Mini bell pepper strips layered with seasoned ground turkey, beans, corn, and topped with cheese, jalapeños and onions. Customize these loaded mini bell pepper nachos anyway you want. This is the ultimate “healthier” nacho!
Confession time: I love to snack. It’s a part of my normal daily routine. I eat 3 full meals per day and still find room to snack in between. My snacking habit is so legit that I bring snacks everywhere. If I’m going to the work, running errands, heck even the grocery store..you betcha I have a snack.
My snacks are usually healthy, however when I’m on the go it something like a granola bar or some trail mix. I’ll stick them in my pocket. One day, my snacking became so habitual that my husband termed it “rat-holing”.
He finds it hilarious that I always have food in my pockets. So–to all my fellow snackers who keep food in the their pockets or purses..welcome to the “rat-holing” community.
Anyways, the point of this story is that when I found out I had to cut out gluten from my diet, my snacking habits changed. Drastically. I still remember that very first week, eating a lot of tortilla chips and rice chex cereal. I also discovered that nachos were an easy gluten free dish. Since nachos obviously aren’t all that healthy, I’m super excited to share this “healthier” version of loaded bell pepper nachos!
Are Mini Bell Pepper Nachos Healthy?
These nachos are made healthier by replacing the tortilla chips with bell peppers. That is a good first step! Bell peppers are high in Vitamin A and Vitamin C. They are also high in fiber.
These low carb nachos have less carbs than tortilla chips, if this is your dietary preference. These are also considered gluten free.
There are several other factors that can be done to make these loaded nachos healthier:
- Use 93% lean or 99% lean ground turkey or chicken.
- Look for canned beans that have “no sodium added” on the label.
- Use frozen corn or canned corn labeled “no sodium added.”
- Use cheese made with 2% milk fat for less fat and calories. In my opinion, it tastes just as good.
- Use portion control on the cheese.
- Instead of sour cream, use non-fat greek yogurt.
- Opt for a taco seasoning that is reduced sodium.
Let’s make some nachos!
Prepare your baking sheet by lining it with parchment paper. This prevents sticking of cheese that may fall out. Preheat the oven to 400F.
Prepare the peppers by slicing off both ends. Slice the peppers in half and remove the seeds. Lay peppers so the outer skin is face down on the parchment paper. Press the peppers down so they lie flat, by partially breaking the pepper membrane (pepper will still remain in one piece).
Prepare the ground turkey meat as normal. Add taco seasoning and water and cook for another 4-5 minutes. Add corn and beans to your taco mixture.
Begin the layering process! Start by placing a small amount of cheese on the peppers first. This helps to prevent the meat contents from sliding off the pepper once cooked. Layer the meat/corn/beans mixture on all peppers and top with cheese. Bake in the oven for 10 minutes!
Top with any desired garnishes: green onions, cilantro, jalapeños to name a few!
TIP: This recipe is best when consumed fresh out of the oven. This recipe makes 6 servings – if making for 1 or 2 people, cut the amount of peppers in half, but still make the correct amount of meat. Save the unused meat to make tacos, place on salad or serve over rice for additional meals.
Loaded Mini Pepper Nachos
- 2 pounds mini bell peppers (2 bags worth)
- 1 pound ground turkey 93% lean
- 1 package taco seasoning (gluten free if needed)
- 3/4 cup water
- 1 cup corn drained
- 1 cup black beans drained and rinsed
- 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese 2% milk fat
- 4 jalapeños optional
- 1/4 cup green onions, chopped optional
- Preheat oven to 400F. Layer a piece of parchment paper on a sheet pan.
- Wash mini bell peppers. Cut off stems and ends. Slice peppers in half and remove seeds.
- Place the cut peppers on prepared sheet pan, with outside edge facing pan. Flatten pepper out, by slightly breaking if needed.
- Using a medium skillet, cook turkey over medium heat until done. Chop turkey into crumbles while cooking.
- Add water and taco seasoning, cook over low heat for 5 more minutes. Stir constantly.
- Add beans and corn into the cooked ground turkey mixture. Mix well.
- Begin the layering process: layer a small amount of cheese in the bottom of each pepper (this prevents the other ingredients from sliding out).
- Add the beef/bean mixture until the pepper is full to the top.
- Top with cheese. Repeat with all peppers.
- Cook in the oven for 10 minutes, or until cheese is melted.
- Garnish with jalapeños, green onions or low fat sour cream!