Mexican-Style Stuffed Bell Peppers

In this Latin twist on stuffed bell peppers, black beans replace the traditional rice and salsa stands in for the standard tomato sauce.

Serves 4; 1 stuffed bell pepper per serving

In this Latin twist on stuffed bell peppers, black beans replace the traditional rice and salsa stands in for the standard tomato sauce.


4 large red or green bell peppers, or a combination, stems, seeds, and ribs discarded, tops chopped and reserved

Cooking spray

1/2 cup chopped onion

3 medium garlic cloves, minced

8 ounces 95% fat-free ground beef

2 teaspoons chili powder

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1/8 teaspoon salt

¾ cup salsa (lowest sodium available)

1 cup canned no-salt-added black beans, rinsed and drained

½ cup plus 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro, divided use

¼ cup low-fat shredded 4-cheese Mexican blend

¼ cup fat-free sour cream


Preheat the oven to 375°F.

In a microwave oven, place the bell peppers with the cut side up on a paper towel. Microwave on 100% power (high) for 4–5 minutes, or until tender-crisp. Transfer with the cut side up to a 9-inch square baking dish or shallow casserole dish.

Meanwhile, lightly spray a large skillet with cooking spray. Heat over medium heat. Cook the chopped bell pepper tops, onion, and garlic for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Stir in the beef. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally to turn and break up the beef. Discard any drippings.

Sprinkle the beef mixture with the chili powder, cumin, and salt. Cook for 1 minute. Stir in the salsa. Remove from the heat.

Gently stir in the beans and cup cilantro. Spoon the beef mixture into the peppers. Cover the baking dish with aluminum foil.

Bake for 30 minutes, or until heated through. Remove from the oven. Sprinkle the Mexican blend cheese over the beef mixture. Let stand for 5 minutes.

Top the peppers with the sour cream. Sprinkle with the remaining 2 tablespoons cilantro.

This recipe is reprinted with permission from Diabetes & Heart Healthy Cookbook, 2nd Edition. Copyright © 2014 by the American Diabetes Association, Inc.® and American Heart Association. Published by the American Diabetes Association. Available from booksellers everywhere.

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