Protein Pizza Pepper Poppers

Protein Pizza Pepper Poppers – Protein Meets Pizza!

October 1, 2021

I first came across these Protein Pizza Pepper Poppers, an appetizer idea (for party food) many years ago, but quickly realized they were perfect as a bite-sized main meal option for post-ops and so used them extensively after my own surgery.

Depending on the size of bell pepper used, they are good for post-ops from about 4 months onwards. I started with small baby peppers, moving on to a little larger as my appetite and tolerance developed, and finally maturing to a regular-sized one as a ‘bariatric veteran’. They certainly satisfied my yearning for a pizza fix!

Protein Pizza Pepper Poppers

Recipe byCarol Bowen Ball of Bariatric Cookery
Serves 4

Toppings to Consider

  • sliced or cubed pepperoni
  • shredded chicken or turkey meat
  • chopped or sliced ham
  • crumbled cooked bacon
  • leftover taco meat
  • flaked tuna and salmon
  • cooked chopped spinach
  • whole or sliced green or black/ripe olives
  • chopped pineapple
  • sliced red or brown onions 
  • sliced mushrooms
  • halved cherry or sliced large tomatoes
  • griddled courgette/zucchini and aubergine/eggplant or other roasted vegetables
  • small eggs (very small hens or quail eggs) – crack into larger shells rather than onto ‘slider slices’ though
  • prawns and other seafood


  • 4 regular-sized multi-colored bell peppers/capsicums
  • 1 cup meat ragu or bolognese sauce (about 175 g/6 oz)
  • 1 scoop unflavoured protein powder (optional – about 25 g/1 oz)
  • 100 g/1 cup reduced-fat grated hard cheese
  • toppings as chosen (see above for ideas)


  1. Preheat the oven to 200 C/400 F/gas 6 and line a baking sheet with parchment paper or greased foil.
  2. Mix the ragu or bolognese-style sauce with the protein powder, if used.
  3.  Halve the peppers and remove the seeds or slice the sides from the peppers to make shallow ‘slider’ type pizza bases.
  4. Arrange the peppers on the baking sheet and top with the meat sauce. Sprinkle over the cheese and add any chosen toppings.
  5. Bake in the oven from 12-20 minutes (12 minutes for a ‘slider’, 15-20 minutes for a larger pepper, or a little longer depending upon topping chosen). They will be cooked when the cheese starts to bubble and brown and the pepper is tender/crisp.
  6. Remove from the oven, allow to cool slightly then garnish with any fresh herbs as liked. Serve hot, warm, or cold.

Nutritional Information (using protein powder but not chosen toppings)

Calories: 185; Protein: 17.5g; Carbohydrates: 11.9g; Fat: 7.7g

See more recipes on ObesityHelp by Bariatric Cookery/Carol Bowen Ball!

Protein Pizza Pepper Poppers


Carol Bowen Ball BSc (Hons) had weight-loss surgery about 6 years ago and as a consequence wrote the UK’s Ist and 2nd bariatric cookery books (‘Return to Slender’ and ‘Return to Slender…Second Helpings) and developed The Bariatric Portion Plate. She also now advises those considering, or who have had, surgery on her bariatric cookery website See more recipes by Carol Bowen Ball!
Recipe Disclaimer: If you have specific dietary restrictions, allergies or a nutrition plan that you are following, make sure to read the ingredient list prior to consumption. All information on is intended for informational purposes only. The information is not intended to be a replacement or substitute for consultation with a qualified medical professional. Please contact a medical professional with any questions and concerns.