Low Carb Vegetarian Stuffed Peppers

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Here’s a recipe I came up with on my own, based on a traditional dish I used to enjoy. I came up with low carb, vegetarian substitutes for this stuffed bell pepper recipe and it’s delicious, if I do say so myself! 🙂

Low carb vegetarian stuffed peppers with melted mozzarella cheese

Ingredients

The ingredients for this stuffed pepper recipe are few in number and fairly easy to gather. This is a relatively simple recipe, made even simpler by buying pre-made cauliflower rice. You can of course make the cauliflower rice yourself, but that’s going to add time to this dish unless you make a bunch in advance and freeze it. I don’t have the freezer space to do much of that, but I had bought a bag pre-made frozen cauliflower rice I wanted to try. This seemed like the perfect opportunity.

A bag of premade cauliflower rice

There are two options for the “meat” base. I have used quinoa in the past, and while that works great, I try to stay away from it because it spikes my blood sugar. I know it’s not supposed to, but apparently, I’m more sensitive than most people. So feel free to use quinoa in this recipe if it works for you.

Instead, I have found a brand of meat alternative options that we really like. It’s called Gardein and their beefy crumbles product smells and tastes like ground beef, and has the right texture to fool carnivores. Combining that with the cauliflower rice worked wonderfully to create the filling for these stuffed peppers.

A bag of Gardeins Beefless Ground meat substitute

Then I used a basic marinara sauce and doctored it somewhat with Italian seasonings and a garlic herb blend I love from Garlic Festival. I only use about half the jar of sauce to make the filling, because I don’t like the filling to be too soupy. The rest goes in the fridge to use later in the week. If you prefer to make your own sauce, have at it! I don’t often do this because again it takes a lot of time, and I don’t actually have a good recipe for marinara that I like. Some of the time required is because I’m constantly stirring, tasting, adding more herbs, rinse, repeat. It’s easier for me just to doctor an already prepared marinara sauce from the store.

A jar of Paesana Premium Organic Marinara sauce

Preparation

Prep is super easy for this. I start with the peppers. I slice the tops off and clean out the seeds. I also snip or trim off the excess “ribs” of the pepper inside. You want to be able to easily fill as much of the insides as possible. Then you can set aside the peppers.

A yellow bell pepper with top sliced off and seeds removed lying next to a knife

The cooking occurs in two stages. First, you need to cook either the quinoa or the beefy crumbles over the stove. Then you need to add the cauliflower rice, and if it was frozen, you’ll need to defrost it in either the microwave or the pan. Then you add the marinara sauce, adjusting the taste to your liking with additional herbs.

Cooking the meat-free beefy crumbles

Cooking the cauliflower rice with the meat-free beefy crumbles

It’s also important to put some sauce in the bottom of the dish you’re cooking these in. This helps prevent the bottom of the pepper from burning.

Marinara sauce in the bottom of a foil lined pan

Two green bell peppers without tops or seeds sitting atop marinara sauce in a foil lined pan

Finally, you just fill the peppers that you’ve prepared in advance, top them with shredded mozzarella or the vegan equivalent, and pop them in the oven for 20-30 minutes. My husband prefers his peppers to be a little softer, so I cook his longer. I pull mine out sooner because I like crisp-tender peppers.

Two yellow bell peppers stuffed with caulirice and beefless ground meat substitute

Two green bell peppers stuffed with cauliflower rice and meatfree beefy crumbles topped with mozzarella

Important Notes

Perhaps the trickiest thing about this recipe is just choosing the right bell peppers for the job. They need to be pretty fat and able to stand up on their own. I prefer the four-pointed ones for this purpose, because the ones with only three feet are narrower and tip over more easily.

A yellow bell pepper sits on a cutting board next to a knife

Overall, a yummy, easy dish that can satisfy a diabetic herbivore and everyone else!

Low carb vegetarian stuffed peppers with melted mozzarella cheese


Low Carb Vegetarian Stuffed Peppers

Author: Rebecca Dugas | Diabetic Herbivore
   
Servings:
4
|

Nutritional Info

99 Calories8 grams Carbs4 grams Fat10 grams Protein401 grams Sodium
Low carb vegetarian stuffed peppers with melted mozzarella cheese

Looking for a healthy dinner idea? Low carb vegetarian stuffed peppers make a delightful entree. These don’t include meat or rice, but taste just as good!

 Ingredients

1 bag of meatless beefy crumbles OR 1 cup of quinoa1 bag or head of riced cauliflower4 medium to large bell peppers, with four lobes each1-2 cups of mozzarella cheese3-4 cups of marinara sauce

 Instructions

1. Slice the tops off the peppers, remove the seeds, trim or snip off the inner ribs. Set aside.

2. Cook the meatless beefy crumbles or quinoa, according to the package instructions.

3. Add the riced cauliflower (if frozen, allow to defrost and crumble into the beefy crumbles).

4. Add the marinara and season to taste.

5. Allow this mixture to warm thoroughly, then remove from heat.

6. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

7. Fill each pepper with the mixture to the top.

8. Cover each pepper with a handful of mozzarella cheese or vegan equivalent. Or just leave the cheese off.

9. Cook for 20-30 minutes until desired softness of the pepper and the cheese melts and starts to turn a golden brown.

10. Optional: Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and enjoy!

 Optional Modifications

Instead of the beefless ground meat substitute, you may opt to use quinoa.

 Notes

Perhaps the trickiest thing about this recipe is just choosing the right bell peppers for the job. They need to be pretty fat and able to stand up on their own. I prefer the four-pointed ones for this purpose, because the ones with only three feet are narrower and tip over more easily.

It’s also important to put some sauce in the bottom of the dish you’re cooking these in. This helps prevent the bottom of the pepper from burning.

The nutritional data listed here is based on the Gardein Beefless Ground (not quinoa).

© Rebecca Dugas 2017 All Rights Reserved

Written by Rebecca Dugas

I am the original Diabetic Herbivore. I created this site to help others who live with diabetes and have chosen a plant-based diet to find recipes, resources, education, and support. The information here will also be helpful to anyone who chooses to eat more low carb and/or more vegetables. I believe we all should be able to feel full and satisfied no matter what food choices we make, or for whatever reason we make them.

Website: http://www.diabeticherbivore.com

3 thoughts on “Low Carb Vegetarian Stuffed Peppers

    1. Hi Karla! Thanks, it really is tasty! One pepper is one serving and is usually filling enough. You can serve it with a side salad if you think you or your brood need a little more in a meal. 🙂

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