon and then your hands to push down, really fill each individual pepper to the brim with the filling. Make sure you get the corners and crevices (using your fingers is key for this). The filling could be somewhat overflowing but keep a little bit of room to add some extra shredded mozzarella cheese.
    casserole dish with 4 stuffed peppers, 1 green, 1 yellow, 1 red, 1 orange, stuffed with spinach and ground meat
  12. Top each pepper with a nice helping of the remaining mozzarella cheese.
    casserole dish with 4 stuffed peppers, 1 green, 1 yellow, 1 red, 1 orange, topped with unmelted mozzarella cheese
  13. Cover with aluminum foil. PRO TIP: Partially stick a toothpick into the center of each pepper to ensure the foil doesn't come into direct contact with the cheese. Bake until peppers are tender, about 35 minutes. Uncover and bake until cheese is bubbly, about 10 more minutes. If you want the cheese more crispy and golden, broil on high for the last 5 minutes. Pay attention to it though, you don't want it to burn and ruin it in the final minutes of cooking. Garnish with the remainder of the green onions and parsley and serve.
    4 bell peppers, 1 green, 1 red, 1 orange and 1 yellow in a casserole dish, fresh melted mozzarella cheese on top with fresh parsley and chopped green onions, spinach and ground meat in the peppers

Notes

  • Any ground protein can be used instead of Italian Sausage. Ground beef, pork, turkey, chicken, lamb, bison, veal. You can even use crumbled tofu.
  • If you’re feeling adventurous, try making your own homemade Italian seasoning from scratch following this easy recipe.
  • Nutrition Information:
    Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
    Amount Per Serving: Calories: 589Total Fat: 43gSaturated Fat: 17gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 29gCholesterol: 92mgSodium: 1510mgCarbohydrates: 18gFiber: 4gSugar: 6gProtein: 34g

    Nutrition is only an estimate and calculated using Nutritionix.

    Did you make this recipe? I love seeing your creations!

    Mention or tag @hiphipgourmet or use the hashtag #hiphipgourmet

    IF YOU LOVE THIS RECIPE, BE SURE TO CHECK OUT MY SHEET PAN SAUSAGE WITH PEPPER AND ONIONS!

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