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Top view of tex mex style stuffed peppers on a white plate with lime wedge and cilantro surrounding plate

Tex-Mex Style Stuffed Peppers

  • Author: Clarissa Paimanta, RD
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x


This recipe is packed (or should I say stuffed?) with flavor and vegetables. For a more filling meal, feel free to top with diced avocado, guacamole, or our Avocado Crema or enjoy with a side salad. Note that this recipe is higher in potassium because we rely on the tomato sauce for flavor balance and moisture.

Recipe developed by Clarissa Paimanta, RD and tested by Jessica Prohn, MS, RD, CSR, LDN.


  • 4 medium red bell peppers
  • 5 tablespoons avocado oil, divided
  • 1 medium onion, sliced thinly
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • ½ teaspoon cumin
  • ¾ cup tomato sauce, no salt added
  • ½ cup water
  • 2 cups kale, tough ribs removed then chopped
  • ½ cup canned black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2 cups cooked white rice (leftover rice works well)
  • ¼ teaspoon salt to taste
  • Optional toppings: cilantro, dairy-free yogurt, diced avocado, or lime juice


1. Preheat oven to 375℉. Place a baking sheet in the oven to preheat.

2. Prepare each bell pepper by laying it on its side and carefully slicing off the top along with the stem. Reserve the top for later. Use a small knife to remove all the seeds and any excess pith inside the pepper. 

3. Coat the bell pepper inside and out with about 1 tablespoon of avocado oil. Carefully remove the preheated baking sheet from the oven, place the pepper cut side down on the baking sheet, then bake for 13-15 minutes. Once tender, remove the peppers and place them cut side up.

4. Meanwhile, take the tops of the bell peppers and trim off the remaining flesh around the stem. Dice the peppers and discard the stem.

5. In a sauté pan, heat 3 tablespoons of avocado oil over medium heat. Then add diced peppers and sliced onions. Cook while stirring occasionally until the onion is tender and translucent, about 5 minutes.

6. Add garlic and cook while stirring for about 1 minute or until fragrant. Then add all the spices, tomato sauce, water, kale, black beans, and rice. Mix well then let simmer for 4-5 minutes or until the kale is wilted and tender. Make sure everything is coated in the sauce. Season with salt to taste. If making ahead, the filling may be cooled and refrigerated/frozen at this stage.

7.  Use a spoon to stuff the peppers with the rice mixture until it creates a little mound on the top. Drizzle the remaining oil over the stuffed peppers, then place back in the oven for another 15-18 minutes or until the peppers reach desired doneness.

8. To serve, top with a sprinkle of cilantro, an optional dollop of dairy-free yogurt, diced avocado, or a squeeze of lime juice. Enjoy!


Lower Potassium Variation: Instead of stuffing the rice into one whole pepper, pile the filling onto half a bell pepper per portion to lower potassium to 490 mg. Substituting chickpeas for black beans further lowers potassium to 427 mg per serving. 

Higher Protein Version: If you are on dialysis or don’t require a very low protein diet, consider increasing the amount of beans to one-15 ounce can. This will increase the protein to 11 grams per serving. * Note that this will increase the overall calories, sodium, and potassium.

You may have heard that nuts, beans, and whole grains are not a great choice for a kidney-friendly diet because they are high in phosphorus.  Wondering why we include them in many of our recipes?  We include beans, nuts, and whole grains because only about 40% of phosphorus found in these plant foods are absorbed by humans. This makes them a good fit for most people’s diets! If you have questions about adding these foods to your diet, please reach out to your dietitian.