These stuffed sweet twister peppers are a great way to spice up an old favorite! The cream cheese stuffing mix adds some zest and provides lots of flavor. One bite and you’ll be addicted. Gringas, gorditas, quesadillas, chilaquiles – some of the best Mexican dishes are rolled tacos. You can add some variety to your quesadilla recipes by stuffing them with a savory filling. They’re fun to serve to guests and kids love them.
Chicken Stuffed Peppers (Easy, Healthy, Delicious Keto Dinner!)
Chicken Stuffed Peppers make the perfect quick, easy, healthy, and low carb weeknight meal! With only 10 minutes of hands-on time and 30 minutes in the oven, you’ll have dinner ready in no time!
Chicken Stuffed Peppers
Here’s the thing about stuffed peppers – even though they seem like a simple meal, they can take a long time to make once you factor in the cooking time for the filling.
Not with this recipe! We’re using rotisserie chicken and a super quick homemade enchilada sauce as the filling, so there’s no need to cook rice, soak and cook beans, or saute any vegetables or protein.
I think that’s why I love this recipe so much. It really is so easy to pull together on a busy weeknight, and I’m all about the fast recipes for the (pretty frequent) occasion when my time just seems to disappear during the day.
How to Make Chicken Stuffed Peppers
This stuffed pepper recipe is one of the easiest I’ve seen, and it’s full of delicious flavor.
Start by making a “T” shaped slit in each pepper. You can do this by making a horizontal cut underneath each stem across the top half of each pepper. Then make a vertical slit down the front of the pepper and remove the seeds.
I used sweet twister peppers, because they most closely resemble the classic enchilada shape and are readily available where I live. Don’t worry, they may look like it, but these aren’t hot peppers!
You could use poblano peppers and follow the exact same steps, or you can even use red bell peppers!
If you’re using bell peppers, cut them in half (from stem to bottom) and serve them as “boats” (open stuffed instead of closed stuffed). You’ll only need three peppers if you use bell peppers.
If you want to make these into little appetizers, you could even shred the chicken really finely and make these with jalapeno peppers. Seriously, I’m loving this idea and am dying to try it – if you try it please let me know what you thought!
Next, stuff each pepper with 1/2 cup shredded cooked rotisserie chicken. Place each pepper into a nonstick 9 x 9 metal baking dish. As long as you use a non-stick pan, there’s no need to grease your pan before adding the stuffed peppers.
Pour the sauce over the peppers. Open each pepper a bit as you do this so you get plenty of sauce inside each one. I’d recommend using my Easy Healthy Enchilada Sauce for this recipe to keep this dinner healthy, low calorie, and bursting with delicious flavor!
You can definitely use store bought enchilada sauce if you want, but once you try homemade enchilada sauce you’ll be amazed at how much more flavorful it is.
Sprinkle the shredded cheese over the stuffed peppers. Do your best to only sprinkle the cheese in the middle of the peppers. This helps keep it from melting over the edges where it would disappear into the sauce.
Be sure to tent your aluminum foil before baking! If you don’t, the cheese will stick to the aluminum and create a mess.
Optional Alterations and Add-Ins
I think the most common change people wonder about with this recipe is whether or not they can use bell peppers instead of sweet twister peppers, and the answer is yes!
I talked a little bit about how it would change the recipe in the section above, but the main thing to note is that this will taste best with red, orange, or yellow bell peppers than it will with green bell peppers.
Some other ideas are:
- Mix some softened cream cheese with the chicken before stuffing the peppers.
- Substitute your favorite ground meat (beef, chicken, or turkey all work) for the rotisserie chicken. I love using my Turkey Taco Meat recipe here!
- Experiment with the cheese you use. I used a shredded Mexican cheese mix for convenience when I wrote this recipe, but I also love it with freshly grated cheddar or mozzarella.
What to Eat With a Stuffed Pepper
Plate each pepper and pour over some of the remaining sauce. Serve it with a side salad and your favorite side dishes. If you leave the chicken out of this Southwest Chicken Salad, it would make the perfect Mexican Chopped Salad to pair these with.
These would also be great served with rice and beans! Cauliflower rice would be awesome, too, if you’re looking for a low carb option.
Do Stuffed Chicken Enchilada Peppers Reheat Well?
Yes! Stuffed peppers reheat very well. You can make a large batch of these and eat them throughout a busy week.
Can You Freeze These Stuffed Peppers?
Definitely! Stuffed peppers are such a freezer friendly meal. I’d store them in an airtight container to avoid freezer burn though.
You can freeze them before or after baking them, both will work. Unless you’re freezing leftovers, I’d probably opt for freezing them before baking them just to save some prep time.
When you’re ready to eat them, you can either let them thaw in the fridge overnight and bake them as instructed, or you can even bake them straight from frozen.
How to Make These Peppers Vegan or Dairy-Free
The enchilada sauce for these peppers is already vegan, so the only alteration you’d need to make is to use vegan shredded cheese for the topping.
How to Make This Recipe Gluten Free
This recipe is gluten free as it’s written and doesn’t need any alterations. If you use a different enchilada sauce, it’s important to check and see if it’s gluten free or not (some may be thickened with flour instead of starch).
