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Southwestern Stuffed Peppers

These peppers are a staple in our household as they are easy to make, full of flavor, healthy, and simply delicious. I always make extra and reheat them as needed. You can also freeze stuffed peppers (thanks Ginny for the tip!). I have also made a Whole30 alternative to these as shown in my Whole30 Southwestern Stuffed Peppers recipe (click for recipe), but still prefer my original recipe, if given the choice. To make them vegetarian, just modify the recipe by omitting the meat (&/or cheese).

You can also drizzle them with a little Frank's Red Hot Sauce to give them a little extra kick.

Southwestern Stuffed Peppers


  • 4-6 bell peppers (this makes plenty for extras)

  • 1 to 1 1/2 lbs ground meat (I used ground bison, but ground turkey or beef will work too)

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil (or avocado oil)

  • 1/2 onion, chopped

  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced

  • 1/4 cup of green onions, chopped (save a few for garnish)

  • 1/2 cup tomatoes, chopped

  • 1 1/2 cups cooked rice

  • 1 cup shredded cheese, divided (Mexican-style is my favorite)

  • 1 teaspoon cumin

  • 1 teaspoon paprika

  • 1 teaspoon chili powder

  • 1 teaspoon sea salt

  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed black pepper


  • 1/2 cup fresh spinach leaves, whole or chopped

  • 2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped

  • Bibb lettuce leaves (to serve peppers for presentation)


  • You can also use 1 packet of taco seasoning in replace of the spices shown.

  • To switch up the look of the peppers, you can also cut the top off of the peppers (just discard the seeds and inner parts) to present them differently.


1. Preheat oven to 350°F.

2. Place non-stick aluminum foil on baking sheet (to minimize future cleanup).

3. Wash the peppers and remove seeds and inner fleshy part. Slice peppers in half and place on foil/baking sheet.

4. Start cooking rice on stove.

5. In another pan, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium heat. Add chopped onion and garlic and sauté over medium.

6. Add the meat to the onions/garlic and start browning meat.

7. After meat is cooked, add seasonings: cumin, paprika, chill powder, salt, and pepper (or just use taco seasoning if you prefer).

8. Add tomatoes, green onions, and spinach leaves to meat/onions in pan and cook for an additional 2 minutes. Add rice and 1/2 cup shredded cheese to mixture.

9. Remove from heat and add cilantro (if using) to mixture. Mix to combine all ingredients.

10. Scoop mixture into pepper halves.

11. Sprinkle with remaining cheese

12. Bake in oven for 20-30 minutes, depending on your desired liking of pepper doneness.

13. Garnish with remaining chopped green onions and serve over Bibb lettuce leaves.

Whole30 Southwestern Stuffed Peppers

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