Ground Turkey Stuffed Peppers

4.78 from 9 votes
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Savor the wholesome goodness of these ground turkey stuffed peppers, a vibrant and nutritious meal that’s as satisfying as it is colorful! These peppers are bursting with lean protein and hearty quinoa, making them perfect for a healthy, flavorful dinner.

Some meals are better with a filling, like my spinach stuffed chicken breast, stuffed tomatoes, or ground beef stuffed peppers.

Three ground turkey stuffed peppers served on a white plate.

Are you looking for healthy, straightforward meals amidst your busy schedule? My ground turkey stuffed peppers recipe simplifies your meal planning, offering a nutritious and energizing option that’s easy to prepare. These edible bowls are perfectly balanced, combining lean protein with a wholesome filling.

Packed with lean ground turkey, fluffy quinoa, fresh vegetables, hearty legumes, and a hint of Mexican spices, each roasted bell pepper is a vibrant, all-in-one meal. Ideal for meal prep, these stuffed peppers ensure you get a well-rounded blend of protein, carbohydrates, and veggies in every bite.

“Yummy, healthy, easy. Thanks, Jessica, for another healthy, delicious recipe. I’ll have to make a double batch next time.”—Nancy R.

Recipe ingredients

Quinoa, corn, tomatoes, black beans, and zucchini in a big pot.
  • Quinoa: Quinoa is a superfood packed with protein. It’s versatile because other ingredient flavors get easily infused within it.
  • Stock: Unsalted chicken stock or broth is added to the quinoa to add more flavor when cooked.
  • Turkey: I recommend using 85 to 95% lean ground turkey. It has some fat added so the meat doesn’t dry out.
  • Vegetables: A combination of zucchini, corn, black beans, tomatoes, fresh jalapeños, minced garlic, and shallots are added to the stuffing.
  • Seasoning: A mix of cumin, chili powder, paprika, salt, and pepper.
  • Oil: I use olive oil to saute the ground turkey.
  • Peppers: Choose your favorite sweet bell peppers, or use a mix of colored bell peppers like green, red, and yellow, each delivering a unique flavor.

See the recipe card below for all ingredients and measurements (US and metric).

Rinse the quinoa

Step 1: Quinoa has a naturally bitter flavor, so it’s important to rinse it well with cold water before cooking. Even a quick wash will have a positive impact on the final flavor. Shake off the excess moisture after rinsing so it doesn’t become mushy.

Cook the quinoa

Pot of ground turkey and spiced quinoa.

Step 2: When I was developing this recipe, I was inspired by my spiced vegetable quinoa, which has corn, zucchini, tomatoes, black beans, shallots, green onions, and jalapenos. I add cumin, chili pepper for lingering heat, and salt and pepper for seasoning. The quinoa absorbs the chicken stock as it simmers.

Cook the ground turkey

Ground turkey being cooked in a cast iron skillet.

Step 3: Cook the lean ground turkey in hot olive oil, breaking the meat into smaller chunks. I add a touch of earthy spices like cumin and paprika to enhance the flavor.

Stuff the peppers

Six colorful stuffed bell peppers with ground turkey and quinoa.

Step 4: Preheat the oven to 350°F (177ºC). Grease the bottom of a baking dish to prevent sticking. Alternatively, it can be baked on a lined sheet pan.

Step 5: Add the cooked ground turkey to the pot of quinoa and stir to combine. Cut the bell peppers in half lengthwise, yielding two halves. Remove any seeds and white membrane, then add a generous amount of filling to each pepper, about ½ to ¾ cups. Transfer the stuffed bell peppers to the baking dish.

Bake the stuffed peppers

Step 6: Bake the stuffed peppers for 20 minutes to tenderize the vegetables and warm the turkey mixture. Increase the heat to 375°F (191ºC), and bake for 10 minutes. The elevated temperature roasts the skin and drives off excess moisture.

Garnish and serve

Stuffed bell peppers with ground turkey and quinoa inside a baking dish.

Step 7: The stuffed peppers are delicious as is, but it’s fun to customize with toppings. I like to have dishes filled with cotija cheese, diced avocados, cilantro, and green chile sauce so my family can add whatever toppings we want. If you like to meal plan, make these on the weekend and reheat for a quick weekday dish.

Flavor variations

This ground turkey stuffed peppers recipe is easy to customize! Try these tasty additions:

  • Meat: Instead of ground turkey, try ground chicken, ground pork, sausage, or ground beef. If you have pre-cooked diced or shredded chicken, add it in!
  • Vegetables: Add in other vegetables like carrots, celery, onion and garlic, or mushrooms.
  • Beans: Other types of beans can be used, like white beans, pinto, or red beans.
  • Herbs: Add dried Italian seasonings, herbs de Provence, or herbs like chives, oregano, cilantro, basil, or fresh parsley.
  • Quinoa Substitute: Add brown rice or white rice. Alternatively, try cauliflower rice for a grain-free option.

Serving suggestions

Serve the stuffed peppers with these delicious sauces and toppings:

Frequently asked questions

Is it better to boil peppers before stuffing?

Bell peppers can be blanched to cook them through and reduce the moisture released when baking. However, it will make the vegetables less flavorful than roasting them in the oven with the stuffing.

Should I pre-bake peppers before stuffing?

The peppers do not need to bake before stuffing. It makes it slightly more difficult to stuff and hold its shape when added back to the oven.