YIELD: 4 STUFFED PEPPERS
Chicken Stuffed Peppers
Chicken Stuffed Peppers are the perfect easy, healthy, and low carb weeknight meal! They only need 10 minutes of prep time and 30 minutes in the oven.
PREP TIME10 minutes
COOK TIME30 minutes
TOTAL TIME40 minutes
- 4 sweet twister peppers (bell peppers also work)
- 2 cups pulled apart rotisserie chicken (or cooked chicken breast)
- 1 batch Easy Healthy Enchilada Sauce
- 1 cup shredded block cheese of choice (my favorites are cheddar or a Mexican shredded cheese mix)
- Preheat the oven to 350 F.
- Make a small slit across half of the top of the pepper (under the stem), from the middle of that slit make a long slit down the length of the pepper (be careful not to cut the stem off). Remove the seeds. Wash and dry the peppers. *If you’re using bell peppers, see the notes.
- Stuff each pepper with ½ cup rotisserie chicken.
- Place the stuffed peppers in a 9 x 9 metal non-stick baking dish.
- Pour the enchilada sauce over the peppers, doing your best to get the inside of the peppers coated with sauce.
- Sprinkle the cheese over the top of the peppers.
- Cover with tented aluminum foil (make sure the aluminum foil isn’t touching the cheese).
- Bake for 30 minutes, or until the peppers are cooked through, the chicken is hot, and the cheese is bubbly.
I used sweet twister peppers, because they most closely resemble the classic enchilada shape. You can also use bell peppers. If you’re using bell peppers, cut them in half (from stem to bottom) and serve them as “boats” (open stuffed instead of closed stuffed). You’ll only need three peppers if you use bell peppers.
STUFFED SWEET PEPPERS
Bite-sized Stuffed Sweet Peppers pack a flavorful punch that’s perfect for your next summer party!
There is this thing that happens, when you find the perfect combination of ingredients for a dish. Kind of like the pieces of a puzzle as they fit together to form the perfect picture, the right combination of flavors makes that meal you can’t wait to eat again and again. When I took my first bite of these stuffed sweet peppers, I knew I hit the flavor jackpot.
When it comes to this dish, you want to be sure to get sweet peppers, not bell peppers. They look fairly similar, but the taste is quite different! Sweet peppers taper to a single point compared to the 3-4 lobed bells, and they are softer and sweeter than even the sweetest bell pepper. These stuffed sweet peppers make the perfect appetizer because they are bite-sized and quick to assemble and cook!
I used my very own taco seasoning mixture for the beef, but you can feel free to substitute store-bought, or your own personal recipe. Get ready for those awesome summer parties with these little tasty bites of amazing, though you might have a hard time sharing, they are just too delicious!
Stuffed Sweet Peppers
Bite sized Stuffed Sweet Peppers pack a flavorful punch that’s perfect for your next summer party!
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
Cuisine: American, Italian
- 40 Sweet Peppers
- 1 Cup Cooked White Rice
- 1/2 Cup Salsa
- 1 Tbsp. Canola Oil
- 1/2 Small Yellow Onion diced
- 1 lb. Lean Ground Beef
- 3 Tbsp. Taco Seasoning
- 1 Cup Corn
- 1 Cup Monterey Jack Cheese shredded
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add the onion and saute until just tender, about 5 minutes. Add the ground beef and cook until browned, breaking it into little pieces as it cooks, about 6 minutes.
- Add the taco seasoning and corn and stir gently to combine, allowing to cook for an additional 2 minutes. Remove from heat.
- Take each sweet pepper and slice it lengthwise, removing 1/3 of the flesh. Remove the seeds and veins, then fill with a teaspoon or two of rice, followed by 1/2 teaspoon of salsa, then top with the beef mixture. Using a casserole dish, or foil-lined baking sheets, place the stuffed peppers in a row until full, then sprinkle with the cheese.
- Bake for 30 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and just slightly browned, and the peppers are softened. Allow to cool for a few minutes, then server immediately.
Calories: 78kcal | Carbohydrates: 10g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 9mg | Sodium: 139mg | Potassium: 313mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 3875IU | Vitamin C: 152.9mg | Calcium: 32mg | Iron: 0.9mg
Italian Stuffed Peppers
I have a fresh twist on a house favorite today: Italian Stuffed Peppers. Sweet bell peppers stuffed with a savory blend of ground chicken or turkey, Italian herbs and cheeses, and the whole grain of your choice, each stuffed pepper is its own tidy and complete healthy dinner package.
Every time I make stuffed peppers, I’m reminded of just how fantastic they are as their own mini recipe genre.
Whether I choose to make these Stuffed Peppers, Mexican Stuffed Peppers, Spinach Artichoke Quinoa Stuffed Peppers, or Crock Pot Stuffed Peppers, I always look forward to dinner (and leftovers!). They’re so easy, tasty, and a total crowd-pleaser. I even created this delicious deconstructed Stuffed Pepper Casserole to further profess my love for all things stuffed pepper.
And today, I’m sharing these highly addictive sweet (or spicy) Italian stuffed peppers for your healthy eating and meal prep pleasure.
