Are bell peppers (AKA capsicum) good for weight loss? Learn how to eat bell pepper for weight loss with a delicious low calorie bell pepper recipe. These stuffed mini peppers are easy to make, healthy, and only 54 calories each. It’s a calorie deficit, not specifically sweet bell peppers that promote weight loss. However, foods like red peppers and green peppers that are high volume and low calorie can help you stay full.
Green pepper for weight loss? Absolutely!
I often see articles about how hot peppers can help you lose weight. Let’s not forget about bell peppers, though.
There’s a good argument that bell peppers are even better for weight loss than chili peppers. It’s true that hot pepper contains capsaicin, a compound that may provide a tiny metabolism boost. (There’s more on this in the FAQ section.)
However, we tend to eat a much larger volume of mild bell peppers than hot peppers. They can play a larger role in our diet, where we can work them into a variety of nutritious meals. Omelet, soup, salad, stir fry, casserole... all are delicious with the addition of bell peppers.
Here, we’re stuffing mini bell peppers with seafood and other Mediterranean-inspired ingredients. There’s no cooking involved, the perfect sort of easy recipe to make a quick snack or light meal. You’ll love how using capsicums for weight loss can help you meet your goals.
- 📋 Bell Pepper Calories, Net Carbs, Protein
- ⭐ Bell Peppers Benefits for Weight Loss
- 🥘 Stuffed Pepper for Weight Loss Ingredients
- 🔪 How to Make Bell Peppers for Weight Loss
- ️🌡️ Leftovers
- 🫑 Variations
- 💭 Expert Tips from a Dietitian
- 👩🏻🍳 Other Bell Pepper Recipes for Weight Loss
- The Disclaimer…
- 📖 Recipe
- 💬 Comments
📋 Bell Pepper Calories, Net Carbs, Protein
How many calories in a bell pepper? Here’s the nutrition information for bell peppers (info per 100 grams of raw pepper, per Cronometer):
|Calories||Net Carbs (g)||Protein (g)|| Vitamin A |
| Vitamin C |
|Sweet Mini Peppers||29||4.7||1||35.3||258.8|
Mini bell peppers typically contain a mix of colors. That’s why the vitamin A, vitamin C, and so on for mini peppers falls in between the different colors of peppers. Red peppers are particularly rich in provitamin A carotenoids.
One serving of my stuffed bell peppers (half the recipe) has 405 calories, 17.3 grams net carbs, and 21.4 grams protein. One stuffed mini pepper has 54 calories, 2.3 grams net carbs, and 2.9 grams protein.
⭐ Bell Peppers Benefits for Weight Loss
What are the health benefits of bell peppers? Here’s some info on bell pepper nutrition that may interest you:
- Low calorie: Bell peppers contain only 20-30 calories per 100 grams. They are a high volume and low calorie food. Nutrient dense foods like bell peppers can play a supportive role in a weight loss diet plan.
- Special diet friendly: Bell peppers fit nearly all the special diets: low carb, keto, vegan, vegetarian, dairy free, gluten free, and more. This pescatarian stuffed bell pepper recipe is whole30, Paleo, and grain free.
- Phytonutrients: Red bell peppers are particularly rich in certain beneficial (but non-essential) phytochemicals. This includes carotenoids, phenols, and flavonoids.
- Vitamin and Mineral Benefits: Bell peppers are rich in antioxidants, such as vitamin A vitamin C, as well as fiber and potassium. Green peppers are harvested earlier than red peppers, and may be slightly lower in certain nutrients as a result. However, all bell peppers are nutritious choices, so eat the ones you like.
- Delicious: Bell peppers are a versatile ingredient that can be incorporated in a variety of tasty dishes. It may be easier to make your healthy diet a lifestyle if you enjoy your foods.
🥘 Stuffed Pepper for Weight Loss Ingredients
What are the ingredients for stuffed bell peppers for weight loss? Here’s your shopping list:
- Mini peppers
- Canned sardines (drained)
- Sundried tomatoes
- Pitted kalamata olives
- Garlic powder
- Lime zest
- Dried dill
- Black pepper
- Mustard powder
Specific quantities of the ingredients are listed in the recipe card at the bottom of the article!
The sundried tomatoes I use are packed in oil (sometimes you can find dried sundried tomatoes, but these need soaking). To prepare them for the recipe, I drain the oil and chop them finely.
Choose tinned sardines with the bones for a great source of non-dairy calcium. We’re going to mash them so finely, the bones are hard to detect.
For kitchen equipment, you’ll need a good knife, a fork, a spoon, and a bowl. No fancy kitchen gadgets are needed for this one, as it’s a no bake recipe.
🔪 How to Make Bell Peppers for Weight Loss
This recipe is the easiest way to make stuffed peppers, as they’re no cook and no parboil. To begin, cut the tops off the cleaned mini peppers and remove the seeds. Set the peppers aside.
Drain the sardines and put them in a bowl. Mash the sardines well with a fork.
Halve the kalamata olives with a knife. Drain the sundried tomatoes and chop them small.
Add the olives, tomatoes, mayo, capers, garlic powder, lime zest, dried dill, black pepper, and mustard powder to the bowl with the sardines. Pack the filling into each pepper. I heaped the salad into each pepper like I was filling a little ice cream cone.
After filling, you’re ready to serve! Bite into the peppers from the open end only to prevent the salad from shooting out. Biting them from the closed bottom may create a sardine salad explosion!
