Ground turkey stuffed peppers are a favorite traditional Italian-style meal turned healthy! This easy stuffed bell pepper recipe uses under 10 simple ingredients and is a beloved go-to flavorful gluten-free family dinner!
Ground Turkey Stuffed Peppers
Dinners got even better with these healthy stuffed peppers! Ground turkey stuffed peppers are ultra-easy, healthy, low fat, gluten-free and can be made ahead-of-time for a quick dinner!
Who else remembers growing up eating stuffed peppers with rice? My mother always made them with the whole green bell pepper standing upright loaded with rice, cheese, meat and pasta sauce… then more cheese melted on top. It was a simple dinner we didn’t seem to complain too much about😊.
Except for maybe the bell pepper. I do remember my siblings and I always eating just the insides until we go older and realized stuffed peppers are delicious if you chop the peppers into the Italian meat mixture!
Since baked stuffed peppers were one of our favorite meals for dinner growing up, I decided to test it out on my own family. This version using lean ground turkey meat, a very small amount of rice and adding a bunch of mushrooms and onions inside the stuffing mixture for added nutrition. My family loved them and the kids did what I did at their age. Prefer without the peppers, which is totally fine because they are still getting their vegetables inside the filling.
I also have great tips on how to reuse this meal into other meals, but first…
How to make ground turkey stuffed bell peppers
First up, gather the ingredients. These instructions also work if you choose to use regular organic beef.
For the meat I like to use poultry- extra lean ground turkey meat that is almost 99% fat-free. This makes the ground turkey stuffed peppers lower in fat and cholesterol. You can also use ground chicken meat, which is usually also a leaner meat.
Have rice already cooked, or cook about 1/3 cup of dry rice. What I like to do is cook 1 cup of dry rice, and save the leftovers for another meal. Chop up a bunch of mushrooms and an onion and sauté it with garlic, olive oil and ground turkey. If the meat seems dry or starts to stick during cooking, add more olive oil (or avocado oil). Using a spatula, chop up the meat into very fine pieces while it is cooking.
Add pasta sauce to the meat mixture and your favorite shredded cheese. I use mozzarella since it is a lighter Italian cheese, can you can also mix it with Parmesan.
Prep the green bell peppers by slicing them in half then removing the pith and seeds (or try either of these two ways). Place them on a casserole dish and stuff them with the delicious ground turkey filling and add extra cheese on top.
How long to cook stuffed peppers
Cook the ground turkey stuffed peppers at 350 degrees F in a casserole dish for 40-45 minutes. Keep it uncovered to release extra fluid from the peppers. They will be done when the peppers are tender. When they are finished cooking, add freshly torn or chopped basil for a little extra flaaaaava!
Related: Healthy Oven-Baked Turkey Meatballs
Ways to reuse turkey and rice stuffed peppers
This recipe makes eight halves. For our family of four, we usually have leftovers and have gotten pretty creative with how we use it. Don't worry, you don't have to waste food if you are not a big leftover fan! Turn the leftover of these ground turkey stuffed peppers into:
- Burritos and tacos! Might sound strange but this is actually delicious, and you don’t really taste the Italian flavors as a Mexican dish. For picky kids, just add the filling inside a tortilla with extra cheese and serve it as a burrito. For adults, slice the bell peppers into strips and add them and the filling into a tortilla with cheese.
- Add it to pasta! Chop up the leftovers and add it to your favorite pasta noodles.
- Rice bowls anyone? Serve the stuffed bell peppers chopped over a bed of extra rice.
Enjoy this simple dinner that can be turned into leftover new dishes😊. It is one of our favorites- so one last tip before I go. These ground turkey stuffed peppers are great to make ahead of time. They reheat really well. You can either make and stuff them then cook them another night for dinner (within 3 days so the meat doesn’t go bad), or make and bake them and then reheat at 350 degrees (covered) for about 20 minutes or until heated through. That is a 20 minute week night dinner right there!
More recipes you might enjoy:
Healthy Ground Turkey Stuffed Peppers
- 4 green bell peppers
- 1/2 cup white or brown rice dry
- 1 lb. ground turkey meat preferably extra lean
- 8 ounces mushrooms chopped
- 1 onion diced
- 3-4 garlic cloves minced
- 1 cup mozzarella cheese shredded plus extra for topping
- 25 ounce jar pasta sauce use a really good kind for maximum flavor
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- fresh basil leaves Optional for garnish, chopped or torn
- Prepare the green bell peppers by rinsing them off then slicing them in half horizontally and removing the pith and seeds. They should appear open-faced. Set aside until ready to use.
- Cook the rice in boiling salted water according to package directions, about 20 minutes.
- In a large saute pan on medium-high heat, add the olive oil, garlic, chopped mushrooms and diced onions. Add the ground turkey meat to the pan. Using a wooden spatula, chop up the meat into very fine pieces while it is cooking. Cook for about 10 minutes or until the turkey meat is cooked through. If the meat seems dry or starts to stick during cooking, add more olive oil (or avocado oil).
- When the meat is not pink colored anymore, add the pasta sauce to the meat and vegetable mixture, cooked rice and shredded mozzarella cheese. Stir to combine and turn of the heat.
- Preheat the oven 350 degrees F. Lay the green bell peppers upright and a large scoop of the stuffing inside. There will be extra stuffing which can be placed around the filled peppers. Top with extra cheese.
- Bake uncovered for 40-45 minutes or until the peppers are tender. Remove from the oven and serve right away garnished with fresh basil.