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Mar 13, 2018

Enchilada Stuffed Peppers (dairy-free, gluten-free, Whole30, Paleo)

Trying to find a happy medium between healthy, Whole30 friendly meals and things my children will eat without complaining seems a bit like a full-time job lately. I feel like I've gotten back into a really good routine with meal planning and prepping, and for the most part, meals have been well-received by the Hubs and these boys of ours. Although, our littlest is in this "I won't eat anything unless it comes on a wooden stick or in plastic packaging" phase right now. (I'm telling myself we'll make it through this stage soon without wishing away any of his cute little two-year old quirks.)

Enchilada Stuffed Peppers Whole30, Paleo, dairy-free, gluten-free

This recipe is one that came together in my mind and turned out just like I had imagined. We're big fans of Mexican food so that seems to be the direction many of our meals go in. I like that this recipe is simple like a taco recipe, yet a bit more sophisticated. It's easy to make with cauliflower rice if you're doing a Whole30, or swap that for some leftover steamed white rice if you're not. Plus, the addition of some extra veggies doesn't hurt a bit!

An easy addition to this recipe is my favorite taco seasoning that I've been using for years. Once I realized how simple it is to make your own, with the added benefit of being able to control the ingredients, I was hooked. I keep this seasoning in a jar in my spice cabinet all the time. When it starts to run low, I just add more of the spices, shake it up, and get back to cooking. Don't miss it at the end of the recipe!  

Enchilada Stuffed Peppers

  • 5 bell peppers, any color, cleaned with seeds and stems removed
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 3/4 cup chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup cauliflower rice (or pre-cooked white rice)
  • 1 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 Tbsp homemade taco seasoning (see recipe below)

Enchilada sauce:

  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 2 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 Tbsp homemade taco seasoning (see recipe below)

Optional toppings:

  • sliced avocado
  • black olives
  • fresh cilantro
  • green onions
  • dairy-free shredded cheese alternative

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cut four of the bell peppers in half lengthwise to create eight pieces. Place them skin side down in a 9x13 baking dish. Dice the remaining bell pepper and set aside.

Heat a skillet over medium-high heat and add the olive oil. Add the diced bell pepper and cook until soft, 1-2 minutes. Add the ground beef and cook until browned. Add the chicken broth, cauliflower rice (or pre-cooked white rice), tomato paste, and taco seasoning and stir until well combined. Reduce heat to low and simmer for about 5-7 minutes.

Scoop the taco meat into each bell pepper half, filling just to the top of the pepper. Set aside.

In the same pan the filling was cooked in, add the ingredients for the homemade enchilada sauce. Turn heat back up to medium-high. Stir until combined and bring the mixture to a boil, stirring constantly. Once the mixture has thickened slightly, carefully pour the sauce over and around the filled bell peppers.

Cover the baking dish with foil and place in the oven. Bake, covered, for 20-25 minutes. Remove foil and continue baking for another 10 minutes. (If you're adding dairy-free cheese or regular cheese, top the peppers with it now and bake for another 2-3 minutes or until the cheese has melted.) Remove from the oven and serve hot with optional toppings from above.

Homemade Taco Seasoning:

  • 1/2 cup chili powder
  • 1/4 cup onion powder
  • 1/8 cup ground cumin
  • 1 Tbsp garlic powder
  • 1 Tbsp paprika
  • 1 Tbsp sea salt 

Add all spices to a mason jar and shake to combine. Store sealed in a cool, dry cabinet.

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