Philly Cheesesteak and Cauliflower Stuffed Bell Peppers in the Instant Pot Made the Healthy Way

Healthy Philly Cheesesteak and Cauliflower Stuffed Bell Peppers

A ridiculously flavorful Philly cheesesteak and cauliflower mixture stuffed into a delicious crisp bell pepper. The Philly filling is pressure cooked using the Instant Pot to push the flavor into the ground hamburger and cauliflower leaving a tender and tasty Philly cheesesteak and cauliflower to fill your favorite color sweet bell pepper.

Philly Cheesesteak Sandwiches

From what I have been told from foodie friends and what I have read in recipe books throughout my life, the authentic Philly Cheesesteak Sandwich is not what we all think it is. The roll used in the original sandwich was an Amoroso roll. I’ve used loafs of Italian bread, sandwich rolls, and hoagie rolls sliced from the side and opened to be filled.

I have used a variety of meats including ribeye, top sirloin, top round, deli bought roast beef, ground hamburger and ground turkey. The original recipe calls for thin sliced ribeye to be used for the steak.

Now the ingredient I have always been a stickler on is the cheese. I love a really gooey cheesesteak sandwich but I do not like it to be overwhelmed by stinky cheese flavor. Provolone, American and Cheese Whiz are all commonly used cheeses but I think are a little to funky flavored. I use a lot of mozzarella for the gooeyness and Parmesan to get the right flavor. The original recipe will surprise you with cheese not being an ingredient on the Philly cheesesteak sandwich.

Onions are a must have on any sandwich if you ask me. The original Philly cheesesteak left the onions up to the customer ordering the sandwich.

Healthy Philly Cheesesteak?

I like to think this is a healthy recipe for Philly Cheesesteak. It’s not a sandwich at all. We end up with a half of a bell pepper filled with mozzarella and parmesan, seasoned ground hamburger, and cauliflower. This is all pushed into a mound of the ridiculously flavorful ground burger and cauliflower to satisfy your empty belly.

How to Make Philly Cheesesteak Stuffed Bell Peppers

Watch it Before You Make it!

Brown the Hamburger

Adding olive oil to a hot instant pot

We are going to use the Instant Pot for this recipe. Hit Sauté on your Instant Pot and after the pot is HOT, add 2 Tbsp of olive oil to the pot. Then drop in about 2 pounds of ground hamburger and chop the burger into small pieces.

Let’s brown the burger on sauté for 5 minutes, stir well scraping the pot bottom clean with a flat wooden spatula as you go. Let the hamburger brown for another 5 minutes to finish cooking.

using the instant pot slow cooker lid to help drain the fat from the browned hamburger.

I use the Instant Pot Slow Cooker lid to hold the burger in the pot as I dump the liquid fat or grease from the pot. Living in a 32 foot 5th wheel, our freezer room is limited so I ditched the frozen can of grease and fat for a piece of aluminum foil. I push a piece into the kitchen drain, dump the fat in that, fold it up and throw it away.

using the instant pot slow cooker lid to help drain the fat from the browned hamburger into a piece of aluminum foil pushed into our kitchen sink drain.

Flavor the Hamburger

Philly cheesesteak seasoning

We are adding a whole head of cauliflower to the hamburger so we have to boost the flavor. To add that savory flavor, we will add a Tbsp of both soy sauce and Worcestershire sauce. To round it all out, we will add some beef bouillon, salt, ground black pepper, and granulated onion. Onion powder works just fine if you do not have granulated onion.

Philly cheesesteak seasoning

Don’t forget about the head of garlic thin sliced or diced.

Philly cheesesteak with a head of garlic sliced

Pressure Cook

To pressure cook food, a liquid is boiled into hot steam and contained in a sealed environment. The flavors added to the liquid are now surrounding the ingredients in the pot with a good amount of pressure behind them. This way of cooking, when done right, makes for a tender meat that is packed full of flavor.

