Stuffed Bell Peppers

Long, long time followers of this blog have probably noticed quite an evolution in the way we think about food. I’m always amused when I look back at Stacy’s first post where she talks about us eating whole grain tortillas and rice cereal. I think we’d be quite embarrassed by ourselves if we ever stopped to think about it! But, everyone starts somewhere – and there’s a reason we say that with a family an “on-ramp transition” is perfectly normal.

One of our compromises back then was the widespread use of quinoa in a lot of our foods. Quinoa was awesome to us back then. High in protein and lower starch. Also, nothing is more fun to say than “KEEN-wah.” It is, however, a pseudocereal (like amaranth and buckwheat) and, while better than wheat, just isn’t a great choice for human consumption. Although it might have protein and vitamins, we’re at a point where we’d just much rather have more meat and veggies instead!

One of the recipes we used to use quinoa in was our stuffed bell peppers recipe. Usually, when a dish like this is made, you’d use rice. After paleo, I started using quinoa. Now that we’ve given up all grains (even quinoa), I use that old paleo staple: cauliflower.

Stuffed Bell Peppers



6 large bell peppers, tops, seeds and ribs removed
2 Tbsp lard
1 medium yellow onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 lbs. ground red meat (I often use venison, but beef or lamb would also work)
1 C cauliflower, ground or mashed or pulsed into rice sized bits
1 13.5oz canned diced tomatoes, drained (or 1 cup fresh tomato, diced)
1 Tbsp sea salt
1 Tbsp Italian seasoning (or, alternatively, 1 tsp each dried basil, parsley and oregano)
1/2 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp black pepper

1/2 C tomato sauce


  1. ♥ A little trick: Stand your peppers up in a muffin tin. Trying to even the bottoms with a knife will often lead to leaks, but the muffin tin will hold them up without altering the pepper.
  2. Melt lard over medium high heat in a large skillet
  3. Saute onions and garlic for three minutes, stirring frequently
  4. Add ground meat and stir to brown, about 5 minutes
  5. Add raw ground cauliflower and diced tomato, stir for about 10 minutes to cook off liquid
  6. Add salt, pepper and seasonings, stir to incorporate
  7. ♥ Stuff each pepper to the top of each pepper, spread tomato sauce on top of that
    You will likely have leftover meat, don’t worry – it makes a great pre or post-dinner snack!
  8. Bake the peppers for one hour at 350 degrees until pepper is fork-tender
  9. Serve with extra tomato sauce!

Let the kids help prepare these peppers (♥) and they’ll be much more likely to eat them! Serves 6-8 (our kids have 1/2 a pepper and then have the leftover filling). Serve warm – but feel free to make ahead or batch cook for lunches, these reheat really well!

You Might Also Like

  • Anonymous

    wow, those look great! i haven’t had stuffed peppers in years. thanks, internet!

    • I hope you try them again, then. Ask the internet and you shall receive for with a mustard seed of search terms, you can move mountains.

  • Sounds delicious! I’ll be making these very soon with your muffin tin tip! Never thought of that before.

    • I was always having trouble getting them to stand up until I made that discovery. Hope it works out for you.

  • Sounds great! I still haven’t gotten around to using cauliflower as “rice.” I bet this would work good for cabbage rolls too! 

    •  We call those Halupkis 🙂 We’ve got the Halupki Stirfry on the site (also used to use qunioa and now use cauli-rice) and Halupki Casserole in the book. We LOVE stuffed cabbage made easy!

  • diggin’ the cauliflower as rice! I always eat cauliflower rice as a side and for some reason was stumped as to what to substitute the brown rice with in a traditional recipe. THAT’s why I don’t have a successful blog!! 🙂 haha!

  • Bamajep68

    way to much salt…cut to 1/2 Tbs…that would be plenty….otherwise great recipe! thanks

  • Bethany

    Great Recipe! I used forks to prop up my peppers on the cooking tray because I didn’t have a muffin tin, which also seems to work pretty well if you can find where the peppers are inclined to balance.

  • Tiffany

    I made these tonight with 7 peppers cut in half and stuffed that way. Awesome! My first time trying riced cauliflower, and I’m a total fan. I used a little extra paprika in the mix. I also tried purple peppers in the mix of yellow and red for stuffing. I had no idea they would turn green during the process. I’ll be sure to share this recipe. Thank you:)

  • Julia M

    I love these! They’re so simple and tasty. This is my go-to recipe!

  • Olivia

    Just made these–so good! Husband was so impressed 🙂 Thank you for the recipe!

  • Gina

    This is the 2nd time I have made these. They are terrific!

  • Made these last night but instead of stuffing the peppers I chopped them up (with a few sweet peppers) and added them to the meat when I added the cauliflower. I also did half can of diced tomatos undrained and pured and 1/2 can tomato sauce and let it all simmer on the stove until the veggies were tender. Amazing flavor!!! Received rave reviews from my daughter who hates hates hates peppers….she had two helpings and my husband who is not a stuffed pepper fan either and he loves this:) My neighbor stopped over and said wow does it smell good in here, I gave her a taste and the asked for the recipe. This is a great keeper weeknight meal! YUM!

  • caity

    Everything about these are great except for the fact that they are superrr salty! I would definitely reduce the salt by at least half next time, other than that~ delish {: