These paleo stuffed peppers are an easy way to get a balanced, healthy dinner with lots of veggies that your whole family will enjoy!
Bell peppers might be my favorite vegetable. Or at least, I think they are one of the prettiest vegetables. The favorite nomination probably has to go to asparagus or cauliflower, if we’re being honest.
This is one of those dishes that’s super easy to make, but still looks pretty legit in presentation. Personally…I think they look even better when they’re covered in melty cheese. But Kyle recently requested I make a paleo version, so for the purposes of this post, we’re going to have to imagine these paleo stuffed peppers are covered in cheese. Because that is how I decided to eat them!
I have a stuffed pepper recipe from way back when I was in the iPhone and fluorescent light blogging days. I tweaked the recipe slightly, and made it paleo by adding quinoa instead of rice. I honestly don’t think I have a preference, so we’ll probably run with quinoa in the future. Because, extra protein! I’m making a bigger effort these days to get enough protein every day for baby with the carb cravings sneaking back into my life. Helloooo bagels! While each pepper might not get a ton of protein from the quinoa in this recipe (1 cup of quinoa has 8 g of protein), it’s twice as much as you’d get from rice. #winning
Not that I’m hating on rice or anything. I love me some white rice! But sometimes ya gotta make sacrifices (a.k.a. smarter choices for one meal because you want chocolate shakes for another) when you’re growing an alien in your body. I mean, baby. Although sometimes she really does feel like an alien, not gonna lie.
Picking peppers can be a bit of a tricky situation for recipes like this. Especially in the winter seasons when peppers are generally picked over anyways. Making stuffed peppers usually means extra time bent over the produce bins trying to find the perfectly shaped pepper. Not only do you want to buy the largest peppers you can find, but you also need to find peppers that are flat! I give this advice because if you come home with any old bell pepper, you’ll find yourself a bit frustrated trying to make it sit upright in a pan. I also suggest trying your local Kroger or Whole Foods, where the produce might of better caliber than Walmart. 🙂
I will never learn.
- 4 large bell peppers or 5–6 small bell peppers*
- 1 pound ground beef (I used 90/10)
- 1 medium sized red onion
- 1 can diced tomatoes (I used no salt added)
- 4 cups of spinach (or 4 handfuls)
- 0.5 cups quinoa, uncooked (or about 1.5 cups cooked)
- 2 teaspoons basil
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon garlic salt
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Rinse uncooked quinoa in a fine mesh strainer. Add to a pot with 0.75 cups of water. Set to high heat, and bring to a boil. Once boiling, turn to low heat and cover. Let cook for 15 minutes, then remove from heat.
- While quinoa is cooking, add ground beef to a skillet over medium heat. Once beef is cooked, drain any grease if necessary. Add red onion, and cook about three minutes to begin sauteing. Add spinach, and cook down for about 2 minutes, covering the skillet to help wilt spinach. Once spinach is cooked and mixed in, add tomatoes, quinoa and seasonings. Mix together.
- Grease a 9 x 9 baking pan (or larger if using more peppers). Cut the tops of the bell peppers off and de-seed. Set in pan. Fill peppers up with beef mixture.
- Bake for 20 minutes. Cook the last 5 minutes with cheese if you aren't paleo!
**Trans fat is naturally occurring from ground beef.