Ground turkey stuffed peppers is one of my favorite healthier, Mexican-inspired recipes. These stuffed bell peppers are simple but LOADED with protein and flavor. I use 93% lean ground turkey, brown rice, chopped onion, diced tomatoes, spices, a blend of Mexican cheeses, and fresh cilantro. Everything is prepared in a single cast iron skillet for ease and less cleanup.
It’s delicious and easy to pull together. This recipe can also be made ahead of time and baked when ready to serve. A true healthy crowd-pleaser the whole family will love.
How to Make Ground Turkey Stuffed Peppers
Slice the peppers in half lengthwise so you can fill both sides. Core and scoop out any flesh so you have the perfect edible bowl. The turkey filling is fully cooked with the veggies and spices in a skillet and then stuffed into each pepper before baking.
I use a rubber spatula to pack each pepper as tight as possible. Overfilling the pepper is OK and highly recommended! The stuffed peppers are finished by baking in the oven for 30 minutes until the pepper is nice and tender.
Stuffed Pepper Filling
You can use ground beef in place of ground turkey (or even ground chicken) but we’ve settled on turkey because we eat plenty of red meat. Ground turkey is tender and the seasonings make up for any flavor you might be missing with beef. I always use 93% lean ground turkey because 99% lean turkey tends to dry out.
Below is some extra inspiration and substitutions for the pepper filling. I’ve experimented with a lot of different ingredients with fantastic results.
- Ground beef, turkey, or chicken
- Sauteed corn or black beans
- Quinoa or brown rice
- Chopped jalapeno
- Cojita or any Mexican cheese blend
- Sour cream
- Guacamole or chopped avocado
- Hot sauce
- Red, yellow, or white onion
- Chopped tomatoes
- Your favorite spices and seasoning (chili powder, cumin, paprika, garlic powder, or taco seasoning)
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- Skillet chicken enchiladas
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Ground turkey stuffed peppers made with ground turkey, brown rice, cheese, onions, cilantro, and spices—healthy, simple, and delicious.
- 1 pound 93% lean ground turkey
- 1 cup shredded Mexican blend cheese
- 4 red or green bell peppers, halved lengthwise
- 1 medium tomato, chopped
- 1 cup (dry) brown rice
- 1/2 yellow onion, diced
- 1/3 cup cilantro loosely packed
- 2 teaspoons cumin
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- 1–2 tablespoons olive oil, for cooking
- 3–4 slices of minced jalapeño (optional)
- Sour cream, salsa, and hot sauce for topping
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Prepare rice according to the instructions on the package. Set aside.
- Cut the bell peppers in half lengthwise, removing the stems and seeds. Set aside.
- Heat oil in a 12-inch cast iron skillet over medium heat. Add onions and cook until tender, about 3 minutes. Add ground turkey and season generously with salt and pepper. Use the tip of a spatula to break the turkey into small granular chunks. Cook until turkey is no longer pink, about 5-7 minutes.
- Stir in the rice, tomato, cumin, chili powder, garlic powder, and optional jalapeño. Heat for 3-4 more minutes, mixing well so spices incorporate evenly. Taste the filling—if it tastes bland, add a bit more salt to help the spices really pop.
- Using a large spoon or spatula, pack each pepper to the brim with the turkey filling. Set filled peppers aside on a plate or counter until the skillet is empty. Spoon any leftover filling evenly on each pepper.
- Arrange the peppers back in the skillet, cavity side up, and bake for 25-30 minutes uncovered. Remove from the oven, top each pepper with 1-2 tablespoons of cheese, and place back in the oven for 5 more minutes or until cheese is meleted. Garnish with chopped cilantro before serving. Serve with hot sauce, salsa, sour cream, and avocado.
You can use ground beef in place of ground turkey (or even ground chicken) but we’ve settled on turkey because we eat plenty of red meat. Ground turkey is tender and the seasonings make up for any flavor you might be missing with beef.
I use 93% lean ground turkey because 99% lean turkey tends to be a little dry and flavorless.
- Serving Size: 1 pepper
- Calories: 394
- Sugar: 8.2g
- Sodium: 219mg
- Fat: 7.1g
- Saturated Fat: 2.5g
- Carbohydrates: 50.6g
- Fiber: 5g
- Protein: 34.4g
- Cholesterol: 71mg
Keywords: Bell peppers stuffed with ground turkey