Adding water to our instant pot ingredients

Once all of the ingredients are in the instant pot, make sure there is enough liquid in the pot to pressure cook successfully.

putting on the instant pot lid

Put the instant pot lid on and seal the pressure release valve. It takes a while for the instant pot to boil enough liquid to build up enough steam inside the pot to push the red floater valve up to seal the instant pot. It may seam like there is something wrong with steam screaming through the floater valve but it’s just building pressure.

adjusting the pressure cook time

Press the Pressure Cook button to turn on the pressure cook function. Then you can use the arrow buttons to adjust the pressure cook time to 10 minutes. The Instant Pot will beep 10 times or so when the 10 minutes are finished. The instant pot will shut off the high heat to the pot and kick over to keep warm.

Natural Pressure Release

Natural pressure release is leaving the instant pot pressure release valve sealed after the instant pot has finished its pressure cook time. The instant pot will cool to the keep warm temperature and will stop producing steam inside the pot. This allows the pressure inside the instant pot to drop slowly.

Opening the instant pot pressure release valve

When the pressure has finally dropped close to the pressure outside of the pot, the floater valve will drop and the lid will be able to be removed. For this recipe, we will use the natural pressure release for ten minutes and then release the pressure by opening the pressure release valve. I use a kitchen timer set at 10 minutes as soon as the instant pot beeps after the 10 minutes of pressure cooking.

Onions and Cauliflower

Our goal is to fill our bellies with an incredible Philly cheesesteak without the celeries. Let’s substitute the bread or roll with some cauliflower. As well as one large white onion.

slice one white onion for Philly cheesesteak

While the Instant Pot is in the natural pressure release phase, use a sharp knife to medium slice one white onion. If you’re using a sharp knife, I recommend for your safety to use an end grain wood cutting board. I love the intense white onion flavor for this recipe. Also, take one large head of cauliflower and break and cut it down into bite size pieces.

slice one head of cauliflower for Philly cheesesteaks

Once the lid has been removed, add the sliced onions and cauliflower pieces to the hamburger in the instant pot. Use a flat wooden spatula to stir the onions and cauliflower into the hamburger well. At this time, we can put the instant pot lid back on seal the pressure release valve again.

Stir the Philly cheesesteak hamburger, onions, and cauliflower

Pressure Cook the Onions and Cauliflower with the Philly Cheesesteak Hamburger

Let’s do it again! Put the Instant Pot lid back on and seal the pressure release valve. Press the Pressure Cook button and set the time to 3 minutes. We want the cauliflower to be super tender, not hard or crunchy. In contrast to how we would normally steam our cauliflower for zero minutes if it were to be a part of a side dish.

Following the 3 minutes of pressure cooking, we immediately open the pressure release valve. Our cauliflower has a lot of water in it and adds to the liquid we already had in with the hamburger. Undoubtedly, we need to drain all of the liquid from our Philly cheesesteak and cauliflower.

Use the instant pot slow cooker lid to help hold the food in while you drain the grease

I recommend the Instant Pot Slow Cooker Lid again to help. To elucidate, put the slow cooker lid over the instant pot “pot” leaving a small gap on one side. To continue, hold the lid in place with your thumbs as you dump the unneeded fluid out while holding the hamburger and cauliflower in the pot. Yes! I got to use the word elucidate.

Bell Pepper Time!

I have a deep love for red bell peppers. Sometimes I cannot find good red bell peppers so I’ll find the best looking orange bell pepper. The orange bell peppers are not as sweet as the red but still have a great bell pepper flavor.

Cut your favorite color bell pepper in half and remove the seeds

While the cauliflower and onions are pressure cooking with the hamburger, let’s get the bell peppers ready. Slice the color bell pepper of your choice in half and remove the seeds.

Cheese Shredding

grate mozzarella cheese for the philly cheesesteak

We have a little time to shred our cheese. First, we need to shred about a cup and a half of mozzarella cheese using a sharp cheese grater. Second, we shave to shred some parmesan cheese.

Build Your Philly Cheesesteak Stuffed Peppers

Orange Bell pepper pushed into the Philly cheesesteak and cauliflower

To start this beautiful piece of artwork, scoop about a cup and a half worth of the hamburger and cauliflower mixture and make a mound on your plate. Next, we will make a good divot in that mound with the back of our serving spoon. Following this by pushing a bell pepper half into the divot so the bell pepper is well surrounded.

