Turkey stuffed bell peppers are one of my favorite healthier, low carb Mexican fiestas. I wouldn’t necessarily say my blog puts an emphasis on the world “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 peppers of her own. The sad part is, we always somehow forget to make them. Stuffed peppers are like the hidden gem of our arsenal of Mexican staples. Everyone does nachos, tacos, and burritos of course—but we always seem surprised when we remember the tried and true stuffed pepper.
Stuffed peppers should be simple (but LOADED with meat). I use lean ground turkey, brown rice (mainly for texture), chopped onion, 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?). 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. Plus, you can REALLY spice it up with fresh jalapeño if you’re like me and NEEEED more spiciness if your life.
- 1 pound ground turkey
- 1 cup shredded Mexican blend cheese
- 4 bell peppers, halved lengthwise
- 2 cups cooked brown rice
- ½ yellow onion, chopped
- ⅓ cup cilantro loosely packed
- 1 tablespoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- Pinch of 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, 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.