If you’ve spent any time on Pinterest lately chances are you’ve seen some sort of recipe for stuffed peppers. I love bell peppers so just the thought of a stuffed pepper sounded appetizing to me so of course I wanted to try it. I read through about ten different recipes to sort of create my own dish using what I had in my fridge in a way that I knew we would enjoy. Bell peppers are used in such a variety of food so you really just have to choose a type of dish (Mexican, Italian, etc) and then go with it.
For this dish I started making it more of a neutral dish then decided to add an Italian flare to it; here’s what I used:
Ground turkey, onion, bell peppers, monterey jack cheese, garlic, ginger, salt and fresh ground pepper.
Then to add the Italian-ness I added these:
Italian seasoning (my mom lights to buy things in bulk and share with me), crushed red pepper and tomato sauce.
First things first, saute your onion until translucent then add garlic and ginger. I minced one clove of garlic and a small amount of fresh ginger which was plenty for this much meat. Then add the ground turkey and continue cooking until almost cooked through.
When the turkey has cooked add in almost a whole can of tomato sauce, two teaspoons of Italian seasoning and one teaspoon of crushed red pepper. Omit the red pepper flakes if you don’t want any spice, or just decrease the amount. Stir this all together and continue cooking until the sauce is hot and bubbly.
While the meat is cooking grab your bell peppers and lop off the tops then clean out the seeds and membranes; give them a good rinse too. Bring a pot of water to a boil then throw in the bell peppers. This step isn’t necessary if you don’t mind a more crunchy/raw pepper, but if you want a softer pepper then boil for just 3-5 minutes. Pull them out of the pot and let them drain until needed.
When the turkey is finished cooking throw in one cup of cooked rice and mix together. I used white rice because that is what I had on hand, but brown rice or wild rice would be great too – or quinoa would be a great substitution! Then fill the peppers almost to the brim with your rice/meat mixture. These large peppers fit perfectly in my jumbo muffin tin so I used that to keep them standing upright while in the oven.
Then shred up about a cup of cheese and stuff the peppers until they’re full, about 1/2 cup of cheese per pepper. After making them this way I would actually go back and recommend mixing some of the cheese in with the meat/rice mixture OR layer it in the pepper: rice/meat then cheese, and repeat. This way you get cheese throughout the pepper.
Bake them in the oven at 350 degrees until the cheese is all melted and begins to bubble – about 15 minutes. Now all you have to do is eat them!
I cut my down the center because I wasn’t sure how else to eat them. There are lots of different options when making this recipe, like I said earlier you can use a different type of rice/quinoa. Mushrooms could be added, it could be made as a Mexican dish instead of Italian by using ground beef or beans with Mexican rice.
The recipe made enough meat mixture for 4-6 peppers so it’s easy to manipulate for more or less people. Another great option would be to use the mini bell peppers and make appetizers for a party or event.
Here’s the recipe so you can go and try them too!
- Half an onion, finely diced
- Garlic, 1 clove
- Fresh Ginger, 1/2 t. worth
- 12 oz. Ground Turkey
- 1 - 14 oz. jar Tomato Sauce
- 2 t. Italian Seasoning
- 1 t. Crushed Red Pepper
- 1 cup cooked Rice/Quinoa
- 1 cup shredded Cheese
- Saute onion until translucent then add garlic and ginger and saute for another minute.
- Throw in ground turkey and cook until almost done
- Add in can of tomato sauce, Italian seasoning and crushed red pepper. Stir to combine.
- Meanwhile, boil pot of water and clean out bell peppers, boil for 3-5 minutes then set out to cool and dry
- Add cooked rice to meat mixture and stir to combine
- Fill bell peppers with meat/rice mixture then top off with cheese.
- Bake until cheese is melted and bubbly