Leftover stuffed peppers will keep in the fridge in a covered container for up to 1-3 days. Fish can transfer odors to other foods in your refrigerator, so it’s best to only make what you’ll eat right away. Don’t freeze this recipe; the raw peppers will get soggy after thawing.
These stuffed mini peppers with no rice, no cheese, and no tomato sauce work well with substitutions. Here are a few ideas to get you started:
- Use plain Greek yogurt in place of the mayo
- Try drained canned tuna (or your favorite canned fish) instead of sardines
- Italian seasoning can be used in place of the herbs and spices
- Cut the mini peppers in half lengthwise and use them as dippers for this seafood salad in place of chips
- Use your favorite savory sandwich filling in place of the sardine salad (e.g., egg salad, chicken salad, tofu salad)
- Instead of stuffing mini peppers, cut a big bell pepper in half and use the filling to make a bell pepper sandwich
Note: Using plain Greek yogurt in place of the mayo would lighten this recipe a little more. However, you’re already getting plenty of calcium and protein from the sardines in this low-calorie recipe.
💭 Expert Tips from a Dietitian
This is a level 1 recipe (may help support fat loss). Are stuffed bell peppers good for weight loss? In the opinion of this dietitian, non-starchy veggies are some of the best foods for weight loss. If you have a weight loss goal, replacing some of the refined grains in your diet with veggies can be a smart move.
Mini bell peppers can work as a low carb alternative to bread, wraps, and nacho chips. Skipping the bread with the sardine salad here gives you a low-calorie meal with only 17.3g net carbs per serving. If you're feeling bored with lettuce wraps, colorful and flavorful peppers are something else to try.
So, my answer to “are peppers fattening?” is an emphatic no. Though it’s true that peppers contain some natural sugar, the amount is minimal. Mini peppers and bell peppers are low carb and keto friendly foods.
Here’s a food list of other non-starchy vegetables that are good for weight loss:
- Green beans
- Summer squash
- Brussels sprouts
- Collard greens
- Artichoke hearts
- Swiss chard
- Broccoli sprouts
This list is not exhaustive; there are many other low carb veggies you can find at grocery stores and farmer’s markets. Why not pick up some of your favorites this week?
Cooked bell peppers may lose some vitamin C but heating gives them a lycopene boost. To enjoy the widest range of nutrient benefits, I would eat both raw bell peppers and cooked ones. Also, the different colors of bell peppers contain varying amounts of beneficial phytochemicals, so why not eat the rainbow?
A common question is which color bell pepper is good for weight loss. However, why not focus on how your sweet peppers are prepared instead? Breaded and fried peppers, as well as peppers loaded with cheese and fatty meat can be very high calorie. Roasted peppers, steamed peppers, and some other preparations may be better for weight loss.
Unfortunately, you really can’t target fat loss to a specific body part with certain special foods. If you maintain a calorie deficit and lose weight, you will lose body fat. Some of the fat may come from the belly, and some will come from other parts of the body.
Capsaicin, a compound responsible for the spicy heat in hot peppers, may provide a very small weight loss benefit. Some research has shown that capsaicin may help suppress appetite and provide a small and temporary metabolic boost. However, it's a better strategy to focus on sustainable healthy lifestyle changes rather than “magical” weight loss foods.
Like chili pepper seeds, bell pepper seeds can be eaten. Unlike hot pepper seeds, the seeds of bell peppers don’t add spicy heat to your foods. However, bell pepper seeds may add some bitterness to dishes, and many prefer to discard them.
👩🏻🍳 Other Bell Pepper Recipes for Weight Loss
Looking for more low calorie bell pepper recipes for losing weight? I’ve got you! These recipes can help you with healthy eating:
All recipes on this website may or may not be appropriate for you, depending on your medical needs and personal preferences. Consult with a registered dietitian or your physician if you need help determining the dietary pattern that may be best for you.
The nutrition information is an estimate provided as a courtesy. It will differ depending on the specific brands and ingredients that you use. Calorie information on food labels may be wildly inaccurate, so please don't sweat the numbers too much.
For more information on how the three recipe levels may help with a weight management goal, refer to my overnight oats no sugar post. Let's get cooking!
Bell Peppers for Weight Loss (Low Calorie Bell Pepper Recipe)
- 14-16 mini bell peppers
- 2 tins sardines with bones, packed in olive oil, drained (124 grams per tin)
- 10 pitted kalamata olives
- 2 tablespoons sun-dried tomatoes packed in oil, drained, chopped small
- 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
- 1 teaspoon drained capers
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon lime zest
- ¼ teaspoon dried dill
- ¼ teaspoon dried mustard powder
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- Cut the tops off the cleaned peppers and remove the seeds. Set the peppers aside.
- Drain the sardines and put them in a bowl. Mash the sardines well with a fork.
- Halve the kalamata olives with a knife. Drain the sundried tomatoes and chop them small.
- Stir the olives, tomatoes, mayo, capers, garlic powder, lime zest, dried dill, mustard powder, and black pepper into the bowl with the sardines. Pack the filling into each pepper. I heaped the salad into each pepper like I was filling a little ice cream cone.
- After filling, you’re ready to serve. Bite into the peppers from the open end only to prevent the salad from shooting out. Enjoy!
- Green beans
- Summer squash
- Brussels sprouts
- Collard greens
- Artichoke hearts
- Swiss chard
- Broccoli sprouts