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Keto Stuffed Bell Peppers

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If you’re counting carbs but still crave comfort foods, these Keto Stuffed Bell Peppers made with a combination of lean ground turkey and Italian sausage are super tasty and super easy to prepare.

Unlike the classic American stuffed peppers we grew up eating, these delicious keto stuffed bell peppers skip adding rice to keep this dish low carb and gluten free, all while delivering a very filling and very delicious meal.

Today’s recipe uses a 2-to-1 ratio of ground turkey to Italian sausage, but you can always use all lean ground turkey if you’re concerned about the extra calories. Personally, I think adding the Italian sausage really boosts the flavor in this keto friendly stuffed peppers recipe.

If you love red bell peppers like I do, you may also enjoy my Roasted Red Pepper and Artichoke Tapenade or Roasted Red Pepper and Bacon Bruschetta!

keto stuffed red bell peppers on a white platter garnished with parsley on a kitchen counter.

Why you’ll love this recipe

  • Bursting with delicious flavor and roasted red bell pepper sweetness
  • This recipe is easy to prepare — ready in under 45 minutes
  • With only 12 net carbs per serving, it’s a great option if you’re following a low carb diet
  • The melty, bubbly, golden cheese topping — my hubby’s favorite!

Let’s dig in!

It all started last weekend when I spied bushels and bushels of beautiful red bell peppers at the farmer’s market in Nashville selling for just 50 cents each!

Since these were such a bargain and since I adore red bell peppers, I came home with a sackful and needed ideas for how to use them up. Why not make low carb stuffed peppers?

Normally, stuffed peppers would be made with green bell peppers. Their mild bitterness is a nice contrast to the typical ground beef filling, but I thought the red bell peppers would pair especially well with Italian flavors.

So, here you are — an easy Keto Stuffed Peppers recipe made with red bell peppers and an Italian flair. It was a real winner with my family!

Key ingredients

  • bell peppers — I prefer the sweet red bell peppers, but any color pepper works
  • ground turkey — may use all ground turkey for less calories
  • ground Italian sausage — the spices in the sausage amp up the flavor
  • no-sugar spaghetti sauce — to keep it keto friendly
  • grated Parmesan cheese
  • mozzarella, Italian blend, or cheddar cheese — for melting on top

tips

  • For gluten free – Some brands of Italian sausage may not be gluten free. To be safe, be sure to check the packaging to make sure wheat has not been added as a binding agent.
  • For keto – Most spaghetti sauce contains sugar, so look for a brand specifically labeled no sugar. As an alternative, you may substitute a tablespoon of tomato paste and a 15-oz. can of drained diced tomatoes.
process steps for stuffing red bell peppers with meat and cheese for keto bell peppers.

Instructions

STEP 1 | Prep the bell peppers

  • Select either 3 large red bell peppers or 6 medium size peppers. If using large peppers, cut the peppers in half from top to bottom and remove the seeds.
  • If using medium bell peppers, slice off the top 1/4 of the bell pepper ad remove the seeds. Save the tops to chop for other recipes.
  • Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and spray lightly with cooking spray. Place the peppers on the baking sheet, cut side up and salt the inside of the peppers.
  • Bake at 450 degrees for 2 to 3 minutes, then drain off any liquid and return the peppers to the baking sheet.

STEP 2 | Make the filling

  • Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add the ground turkey, Italian sausage, onion, and garlic. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring frequently, then drain off the grease.
  • Sprinkle dried oregano and basil on top of the meat and stir. Add the spaghetti sauce 1/2 cup at a time, using just enough to coat the meat completely.
  • Cook for 2 to 3 minutes or until any moisture is absorbed. Remove from the heat and stir in the Parmesan cheese.

STEP 3 | Stuff and bake

  • Carefully spoon the meat mixture into the bell pepper cups.
  • Top with shredded mozzarella cheese and bake 15 to 20 minutes, until the cheese is melted and lightly browned.

tips

  • Bell peppers release liquid as they cook, so pre-baking them for a few minutes helps to keep the stuffed peppers from getting watery. Just be sure not to overcook them before stuffing to avoid ending up with a withered stuffed pepper in the end.
  • Dice up any leftover bell pepper and put in a resealable freezer bag to freeze for later use, for example, in an omelet.

keto stuffed red bell peppers on a white platter garnished with parsley on a kitchen counter.

