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I’ve had a major craving for Italian comfort food lately. Maybe that’s because it’s finally starting to cool off outside, so I’m seeking out comfort foods to warm up. Low carb lasagna came to mind, but I wanted something simpler.
Why the Italians have so many warm comfort food dishes, I have no idea – I mean, it doesn’t even get that cold in Italy – but I’m not complaining. That just gives me an excuse to transform their classic favorites into healthy, low carb and gluten-free versions.
Looking for creative new ways to make something new with an Italian twist, I hopped over to my local Walmart just to see what fresh produce would jump out at me. I’m always pondering new veggie vessels to use in place of bread or pasta in various dishes. Italian entrees are absolutely perfect for that because they have so much flavor even without the carbs. I spotted some delicious looking sweet bell peppers. Right away, stuffing them with beef lasagna filling popped into my head. Low carb lasagna stuffed peppers, anyone?
Of course, my top priority with my easy stuffed peppers idea was how to keep it simple, without too many ingredients. Making your own marinara sauce is delicious, so if you have the time to do it for this recipe, by all means go for it. But I’ll be the first to admit, there is definitely something to be said for convenience sometimes.
Fortunately, marinara is the kind of thing that can be store bought without having weird or artificial ingredients in it – yay! I picked up a jar of Prego Farmers’ Market Classic Marinara to include in my recipe. It’s made mostly with the same ingredients I’d use if I were making my own from farmer’s market produce – vine-ripened tomatoes, garlic, basil, olive oil, black pepper, salt, and oregano. I definitely would have omitted the cane sugar in a homemade version, but the amount is so small that it really doesn’t raise the carb count much.
My goal was to make my gluten-free and low carb lasagna stuffed peppers with all the comfort and deliciousness of lasagna, but without the carbs or complicated steps. Don’t be intimidated by the long cooking duration, because most of it is totally hands off. Once you’ve made the meat sauce, layer it along with ricotta and shredded mozzarella inside your bell peppers, then bake.
The result is pure comfort food, minus the carbs and totally gluten-free. And, I have to say, these low carb lasagna stuffed peppers make a fantastic all-in-one dinner. Just in time to enjoy as the temperature drops. I’ll be making a few extra batches this week to freeze for later.
Low Carb Lasagna Stuffed Peppers (Gluten-free):
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Want more low carb, gluten-free ideas for peppers? Try these: