Growing up, a dish we often had for dinner was stuffed peppers. Green bell pepper stuffed with ground beef, rice, and other things I can’t remember. I was going to do my own version of our family recipe but instead, I was craving Italian food so I opted to stuff the peppers with spaghetti instead. Yes, the noodles are orange. I’ll get to that.
So once I ditched the idea of traditional stuffed peppers, I wanted to make “traditional” paleo spaghetti (zoodles with meat sauce… just like the cavemen used to eat) but I realized the zucchini noodles would release too much water into the dish when baked. Sweet potato noodles might sound a little strange to serve with spaghetti sauce but hear me out! Often, I’ll bake a few sweet potatoes at the beginning of the week then for lunches, I’ll cut one open and top with any sort of meats and vegetables I have on hand. Sometimes, I make meat sauce to put on top and it tastes great. I love the sweetness paired with the tomato and savory meats. Such an easy meal too! Anyways, I loved the sweet potato noodles in this dish but other options that should work are baked spaghetti squash or even some cooked gluten free noodles. You can always try Cappello’s if you’re looking for a paleo option that tastes like the real deal. I bet the fettuccine or even the gnocchi would taste amazing in this dish!
I melted some dairy free cheese on top of these but it’s completely optional. I like the Daiya brand dairy free cheese because it’s free of most allergens plus, it melts and tastes so good! It’s not paleo but I personally don’t worry about eating strict paleo as much as I just try to not eat foods I have a reaction to (most paleo foods fall under that category for me). Regular mozzarella would be great if you can eat dairy. I also really enjoy Kite Hill almond milk cheeses as well as Treeline cashew cheeses but neither of these will melt. Of course, don’t go out of your way to find cheese for this dish. It’s great without cheese too.Print
- 1/2 lb ground beef
- 1/2 lb ground Italian sausage
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp pepper
- 1/4 tsp garlic powder
- 1 1/2 C spaghetti sauce
- 1 large sweet potato (about 500g) *see notes
- 1 Tbsp cooking fat such as lard or coconut oil
- 4 green bell peppers
- optional: mozzarella or dairy free cheese
- Preheat oven to 400°F.
- In a skillet over medium-high heat, brown the meats with the salt, pepper, and garlic powder until fully cooked. Remove from heat and stir in the spaghetti sauce.
- Peel the sweet potato, then use a spiralizer or julienne peeler to make “noodles”.
- Heat the fat in a skillet over medium heat then add the sweet potato noodles. Use tongs to stir the noodles and make sure they are coated in the fat. Cook 8-10 minutes, or until softened.
- Cut the tops off each bell pepper and remove the seeds and membranes. Place these upright in a glass baking dish. Stuff the noodles then meat sauce evenly into each of the peppers. If you’re adding cheese, bake for 35 minutes then add cheese and bake an additional 5-10 minutes. Otherwise, bake without cheese for 40-45 minutes or until the bell pepper softens.
If you don’t like the idea of sweet potato noodles because they might be too sweet for the dish, omit the fat and substitute about 500g baked spaghetti squash. You won’t need to sauté the “noodles” in a skillet (step 4) since the squash is already baked. I don’t recommend zoodles (zucchini noodles) because they will be too watery.