An easy vegetarian stuffed peppers recipe made with spinach and ricotta. This low carb version of my favorite spinach and ricotta stuffed shells recipe also makes a great meal prep recipe!
I love stuffed peppers. I also love stuffed shells. Lately, I’ve been really craving spinach and ricotta stuffed shells but was looking for a low carb alternative. So here it is! Spinach and ricotta stuffed peppers.
This vegetarian stuffed peppers recipe has an Italian flair, less carbs, and more veggies! I’m mixing spinach, ricotta cheese (obviously), red pepper flakes for a little bit of heat, lemon zest for a little tang, among a few other delicious things.
It took me a few tries to get this one right because the ingredients in this recipe can expel lots of liquid, which can make everything watery. So, after lots of recipe testing I have finally nailed this one to perfection.
How to make stuffed peppers
This took lots of testing in the kitchen to perfect! The flavor was there, but the consistency just wasn’t. So I played around with baking temps and time in order to produce the best results.
Here’s the low down:
- First, bake the peppers and tomatoes at 375 F for 10 minutes in a non-stick oven safe baking dish (this is the one I use). If you want more of a charred look and taste, broil them for about 3-4 minutes instead. While the peppers are baking, sauté the spinach, garlic, and onions.
- When the spinach has wilted and the onions are translucent, remove the garlic from the spinach mixture and mince. Return it to the spinach mixture and drain everything really well by placing it in a fine mesh strainer like this one and push the excess water through by gently pressing on the mixture with your fingers.
- In a large mixing bowl (these are the ones I love), combine the spinach mixture with ricotta, red pepper flakes, lemon zest, basil, and egg. Then stuff the peppers with the spinach and ricotta mixture, top them with a little parmesan cheese, and bake for about 5 minutes or until the cheese has just melted.
What to eat with stuffed peppers
You can serve stuffed peppers as a side or as a main dish. I love to serve mine with a side of farro because it’s a protein rich grain. There are six grams of protein in just 1/4 of a cup of farro.
If you’re diet is grain free or carb free, you can also eat them as a side dish to your favorite protein like chicken, shrimp, or scallops. Or you can have them as your main dish with a side of broccolini or spaghetti squash!
Bell peppers are one of many anti aging superfoods listed in this book. They recommend eating two cups a day but that’s a lot of peppers for me so as long as I get a few servings a week, I feel good!
For this recipe I used red and orange bell peppers, but you can use green peppers, too.
If you’re looking for new ways to incorporate bell peppers into your diet, try this Mushroom Bolognese or these Sheet Pan Chicken Fajita Lettuce Wraps. All of these recipes work well for meal prepping!
Make stuffed peppers ahead of time
Vegetarian stuffed peppers are perfect for serving at a party! You can prep them ahead of time by completing all the steps except the final 5 minute bake to melt the cheese. I like to serve them on a serving serving tray like this one.
Stuffed pepper meal prep
Stuffed peppers will keep in the fridge for several days, so they make an excellent meal prep option. This recipe yields 4 servings with a total of 8 stuffed peppers. I pack two in each meal prep container to eat for lunch every day.
These are my favorite meal prep containers, I like them so much I have two sets! I also love these meal prep containers because they have 3 compartments to keep everything separate which is great for things like salads, taco bowls, or chili lime pulled chicken bowls.
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Vegetarian Stuffed Peppers
- 4 bell peppers, sliced in half lengthwise
- 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes
- 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
- 4 cloves of garlic, minced
- 2 cups spinach
- 1/2 yellow onion, chopped
- 25 ounces ricotta cheese, drained*
- 1/2 tablespoon red pepper flakes
- 1 egg
- 2 tablespoons fresh chopped basil
- 1 lemon, zest
- parmesan cheese, to taste
- Preheat oven to 375 F.
- Add cherry tomatoes, 1/2 tablespoon olive oil, salt, and pepper to a 9 x 11 inch oven safe baking dish. Toss them in the pan to combine. Place peppers in the pan and bake for 10 minutes.*
- While the tomatoes and peppers are cooking, heat 1 tbsp of olive oil over medium-high heat and sauté spinach, garlic, and onions until spinach has wilted. Drain the spinach well (I like to use a fine mesh strainer) and set aside in a mixing bowl.
- Add ricotta, red pepper flakes, egg, basil, and lemon zest to the mixing bowl with the spinach and mix until fully combined.
- Remove the peppers from the oven and stuff with the spinach and ricotta mixture. Top each pepper with about half a tablespoon of shredded parmesan cheese.
- Place the stuffed peppers in the oven and bake for about 5 minutes, just until the cheese on top has melted and the peppers are warm all the way through. Don't bake them too long or they will become watery inside!
- To drain the ricotta, line a fine mesh sieve with cheesecloth and push out any excess liquid.*
- If you want more of a charred look and taste, broil the tomatoes and peppers for about 3-4 minutes before stuffing them instead of baking for 10 minutes.