Mozzarella cheese for the bell pepper

Importantly, we need to put about a 1/4 cup of shredded mozzarella cheese into the bell pepper and sprinkle some around the hamburger and cauliflower outside the pepper as well.

Another scoop of Philly Cheesesteak and cauliflower

Follow the mozzarella with a large scoop of the Philly cheesesteak and cauliflower. Smash it into the pepper with the back of the spoon to fill the pepper completely. This will help to melt the mozzarella cheese.

smash the Philly cheesesteak and cauliflower in to fill the pepper completely

Parmesan Cheese!

Cover the top of the Philly cheese steak and cauliflower with shaved parmesan cheese

It is now time to top everything off with a flavorful cheese. In my opinion, parmesan cheese has the right strong flavor we’re looking for without being overpowering. Lay down a good layer of parmesan cheese on top of the Philly masterpiece.

Finally, we are ready to melt the parmesan cheese. The heat from the hamburger and cauliflower will soften the parmesan cheese but it will not get the cheese bubbly. There for, you need to add some heat one way or another. You can put your plate directly under the broiler for just a moment to melt the Parmesan cheese.

Melt the parmesan cheese with a kitchen torch to melt the parmesan cheese until it begins to boil

On the other hand, I like to use a kitchen torch. Obviously this is much more fun and satisfying being in direct control of the flame. Move the flame around continuously directed at the cheese until it begins to bubble.

Dig in to Your Mouth Watering Philly Cheesesteak and Cauliflower Stuffed Bell Peppers

Instant Pot Dave eye balling a plate of Healthy Philly Cheesesteak and Cauliflower Stuffed Bell Peppers

Use a knife to slice through the stuffed bell pepper into bite size pieces. Take a fork full of cheese covered flavorful ground hamburger and cauliflower with a piece of bell pepper and take a bite. Well done!

Instant Pot Dave cutting into his Philly cheesesteak and cauliflower stuffed bell peppers

Tools and Toys I use in Our 32 Foot 5th Wheel Kitchen that Make Cooking Fun and Easy

Instant Pot 8 Quart Duo Plus

Slow cooker lid for 8qt Instant Pot

Kitchen Torch

Air Fryer 5.7 Quart

EVO Olive Oil Sprayer

Steamer Basket for the Instant Pot

The Mac Chef’s knife I use

Cookie Spatula that works the Best in the Air Fryer

Wooden Spatula I use for Scraping and Stirring

End Grain Wood Cutting Board on Etsy

Boo’s Mystery Oil for the Wood Cutting Board

Boo’s Board Cream for Wood Cutting Boards

Measuring Cups and Spoons

Pyrex Measuring Cups

Kitchen Tongs

Gravy Whisk

Hard Boiled Egg Holder for the Instant Pot

Egg Bite Mold for the Instant Pot

Minion Steam Diverter

Lemon Zester

Glass Mixing Bowls

Basket Replacement for Cosori 5.7 quart Air Fryer

Salt and Pepper Grinders

Professional Cheese Grater

Other Instant Pot Recipes by TheWildWaynes

FULLY LOADED MASHED POTATOES IN THE INSTANT POT

RANCH PORK CHOPS WITH GRAVY

CHIPOTLE BRATWURST CHILI

CORN SALSA MADE WITH INSTANT POT CORN OFF THE COB

YUMMY SALT & PEPPER CHICKEN WINGS

CHICKEN SHAWARMA

TZATZIKI SAUCE

ASIAN GREEN BEANS

TACO MEAT WITH GROUND BEEF

SOUTHWEST PORK CHOPS AND GRAVY

CHILI CHEESE DIP

Healthy Philly Cheesesteak and Cauliflower Stuffed Bell Peppers Instant Pot Recipe