How do you keep stuffed peppers from getting soggy?

Pre-cook the filling so that not as much water is released from the ingredients when stuffed and baked. I bake at 350 degrees, then roast at 375 degrees. This tenderizes the peppers first, then helps to drive off excess moisture from the vegetable.

Recipe Science

To reduce the bitter taste of quinoa

To make cooked quinoa appetizing, simply rinse it in a mesh strainer under running water for about a minute, then drain. This removes a natural bitter coating on the seed called saponin. To enhance the flavor, add spices like salt, cumin, garlic, or fresh herbs, or flavored liquids like broths, stocks, and soy sauce. This will lessen any lingering bitterness that may have stuck around.

Ground Turkey Stuffed Peppers

Making ground turkey stuffed peppers is a flavorful and nutritious meal that satisfies cravings for comfort food while also fitting into a healthy eating plan.
4.78 from 9 votes
Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time1 hour
Total Time1 hour 15 minutes
Servings 6 servings
Course Entree
Cuisine Mexican

Ingredients 
 

Quinoa

  • ¾ cup quinoa
  • 1 cup canned diced tomatoes, or fresh
  • ½ cup diced zucchini, ¼" dice
  • ½ cup black beans, rinsed and drained
  • ½ cup corn kernels, canned or frozen
  • 1 tablespoon minced shallots
  • 1 tablespoon minced jalapeño
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • ¾ teaspoon cumin
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 ¼ cups unsalted chicken stock, or broth
  • 1 tablespoon sliced green onions

Turkey

  • 1 pound ground turkey
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • ½ teaspoon paprika
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper

Peppers

  • 3 large bell peppers, halved, seeds removed

Instructions 

  • Rinse the Quinoa – Add the quinoa to a mesh strainer and rinse under cold water for 30 seconds. Shake to remove excess water.
  • Cook the Quinoa – To a large pot, add the quinoa, tomatoes, zucchini, black beans, corn, shallots, jalapeño, garlic, cumin, salt, pepper, chili pepper, and chicken stock. Bring to a boil and cover. Reduce the heat to medium-low.
    Simmer until the liquid is absorbed, about 25 to 30 minutes. Turn off the heat and allow it to sit covered for 5 minutes. Season with additional salt and pepper as needed. Fluff with a fork and stir in the green onions.
  • Cook the Turkey – Heat a large saute pan over medium-high heat. Add the olive oil. Once hot, add the ground turkey, breaking it down into smaller chunks. Cook until no longer pink, about 5 to 6 minutes. Stir in the cumin, paprika, salt, and pepper. Season to taste.
  • Preheat the Oven – Set the oven rack to the middle position and the temperature to 350°F (177ºC). Lightly grease the bottom of a baking dish with oil or cooking spray.
  • Stuff the Peppers – Add the turkey to the pan of quinoa and stir to combine. Firmly pack each pepper with about ½ cup to ¾ cup of the mixture. After filling, transfer to the baking dish.
  • Bake – Bake in the center of the oven for 20 minutes. Turn the heat up to 375°F (191ºC) and continue baking for another 10 minutes until the peppers are tender. If desired, broil for 2 to 3 minutes for a crisp top.
  • To Serve – Serve the peppers hot with desired toppings.

Notes

  • Storing: Store stuffed peppers in an airtight container. Refrigerate for up to 3 days, for freeze for up to 1 month.
  • For Larger Portions: Instead of halves, cut the tops off the bell peppers to leave them mostly whole.

Nutrition Facts

Serves: 6 servings
Calories 156kcal (8%)Carbohydrates 11g (4%)Protein 21g (42%)Fat 4g (6%)Saturated Fat 1g (5%)Polyunsaturated Fat 1gMonounsaturated Fat 2gCholesterol 37mg (12%)Sodium 512mg (21%)Potassium 337mg (10%)Fiber 3g (12%)Sugar 3g (3%)Vitamin A 1750IU (35%)Vitamin C 103.1mg (125%)Calcium 20mg (2%)Iron 1.6mg (9%)

Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000-calorie diet. All nutritional information is based on estimated third-party calculations. Each recipe and nutritional value will vary depending on the brands you use, measuring methods, and portion sizes per household.

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Jessica Gavin

I'm a culinary school graduate, cookbook author, and a mom who loves croissants! My passion is creating recipes and sharing the science behind cooking to help you gain confidence in the kitchen.

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7 Comments Leave a comment or review

    • Jessica Gavin says

      I would wrap each pepper individually in plastic wrap, then store it in a resealable bag to freeze. You can reheat in the microwave, covered in plastic wrap in 30-second intervals until warmed through. Or reheat them in the oven at 375ºF, until warmed through.

  1. Kris says

    Do you fully cook peppers. Let cool ? Wrap to freeze ? Would you be able to reheat in microwave ? Looking to meal prep for a friend that’s a truck driver and would only be able to use microwave. Thank you

  2. Melba Kaye Goodwin says

    Oh my. Thanks for sharing This dish looks heathy enough for people with diabetics too! Unfortunately, I cannot include onions, garlic or tomatoes. Have gotten used to leaving out or replacing ingredients to ensure my serious digestive system does not act up.

  3. Karly says

    Love love love! These look so stinking delicious- and I bet my family won’t even know they’re healthy! 😉 Can’t wait to try these out!