These easy stuffed peppers with ground turkey are loaded with Mexican flavor and tons of veggies! They’re made without rice, too, so they’re low carb and low calorie!
A month ago, I couldn’t even think about summer ending. And then the past few weeks brought with them a few high pressure work obligations, lots of perfectionism, and stress…and now I’m just ready for a change. Any change. I talked to Kate about it the other day — both of us just ready to be done with the whole summer — and she agreed. “Maybe we won’t feel as much pressure to be going, going, going in the fall,” she said. I hope so. But then again, I have a feeling this is my way, her way, our way.
Regardless, fall has so much I want right now: the clothes, the television, and some of the very best food. I want all the comfort.
Stuffed peppers — cheesy and hearty and packed tightly with extra veggies rather than any grains — are the best way to welcome fall and wave a “thanks so much, bye!” to summer. They’re warm and they’re cozy, but they don’t scream foliage and stew. They’re a September kind of food…an anytime comfort.
Rather than roasting the peppers for a short time before filling them, as most recipes call for you to do, I use a tip I picked up from Cooks Illustrated; I blanch them. I drop the fresh pepper halves into boiling water for 3 minutes — giving them just enough cooking time to get tender yet hold their shape and retain their bright color.
I then stuff them with spicy ground turkey, mushrooms, [even more] chopped bell peppers, onions, jalapeño, and fresh cilantro, then top them with cheddar cheese.
Top with sour cream and some finely chopped cilantro and you’ve got the best dinner around.
Veggie Loaded Mexican Stuffed Peppers with Ground Turkey
- 4 medium bell peppers any color, cut in half length-wise, ribs and seeds removed
- 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 8 ounces button mushrooms finely chopped
- 1 large red onion finely chopped
- 1 jalapeno pepper ribs and seeds removed, minced
- 1 pound lean ground turkey breast
- 2 teaspoons chili powder
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 8- ounce can tomato sauce
- ½ cup fresh cilantro chopped, plus more for serving
- 4 ounces sharp cheddar cheese grated (1 cup)
- 4 tablespoons light sour cream for serving (I love Daisy brand)
- In a large nonstick skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the mushrooms, onions, and jalapeno, and cook, stirring frequently, until just beginning to soften, about 2 minutes.
- Add the ground turkey to the pan and cook, crumbling it with a wooden spoon or rubber spatula, until no longer pink. Add the chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, salt, and pepper, and stir to coat the turkey and veggies.
- Add the tomato sauce, stir well to combine, and bring to a simmer, stirring frequently. Reduce the heat to low and cook, stirring occasionally, until the mixture has thickened and the flavors have had a chance to blend and intensify, 12 to 15 minutes. Stir in the cilantro.
- While the turkey mixture is cooking for 12 to 15 minutes, prepare the peppers for stuffing. Bring a large pot of water to a boil.
- Carefully drop 4 of the pepper halves into the boiling water to blanch for 3 minutes, just until they have a little bit of give to them (they will continue to cook out of the water). Use tongs to remove the peppers to a plate and repeat the blanching process with the remaining 4 pepper halves.
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or aluminum foil coated with cooking oil. Lay the soft pepper halves cut-side-up and use a spoon to divide the turkey mixture among them, stuffing it inside as best you can.
- Top each pepper half with 2 tablespoons of grated cheese. Bake the peppers until the cheese is bubbly, browned, and the filling is heated through, 20 to 25 minutes.
- To serve, dollop half a tablespoon of sour cream on each pepper half and sprinkle additional fresh chopped cilantro over the tops, if desired.