FAQ

Why are my stuffed peppers watery?

Liquid releases from the peppers and the meat as they cook. Only add enough spaghetti sauce to coat the cooked ground meat so that it is as dry and thick as possible. Also, pre-baking the peppers (see my tips) for a few minutes before stuffing them helps.

Do you have to cook the meat first for stuffed peppers?

You should cook the meat before stuffing the peppers, otherwise the peppers would shrivel up during baking before the meat is completely done.

How do you reheat stuffed peppers?

Reheat stuffed peppers covered with aluminum foil in a 350 degree oven for 15 to 20 minutes.

a keto stuffed red bell pepper on a white plate garnished with parsley on a kitchen counter.

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First Published: August 28, 2014. Last Updated: March 27, 2021.

Yield: 6 servings

Keto Stuffed Bell Peppers

a keto stuffed red bell pepper on a white plate garnished with parsley on a kitchen counter.

Unlike classic American stuffed peppers, these delicious stuffed red bell peppers skip adding rice to make this dish keto-friendly and low-carb.

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes

Ingredients

  • 6 medium red bell peppers (or 3 large)
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 lb. lean ground turkey
  • 1/4 lb. lean ground Italian sausage, mild or spicy
  • 1/2 medium sweet onion, diced
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 cup spaghetti sauce (no-sugar)
  • 3 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
  • 3/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 450°F. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and spray lightly with cooking spray.
  2. If using large bell peppers, cut them in half from top to bottom. It using medium size bell peppers, slice off the top 1/4 of the pepper. Remove the seeds and place the peppers on the baking sheet, cut side up and salt the inside.
  3. Bake for 2 to 3 minutes, then drain off any liquid and return the peppers to the baking sheet.
  4. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add the ground turkey, Italian sausage, onion, and garlic. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Drain off the grease.
  5. Sprinkle the basil and oregano ore on top of meat and stir. Add the spaghetti sauce 1/2 cup at a time, using just enough to completely coat the meat. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes or until any moisture is absorbed. Remove from the heat and stir in the Parmesan cheese.
  6. Spoon the meat mixture into the bell pepper cups. Top with shredded mozzarella cheese and bake 15 to 20 minutes, until the cheese is melted and lightly browned.

Notes

  • Remember, bell peppers release liquid as they cook, so pre-baking them for a few minutes helps to keep the stuffed peppers from getting watery. Just be sure not to overcook them before stuffing to avoid ending up with a withered stuffed pepper in the end.
  • Dice up any leftover bell pepper and put in a resealable freezer bag to freeze for later use, for example, in an omelet.

For gluten-free:

  • Some brands of Italian sausage may not be gluten free. To be safe, be sure to check the packaging to make sure wheat has not been added as a binding agent.

For keto:

  • Most spaghetti sauce contains sugar, so look for a brand specifically labeled no sugar. As an alternative, you may substitute a tablespoon of tomato paste and a 15-oz. can of drained diced tomatoes.

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    Nutrition Information:

    Yield:

    6

    Serving Size:

    1

    Amount Per Serving: Calories: 416Total Fat: 22gSaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 14gCholesterol: 139mgSodium: 740mgCarbohydrates: 15gFiber: 3gSugar: 9gProtein: 40g

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    sheila thigpen in her kitchen

    Sheila @ Life, Love & Good Food

    Recipe Developer, Food Photographer, Home Cook, Wife, Mom, Nana

    Sheila Thigpen is the publisher of Life, Love, and Good Food — a Southern food blog — and the author of Easy Chicken Cookbook and The 5-Ingredient Fresh and Easy Cookbook. After 20+ years in the publishing industry, she retired in 2018 to focus on her own creative endeavors full time. She and her husband live near the beautiful Smoky Mountains and have a precious little granddaughter who has stolen their hearts. As an influencer, Sheila has collaborated with brands like Kroger, HERSHEY’S, Hamilton Beach, Garafalo Pasta, OXO, Smithfield, Valley Fig Growers, and more.

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