Savory

Stuffed Peppers

Low in carbs but packed with flavor, these peppers make for an easy weeknight dinner.

I’m always on the lookout for healthy yet hearty dinner recipes. My husband loves bell peppers, and many summers our garden ends up producing more than we can use. This recipe is a great way to use seasonal vegetables, and it’s also an easy dish to meal-prep on Sunday so you don’t have to think about cooking throughout the week.

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This recipe is packed with protein, low in carbs, and is free from gluten – perfect for a hearty dinner, especially if you’re trying to make healthier food choices. A few small substitutions can even make this recipe acceptable for vegetarian and vegan diets.

The stars of this recipe are bell peppers, quinoa, and ground turkey. (For all of my vegetarian friends out there, ground meat alternatives like Beyond or Lightlife would work fine as substitutes.) For the filling, you will need to dice an onion, a tomato, and some garlic. You will also need to open a 28-oz can of tomato sauce, and have a few spices standing by (basil, oregano, paprika, chives, and cilantro). For the final topping on this dish, you will need shredded mozzarella cheese – though you are welcome to substitute a dairy-free cheese product instead, if you want this recipe to work within vegan parameters.

Start by browning your ground turkey and cooking your quinoa. I like to cook my quinoa in an Instant Pot – with a ratio of 1.5 cups of water per 1 cup of dry quinoa. (You’ll cook this on high pressure for 1 minute, plus 10 minutes of natural release.) You can cook yours however you like, as long as you end up with 1 1/2 total cups of cooked quinoa to use in our final product.

While your quinoa and turkey are both cooking, wash your bell peppers and slice them in half. Any shade works well! Green peppers tend to be cheaper in our grocery, but we like to use red, orange, and even purple bell peppers from our garden when they are in season. Remove the seeds from your peppers and set aside. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.

Once your ground turkey (or meat alternative) is cooked, drain the grease and set the meat aside in another bowl. Using the same pan, sauté your onions over medium heat until they are translucent (3-4 minutes). Stir in chopped tomatoes and garlic and cook for an additional 2 minutes.

Stir tomato juice remaining spices into your tomato mixture and cook for an additional 5-10 minutes. Once the mixture has somewhat reduced, remove from heat and mix in your ground turkey.

Line a 9” by 13” pan (or two) with aluminum foil and place sliced peppers inside. Ladle cooked quinoa evenly between your peppers. Cover the quinoa with your tomato sauce.

Cover your peppers loosely with foil and bake for 35 minutes at 350 degrees F. Remove the foil, sprinkle with mozzarella cheese, and cook for an additional 5-10 minutes, until the cheese has melted.

Carefully remove your stuffed peppers from the pan and serve immediately. Leftover peppers will keep well in the refrigerator for several days if stored in an airtight container.

Voila! Dinner is served. If you make these stuffed peppers for your family, please tag @WhiskAverseBaking in your social media posts, or leave a message in the comments below.

Stuffed Peppers

Although this recipe is low in carbs, it's certainly not lacking in flavor. This gluten-free dinner is a great weeknight recipe.
Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 40 mins
Total Time 1 hr 10 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 8 peppers

Ingredients
  

  • 4 medium-to-large bell peppers
  • 1 pound ground turkey (can substitute any ground meat alternative, i.e. Beyond or Lightlife)
  • 1 ½ cups quinoa cooked
  • 1 small onion diced
  • 1 tomato diced
  • 2 cloves garlic diced
  • 1 28-oz can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons basil
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • ½ teaspoon chives
  • ½ teaspoon cilantro
  • ½ cup mozzarella cheese shredded

Instructions
 

  • In a sauté pan over medium heat, brown your ground turkey. Once the meat is cooked, drain the grease and set aside.
  • Cut bell peppers in half. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  • Sauté onions in avocado oil. Once the onions are translucent, add tomatoes and garlic. Cok for 1 minute before pouring in tomato sauce.
  • Add remaining spices and simmer for 5-10 minutes, until somewhat reduced, before mixing in cooked ground turkey.
  • Line a 9” by 13” pan with aluminum foil. Spoon cooked quinoa evenly among sliced peppers. Ladle sauce over quinoa. Pour any residual sauce on the bottom of your pan.
  • Bake, covered in foil, at 350 for 35 minutes. Remove foil, sprinkle with cheese and bake for an additional 5-10 minutes, until the cheese has melted.

Notes

Vegetarian version: substitute ground turkey with plant-based meat alternative
Vegan version: substitute ground turkey with plant-based meat alternative, and substitute mozzarella with plant-based cheese product
Keyword dinner, gluten free, low calorie, low carb, vegetarian

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