Indulge in a flavorful and wholesome meal with this Ground Turkey Stuffed Peppers with Rice recipe. Colorful bell peppers packed with lean ground turkey, herbs, tomato paste and rice. This simple yet satisfying creation brings together health and flavor effortlessly in just 45 minutes!
Stuffed peppers are a popular comfort food meal where hollowed-out bell peppers become edible vessels for a medley of fillings. From hearty meats like ground turkey or beef to a variety of veggies, grains, and cheeses, stuffed peppers are truly versatile. This makes them a fantastic choice for a weeknight meal, as you can customize them to suit your cravings and whatever ingredients you have on hand. This recipe uses lean ground turkey to add a hearty protein punch, along with Mexican-inspired herbs, tomato, and rice to round it out.
One of the best things about stuffed peppers is how easy they are to make. As an experienced home chef, I can tell you that anyone can whip up a batch for dinner in no time. Simply cook up the ground turkey mixture in the pan along with onions, tomato paste, and seasonings to form the filling. Add them to hollowed-out peppers, top with cheese, and bake until fully cooked through.
The result is a delicious and satisfying dinner that contains protein, vegetables, and starch all in one! You’ll love making this easy dinner on a hectic weeknight, or you can make a batch and reheat all week for meal prep. No matter how you enjoy them, you just can’t go wrong with stuffed peppers!
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
- Packed with lean ground turkey and nourishing white rice, these stuffed peppers offer a balanced combination of protein and grains, ensuring a hearty and satisfying meal.
- The versatility of this recipe is great for home cooks. Whether you’re craving a hint of heat from diced green chilies or opting for a burst of freshness with cilantro, you can tailor the filling to suit your palate perfectly.
- With simple prep and minimal hands-on time, this dish is a weeknight hero with easy steps. You’ll have an impressive dinner that’s ready to be devoured by a hungry family.
Ingredients You’ll Need
- Olive Oil – Used to sauté the onion and ground turkey.
- Yellow Onion – Adds a savory sweetness to the dish with mild onion flavor.
- Ground Turkey – The star protein of the recipe gets cooked with an array of seasonings.
- Seasonings (salt, garlic powder, paprika, cumin, chili powder) – This blend of seasonings elevates the dish’s flavor profile, infusing the ground turkey with layers of savory, smoky, and slightly spicy notes.
- Tomato Paste – Imparts a rich umami depth to the filling while also binding the ingredients together.
- Chicken Stock – Adds moisture and depth to the filling.
- Green Chilies – Introduces a hint of mild heat and a touch of tanginess, enhancing the overall complexity.
- Fresh Cilantro – Lends a vibrant herb element, brightening up the dish.
- Cooked White Rice – Adds a substantial starch component that pairs well with the rest of the ingredients.
- Lime – Infuses the filling with a tangy kick, cutting through the richness and adding a refreshing contrast.
- Bell Peppers – Hollowed-out bell peppers serve as the edible vessels for the stuffing, offering a vibrant and nutritious casing for the dish.
- Shredded Colby Jack Cheese – Tops the stuffed peppers, melting to a gooey perfection during baking.
How To Make Stuffed Peppers With Ground Turkey
Prepare for baking: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
Soften the onions: Place an oven-safe skillet over medium-high heat, then add the oil. Once the oil is hot, add the onion and salt. Cook for 3-5 minutes or until the onion begins to soften.
Cook the filling: To the onion mixture, add the ground turkey, salt, garlic powder, paprika, cumin, and chili powder and cook for another 5-7 minutes, breaking up the meat as you cook. Add the tomato paste and ½ cup chicken stock and simmer for a few minutes to develop the flavors. If using the green chilis, add them now along with the cilantro and stir to combine. Stir in the rice and the juice of one lime.
Prepare the bell peppers: After washing, cut them in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds. Spoon the turkey mixture evenly into the bell peppers and lay them in a 9×13 baking dish.
Bake and serve: Top each pepper with an even amount of shredded cheese. Pour the remaining chicken stock around the peppers, cover with foil, and bake for about 40-45 minutes. Remove foil and serve while warm. Enjoy!
- When cooking the ground turkey, break it up into smaller pieces with your spatula. This ensures even browning and prevents large clumps from forming.
- Sauté the diced yellow onion with a pinch of salt in the preheated skillet before adding the ground turkey. This allows the onion to release its sweet flavors and build a fragrant base.
