What to do with leftovers? How about using them to make a delicious main dish that is both Tasty and Low Carb? We had leftover seasoned taco meat (beef) from our recent Taco Salad. Joanie came up with a Cheesy Taco Stuffed Red Pepper main meal that solved the leftover dilemma. The combination of the sweet red bell pepper and the spicy taco meat was wonderful. We love stuffed peppers and know this recipe will be perfect for your low-carb lifestyle.
Red bell peppers are from the same plant as green, yellow, and orange peppers. The red peppers are simply more ripened. This is why they often cost a bit more – green ones are actually picked prematurely. That means less time to market and lower cost. However, the longer the pepper is growing on the vine the sweeter the pepper, and the nutrients are enhanced. So, red peppers are better for you than green peppers. Green bell peppers are also slightly bitter.
Peppers are excellent sources of fiber, antioxidants, and Vitamin C and red bell peppers have more of these nutrients than the green version. We use both, but prefer the red ones.Now you are a pepper aficionado!
We had two cups of extra seasoned ground beef from our Taco Salad, extra red onion and some cherry tomatoes. This became the starting point for Joanie’s pepper stuffing. She combined that with 8 ounces of softened cream cheese, Monterey Jack and Cheddar cheeses, and some extra taco seasoning. Very simple and easy to mix in a large bowl. It will look even cheesier and creamier when cooked.
We use our homemade taco seasoning and recommend that over the pre-packaged brands that contain fillers, preservatives, and even added sugar. Until we post about our taco seasoning, you can find the recipe by clicking the link for taco seasoning. Like all spices, it will keep a long time.
Preparation and Cooking Tips
Joanie sliced the peppers in half and removed the seeds and membranes (they are the bitter part) and used a 9 x 13 inch baking dish. The stuffing will fill the peppers and they will bake for 45 minutes in a 350 degree oven. The dish was covered with foil before baking. We like our peppers with a bit of crunch. If you prefer less crunch cook a few minutes longer.
You should also garnish with some extra cheddar cheese once the dish is removed from the oven and the foil is removed. It will melt quickly, but adds a nice creamy touch. We also used cilantro as a garnish. A few chunks of fresh avocado on the side would also be tasty, creamy, and add some color. Adding a dollop of guacamole on the side would a;so be perfect! Our guacamole recipe can be found by clicking this link.
The taste of this recipe is fantastic. The kick of the seasoned taco meat is tempered by the cream cheese and cheddar, so adding some extra taco seasoning was a good idea. However, there is no need to use rice as a filler in this dish. That is often done in stuffed pepper recipes. The cheese filling is all you need to add to the beef for a delicious main meal. Once again, Joanie prepared a perfect Tasty Low Carb meal using “leftovers!”
Cheesy Taco Stuffed Red Peppers
- Preheat an oven to 350 degrees.
- Slice the peppers in half and remove the seeds and membrane. Place in a 9 x 13 baking dish.
- Add the seasoned beef, cream cheese, Monterey Jack, Cheddar in a bowl with tomatoes, onions, and additional taco seasoning. Combine thoroughly.
- Spoon the beef mixture into each half of the peppers.
- Cover tightly with foil and bake for 45 minutes.
- Garnish with a bit of extra Cheddar cheese on top and cilantro. Serve hot.