These keto stuffed peppers are filled with hearty ground beef, ricotta, spinach, and cheese. It’s a fabulous way to enjoy lasagna without all the carbs!
Stuffed peppers are really kind of brilliant, when you think about it. The hollow interior of a pepper is the perfect vessel for containing any number of wonderful fillings.
Like lasagna! Minus the pasta, of course, because this is a keto recipe blog after all. Keto stuffed peppers are a great way to indulge those lasagna cravings in a healthful, low carb way.
And stuffed peppers have a distinct advantage over recipes like zucchini lasagna or keto lasagna skillet. They come neat little edible containers that make for a wonderful presentation.
Not to mention, they are absolutely delicious!
Try this delicious keto dinner recipe!
I originally wrote this recipe for keto stuffed peppers for my first cookbook, The Everyday Ketogenic Kitchen.
The goal of that book is to provide a well-rounded guide to keto cooking and baking for the everyday cook. I want people to see that keto need not be difficult or intimidating. And that with a little ingenuity, you can still enjoy all your old favorite flavors.
So including some sort of keto lasagna recipe was paramount. But I wanted it to also be simple and accessible, without having to purchase specialty ingredients or make some sort of keto pasta.
I flatter myself that I succeeded with these lasagna stuffed peppers. And once you taste them, I am sure you will agree!
“Delicious..the only change I made was adding Italian seasoning to the meat and a small sprinkle on top before putting it in the oven. This will now be a regular in my recipe box. Thank you for such a yummy and easy meal.” — Jody
“Made these today and just finished eating dinner. Delicious! My whole family LOVED them! I made these exactly as written, except I used a combination of ground meat and bulk Italian hot sausage. Heavenly! I received thumbs up etc., from my family, and didn’t divulge to my non keto crew that these were in fact keto until everyone was done eating. Only then did I get the eye rolls, haha!” — Gina
“I absolutely loved this recipe, although my husband would prefer no red pepper flakes. Not a lot of prep, I had all the ingredients on hand, and didn’t take long to cook. Just the kind of meal I like!” — Sue
Ingredients you need
- Ground meat: You can use ground beef, pork, chicken, turkey or Italian sausage.
- Garlic: I use both fresh garlic and garlic powder in this recipe for great flavor.
- Frozen spinach: I love the ease of using frozen spinach. You can of course use fresh spinach or any fresh greens like kale or chard.
- Whole milk ricotta cheese: Some of my readers use cottage cheese instead.
- Bell peppers: Medium to large sweet bell peppers work best and any color will do. Green peppers have a slightly lower carbohydrate count but it’s really not enough to change the carbs per serving significantly.
- More cheese: To keep the lasagna theme going I use both Parmesan and Mozzarella cheese:
- Fresh basil: I finish the dish with some fresh basil. You can skip this or use fresh parsley.
- Pantry staples: Tomato paste, red pepper flakes and salt.
Step by step directions
1. Brown the ground beef: Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add the beef and sprinkle with ¾ teaspoon of the salt and the pepper. Cook until no longer pink, about 10 minutes, breaking up any clumps with the back of a wooden spoon. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes and cook another minute.
2. Mix the filling ingredients: Squeeze the spinach to remove the excess moisture. In a large bowl, combine the ricotta, spinach, and parmesan. Add the cooked beef and stir to combine.
3. Prepare the peppers: Cut each bell pepper in half and remove the seeds and ribs. Set the pepper halves in a 9×13 glass or ceramic baking dish.
4. Stuff the peppers: Spoon the beef/ricotta mixture into each half, mounding the tops.
5. Make the sauce: In a medium bowl, whisk together the tomato paste, water, garlic, and remaining half teaspoon of salt. Spoon over the tops of the peppers and sprinkle with the mozzarella.
6. Bake the stuffed peppers: Bake 30 minutes, then turn the oven to broil and and broil the pepper 6 inches from the heat for 1 to 3 minutes, until lightly browned. Remove from the oven and sprinkle with chopped basil.
I recommend baking these peppers in a glass or ceramic baking pan for this recipe. Metal heats up too quickly and can brown the bottoms of the peppers before they are cooked through.
