Turkey Stuffed Peppers
Stuffed peppers have been popular for decades, and understandably so. And this version made with ground turkey and turkey sausage is super satisfying but lighter than a beefy edition, perfect for spring….but really, perfect year round.
So many things to say about stuffed peppers. First, they are undeniably gorgeous. You can make them with a single color of pepper, or mix up the colors for an even snazzier presentation. They are also inexpensive, this recipe relying on economical ground turkey, and they are versatile, allowing for a lot of playing around with the filling. And this version is downright healthy – filled with vegetables; use brown rice for even more nutritional bang for your buck.
I like using ground turkey that is labeled 85/15%, which means it has more dark meat than the lean ground turkey, which is 97% fat free. It is a bit more juicy and flavorful, but you can use whichever version appeals to you.
Stuffed Peppers 2.0
Here are some other thoughts if you want to amp up the flavor of your stuffed peppers even further. Adding minced olives (green or black), capers, or anchovies into the combined stuffing will add a whole lot of zing. ,You might even add a drizzle of balsamic vinegar to the filling before stuffing it into the peppers. These ingredients lean the peppers even more firmly into the Italian camp.
And if you don’t have basil, or prefer to use another herb, you have plenty of choices: dill, marjoram, oregano, thyme – all of these would be good choices, alone or in combination. Keep in mind the substitution ratio for dried herbs to fresh is 1 to 3, so 1 teaspoon of a dried herb vs. 1 tablespoon of a fresh one.
Ground Turkey Stuffed Peppers: Stuffed Peppers are gorgeous, inexpensive, versatile, and delicious any time of year.Tweet This
Pepper Stuffing Tips
Make sure to chop the onion, and dice the zucchini into quite small pieces so they blend in with the other ingredients and make a cohesive stuffing with bits of all of the components in each bite.
Don’t pack the stuffing too densely into the peppers; it will slow down the baking, and the core of the peppers might not get hot.
How to Keep Stuffed Peppers from Falling Over
There are three simple ways to keep your peppers upright as they bake:
- Choose a baking pan that is just large enough to hold all 6 of the peppers snugly, so that they hold each other upright with no room to tip (that’s what I did).
- Carefully slice a tiny bit off or the bottom of the pepper so that there is a flat bottom. Make sure not to cut into the pepper itself; you are just trying to trim off the rounded nubs at the base of the pepper.
- Nestle the peppers into foil. Pull off a square of foil, and crunch it up around the base of the pepper the squish the bottom so that the foil is flat on the bottom and the pepper can rest in its foil nest.
More Ground Turkey Recipes:
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Ground Turkey Stuffed Peppers
- 6 large bell peppers (any color)
- ½ pound ground turkey , preferably 85%/15%
- ½ pound mild or hot turkey sausage , casings removed
- 1 onion , finely chopped
- 1 cup small-diced zucchini
- 1 ½ cups cooked and cooled rice (white or brown or any rice blend)
- 1 cup tomato sauce , divided
- ¼ cup chopped fresh parsley
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil or 1 teaspoon dried
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese (or any other shredding cheese)
- Cut the tops off the peppers and remove the seeds and membranes from inside.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F.Spray a 13 x 9 baking dish, or a baking dish large enough to hold all of the peppers snugly, with nonstick spray, or lightly oil the dish.
- Heat a large skillet over medium high heat. Add the turkey, turkey sausage and onion, and stir occasionally for about 8 minutes, until the meat is browned and crumbly (break it up with a spoon as you go). Drain the turkey mixture in a colander and return the meat to the skillet over medium high heat. Add the zucchini and rice and cook, stirring occasionally, for another 3 minutes, until everything is very well combined. Stir in ½ cup of the tomato sauce, parsley, basil, sugar, salt and pepper.
- Stuff the mixture into the 6 peppers, dividing it evenly and packing them full but not too tightly. Place the stuffed peppers upright into the prepared baking pan (see intro for tips on keeping peppers upright). Spoon the remaining ½ cup tomato sauce evenly over the filling, and sprinkle the tops evenly with the shredded cheese.
- Cover the peppers loosely with aluminum foil. Bake, covered, for 45 minutes. Uncover and bake for 15 minutes longer, or until the peppers are tender and the cheese is golden brown. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving, on a platter or individual plates.
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