Using bell peppers as the base for this dish not only adds nutrients and fiber, it also makes it oh-so colorful! if you prefer to make this a vegetarian meal, you can use chickpeas instead of ground beef. This is also a fun appetizer you can prepare if  you are having guests over.


  • Cooking spray
  • 4 baby bell peppers
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 pound lean ground beef (or one 15-ounce can of chickpeas, rinsed and drained).
  • 2 cups chopped onion
  • 8 mini baby-bell peppers, divided
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 jar (16 ounces) chunky tomato sauce
  • 1 1⁄2 cups couscous
  • 8 ounces shredded Monterey Jack or other white cheese
  • 1⁄2 cup salsa


  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Spray a 13″ x 9″ baking dish with cooking spray.
  2. Cut the peppers in half vertically and remove their stems and seeds. Place them in the baking dish, cut side up.
  3. In a large skillet over medium heat, cook the olive oil and chickpeas, stirring frequently, until heated through, about 5 minutes.
  4. Add 11⁄2 cups of the chopped onion, the bell pepper, and the garlic. Reduce the heat to low, add the tomato sauce, and let simmer while preparing the couscous.
  5. Prepare the couscous according to package directions, adding the remaining 1⁄2 cup of chopped onion to the water before adding the couscous. When the couscous is cooked, combine it with the chickpea mixture.
  6. Fill the bell pepper halves with the chickpea mixture and top them with the cheese. Bake for 20 minutes or until the cheese is bubbly and slightly brown on top.
  7. Top each pepper half with 1 tablespoon of salsa and serve.

A single serving of this recipe is a complete 1:1:1 meal. 1:1:1 Accelerated option: Reserve this meal for lunch.

Serves 4