Healthy Philly Cheesesteak and Cauliflower Stuffed Bell Peppers

A ridiculously flavorful Philly cheesesteak and cauliflower combination stuffed into a delicious crisp bell pepper. The Philly filling is pressure cooked using the Instant Pot to push the flavor into the ground hamburger and cauliflower leaving a tender and tasty Philly cheesesteak and cauliflower to fill your favorite color ripe bell pepper.
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Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Bell Peppers, Healthy, Instant Pot, Philly Cheesesteak
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 33 minutes
Total Time: 43 minutes
Calories: 446kcal
Author: David Wayne
Cost: $18

Equipment

  • Pressure Cooker

Ingredients

  • 3 Bell Peppers (your favorite color) sliced in half and deseeded
  • 2 lbs Ground Hamburger
  • 1 White Onion sliced
  • 1 Head Garlic thin sliced or diced
  • 1 Head Cauliflower broken and cut into bite size pieces
  • 1.5 cups Mozzarella Cheese shredded
  • 1 cup Parmesan Cheese shaved or shredded
  • 1 Tbsp Worcestershire Sauce
  • 1 Tbsp Soy Sauce
  • 1.5 – 2 tsp Salt
  • 1 tsp Beef or Chicken bouillon
  • 1 tsp Granulated Onion or Onion Powder
  • 1/4 tsp Black Pepper
  • 2 Tbsp Olive Oil

Instructions

Prepare the Burger

  • Press Sauté on the Instant Pot and add 2 Tbsp of olive oil to the HOT pot
  • Add 2 lbs of ground hamburger to the instant pot
  • Break the hamburger into small pieces with a flat wooden spatula and let the burger brown for 5 minutes
  • Stir the hamburger breaking the burger into smaller pieces and scraping the bottom of the pot clean as you go
  • Brown for another 5 minutes and drain the fat
  • *I use the Instant Pot Slow Cooker lid to help me hold the burger in the pot as I dump the fat out
  • Thin slice or dice 1 large head of garlic
  • Add 1.5 tsp salt, 1 tsp beef or chicken bouillon, 1 tsp granulated onion, 1/2 tsp black pepper, 1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce, 1 Tbsp soy sauce, sliced garlic, and 1 cup of water to the browned burger in the instant pot
  • Stir the ingredients into each other, put the instant pot lid on, seal the pressure release valve and pressure cook for 10 minutes with 10 minutes of natural pressure release
  • *The Instant Pot will take about 15 minutes to come to pressure before the pressure cooking begins the 10 minute countdown

Prepare the Cauliflower

  • Medium slice 1 white onion and break down and cut 1 head of cauliflower into bite size pieces
  • Release the pressure after the 10 minutes of natural pressure release and remove the lid after the pin drops
  • Add the sliced onion and cauliflower pieces to the instant pot and stir the ingredients together
  • Put the instant lid back on, seal the pressure release valve, and pressure cook for 3 minutes
  • Release the pressure and drain the water from the instant pot
  • Use a fork to test the softness of the cauliflower
  • If the cauliflower is not soft enough for your liking, press cancel and press sauté to cook until cauliflower is to your liking, canceling sauté when finished

Stuff the Peppers

  • Cut your favorite color bell peppers in half, remove the seeds and shred about 1 and 1/2 cups of mozzarella cheese and shave or shred 1 cup of parmesan cheese
  • Spoon a mound of Philly cheesesteak and cauliflower onto a plate and push in a divot with the back of the spoon
  • Push a half of a bell pepper into the Philly cheesesteak divot
  • Add about 1/4 cup of mozzarella cheese into the bell pepper half
  • Spoon a large spoonful of Philly cheesesteak and cauliflower into the bell pepper smashing down with the spoon to fill the pepper completely
  • Cover the top of the Philly cheesesteak with parmesan cheese
  • Broil or use a kitchen torch to melt the parmesan cheese enough to make it bubble up (optional)
  • Use a knife and fork to slice the Philly cheesesteak pepper into bite size pieces
  • Enjoy your incredible healthy Philly cheesesteak stuffed bell pepper

Notes

I like the cauliflower pretty soft for this recipe so I pressure cook the cauliflower for 3 minutes.  If you like a more al dente cauliflower, pressure cook for zero or 1 minute releasing the pressure right after the cooking time is finished.  

Nutrition

Serving: 10oz | Calories: 446kcal

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