Mexican Stuffed Peppers make a fantastic dinner any night of the week! So versatile, and one that the family will absolutely love. They are topped with a Lime Cashew “Sour Cream” that tastes amazing on Mexican dishes! You can make this easy recipe in the oven, Slow cooker, or Instant Pot for ultimate ease! Paleo, Whole30, and Keto.
Another day, another way to spice up Taco Tuesday! Here is the story behind these. My family absolutely LOVES taco Tuesday. They look forward to it every week. Last week we did chicken tacos for dinner, and if being completely honest, they prefer ground beef. They know I like to vary up the way we make tacos, so it wasn’t too much complaining. BUT, I surprised them a few days later by including a “Mexican” themed stuffed pepper recipe to the menu, and they were over the moon happy! It was basically tacos two times that week. Winning those mom points for sure.
Normally when I have made stuffed peppers, I’ve done an Italian version. So this one was a super fun way to mix it up. And that cashew “sour cream”? Such a fun addition!
Making Mexican Stuffed Peppers
So let’s discuss some basic things you should know about this recipe.
- First off, I used cauliflower rice as a “filler”. Just another way to add in some more veggies, and really no one notices since I only use 1.5 cups. I also have only used fresh cauliflower rice, and not frozen. The frozen might make it more “mushy”, but I can’t attest to the texture! Also, feel free to choose another option in place of the cauliflower rice. Non Paleo/Keto friends can use regular rice, or a grain like quinoa.
- You can easily use ground turkey in place of ground beef! Super easy swap, and keeps the red meat intake down.
- The lime cashew “sour cream” is amazing, and might be my favorite part of this meal. You can obviously skip it, but I really liked that part. I have extra in my fridge that I can use for something else later in the week, and I am certainly not upset about that.
- Toppings should most definitely include extra cilantro, avocados or guacamole, maybe some salsa, jalapeños, and shredded cheese if you aren’t dairy-free. In fact, the cheese can go on top the final 15 minutes of baking.
- For baking purposes, I did slice the bell peppers in half, as opposed to just removing the caps. You can remove the caps if doing the slow cooker variation below (in fact, this is a much easier way to make in the slow cooker). Also, I was easily able to fill 5 peppers (even though in the photos you only see 3).
For the Slow Cooker or Instant Pot:
We are still going to follow the same directions as we did to prepare the stuffed pepper filling. The biggest difference is the way we cut the peppers. You will want to remove the top, and use the bell pepper like a cup. Place the filling inside, and then place inside your slow cooker or Instant Pot.
If using the Instant Pot, you will need the trivet, and place water under the trivet so that the recipe can come to pressure. If adding cheese, top with cheese AFTER you are done cooking.
Lime “Cashew” Sour Cream
As mentioned above, my favorite part! We’ll soak cashews in boiling water for at least 15 minutes (alternatively you can soak overnight in water). Drain the water, toss into the blender or food processor with a pinch of salt, water, lime juice, vinegar, and 2 tsp of nutritional yeast. You can also add in some cilantro if you love it as much as I do. Blend up until smooth!!
These refrigerate and re-heat well. You can also freeze, thaw, and re-heat.
Hope you all LOVE!!!
Mexican Stuffed Peppers
For the Stuffed Peppers:
- 5 Bell Peppers various colors
- 1 tbsp avocado oil or olive oil divided
- 1/2 large yellow onion
- 1 lb ground beef
- 1.5 cups cauliflower rice (see note)
- 2 tsp cumin
- 2 tsp smoked paprika
- 1 tsp chipotle chili powder
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 1 14 oz can fire roasted tomatoes
- 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
Lime cashew "sour cream"
- 1/2 cup raw cashews
- 1/2 cup filtered water
- 2 tbsp lime juice
- 1 tsp lime zest
- 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
- 2 tsp nutritional yeast
- 1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro
- 1 avocado diced
- 1/2 cup cheddar cheese
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. If using a slow cooker or Instant Pot, see notes below.
Prepare the peppers by slicing each one in half from top to bottom, so both halves are equal sized. Scoop out the seeds and the extra membrane. Lightly brush the outside with some oil. Place inside a large casserole dish and set aside.
Now prepare the filling: In a large skillet, heat the pan to medium - medium high. Once hot, coat the pan with oil, and add some diced onion. Saute for a few minutes, then add the ground beef and cook until no longer pink. Drain any excess water/fat. Return the pan back to the heat.
Add the cauliflower rice and spices with the salt. Cook for an additional 3-4 minutes, then add in tomatoes, and apple cider vinegar. Stir and simmer until well incorporated. Turn the heat off.
Spoon the beef filling into each prepared bell pepper "cup". Place the dish inside the oven and bake for 30-35 minutes or until bell peppers are softened. If using cheese, top with cheese after baking for 15 minutes.
While peppers are baking, make the sour cream. Be sure the cashews are prepped by soaking in water overnight or in boiling water for at least 15-20 minutes. Drain the water. Toss the cashews in a blender or food processor. Add the water, lime juice, vinegar, lime zest, nutritional yeast, and salt. Blend until completely smooth (this may take several minutes and scraping of the sides with a spatula). The sour cream will have a more runny consistency, but still can easily be drizzle on the peppers.
Serve peppers hot with additional toppings.
*To make cauliflower rice, chop the florets of half of a large cauliflower head. Pulse in a food processor or blender until it resembles a coarse "rice" texture, but before it gets mushy!
**For the slow cooker, be sure to remove just the top of the peppers and scoop out the insides. Follow the same directions for making the filling. Place each bell pepper "cup" inside the slow cooker so it's standing straight up. Cook on low for 3-4 hours.
***For the Instant Pot, follow the same directions as the slow cooker. BUT, place the trivet inside the IP, and place one up of water in the pot. Let the peppers stand up in the IP, and set the IP to manual. Cook at high pressure for 5 minutes, then use a natural release.