Cheesy, Italian sausage and cauliflower rice stuffed bell peppers are super easy to make, extremely tasty and very low carb. This healthy, flavor packed dinner comes together quickly in just around 30 minutes and it's even gluten free!
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I love all of the cheesy goodness in this recipe. Freshly shredded, sharp white cheddar is so divine (sometimes I'll even add a little parmesan)!
If you've got the time, shredding your own cheese is definitely preferable when it comes to taste and cost. But bagged, pre-shredded options will also work just fine.
And don't forget to pack up your leftovers! Stuffed peppers freeze and refrigerate well making them a wonderful meal prep option.
Want more stuffed pepper recipes?
Bell Peppers: green, red, yellow orange - any color will do! Pick your favorite or use a combination.
Ground Italian pork sausage: substitute ground turkey, beef, chicken or chicken sausage if you prefer.
Yellow onion: mince it up!
Cauliflower rice: typically you can find riced cauliflower alongside fresh produce or in the frozen foods section. Another good, albeit more labor intensive option: grate a whole head of cauliflower with a cheese grater to make your own cauli rice (or pulse a few times in a food processor). Substitute regular, cooked rice if you prefer.
Minced garlic: I like to keep a jar of minced garlic in the refrigerator at all times. It's so convenient to have on hand! You can also use fresh garlic (1-2 medium sized cloves) or a bit of garlic powder.
Diced canned tomatoes: or dice your own, fresh tomato if preferred.
Fresh chopped parsley: adds nice flavor and gorgeous color. Italian or regular parsley will both work well.
Italian seasonings, salt & pepper: flavor for days!
Cheese: freshly shredded sharp white cheddar. SO GOOD.
How to make sausage stuffed peppers:
Keep scrolling for the full recipe. We'll start here with a quick overview!
Step 1: preheat & parboil
Preheat your oven to 350°F. Place a large pot of hot, salted water on the stovetop and turn heat to high. Cut peppers in half, place them in the hot water and boil for about 10 minutes.
Step 2: saute
Brown sausage in a large sauté pan. Add cauliflower rice and minced onion. Allow the three ingredients to sauté together for about 10 minutes until the rice and onion begin to soften. Add minced garlic and sauté 30-60 seconds longer.
Step 3: complete filling
Add canned diced tomatoes (drain them first), seasonings, chopped parsley and half of your cheese! Stir ingredients together until cheese is fully melted.
Step 4: stuff peppers
Scoop filling into blanched pepper halves, sprinkle with cheese and bake!
Step 5: serve
Allow peppers to cool a bit and then serve with additional chopped parsley if desired!
Are stuffed peppers keto?
This stuffed peppers recipe is super keto friendly (some may not be if they contain lots of rice, beans or both)! Here we're using cauliflower rice to really cut down on total carbs, leaving out any beans or legumes and using tomatoes instead. This recipe has approximately 7 net carbs per serving (one stuffed pepper half).
Sides to pair with stuffed peppers:
Do you have to cook meat before stuffing peppers?
For this recipe - yes. Most of the cooking here is being done on the stovetop. We're only sticking the peppers in the oven at the end of the process, briefly, to melt cheese topping. They won't be in the oven long enough for the meat in the filling to fully cook.
Why do you parboil peppers?
Parboiling peppers is a quick way to soften them up. Roasting peppers is another way to accomplish this, but will take much longer. If you'd prefer a crisp pepper, you can skip this step or only boil for a couple of minutes. It depends on your taste preference!
Allow peppers to cool and place them in an airtight, food storage container or Ziploc baggie. Press on the bag or container to remove as much excess air as possible. Refrigerate for 3-5 days.
Can you freeze leftover sausage stuffed peppers?
Definitely! Allow peppers to cool completely and then place them in a freezer-safe, food storage container. Remove as much excess air as possible and freeze for 2-3 months. When you're ready to eat your leftovers, transfer them to the refrigerator to thaw overnight. Reheat in the oven at 350°F for 15-20 minutes or until warmed through (or microwave for 2-3 minutes).
