Ground turkey stuffed peppers are one of my favorite healthier, Mexican stuffed peppers. I wouldn’t necessarily say Kitchen Swagger puts an emphasis on the word “healthy,” but I am passionate about whole foods and real ingredients. After all, I believe everything is OK in moderation.
These hot tamales are actually one of Patty’s go-to Mexican inspired recipes. She lured me into finally coming up with my own twist after a few delicious stuffed bell peppers of her own. The sad part is, we always somehow forget to make them.
Ground turkey stuffed peppers are the hidden gem of our arsenal of Mexican staples. Everyone does loaded nachos, tacos, and burritos of course—but we always seem surprised when we remember the tried and true stuffed pepper.
How to Make Turkey Stuffed Bell Peppers
Stuffed bell peppers should be simple (but LOADED with meat and flavor). I use lean ground turkey, brown rice (mainly for texture), chopped onion, diced tomatoes, fresh cilantro, spices, and a blend of Mexican cheeses. All prepared in a single cast iron skillet (plus one bowl, but who’s counting counting?).
Fully cook the ground turkey with the spices in the skillet before baking. I like to saute the onions and tomatoes so they’re nice and tender before baking as well. Baking the peppers will of course ensure everything is hot, but it’s main purpose is to soften/cook the peppers and melt the final topping of cheese.
You can experiment with a few other of my favorite filling additions. Sauteed corn and black beans. quinoa, fresh lime juice, salsa, or chopped jalapeno if you’re like me and NEEEED more spiciness if your life.
You can use ground beef in place of turkey but I usually use lean ground turkey because it’s a slightly healthier alternative to red meat, and the seasonings help add any flavor you might be missing. Serve stuffed peppers with my guacamole and an accompanying fresh Jalapeno margarita and you just might actually turn into me.Print
- 1 pound ground turkey
- 1 cup shredded Mexican blend cheese
- 4 bell peppers, halved lengthwise
- 1 medium tomato, chopped
- 2 cups cooked brown rice or quinoa
- 1/2 yellow onion, chopped
- 1/3 cup cilantro loosely packed
- 1 tablespoon cumin
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- 1–2 tablespoons olive oil, for cooking
- 3–4 slices of minced jalapeño (optional)
- Preheat oven to 350° F.
- Cut the bell peppers in half lengthwise, removing the stems and seeds. Set aside.
- Add olive oil to a 12 inch cast iron skillet on medium heat. Combine ground turkey, chopped onion, salt, and pepper and cook until turkey is evenly browned, about 5-7 minutes.
- Stir in the rice, tomato, cilantro, cumin, chili powder, garlic powder, paprika, and optional jalapeño. Let simmer for 3-4 more minutes. Transfer filling to a medium bowl and set aside.
- Spoon the turkey filling evenly into each bell pepper cavity. Arrange peppers back in the skillet, cavity side up and bake for 25 minutes. Remove from the oven, top each pepper with 1-2 tablespoons of cheese, and place back in the oven for 5 more minutes. Garnish with minced cilantro before serving.
Add more spices if you prefer or think it needs it. I tend to start conservative and add more as needed to taste.
Keywords: Bell peppers stuffed with ground turkey, brown rice, cheese, onions, cilantro, and spices—healthy, simple, and delicious.