Bell Pepper Nachos

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Elevate your nacho game with these vibrant and nutritious Bell Pepper Nachos, featuring seasoned ground beef atop crisp bell pepper wedges, and smothered in melted Cheddar cheese. This fun alternative to traditional nachos offers endless customization with your favorite toppings–get prepared to be hooked!

Overhead image of the Bell Pepper Nachos

Ditch The Chips — Use Bell Peppers!

Get ready to take your nacho game to the next level with these colorful and mouthwatering Bell Pepper Nachos! This creative twist on the classic nacho dish replaces traditional tortilla chips with fresh, crisp bell pepper wedges, creating a vibrant and nutritious alternative that still delivers all the satisfying flavors you crave.

We start with tender, juicy ground beef (or turkey) seasoned to perfection with a blend of taco spices, nestled atop a bed of juicy bell pepper wedges. Top it all off with a generous layer of melted sharp Cheddar cheese, and you’ve got yourself some amazingly delicious nachos.

Not only are these nachos incredibly tasty, but they’re also a healthier choice for your next game day gathering, movie night, or family dinner! Trust us– once you’ve tried this innovative twist on a classic dish, you’ll never look at nachos the same way again.

Ingredient shot-- image of all the ingredients used in this dish

Let’s Talk Bell Peppers

  1. Choose a variety of colors: Create a mix of flavors for your nachos. Get an assortment of colors, such as red, yellow, orange, and green.
  2. Cut the peppers: Slice each bell pepper in half vertically, and then cut each half into three even-sized wedges. This will give you a total of six wedges per pepper, perfect for holding the toppings!
  3. Remove membranes and seeds: Carefully cut out the membranes and seeds from each wedge and discard them. I like to do this with a paring knife. Seeds can add a bitter taste to your nachos and make them harder to eat.
  4. Toss with olive oil and season: Place the pepper wedges on a foil-lined sheet pan, drizzle with olive oil, and season with salt and pepper. Toss the wedges to ensure they are evenly coated.
  5. Pre-bake the peppers: Arrange the wedges cut-side up on the sheet pan and bake at 400°F for 5 minutes. This initial baking step softens the peppers slightly, making them slightly more tender but still crisp enough to hold the nacho toppings.

Process shots of Bell Pepper Nachos-- images of the peppers being cut into wedges

QUICK TIP

Pick Out The Best Bells!

To pick the best bell peppers for these Bell Pepper Nachos, follow these simple tips:

  1. Choose firm, plump peppers with taut skin and no soft spots.
  2. Pick peppers with a rich, vibrant, and uniform color.
  3. Look for glossy, smooth, surfaces that are free of blemishes.
  4. Check for a green, healthy-looking stem.
  5. Select peppers that feel heavy for their size; this indicates indicating juiciness.

Process shots-- images of all the peppers being lined on a sheet pan and roasted

How To Make Bell Pepper Nachos (Tips)

  • Adjust the spiciness: Modify the heat level of your nachos by using mild or hot taco seasoning, incorporating spicy toppings, or serving with a side of hot sauce.
  • Grate your own cheese (always!). Pre-grated cheese is coated with an anti-caking powder that prevents it from melting as nicely. Instead, it tends to make foods greasy.
  • Watch the baking time: Keep a close eye on the nachos while they’re in the oven to avoid overcooking the peppers or burning the cheese. You want the peppers to be tender-crisp and the cheese perfectly melted.
  • Serve immediately: To enjoy the best texture and flavor, serve the nachos straight out of the oven. This way, the peppers will still have some crunch, and the cheese will be nice and gooey.

Process shots of Bell Pepper Nachos-- images of the onions being sautéed, then the beef and taco seasoning being added and cooked through

What Cheese Goes On Bell Pepper Nachos?

To achieve the perfect balance of flavor and texture, use a simple yet classic cheese combination. Instead of experimenting with fancy cheeses, stick to sharp Cheddar or a blend of sharp Cheddar and Monterey Jack. The Monterey Jack provides the ooey-gooey melt we all love, while the sharp Cheddar brings a bold, tangy flavor that complements the dish beautifully.

QUICK TIP

Why sharp Cheddar? Sharpness indicates a more aged cheese that will deliver a richer and tangier flavor. If you’ve ever noticed your cheesy dishes to be lacking flavor, it could be that the cheese wasn’t aged (or the dish needed more salt to bring the cheesiness alive!).

Process shots-- images of the tomato sauce being simmered and the corn and black beans being added

What Toppings To Put On Nachos

The base recipe may be tempting enough, but we all know that nachos are better with lots of toppings! Drizzle on a tangy sour cream and lime mixture, add dollops of creamy guacamole, or sprinkle on some zesty pico de gallo – the possibilities are endless!

