Ashleigh Smith + photo

Ashleigh Smith

May 28
4 min read
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Easy Southwestern Stuffed Bell Peppers
Written By Lara Wadsworth

Looking for a new spin on the classic stuffed bell pepper recipe? This easy and delicious filling is incredibly satisfying, and the whole recipe comes together in under an hour! I like to make the filling and then clean the kitchen while it is baking in the peppers so that when dinner is done, I can relax for the evening. This low-carb crowd-pleaser doesn’t have rice in the filling, so it is higher in protein and packed with flavor from the taco seasoning and sweet corn.


  • 6 Large Bell Peppers (any color)
  • 1 lb 90/10 Ground Beef
  • 1 can (15 oz) or 2 cups of Sweet Corn (*fresh, frozen, or canned)
  • 1 can (15 oz) or 2 cups Cooked Black or Pinto Beans (Other types of beans may also be used)
  • 4 Tablespoons Taco Seasoning (Use your favorite)
  • 3/4 Cup Water
  • 1 Cup Shredded Mexican Blend Cheese
  • Optional: Mexican Rice, Lime, Fritos, and Cilantro for serving.


  • Large Sautee Pan
  • Spatula
  • Large Baking Pan (9x13)
  • Spoon
  • Oven


1. Preheat the oven to 350 F

2. Get the beef browning in a large, hot pan on medium-high heat. Break it up finely with the spatula while it is cooking.

3. Once the meat is 75% cooked, add in the taco seasoning, water, corn, and beans. Mix it all together and simmer until thick. If you want the filling a bit spicy and your taco seasoning doesn’t have much heat, add red pepper flakes! My blend already had some.

  • If you’re using canned corn and beans drain and rinse them before adding.
  • *If you use fresh corn that has not been cooked yet, it adds a wonderful flavor but add a quarter cup extra of water as it will need to simmer a bit longer to soften up the kernels.
stuffed pepper filling

4. While the filling is cooking, wash and remove the tops and core from all your bell peppers. Place them in a 9x13 baking dish so that the openings are facing up.

  • Don’t just throw away the tops! You can pop out the centers and then chop up them up into chnucks and slices for snacking. Or, you can dice them and place them in a freezer safe bag or container in the freezer to use for a later recipe.
hollowed out bell peppers

5. Evenly distribute all the filling between the bell peppers. For me, this ended up being almost exactly one cup per bell pepper! Top with a heavy sprinkle of cheese. I recommend using more than I did in these photos. We ended up adding more cheese on top when we ate them! Add about a quarter inch of water to the bottom of the pan.

  • The pan I used (9x13) was a bit big for the peppers I had. If you have large peppers, a 9x13 might be fine, but mine fell over. A roasting pan or 9x9 man would also work!
prepared stuffed peppers

6. Cover the pan with aluminum foil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove the foil and bake until the cheese is golden and bubbly (another 15-20 minutes). If you prepare slightly undercooked bell peppers, do 25 minutes covered and then 5 minutes uncovered.

7. Serve with Mexican rice on the side and top with a squeeze of lime, crushed tortilla chips, and chopped cilantro. Enjoy!

I came up with this recipe on a whim. Believe it or not, it evolved from taco salad, and I just kept adding and morphing until it resulted in this! This filling is also absolutely delicious over salad greens with some crushed tortilla chips and a spoonful of guacamole on top. It is also fantastic for meal prep. Just add one or two peppers into a container with your sides (leave out any guac or sourcream for last minute additions). They only take 2-3 minutes in the microwave to heat through and then you have a quick, nutritious meal ready to go!

I hope you try this recipe and love it!

Lara Wadsworth, True Leaf Market Writer

I am a native of Southwestern Michigan, where I also reside, and I love all things plants! I got a Bachelor's Degree in Horticulture and found the first work-from-home job I could get. Now, I spend my days writing for TLM, playing with my dog, eating delicious food with my husband, and plotting my next landscape or gardening move. I believe everyone should get down and dirty in the soil now and then. Happy Gardening!

Become a True Leaf Market Brand Ambassador! You’ll enjoy awesome perks, free products and exclusive swag & offers! Help us create a gardening revolution and help others experience the joy of growing!

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