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air fryer stuffed mini peppers

Air Fryer Stuffed Mini Peppers | Mini Pepper Nachos

Summer Yule
These air fryer stuffed mini peppers are like mini pepper nachos! You'll love these because a melty, gooey cheese blanket is involved! Oooooh
5 from 2 votes
Cook Time 13 mins
Total Time 13 mins
Course Dinner
Cuisine Mexican
Servings 4
Calories 453 kcal

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1 jalapeno, seeded, finely chopped
  • ½ lb. lean ground chicken (227 grams)
  • 1 lb. mini bell peppers, cut in half lengthwise, seeded (454 grams; 18-22 count peppers)
  • 15 ounces fat-free refried beans (425 grams; choose one with no added sugar or oil)
  • ½ cup smooth-textured salsa with no added sugar or oil (I used salsa especial from Trader Joe's)
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt (optional)
  • 8 ounces light Mexican cheese blend, shredded (227 grams)
  • ¼ cup cilantro, finely chopped

Instructions

  • Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a cast-iron skillet.
  • Add the onion, jalapeno, and chicken to the skillet. Occasionally stir and crumble the chicken with a metal spatula as it cooks. It will take 10-15 minutes to thoroughly cook the chicken.
  • As the chicken mixture cooks, prepare the mini bell peppers by removing the tops, cutting in half lengthwise, and removing the seeds. Lay the peppers out in a single layer in a large roasting pan or two air fryer trays.
  • After the chicken is cooked, stir in the beans, salsa, chili powder, and salt. Make sure the mixture is thoroughly combined.
  • Stuff the mini bell pepper halves with the chicken and bean mixture.
  • Cover the stuffed pepper halves with the cheese. The peppers should be tightly packed on the pan, so no need to get fussy about carefully covering each pepper. You are making a cheese blanket here!
  • Air Fryer Directions: Air fry the peppers for 9 minutes at 350°F (175°C). Air fry one tray of peppers at a time in the top rack position of the air fryer oven (closest to the heating element).
  • Oven Directions: Broil the peppers on high for about 3 minutes. The cheese will melt and brown a bit.
  • Garnish the finished taco-stuffed mini bell peppers with chopped cilantro. Admire the cheese pull as you remove them from the tray!

Notes

This is a level 1 recipe (may help support fat loss). These protein- and fiber-packed healthy “nachos” are great if you have a weight loss goal. Mini sweet pepper nachos are much lower in calories and carbs than corn chips. One serving of these stuffed mini peppers offers only 21.3 grams of net carbs per serving. 
You’re also ditching the fried food ingredient when you skip the chips. In addition, I think you’ll find these air fryer taco stuffed peppers more filling than chips as well. Try them and see! 
(And yes, I know that peppers are botanically fruits. However, they are placed in the vegetable group with other “salad veggies” in the MyPlate model.) 
Using light shredded cheese helps to keep this dish at level 1. The oil in full-fat cheese ends up pooling a bit (messy!).  
Stick with light cheese to keep your finished dish from getting too greasy. Using lean chicken instead of full fat ground beef or pork helps to cut the grease too. 
Confession time: I split this into four servings, but my family of three typically polishes off the entire recipe. It is fine to adjust portions of recipes as needed to fit your individual energy needs. (Teens, young adults, and athletes are some groups that will likely need to beef up all of the level 1 recipes!) 
 
Nutrition information is for one serving of the recipe. 

Nutrition

Calories: 453kcalCarbohydrates: 32.4gProtein: 35.3gFat: 20.4gSaturated Fat: 8.2gSodium: 1025.9mgPotassium: 710.3mgFiber: 11.1gVitamin A: 97% DVVitamin C: 247.6% DVCalcium: 56.5% DVIron: 17.2% DV
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