Traditional versions of stuffed peppers use green bell peppers, ground beef and rice. Here’s my updated recipe for turkey quinoa stuffed peppers with lean ground turkey, nutrition-packed quinoa and tomatoes. And I’ve added sweet dried currants, warming spices, plus a little feta cheese for some tang.
You can even make the stuffing ahead of time to save time. Notes for dietary options are below.
Bell Pepper Nutrition
A member of the nightshade family (potatoes, tomatoes, and eggplant), peppers are packed with vitamins C, A and E. Bell peppers make a great vessel for a savory filling and satisfying dinner. For more nutrition, read here on the WHFoods site.
Choosing Ground Turkey
First, I prefer mild tasting, lean ground turkey instead of beef. It’s a good choice for a healthy animal protein source.
When you shop for ground turkey, be sure to read the label or talk with the butcher. Ground turkey can have a big range in terms of fat content. It’s not automatically lower in fat than beef, as you might think. If you can get 10% lean ground turkey, it’s a good choice.
If you prefer beef over turkey, this recipe works great with beef too. Just choose lean beef.
Quinoa – The Power Grain
Instead of rice, I use quinoa – light, fluffy, and packed with protein and fiber. It’s also a complete protein, meaning it provides all of the essential amino acids our bodies need. It’s a great swap for rice in this recipe.
Choosing Bell Peppers
For the bell peppers, choose red or orange. Brighter colored peppers have more nutrition in them and a sweeter taste. Pick through what’s available and choose fat, round peppers if you can. If all that’s at hand is long and narrow, don’t worry; the recipe will still work just fine. Just follow my notes.
Choose peppers that are smooth-skinned (not wrinkled), richly colored, and heavy for their size. On shape – if the peppers are short, squatty and round, trim off the top and fill them whole. If they are long and narrow, do not cut off the top; cut them in half stem to end all of the way through for filling.
Trim out the ribs and seeds from peppers with your fingers and a sharp paring knife until they are clean inside. After sauteing the filling, stuff your peppers and bake according to my directions below.
- Eliminate the turkey and add your favorite bean. Black beans, Cannellini beans, kidney beans or pinto beans all work well. Use canned beans to save time. Rinse and drain them first. I use Eden Organics because they use BPA-free cans.
Vegan or dairy-free option
- Do the vegetarian option and skip the feta cheese.
Stuffed bell peppers are a healthy, tasty and nutritious main dish. Add a tossed green salad and you are set.
Other Helpful Links:
For more information on bell peppers including their health benefits, antioxidant and anti-cancer benefits, read more at The World’s Healthiest Foods
For more information about the nutrition and benefits of quinoa, read the article on The World’s Healthiest Foods site