Mexican Stuffed Peppers

Mexican-style stuffed peppers

In this Mexican-style stuffed peppers recipe, the bell peppers are the star of the show! Easily customizable, you can switch up the spices, veggies, and meat to create your ideal flavor. This recipe was featured during the January MUSC Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery Program support group meeting. A group of MUSC dietetic interns led a cooking demo for participants to highlight a recipe high in protein and produce, creating a perfect meal for people who have (or have not!) had bariatric surgery!

Ingredients:

  • 4 large bell peppers any colors you like (our favorites were the red & green)
  • 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 pound lean ground chicken
  • 1 tablespoon ground chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 cloves finely minced garlic
  • ½ cup diced onion
  • ½ cup grated carrot
  • 1 cup chopped mushrooms
  • 1 can fire-roasted diced tomatoes with juices, 14 ounces
  • 1 1/2 cups cooked cauliflower rice brown rice or quinoa
  • 1/2 cup shredded low-fat cheese Monterey Jack, pepper jack, cheddar, or similar cheese, divided

Optional Ingredients for Serving:

  • Sliced avocado
  • Chopped fresh cilantro
  • Salsa
  • Plain Greek yogurt
  • Freshly squeezed lime juice

Instructions

  • Preheat your oven to 375 degrees F. Slice of the tops of the bell peppers. Remove the seeds and membranes, then arrange cut side up in a 9x13-inch baking dish.
  • Cook the quinoa (or grain of your choice) according to the package instructions. Set aside.
  • Heat the olive oil in a large, nonstick skillet over medium high heat. Add the diced onion, carrot and mushroom. Sautee until tender. Add the garlic and sautee for an additional 3-5 mins.
  • Add the chicken, chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Cook, breaking apart the meat, until the chicken is browned and cooked through, about 4 minutes. Drain off any excess liquid, then pour in the can of diced tomatoes and their juices. Let simmer for 1 minute.
  • Remove the pan from the heat. Stir in the rice and ¼ cup of the shredded cheese. Mound the filling inside of the peppers, then top with the remaining cheese.
  • Pour a bit of water into the pan with the peppers—just enough to barely cover the bottom of the pan. Bake uncovered for 25 to 35 minutes, until the peppers are tender and the cheese is melted. Top with any of your favorite fixings, and enjoy hot.

About the Author

Natalie Rucks graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with degrees in Nutrition and Psychology. She’s a current dietetic intern at MUSC training for a career as a Registered Dietitian.