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 updated recipe for turkey quinoa stuffed peppers with 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 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, 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 sautéing the filling, stuff your peppers and bake according to my directions below.

Make The Filling

I prefer mild tasting ground turkey instead of beef. When you shop for ground turkey, read the label or talk with the butcher to understand the fat content. Ground turkey can have a big range in terms of fat. It’s not automatically lower in fat than beef, as you might think. If you can get 10% – 15% 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.

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.

turkey quinoa stuffed peppers|AFoodCentricLife.com

Dietary Options

Vegetarian option

  • 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.

Turkey Quinoa Stuffed Peppers|AFoodCentricLife.com

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 or this post, All about quinoa

Turkey Quinoa Stuffed Peppers | AFoodCentricLife.com
Print Recipe

Turkey and Quinoa Stuffed Peppers

Stuffed with nutrition, these turkey and quinoa filled bell peppers provide vegetables, lean protein, and healthy grains all in one 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 more healthy vegetable balance. For a vegetarian dish, skip the turkey and add more cooked quinoa, or substitute your favorite bean. See notes in the post.  
Servings 4


  • 3/4 cup uncooked quinoa
  • 4 large bell peppers red, orange or yellow
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 2 large garlic cloves finely chopped
  • 3/4 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 of petite diced tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons dried currants
  • 4 ounces crumbled feta cheese
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped parsley


  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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 and quinoa.

  4. Fill peppers firmly with the turkey-quinoa mixture. Mound it a little on top. Place peppers in a shallow casserole or baking dish, cover with foil and bake at 350 degrees (177 C) 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.

Recipe Notes

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.

Nutritional analysis per serving (2 pepper halves): calories 464, fat 20 g, saturated fat 7 g, cholesterol 88 mg, fiber 8 g, protein 28 g, carbohydrate 45 g, sodium 342 mg, sugars 15 g.


Leave a Comment
Mary@SiftingFocus | 09/12/2012 at 11:18 pm

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.

Madonna | 09/12/2012 at 11:21 pm

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.

Michelle @ Find Your Balance | 09/16/2012 at 10:55 am

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

Chung-Ah | Damn Delicious | 09/16/2012 at 7:57 pm

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!

Vida | 07/21/2013 at 7:46 pm

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!!!

    Sally | 07/21/2013 at 8:20 pm

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

    Makenna | 04/17/2014 at 6:07 pm

    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!

Susan C. | 03/27/2014 at 11:14 am

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!?

Pamela | 12/30/2015 at 7:51 pm

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

    Sally Cameron | 12/30/2015 at 8:03 pm

    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.

Linda | 01/19/2016 at 12:42 pm

Made these for dinner, easy and very yummy ??

    Sally Cameron | 01/19/2016 at 10:00 pm

    Love to hear that Linda! Thanks for commenting.

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