I started with my tried-and-true stuffed pepper base recipe, then gave it an Italian twist. PERFECTION.
Italian flavors and red bell peppers are a natural match. By the time you shower on the fresh basil and a generous handful of Mozzarella and Parm, this might be your favorite stuffed pepper recipe yet!
Italian Stuffed Peppers – Healthy Cooking MVP
Before we dive into the recipe, I want to share a few reasons why I consider stuffed peppers such a wonderful resource when you are seeking healthy meals.
- Stuffed peppers are a meal prep dream. You can assemble these stuffed entirely in advance or prep the filling only, whatever works best for you.
- Italian stuffed peppers are also quick and easy enough to where if you haven’t done any prep at all (me, most of the time!), you can still have them on the table in less than an hour.
- You can scale stuffed peppers to just about any quantity you need.
- They freeze and reheat like a dream. When I worked in an office, I often packed stuffed peppers for lunch, as they’re easy to reheat in the microwave (try it—your co-workers will be envious). These days, I like to bake them early on in the week, then reheat them in the oven for fast, healthy dinners.
- Stuffed peppers are healthy. Lean protein, veggies, and whole grains: the gang’s all here! I’m constantly looking for ways to cut down on time spent prepping ingredients and washing dishes (hence the robust collection of one-pan recipes in my blog recipe index), so recipes like these authentic Italian stuffed peppers that offer every food group in one are always a prize hit around here.
How to Make Healthy Italian Stuffed Peppers
The ingredients for this recipe are simple and scrumptious—two of my favorite qualities of Italian-inspired (or let’s be honest, any) recipe.
- Bell Peppers. I like to look for ones that are large and round, as they are the easiest to stuff. While you can use any color, for this Italian version, red bell peppers are my favorite, as their sweet flavor pairs nicely with Italian herbs and cheese.
- How Do You Cut Peppers for Stuffing? Start by washing and drying the peppers. Then, halve your peppers from top to bottom, cutting right down through the stems. Remove the seeds and membranes. That’s it! You are ready to stuff.
- Ground Chicken. Italian stuffed peppers with chicken is ultra mild, meaning you can flavor it any way you like! For a different twist, try using sweet or spicy Italian turkey sausage (look for either bulk ground sausage or uncooked sausage in casings; remove the meat from the casings prior to cooking). Regular ground turkey works too.
- If you want to make vegetarian Italian stuffed peppers, you could try using crumbled tofu in these peppers or swap a can of rinsed and drained white beans.
- Whole Grain of Your Choice. We use cooked brown rice, as I always have it in my pantry and often keep a container of cooked brown rice in my freezer for easy meals. Cooked farro (a whole grain popular in Italy) would be delicious, though it’s not gluten free like rice, so definitely keep that in mind if making this recipe gluten free is important to you. I also am dying to try these Italian stuffed peppers with orzo at some point! If you go that route, undercook the orzo a bit, as there will be some carryover cooking in the oven.
- For a low-carb option, you can make these Italian stuffed peppers without rice; swap cauliflower rice instead.
- Canned Diced Tomatoes. A pantry staple! These make the inside of the peppers tender and juicy. Look for no-salt-added diced tomatoes so that you can control the saltiness of your pepper.
- Italian Seasoning. This herb blend gives you a mix of dried herbs in every pinch. You can find it in the spice section of almost any grocery store.
- Red Pepper Flakes. I used a small pinch for flavor, but these Italian stuffed peppers are not hot. If you’d like truly spicy Italian stuffed peppers, add additional red pepper flakes or use a spicy Italian sausage in place of the ground chicken.
- Cheese. I recommend a mix of a gooey, melty cheese like Mozzarella and a sharp, nutty cheese like Parmesan. For a more elevated spin, try swapping the Mozzarella for fontina, smoked Provolone, or a mix.
- Fresh Herbs. I’m all about the basil here. Chopped fresh thyme or parsley would be nice too.
- Arrange your peppers cut-side up in a baking dish that’s lightly coated with nonstick spray. This recipe will yield 8 pepper halves. If all of your peppers don’t fit in one dish (as you can see from the photos, mine did not), you can bake the rest in a separate dish.
- Brown your chicken and spices together. Add the tomatoes.
- Stir in your grain of choice and part of the cheese. Fill each pepper half with the yummy mixture, and top with more cheese (yes, please).
- Add just enough water to the baking dish so it covers the bottom. Bake the peppers for 30 to 35 minutes at 375 degrees F. Sprinkle on fresh basil, and DIG IN!
How to Freeze Stuffed Peppers
- Do You Freeze Stuffed Peppers Cooked or Uncooked? I recommend freezing these stuffed peppers after they’ve been cooked. Leftovers will be easy to reheat and serve for fast, healthy dinners.
- To Freeze. Place the baked Italian stuffed peppers in a freezer-safe container cut side up in the freezer for up to 3 months.
- To Reheat from Frozen. Let thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating. Reheat gently in the microwave or oven. To microwave, cut the peppers into a few pieces first to ensure that they warm evenly. For the oven, place the peppers on in baking dish cut side up and warm at 350 degrees F for about 10 minutes.