You can easily cut this recipe in half to make only 4 servings. Just use half a pound of ground meat and freeze the rest for another time. There is a nifty feature on my recipe card where you can adjust the servings and it will change the amount of all the ingredients.
If you end up with leftovers, store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator. They should keep well for up to 5 days. You can also freeze them. Place cooled peppers in an airtight container and freeze them for up to 6 months. To reheat, microwave or warm in a preheated oven.
Frequently Asked Questions
Because the ground meat is cooked first, you can prepare these peppers in advance and bake them later. Simply follow the instructions through step 5, then cover the pan with plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to 2 days before baking.
The fully cooked peppers reheat well too. Simply store in the fridge in a covered container for up to 4 days.
This recipe works well in crockpots and Instant Pots. The preparation of the peppers will be the same, up to the point of baking. They will take about 4 to 5 hours in a slow cooker, and 10 to 15 minutes in an Instant Pot.
This keto stuffed pepper recipe has 7.3g of carbs and 1.8g of fiber per serving. That comes to 5.5g net carbs for each stuffed half pepper.
More keto ground beef recipes
Ground beef is a staple in our house and I have so many wonderful keto ground beef recipes. Here are a few of my favorites:
Keto Stuffed Peppers Recipe
- 1 lb ground beef or ground pork
- 1 ¼ teaspoon salt divided
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 4 ounces frozen spinach thawed and drained
- 1 cup whole milk ricotta cheese
- ½ cup grated parmesan cheese
- 4 large bell peppers
- 2 tablespoon tomato paste
- ⅓ cup water
- ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
- ¼ cup chopped fresh basil
- Preheat the oven to 400F.
- Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add the beef and sprinkle with ¾ teaspoon of the salt and the pepper. Cook until no longer pink, about 10 minutes, breaking up any clumps with the back of a wooden spoon. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes and cook another minute.
- Squeeze the spinach to remove the excess moisture. In a large bowl, combine the ricotta, spinach, and parmesan. Add the cooked beef and stir to combine.
- Cut each bell pepper in half and remove the seeds and ribs. Set the pepper halves in a 9×13 glass or ceramic baking dish. Spoon the beef/ricotta mixture into each half, mounding the tops.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the tomato paste, water, garlic, and remaining half teaspoon of salt. Spoon over the tops of the peppers and sprinkle with the mozzarella.
- Bake 30 minutes, then turn the oven to broil and and broil the pepper 6 inches from the heat for 1 to 3 minutes, until lightly browned. Remove from the oven and sprinkle with chopped basil.
We really enjoyed these, although we didn’t have any spinach. We didn’t miss the rice we were used to adding to stuffed peppers. I used red and yellow peppers which looked so colorful.
Made these last week exactly as written and they were ah-ma-zing! These stuffed peppers will be on the menu next week too, with one small difference… I’m out of spinach so will be replacing it with Swiss chard from my garden last year (frozen and thawed). Thanks Carolyn, for your excellent recipes!
Sue falcone says
my diabetic husband LOVED this. I made it with ground turkey(I did not tell him), and tweaked the spices a bit.
I’m always looking for new recipes to make my keto journey more enjoyable. These were delicious and I will make them again, made exactly as the recipe suggested.
Becky Winton says
These were delicious. I will making them often.
Nancy Roth says
This is a recipe that my non-keto hubby actually asks me to make! I make enough meat mixture for 2 nights and refrigerate half so I can make it “fresh” in the peppers the second night. I actually air fry mine in my Ninja Foodi 6 in 1. Put the filled peppers with tomato mixture in at 350 for 10 minutes, then add the mozzarella cheese on top and cook for another 5 minutes. Perfect! I will have to try it with cottage cheese because I usually have it on hand but not ricotta. Plus I made and canned my own sugar free pasta sauce and I never thought to use it instead of the tomato paste mixture. Have to try that the next time.
Dave Thomas says
Amazing recipe! We loved this and will definitely make it again!
Jody Spivey says
Delicious..the only change I made was adding Italian seasoning to the meat and a small sprinkle on top before putting it in the oven. This will now be a regular in my recipe box. Thank you for such a yummy and easy meal.