- After adding the tomato paste, allow it to simmer for a few minutes. This step intensifies its taste and eliminates its raw flavor, resulting in a richer and more cohesive filling.
- To prevent the stuffed peppers from tipping over during baking, choose a baking dish that snugly holds them together. This ensures they stay upright while they cook.
- When baking, keep an eye on the cheese topping. If it’s browning too quickly, cover the dish with foil for a portion of the baking time. This allows the cheese to melt evenly without burning.
- Swap ground turkey for ground beef and replace the tomato paste with a blend of enchilada sauce and diced tomatoes. Top with Monterey Jack cheese and a dollop of sour cream.
- Use ground lamb instead of turkey—season with oregano, thyme, and a dash of cinnamon. Incorporate cooked couscous into the filling, and finish with crumbled feta cheese for a Mediterranean flair.
- For a plant-based option, substitute ground turkey with crumbled tempeh or cooked lentils. Flavor with smoked paprika and nutritional yeast, and fill the peppers with a mix of quinoa and black beans.
- Infuse an Asian flair by using ground chicken and seasoning with ginger, soy sauce, and a touch of sesame oil. Fill the peppers with a combination of cooked jasmine rice and stir-fried vegetables.
- Replace white rice with cooked quinoa for added protein and texture.
- Create a vegetarian version with a spicy kick by mixing in black beans, corn, and diced jalapeños. Sprinkle with pepper jack cheese for a flavorful, melty topping.
Storing & Freezing
Storing: Store any leftover ground turkey stuffed peppers in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Properly stored, they can stay fresh for up to 3-4 days.
Freezing: It’s best to freeze stuffed peppers before baking. Assemble the stuffed peppers with the filling, place them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, and freeze until they’re solid. Once frozen, transfer them to a freezer-safe container or resealable freezer bags. They can be frozen for up to 2-3 months. When ready to enjoy, bake them directly from the freezer, adding a little extra baking time until heated through.
Can I use a different type of meat instead of ground turkey?
While ground turkey is the base in this recipe, you can easily substitute it with ground chicken, beef, pork, or even plant-based options like crumbled tofu or lentils for a different flavor profile.
How do you cut a pepper for stuffed peppers so they are upright?
To cut a bell pepper for stuffed peppers, start by slicing off the top (stem end) of the pepper. Then, carefully remove the seeds and white membranes from the inside, creating a hollow cavity for the filling. The result will be a bell pepper half that’s ready to be filled with the stuffing mixture. Keep in mind that cutting this way may need more cooking time.
More Ground Turkey Recipes
If you love using ground turkey in dinner recipes, try these 8 Ground Turkey Recipes in 30 minutes or less!
- Ground Turkey Tostadas
- Ground Turkey, Veggie & Brown Rice Bowls
- Loaded Spinach Quinoa Casserole
- Turkey Taco Bake
Indulge in a flavorful and wholesome meal with this Ground Turkey Stuffed Peppers with Rice recipe. Colorful bell peppers packed with lean ground turkey, herbs, tomato paste, and rice, this simple yet satisfying creation brings together health and flavor effortlessly in just 45 minutes!
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 yellow onion, diced
- 1 pound ground turkey
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon paprika
- ½ teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- ¼ cup tomato paste
- 1 cup chicken stock, divided
- 1 (4 oz) can diced green chilies (optional)
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
- 1 ½ cups cooked white rice
- 1 lime
- 3 bell peppers (red, yellow or orange)
- ½ cup shredded Colby jack cheese
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Preheat a large oven safe skillet over medium high heat.
- Add the oil, onion and a pinch of salt. Cook for 3-5 minutes until the onion begins to soften.
- Add the ground turkey, salt, garlic powder, paprika, cumin and chili powder and cook for another 5-7 minutes, breaking up the meat as you cook.
- Add the tomato paste and ½ cup chicken stock and simmer for a few minutes.
- If using the green chilis, add them now along with the cilantro and stir to combine.
- Stir in the rice and the juice of one lime.
- Prepare the bell peppers. Cut them in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds.
- Spoon the turkey mixture evenly into the bell peppers and lay them in a 9×13 baking dish.
- Top each pepper with some shredded cheese.
- Pour the remaining chicken stock around the peppers, cover with foil and bake for about 40-45 minutes.
- Remove foil and serve.
Keywords: ground turkey stuffed peppers, stuffed peppers with ground turkey, stuffed peppers with ground turkey and rice