  • Sour cream and lime: Mix light sour cream with lime juice for a tangy and creamy drizzle. This blend adds a refreshing zing and creaminess.
  • Guacamole or avocado: Add a scoop of guacamole or sliced avocado for a rich, creamy contrast to the other ingredients. This topping also adds healthy fats and a vibrant green color to the dish.
  • Pico de gallo, salsa, or cherry tomatoes: Spoon pico de gallo or your favorite salsa over the nachos for a burst of fresh flavor. 
  • Jalapeños: For those who enjoy a little extra heat, thinly sliced fresh or pickled jalapeños provide a spicy kick.
  • Olives: Sliced black olives bring a briny, salty flavor that pairs well with the other nacho ingredients.
  • Green onions or cilantro: Sprinkle freshly chopped green onions or cilantro and taste a burst of fresh, herbal brightness.
  • Add a sprinkle of crumbly cotija, a mild Mexican cheese that adds a nice finishing touch of salty savoriness.

Up-close image of Bell Pepper Nachos ready to be enjoyed

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Bell Pepper Nachos

5 from 2 votes
Elevate your nacho game with these vibrant and nutritious Bell Pepper Nachos! They feature seasoned ground beef atop crisp bell pepper wedges, smothered in melted Cheddar cheese. This fun alternative to traditional nachos offers endless customization with your favorite toppings--get prepared to be hooked!
Print Recipe

Bell Pepper Nachos

5 from 2 votes
Elevate your nacho game with these vibrant and nutritious Bell Pepper Nachos! They feature seasoned ground beef atop crisp bell pepper wedges, smothered in melted Cheddar cheese. This fun alternative to traditional nachos offers endless customization with your favorite toppings--get prepared to be hooked!
Course Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine American, Healthy
Keyword Bell Pepper Nachos
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Chelsea Lords
Calories 664kcal
Cost $12.18

Ingredients

  • 6 bell peppers (use a variety of colors!)
  • 4 tbsp. olive oil, separated
  • Fine sea salt & pepper
  • 1 red onion, finely diced (1 cup)
  • 1 pound lean ground beef 93/7 (or use ground turkey)
  • 1 pkt. (1 oz) taco seasoning (Note 1)
  • ¾ cup tomato sauce
  • 1 can (15 oz.) black beans, drained & rinsed, optional
  • 1 cup frozen corn
  • 1 cup freshly grated sharp Cheddar cheese (tightly pack to measure)
  • 2 tbsp. light sour cream + 1 tbsp lime juice
  • Favorite nacho toppings/dips: sour cream guacamole/avocado, pico de gallo/salsa, etc.

Instructions

  • PEPPERS: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line a large sheet pan with foil and set aside. Slice peppers in half down the middle. Cut each half into 3 even-sized wedges to get 6 wedges per pepper. Remove the membranes and seeds; discard.
  • PEPPERS CONT.: Add cut peppers to sheet pan. Drizzle with 3 tablespoons olive oil and season to taste (I add ¾ tsp salt & ¼ tsp pepper). Toss until peppers are evenly coated and then assemble cut-side up, positioned next to each other. Bake for 5 minutes then remove.
  • BEEF: Meanwhile, in a large skillet over high heat, add remaining 1 tbsp. olive oil. Once the oil is hot, add the diced onion and sauté until golden, about 3 minutes. Push the onion to the edges and add the ground beef to the center of the pan. Let the beef sear (brown) before crumbling with a wooden spoon and browning most of the way through, about 3-5 minutes. Drain or remove any grease if needed.
  • FINISH BEEF: Reduce the heat to medium and add the taco seasoning. Stir until the beef is fully cooked through and the seasoning is fragrant, about 1-3 minutes. Add the tomato sauce and simmer until nicely thickened. Turn off the heat. Add the drained and rinsed black beans and corn; mix through. Taste and add a pinch more salt if needed.
  • ASSEMBLE: Spoon the beef mixture across the bell peppers in an even layer. Sprinkle cheese evenly on top. Return to the oven and bake for 10 minutes.
  • OPTIONAL TOPPINGS: While they're baking, prep the toppings. Whisk together sour cream and lime juice until smooth; transfer to a small zip-top bag. Seal without air and snip off the tip to pipe across the nachos. Add some guac to a small zip-top bag, seal without air, and snip off the tip.
  • ENJOY: Right out of the oven, add the toppings. We like to pipe on the sour cream and guac and dig in!

Video

Recipe Notes

Note 1: Homemade taco seasoning: Combine the following and use in place of the packaged mix, if desired: 1 tablespoon ground chili powder, 1 teaspoon each: ground cumin, paprika and 1/2 teaspoon each: onion powder, garlic powder, dried oregano, fine sea salt, pepper.

Nutrition Facts

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 664kcal | Carbohydrates: 55g | Protein: 44g | Fat: 32g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 16g | Trans Fat: 0.4g | Cholesterol: 99mg | Sodium: 1061mg | Potassium: 1466mg | Fiber: 17g | Sugar: 12g | Vitamin A: 6744IU | Vitamin C: 240mg | Calcium: 266mg | Iron: 7mg

We do our best to provide accurate nutritional analysis for our recipes. Our nutritional data is calculated using a third-party algorithm and may vary, based on individual cooking styles, measurements, and ingredient sizes. Please use this information for comparison purposes and consult a health professional for nutrition guidance as needed.

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2 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    This recipe is absolutely delicious and definitely one of my new favorite dishes! Thank you for sharing this amazing recipe, I will definitely be making it again and again. Keep up the good work!

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