Skip to Content

Are bell peppers OK on keto?

Bell peppers are a versatile vegetable that can be included as part of a ketogenic diet. While they are higher in carbs than some other veggie options, bell peppers are relatively low in net carbs, meaning they can fit into a keto eating plan in moderation.

Are bell peppers allowed on keto?

Yes, bell peppers are generally allowed on a ketogenic diet. However, it’s important to be mindful of portions. Since bell peppers contain more carbs than keto staples like leafy greens, they should be eaten in limited amounts to keep total carb intake low. The exact amount of bell pepper that fits into your daily macros will vary based on factors like your calorie needs and carb tolerance. Many people can incorporate 1/2 to 1 whole bell pepper as part of a keto diet when paired with very low carb foods.

Nutrition facts for bell peppers

Here is an overview of the nutrition information for 1 cup chopped raw bell pepper (about 1 large pepper):

Nutrient Amount
Calories 25
Fat 0.2 g
Protein 1 g
Carbs 6 g
Fiber 2 g
Sugar 3 g
Net carbs 4 g

As you can see, while bell peppers contain 6 grams of total carbs per serving, 2 grams come from fiber. The net carb count is only 4 grams when you subtract the fiber. This makes them a vegetable option that can work for keto in moderation.

Best types of bell peppers for keto

All varieties of bell peppers can fit into a keto diet plan, but some are better choices than others:

Green bell peppers – Green bells are the most common and budget-friendly option. They are higher in fiber and have a slightly bitter, crisp taste.

Red, orange and yellow bell peppers – These color varieties are sweeter than green bells while still being low in net carbs. They contain beneficial antioxidants like lycopene and beta carotene.

Mini bell peppers – Mini sweet peppers are a smaller, snack-size version. They can make an easy grab-and-go keto veggie option.

Avoid specialty flavored or multicolored bell peppers, as these tend to be higher in sugar and carbs than plain varieties.

Keto bell pepper recipes

When consumed in moderation, bell peppers can add nutrition, flavor and texture to keto meals and snacks. Here are some tasty ways to use them:

Stuffed Bell Peppers

Cut bell peppers in half and roast face down. Once tender, stuff with a mixture of cooked ground meat, cheese, veggies and seasoning. This makes a satisfying low carb meal.

Bell Pepper Nachos

Slice bell peppers into “chips” and top with taco meat, cheese, avocado, salsa and other favorite nacho toppings for a keto-friendly appetizer.

Pepper Poppers

Fill halved, roasted bell peppers with cream cheese, herbs and cooked bacon or sausage. Bake briefly until the filling softens.

Bell Pepper Salad

Mix sliced bell peppers into a salad with greens, chicken, olive oil, balsamic vinegar and seeds or nuts for added crunch.

Veggie Frittata

Add diced bell pepper to egg-based keto frittatas along with other veggies like spinach, zucchini and onions.


Skewer grilled sirloin, chicken or shrimp with pieces of bell pepper and mushrooms or zucchini. The sweet pepper balances the meat’s savory flavor.

Pepper Sauté

Sauté julienned bell peppers in olive oil or avocado oil with garlic and seasonings for an easy side dish.

Zoodles And Peppers

Saute spiralized zucchini noodles with sliced bell peppers, tomato sauce and Italian seasoning for a fast veggie “pasta” dish.

Potential benefits of bell peppers on keto

Incorporating bell peppers into your keto diet in moderation may provide these benefits:

Low carb – With only 4 grams net carbs per cup, bell peppers are one of the lowest carb vegetables. This makes them a good option for keto.

High in vitamin C – Bell peppers provide over 300% of the recommended daily intake for this essential antioxidant vitamin.

Nutrient dense – In addition to vitamin C, bell peppers supply vitamin A, potassium, fiber and phytonutrients.

Bright color – Vibrant red, orange and yellow bell peppers add eye-catching color to keto plates.

Crunchy texture – The crisp, juicy bite of raw bell peppers contrasts nicely with softer ingredients in keto recipes.

Versatile flavor – Ranging from bitter to sweet, bell peppers take on the flavors of accompanying ingredients.

Potential downsides of bell peppers on keto

Bell peppers can fit into a keto diet, but there are a few potential downsides to keep in mind:

Higher in carbs than some veggies – With 6g total carbs per cup, bell peppers contain more carbs than ultra low carb veggies like leafy greens, asparagus and cauliflower.

Can quickly add up carb-wise – It’s easy to overdo portions of bell peppers since they have a relatively high water content. Stick to 1/2 to 1 pepper per serving.

May cause digestive issues for some – A small percentage of people are sensitive or intolerant to bell peppers, which can cause gas and bloating.

Nightshade vegetable family – Bell peppers are nightshades, a group of vegetables that some find inflammatory. However, most people tolerate them just fine.

Could stall ketosis – Overdoing bell pepper portions can knock you out of ketosis by providing too many carbs. Track your intake.

Tips for eating bell peppers on keto

Here are some tips to incorporate bell peppers into your ketogenic eating plan:

– Stick to 1/2 to 1 whole pepper per serving and account for the carbs in your daily totals

– Balance them out by pairing with lower carb foods like meats, eggs or non-starchy veggies

– Try smaller mini sweet peppers for snacking since they’re lower carb overall

– Roast or grill bell peppers to bring out their natural sweetness

– Add them to recipes like frittatas, kabobs and salads for flavor, crunch and nutrition

– Use sparingly in dishes like stuffed peppers – fill mostly with meat and cheese instead of rice

– Avoid breaded, fried or carb-heavy preparations like pepper poppers to limit carbs


Bell peppers can be enjoyed in moderation as part of a healthy keto diet. While higher in carbs than some other veggies, they still provide an acceptable 4g of net carbs per cup serving. Bell peppers supply beneficial vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and fiber. Stick to a 1/2 to 1 whole pepper per serving and pair with other low carb foods to allow them to fit into your daily keto macros and ketosis. Adding bell peppers to keto recipes like frittatas, salads and stuffed peppers can give your low carb meal plan more variety, nutrition and bright flavor.