Handy tips for this recipe:
- Leftover filling: You may have leftover filling after stuffing your peppers. Luckily, it's super tasty all on it's own or mixed into a simple garden salad!
- Spice it up: if you'd like a spicier stuffed pepper, consider using spicy/hot Italian sausage! You can also add red pepper flakes or a bit of your favorite hot sauce.
- Don't overboil peppers: they may become so tender that they start to fall apart and get mushy. I normally boil mine for about 10 minutes, I wouldn't go much longer than 15!
More low carb dinner ideas!
- One Skillet Chicken Thighs With Creamy Spinach Sauce
- Fettuccine Alfredo With Shrimp & Zucchini Noodles
- Spinach & Blue Cheese Stuffed Chicken Breasts
- Low Carb Chicken Enchiladas With White Sauce
- Easy Low Carb Taco Casserole
- Creamy Chicken Taco Soup
- Turkey Swedish Meatballs
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Keto Stuffed Peppers With Sausage And Cauliflower Rice
- 4 large bell peppers *see note below
- 1 pound ground Italian sausage *see note below
- ½ small yellow onion *minced
- 1.5 cup cauliflower rice *see note below
- 1 teaspoon garlic *minced *see note below
- 1 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes *drained
- ¼ cup fresh parsley *chopped
- 1 tablespoon Italian seasonings
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon ground pepper
- 1 & ½ cups shredded sharp white cheddar cheese *divided *see note below
- Additional chopped parsley
Recipe notes:Bell peppers: I find it helpful to have peppers similar in size and height. Use any color you like! Ground Italian sausage: substitute ground turkey, chicken or beef if desired. Cauliflower rice: find riced cauliflower alongside fresh produce or in the frozen foods section. Another good, but more labor intensive option: grate a whole head of cauliflower with a cheese grater to make your own cauli rice (or pulse a few times in a food processor). Substitute regular, cooked rice if you prefer (white or brown). Minced garlic: I like to keep a jar of minced garlic in the refrigerator at all times. It's so convenient to have on hand! You can also use fresh garlic (1-2 medium sized cloves) or a bit of garlic powder. Cheese: freshly grated tastes best but you can use pre-shredded/bagged options if you need to save a little time! General: if preferred, you can make four large stuffed peppers rather than eight small ones. Just cut the tops off of each pepper instead of slicing them in half!
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Fill a large stock pot with HOT water, salt generously and place on stovetop on high heat.
- Cut peppers in half lengthwise, remove stem and seeds. Place them in the stock pot. Once water comes to a boil, reduce heat to medium low and allow peppers to simmer for 10-15 minutes. If you like a crunchier pepper, reduce simmering time. (*Tip: be careful to over cook your peppers or they will become mushy and start to fall apart).
- While peppers simmer, place a large, deep sauté pan on the stove top. Turn heat to medium, add sausage and allow it to brown. I recommend using a 3-5 quart sauté pan, or larger. All other ingredients will be added to this pan so you will need adequate space. You can also use another large pot in lieu of a sauté pan.
- Once meat is fully browned, add cauliflower rice and minced onion to the pan. Sauté the 3 ingredients together until onion and "rice" start to soften, about 10 minutes. Add minced garlic and sauté 30 to 60 seconds longer.
- Drain and add canned diced tomato, chopped parsley, Italian seasonings, salt, pepper and half of your cheese. Mix until cheese is fully melted.
- Remove peppers from hot water with tongs and line them in a 9x13 inch baking dish. Spoon filling into peppers and sprinkle with remaining cheese.
- Bake peppers for 10 minutes and then broil for 1-2 minutes if you want to brown cheese.
- Allow peppers to cool for 5-10 minutes. Serve with additional chopped parsley on top, if desired!
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