The quest to keep weeknight dinners exciting (and nutritious) — especially for busy families — can seem daunting, but it doesn’t have to be. Take these stuffed pepper recipes, for example — they present the dinnertime staples (chicken, turkey, pasta) in a new, more adventurous form. Most of these recipes make it to the table in under an hour, and while some are cheesier than others, they are all, for the most part, vegetable-heavy and protein-packed.
Stuffed peppers are versatile and easily customizable, so you can feel free to experiment and play with these recipes, too. Here are some favorites from a few of the best food bloggers out there.
from The Girl on Bloor
A Philly Cheesesteak sandwich is typically a carb-heavy treat that seems impossible to make even remotely healthy. This version, which swaps bread for a bell pepper, is low-carb, but still cheesy. The sliced sirloin steak is combined with mushrooms and onions then topped with mozzarella cheese.
from Food with Feeling
Stuffed peppers don’t need to be filled with meat to be satisfying. If you’re looking for a nutrient-rich, light dinner dish, look no further than these vegetarian stuffed peppers. The bell pepper serves as a bowl for the healthy shredded greens, which are mixed with quinoa and topped with shaved almonds and avocado dressing.
from Peas and Crayons
If you want your dinner to have a little kick to it, then these Buffalo chicken stuffed peppers should be right up your alley. The spicy chicken is coated in gooey pepper Jack and cheddar cheese, and then topped with sliced jalapeño. Want to up the heat factor even more? Drizzle your favorite Buffalo sauce on top.
Lasagna Stuffed Peppers from A Saucy Kitchen
Craving pasta but trying to cut down on carbs? You might try this vegetable-based alternative. Layers of cheese and a hearty meat sauce give the illusion of a classic lasagna, but the bell pepper bowl replaces the sheets of pasta.
You won’t find any rice in this stuffed pepper recipe. Instead zucchini and quinoa take center stage, alongside turkey. This protein-rich dish might be one of the healthiest dinners you’ve ever served, but it packs enough flavor to satisfy your family.
Bell Pepper Pizzas from Peas and Crayons
Stuffed peppers can be a treat, too. This low-carb version of pizza combines all its classic elements — spaghetti sauce, grated cheese, and red pepper flakes — and stuffs them inside a pepper. This recipe is so great because you can customize it with your favorite pizza toppings, making it a great meal to cook with kids.
This decadent Italian recipe doesn’t actually include any meat. Instead, the peppers are stuffed with a rich bread stuffing and topped with tomato sauce. The stuffing gets a hint of sweetness from golden raisins, and that signature Italian flavor from grated Romano cheese.
Chicken Stuffed Peppers from Cooking Classy
This recipe is almost like a burrito bowl inside a roasted pepper. Diced chicken meets black beans, brown rice, onion, and corn to create a protein-packed dish that still brings a dash of fun to the dinner table.
Jambalaya Stuffed Peppers from Diethood
Classic Jambalaya (a stew prepared with chicken, shrimp, andouille sausage, and rice) finds an unexpected home inside a roasted pepper. You’ll get both spicy and smoky flavors here, and the addition of the shrimp makes it perhaps one of the boldest dishes on this list.
This deconstructed stuffed pepper dish is the ultimate comfort food: It’s full of cheesy goodness, juicy ground meat, and, of course, the signature peppers mixed in, too. It’s a guaranteed crowd-pleaser. And because you can make the whole thing in one pot, you won’t have to put out much effort to become your family’s dinnertime hero.