We truly have a bumper crop of peppers this year! Sweet bell peppers, all kinds of spicy chili peppers, frying peppers and yes, the Hatch variety of pepper from New Mexico. While most of the peppers are being smoked and/or dried for spice blends, we can’t forget to enjoy these fresh peppers in some robustly flavored dinner dishes. I’ve included two low carb or keto stuffed pepper recipes in this post: one with meat and veggies roasted in sweet bell peppers, and a plant-based stuffed Poblano dish.
The “Stuffing” is the key in Low Carb or Keto Stuffed Peppers
Most stuffed peppers include rice, quinoa or some sort of refined carb. While these stuffed poblanos omit the rice, they do include black beans and squash. Beans are considered a complex carb which gets absorbed slowly into our systems, avoiding spikes in blood sugar levels (beans are allowed on a slow carb diet). Squash definitely has carbs but it also packs a lot of fiber and vitamins. Neither beans nor quash are allowed on a ketogenic diet, so this recipe is more typical of a healthy vegetarian, semi-low-carb diet.
The stuffed sweet bell peppers only include the incidental carbs you would get from the onions and peppers, so these are compliant with low carb, slow carb or keto. Peppers have incidental carbs so monitor the amount if you are following a ketogenic diet.
I used ground beef (hamburger) with the stuffed bell peppers, but any kind of ground meat would be fine. I prefer ground pork when I have it on hand. I also made the enchilada sauce from one of our spice packets (available online and at the farmers’ markets). You could either make your own enchilada sauce from one of our spice packets or purchase a prepared sauce.
Any way you cut it, these taste great, are relatively easy to make and can be easily modified to suit your own tastes. Want more spice? Choose a spicier pepper powder. Don’t like the vegetable combinations? Add in spinach, tomatoes or zucchini. It all works. This is just what pleased my palate. The one constant to have however is fresh, fully ripened poblano peppers.
Low Carb Stuffed Bell Peppers
- 4 large sweet bell peppers
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 onion finely chopped
- 2 jalapeno peppers seeded
- 1-2 cloves garlic minced
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 tbsp smoked paprika
- 1 tsp chipotle powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 lb ground beef or ground pork
- 1 cup beef broth
- 1/2 cup black olives chopped
- 1 cup queso fresco crumbled
- enchilada sauce (premade or prepared from HeathGlen’s spice packet)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Cut bell peppers in half (vertically) and take the seeds out and set aside.
- Add the olive oil to a skillet and heat up over medium high heat. Saute the chopped onions and jalapenos in the olive oil until soft and fragrant (about 5 minutes). Add garlic and spices and salt and saute another minute, stirring everything together as it cooks.
- Add ground beef, breaking it up in the skillet and cook until no longer pink. Add the beef broth and simmer for 10-15 minutes, or until most of the liquid is gone. Remove from heat when most of liquid is gone and add the olives and 1/2 cup of crumbled queso. Let it cool a bit before using as the stuffing.
- While the beef is cooking bring a large pot of water to a boil. Cook the peppers in the boiling water until just bright red and tender (about 5-8 minutes). Remove and drain peppers.
- When peppers and stuffing have cooled down a bit (around 5 minutes), place them on a baking sheet and fill each pepper with some of the beef stuffing mix. Top each with some of the remaining queso fresco.
- At this point you can pour the enchilada sauce on the bottom of your
baking dish and cook it along with the peppers or you can make the enchilada
sauce on the stove top and pour over or around the peppers when they are done.
- Bake the stuffed peppers for 10-15 minutes or until the cheese is melted and the stuffing is heated through. Serve!
Low Carb Stuffed Poblanos
- 4 poblano peppers cut in half vertically
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 onion finely chopped
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 1 cup chicken stock
- 1 cup mushrooms chopped or sliced
- 1 cup winter squash cubed and cooked
- 1 tsp chipotle spice
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 14 oz black beans canned, drained and rinsed
- 1/2 cup cilantro chopped
- 1 cup cotija cheese can substitute Parmesan
- enchilada sauce optional, to taste
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cut poblano peppers in half along the vertical and place cut side up in a baking dish. Bake 15 minutes.
- Heat olive oil in skillet and saute onion until soft (about 5-7 minutes). Add garlic and saute 1 minute. Add chicken stock, mushrooms, squash and spices and salt. Cook until mushrooms are soft (about 3-5 minutes).
- Add beans and cilantro to the mix in the skillet, stir in thoroughly and remove from heat.
- When cool enough to handle spoon vegetable mixture into Poblano halves
on the baking sheet. Top with crumbled cheese and bake 15-20 minutes.
- Optional: Add enchilada sauce to bottom of baking dish or prepare on stove and pour over stuffed peppers.
There you have it. Both of these recipes are fairly free form. Feel free to modify. It is hard to mess them up.
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