These keto & low-carb stuffed mini pepper appetizers are crunchy and spicy bites with a delicious, rich creamy filling of cheddar, bacon and a bit of sriracha heat!
These cheese and bacon stuffed raw peppers are so cute to look at and even better to bite into!
Prepare to double-batch, as these cute baby pepper cheese boats are a favorite finger food in gatherings and they do disappear quickly!
Why you’ll love these mini pepper appetizers
- Low-carb & keto: These delicious mini pepper boats are the perfect appetizer or snack for low-carb and keto (but everyone will love them)!
- Easy to make: Just mix the cream cheese and bacon filling by hand and stuff the raw peppers.
- No-bake cold appetizer: Prepare ahead of time and serve it straight from the fridge.
- Also delicious hot: If you prefer to serve these as a hot appetizer, just pop them in the oven or the air fryer before serving.
- Simple ingredients: This easy keto appetizer recipe requires just a handful of ingredients – you probably already have everything you need.
These are the ingredients you’ll need to make the keto mini stuffed peppers:
- Mini peppers: The baby version of the sweet or bell peppers, perfectly sized for finger food appetizers.
- Cream cheese: Full-fat block cream cheese (Philadelphia) is the best for a firm filling that will hold up in summer for hours without going too soft.
- Bacon bits or bacon crumbles: please use real bacon bits! I say this because there’s some weird imitation stuff out there (like, bacon flavored soy?) In doubt, please check the ingredient list.
- Sriracha sauce: Any brand of sriracha will do, just use your favorite!
- Grated cheddar: I especially love the flavor of aged sharp cheddar in this recipe!
Is sriracha keto
Although sriracha contains some sugar, if eaten in moderation it will not stop ketosis.
This whole recipe only takes one (or two) tablespoons of sriracha, which is divided into many stuffed peppers making the net carbs per portion negligible.
Years ago when I started keto I had to wean myself out of sriracha – which was a painful, long process – because I used to eat it in bizarre amounts.
I carried sriracha with me everywhere. Yes, I had a problem. So obviously, for keto that was a lot of carbs. But if you’re able to eat it in “normal” quantity, there’s no reason to abstain from sriracha on keto.
How to make step by step
This is really a super simple, no-bake keto appetizer recipe! You just need to gather the ingredients and assemble them in only 4 steps:
- Slice mini peppers lengthwise, remove all the seeds and membrane – the more space you create inside the pepper the more of the cream cheese filling you can fit in it!
- In a large bowl, add cream cheese, sour cream, grated cheddar, sriracha and bacon bits or crumbles. Mix them all really well, simply with a spoon or fork.
- Fill each mini pepper with the spicy cheese stuffing.
- Add garnishes to make it pretty if you like and serve!
Garnish ideas for stuffed mini peppers:
- Smoked paprika
- Chives or finely chopped spring onions
- Fresh chopped cilantro
- Chili flakes
- Extra bacon bits
1. How to choose peppers
Choose baby peppers that are heavy for their size, with shiny, firm skin free of wrinkling. Fresh peppers are the best because they will be the crunchiest!
Also get organic peppers if you can, as all peppers and their baby/mini variations are often in the Dirty Dozen list (a yearly list of the produce with the highest amounts of pesticides).
2. Rinse well to reduce pesticides
As these peppers will be eaten raw in this no-cook appetizer recipe, make sure to give them a proper rinse. Especially if they are not organic, wash the peppers carefully to help remove pesticide residues.
Rinse well each mini pepper under running water and scrub with a vegetable brush (I use a natural coconut fiber brush). Scrub all nooks and crannies, including the stem area, and dry out the peppers with a paper towel or clean tea towel before slicing them.
3. Don’t use pre-shredded cheese
To make the best stuffed pepper filling, avoid buying pre-shredded cheese. These are generally thicker/harder and have a coating of starch (to prevent clumping) that doesn’t mix well.
If you grate it yourself, the cheese will combine much better with the other ingredients and make for a creamier, tastier and cheesier pepper stuffing.
Serve it hot
To serve the cheese stuffed baby peppers as a hot appetizer, space them out in the air fryer for 5-7 minutes at 190 °C (375 °F), or in the preheated oven at 190 °C (375 °F) for about 12 minutes.
Make just the pepper stuffing
This cream cheese pepper stuffing mix is so deliciously cheesy and spicy that you might be thinking, I could just eat it as is… sans peppers!
And you can! It has the perfect texture to be used as a spread for keto bread and crackers. Just mix the filling and serve as a spicy cheddar spread – here are some ideas to serve it with:
Turn it into a spicy cheddar dip
This cream cheese pepper stuffing is also great as a cheddar and bacon dip (creamy and crunchy!) but you’ll need to thin out the consistency first.
To make it into a cheese dip, increase the ratio of sour cream to cream cheese (use 2:1 sour cream to cream cheese, inverting the recipe proportion). You can also use spreadable cream cheese instead of block cream cheese.
You can prepare this cold appetizer in advance and leave refrigerated until it’s time to be served. The mini stuffed peppers will keep well covered in plastic wrap in the fridge for 3 days.
If you just mixed the stuffing, for filling in the peppers later on or to use as a spread or dip, refrigerate it in an airtight container for up to one week.
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