Turkey Quinoa Stuffed Peppers

By Sally Cameron on September 12, 2012

beans, legumes & grains, Chicken & Turkey, Gluten-Free, the daniel plan, Vegan, Vegetables, Vegetarian

Traditional versions of stuffed peppers use green bell peppers, ground beef and rice. Here’s my recipe for turkey quinoa stuffed peppers with ground turkey, nutrition-packed quinoa and tomatoes plus warming spices and a little feta cheese for some tang. You can make the stuffing ahead of time to save time. Notes for dietary options are at the end.

Turkey Quinoa Stuffed Peppers | AFoodCentricLife.com

Turkey Quinoa Stuffed Peppers: Choosing Bell Peppers

Bell peppers are packed with vitamins C, A and E and make a great vessel for a savory filling and satisfying dinner. 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 available 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, squat and round, trim off the top and fill them whole. If they are long and narrow, do not cut off the top. Instead 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 cooking the filling, stuff your peppers and bake.

Make The Filling

I prefer mild tasting ground turkey instead of beef but this works either way. Even ground bison or lamb would work. I buy the 93% lean package. Instead of rice, I use light, fluffy quinoa. It’s 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.

turkey quinoa stuffed peppers|AFoodCentricLife.com

Dietary Options

For vegetarian, swap the turkey for 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. If you are not a big quinoa fan, swap cooked brown rice. Here is a post on how to cook recipe like pasta (my preferred method and it reduces arsenic). For vegan or dairy-free, use beans and skip the feta cheese. Add a tossed green salad and you are set.

Turkey Quinoa Stuffed Peppers|AFoodCentricLife.com

If you are looking for more recipes with bell peppers try my Sheet Pan Roasted Pepper Soup or roasted vegetable ratatouille. 

Nutrition Facts
Turkey and Quinoa Stuffed Peppers
Amount Per Serving
Calories 363 Calories from Fat 117
% Daily Value*
Fat 13g20%
Saturated Fat 5g31%
Cholesterol 88mg29%
Sodium 536mg23%
Potassium 875mg25%
Carbohydrates 26g9%
Fiber 6g25%
Sugar 10g11%
Protein 35g70%
Vitamin A 5611IU112%
Vitamin C 218mg264%
Calcium 189mg19%
Iron 3mg17%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Turkey Quinoa Stuffed Peppers | AFoodCentricLife.com
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Turkey and Quinoa Stuffed Peppers

Stuffed with nutrition, these turkey and quinoa filled peppers are a nice little package. To save time, make the stuffing ahead. When it’s time for dinner, stuff the peppers and bake. Serve with a big tossed green salad for a healthy balance. For a vegetarian dish, skip the turkey and add more cooked quinoa, or substitute your favorite bean. See notes in the post.  
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Keyword quinoa, Stuffed peppers, Turkey
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 363kcal


  • 1 cup cooked quinoa
  • 4 large red or orange bell peppers
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 2 large garlic cloves finely chopped
  • 1 pound ground turkey
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated fresh ginger or jarred puree
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 14 ounce  can diced tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped parsley
  • 4 ounces crumbled Greek feta cheese

Optional Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons dried currants


  • Start by rinsing the quinoa under cold running through a fine sieve. Place rinsed quinoa in a small pot. Add 1 1/2 cups of cold water to the pot. Bring it to a boil, then cover and turn heat down to low.  Cook 15-18 minutes. Remove from the heat and allow to finish by steaming 5-10 minutes more. Fluff with a fork and set aside.
  • Prepare the peppers to be stuffed. If the peppers are round and fat, cut off the top to open up the pepper. If the shape is long and narrow, do not cut off the top. Cut the pepper in half lengthwise from stem to bottom. With a sharp paring knife and your fingers, trim out the ribs and seeds until the pepper is clean inside. If they do not sit flat, trim a tiny bit off the bottom so they are stable. Be careful not to cut through the pepper.
  • Heat oil in a medium sauté pan or skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring, until it is soft and translucent. Turn heat down to medium low if it starts to brown. Add the garlic and cook 1 minute, stirring. Add the turkey, cumin, ginger, salt and pepper. Cook, stirring to break up the turkey, until the pink is just gone. Stir in the tomatoes with their juice, currants, feta., parsley and quinoa.
  • Fill peppers and mound it a little on top. Place peppers in a shallow casserole or baking dish, cover with foil and bake at 350°F degree oven until hot all of the way through, or until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees (74C), about 35 -40 minutes. Serve as soon as possible  Alternatively, cool completely, cover the peppers and refrigerate. To serve the next day, heat covered in a 350 oven until hot.


For 2 servings: make the entire recipe for the stuffing. Use what you need and freeze the extra for future stuffed peppers. That’s a good time saving step


Calories: 363kcal | Carbohydrates: 26g | Protein: 35g | Fat: 13g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 88mg | Sodium: 536mg | Potassium: 875mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 10g | Vitamin A: 5611IU | Vitamin C: 218mg | Calcium: 189mg | Iron: 3mg
  1. Mary@SiftingFocus - September 12th, 2012

    Sally, these stuffed peppers sound wonderful. Creative twists on a traditional recipe! Since I’m not a big green pepper fan, I love the use of red, orange, or yellow peppers in their place.

  2. Madonna - September 12th, 2012

    I love how you prep food. It is just one of the things I have learned from you. This is going on next week’s menu. I prefer the reds and orange for stuffing, and for some reason I like the horizontal cut. I think it is because of the proportion of filling to pepper. Anyway, thanks again. I really appreciate you.

  3. Michelle @ Find Your Balance - September 16th, 2012

    I’ve been meaning to make something like this forever. It’s on my list of things to do. Ok. This week!!

  4. Chung-Ah | Damn Delicious - September 16th, 2012

    Wow, you have such stunning photos! And these stuffed bell pepers – YUM! These have been on my bucket list for so long – thanks for pushing me to finally give it a try!

  5. Vida - July 21st, 2013

    I just tried this recipe as my first attempt at stuffed bell peppers. I was looking for something a bit lighter and nutritious but also as delecious in comparison to my family recipe. This recipe hit the nail on the head. I tweaked it slightly by leaving out the ginger and the currants, using green bell peppers, and adding a bit more turkey to it. Lets just say that my family was more than pleased with my first stuffed bell peppers. Thanks!!!

  6. Sally - July 21st, 2013

    So glad it worked for you Vida. Thanks for commenting back. Tweaking to make it what your family wants is terrific!

  7. Makenna - April 17th, 2014

    That’s what I did too! I added parmesan on the top because I like cheese, but I removed the ginger and the currants and used green peppers. Mine’s still in the oven… Excited to try it!

  8. Susan C. - March 27th, 2014

    I made this the other day and it was wonderful! My family loved it! Since then, my husband has learned he is allergic to tomatoes. I wondered if you might have any suggestions for a good substitute? I’m thinking of maybe adding some beef or veggie broth for the liquid, and maybe some black beans for substance? Just wondering if I should add some extra seasonings too, and/or if there are some other things you might recommend. Thank you!?

  9. Pamela - December 30th, 2015

    I can’t find the nutritional information on your recipes. Am I missing it or do you not include it.

  10. Sally Cameron - December 30th, 2015

    Hi Pam. I have not included it in the past. I am just starting to add it to a recipes going forward. But since you asked, I did the analysis on this recipe and added it ;). Please let me know if that helps.

  11. Linda - January 19th, 2016

    Made these for dinner, easy and very yummy ??

  12. Sally Cameron - January 19th, 2016

    Love to hear that Linda! Thanks for commenting.

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