Southwest Stuffed Bell Peppers


With Cinco de Mayo on the horizon I’ve had tacos, tortillas, and tequila on the brain for days — or in my mouth I should say.

Growing up in the Southwest, I’ve always loved Mexican food and take every chance I get to mix salsa and guacamole into my meals.

In the U.S. though, Mexican food has earned a notoriously unhealthy name. Restaurants that toss lard into their dishes and Taco Bell, with their glue-like nacho cheese, give the cuisine a bad rap.

However, that label is completely unwarranted. Traditional Mexican food is actually extremely healthy.


It usually includes fresh vegetables, gluten-free corn tortillas, and high protein, high fiber beans. When made at home, it’s one of my favorite ways to incorporate the three must-haves of a balanced meal: complex carbs, lean protein, and healthy fat.

This week I decided to begin the Cinco de Mayo festivities early by making some grain-free, Southwest Stuffed Bell Peppers.

Traditional stuffed bell pepper recipes call for rice or bread crumbs but I decided to keep this recipe semi low-carb, knowing that a piñata full of chips will be coming my way this weekend.

To keep the pepper stuffing moist and delicious though, I replaced the grains with my new favorite substitute, cauliflower rice.

This recipe is almost too easy to be true, and despite the fact that there’s no authentic Mexican chilies in there to spice things up (I have an aversion to burning sensations), it’s extremely flavorful.

 Southwest Stuffed Bell Peppers



3 Bell Peppers (any color you like!)

1/2 lb 99% Fat Free Ground Turkey

1.2 C. diced Onion

2 C. Cauliflower Rice

2 Ears of Organic, Non-GMO Corn (or 1 1/2 cups of kernels)

1/2 C. Light Shredded Cheese (I used a Mexican blend from TJ’s)

1 T. Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1 tsp. Cumin

1 tsp. Garlic

1 tsp. Oregano

Salt & Pepper to taste



1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Remove the husks from your ears of corn and add corn to the boiling water. Cover the pot. Once the water begins to boil again, it’s done.

2. Make your cauliflower rice by processing about 1/2 head of cauliflower.


3. Cook diced onions with the olive oil on medium heat for about 2 minutes.


4. Add your turkey and use a spatula to break it up.


5. Cook for about 5 more minutes, then add your cauliflower rice.


6. Stir everything together and cook for another minute. Note: the turkey does not need to be cooked completely through.

7. Slice your corn off the ear.


8. Combine corn and the turkey cauliflower mixture in a large bowl with the cheese.


9. Rinse your bell peppers and slice them in half lengthwise, removing the stems and seeds.


10. Fill peppers with the mixture.


11. Bake uncovered for about 20 minutes at 350 degrees. Keep an eye on them an adjust the time so peppers are slightly browned but not withered.

12. Enjoy!


Total Calories: about 150 each (makes 6)

These taste amazing alone or garnished with homemade guacamole, fat-free greek yogurt instead of sour cream, and salsa.


If you’re doing the Meatless Monday thang on the 5th, sub the turkey for black beans or lentils. To make this recipe completely grain-free, ditch the corn.

And if you need more ideas for Cinco de Mayo, be sure to check back in Friday for a very special Tequila Sangria recipe.

That’s right, tequila and sangria. Get excited.

Weigh In: What are your favorite Mexican recipes? Any stuffing suggestions for my next bell pepper party?


  1. These look so delicious! I love making stuffed peppers and I like the southwest twist you took with these! Yum!
    Jana @ Happy Wife Healthy Life recently posted…It All Adds UpMy Profile

  2. I love stuffing peppers. I’m a huge fan of stuffing it w/ a tuna (from a can) and basamiti/quinoa mix. Throw in some peppers & onions and a little hummus. So good!
    Jessie recently posted…WIAW: Meals from Tuesday April 29thMy Profile

  3. Yum! These look so good – I’ve bookmarked your post because I need to make these for Jesse!
    Kristy @ Southern In Law recently posted…Recipe: Mini Baked Banana Cheesecakes (so healthy you can even have them for breakfast!)My Profile

  4. DUDE – seriously craving the FISHY TACOOOOSSSSS! I got one fillet left, it’s going downnnnn the hatch, LOL!
    GiGi Eats Celebrities recently posted…WTF Are They Made Of, Healthy DoughnutsMy Profile

  5. Those peppers look so tasty!! I think that my boys would like them, too!!!
    Kim recently posted…Home is the BEST!!My Profile

  6. Ha! I LOVE how you snuck your sparkling smuice in there 😉 Stuffed bell peppers are so delish! I’m excited to try this recipe.
    Katy recently posted…Brown Bag Tuesday: Sesame Ginger Soba Noodles with VegetablesMy Profile

  7. Sparkling smuice is fancy! My husband grew up a vegetarian (in the 80’s and 90’s) and a lot of the time, Mexican restaurants were the only ones his fam went to because you could make everything vegetarian. I grew up giving Mex food a bad rap, too, but now I totally agree that it can be really healthy!
    Camille @ Challenge Mantra recently posted…Spending Challenge – Week 4My Profile

    • Whitney English says:

      Haha yeah, pouring your Smuice in a champagne glass in the middle of the afternoon really helps brighten your day.

  8. These sound and look so good! Love that you kept it low carb with cauliflower rice, what a good idea! Can’t wait to try, thanks for sharing 🙂

    Cilantro lime sauce recipe please!

  9. I’m super into my stuffed peppers at the moment! I love how you can throw pretty much anything in them 😛 Def trying this with beans or lentils! Yum.
    Louise@FitRadiance recently posted…Gym Hair InspoMy Profile

  10. These look incredible! I love how you use cauliflower rice 🙂 I’ll definitely give them a try and sub some vegan cheese!

  11. I am not a huge stuffed pepper fan, but this sounds good! You can’t go wrong with that combination of flavors!
    Annie @Maebells recently posted…Lemon Poppy Seed Granola BarsMy Profile

  12. I have yet to try fish tacos!
    Kierston recently posted…#RECIPEFRIDAY: Guacamole in 10…My Profile

  13. Yum! These peppers look so good! My husband and I have been dying to find legit Mexican food since we moved to California. Haven’t been so lucky yet but we won’t stop trying!
    Brittany @ Barr & Table recently posted…Foodie Friday: Green Monster Protein Shake {No Protein Powder}My Profile

Mentioned Elsewhere:

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