Recipes for stuffed bell peppers vary greatly in the amount and type of ingredients used, meaning the calorie content of these peppers can also vary markedly. A typical stuffing recipe includes ground beef, cheese, a tomato-based sauce and sometimes rice as well. Healthier recipes include more vegetables and either leaner meats or no meat at all.
Half of a bell pepper stuffed with a mix of Italian sausage, zucchini, egg, breadcrumbs and spices has about 313 calories. You can eat a whole stuffed pepper made with lean ground beef, couscous, chickpeas and low-fat mozzarella cheese for 280 calories or a small pepper stuffed with a mix of lentils and ground chicken for 230 calories. A vegetarian version made with chickpeas, summer squash, couscous, cherry tomatoes and feta cheese is higher in calories, at 366, but it's also high in fiber, vitamins and minerals. Reducing the 1/4 cup of feta cheese in each pepper to 1/8 cup will save you about 50 calories. Another option for reducing the calorie content is using fat-free feta.
Based in Massachusetts, Jessica Bruso has been writing since 2008. She holds a master of science degree in food policy and applied nutrition and a bachelor of arts degree in international relations, both from Tufts University.