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Ground Turkey Stuffed Peppers are a healthy, satisfying, and easy dinner that the whole family can agree on! Each sweet bell pepper is filled with meat, rice and cheese in a zesty tomato sauce, then baked until warm and tender. Serve the turkey stuffed bell pepper recipe with a side of cornbread, a crisp green salad, or a basket of flaky buttermilk biscuits.

Overhead shot of hands holding a platter of ground turkey stuffed peppers.

Stuffed Bell Peppers with Ground Turkey

You can’t beat good old-fashioned ground turkey stuffed peppers for a simple and hearty family-friendly dinner. It’s a great way to use up plenty of fresh bell peppers, and the flexible recipe can be adapted to accommodate a variety of taste and dietary preferences. Add sausage for even more flavor, swap out the rice for cauliflower rice, or use mozzarella cheese for an Italian spin. There are so many ways to make these easy stuffed peppers your own!

I’ve shown sweet red bell peppers here, but any color or combination will work — red, yellow, orange, or green bell peppers. It’s just a matter of personal taste preference. The red, yellow and orange peppers are generally much sweeter than the green peppers (and I think they look really pretty in the dish). Green bell peppers tend to have a zesty taste, which pairs well with the savory meat, cheese, rice and tomato sauce.

Overhead shot of stuffed bell pepper recipe with ground turkey rice and tomato sauce served on a platter.

Do you have to boil peppers before stuffing them?

Yes, I recommend par-boiling or pre-baking the peppers before adding the turkey and rice stuffing. If you prefer a more crisp-tender pepper, you can skip this step since the peppers will definitely soften in the oven. That said, it’s very easy to give the bell peppers a little head start in the microwave. Just place them in a dish with water, cover loosely with a sheet of parchment paper, and cook on high for about 3 minutes.

Halved red bell peppers in a glass dish.

Do you have to cook the meat before stuffing the peppers?

In this recipe, you’ll pre-cook the rice and the meat before stuffing the peppers. Some recipes call for a hybrid: pre-cooked rice, which is combined with raw meat for the stuffing. When using raw meat, the rice can soak up some of the drippings from the meat. This adds great flavor, but it can also yield a slightly less healthy, greasier dish. Either way works, but here we’re pre-cooking the ground turkey to make sure that it’s totally cooked through and lean.

Ground turkey and rice in a cheesy tomato sauce.

Ingredients for Easy Ground Turkey Stuffed Peppers

This is a quick overview of the ingredients that you’ll need for a pan of the best stuffed peppers. As always, specific measurements and complete cooking instructions are included in the printable recipe box at the bottom of the post.

  • Bell peppers: I used red bell peppers here, but you can use any color — red, yellow, orange or green (or a combination).
  • Olive oil: for cooking the meat and onion.
  • Ground turkey: a nice alternative to the more traditional ground beef stuffing.
  • Cooked rice: I use long-grain white rice, but any variety of rice is fine (brown rice, wild rice, or even cauliflower rice). You can also substitute with cooked quinoa or cooked couscous.
  • Tomato sauce: brings the filling together.
  • Italian seasoning, garlic powder, onion powder, salt and pepper: add flavor to the filling.
  • Sugar: just a touch to balance the acidity in the tomatoes and to create a more complex flavor.
  • Sharp cheddar and Monterey Jack cheeses: you get the flavor of the cheddar and the ooey, gooey, melty quality of the Monterey Jack. Feel free to substitute with any other type of cheese (mozzarella, Colby, or Pepper Jack are all good options).
Process shot showing how to make ground turkey stuffed peppers.

How to Make Ground Turkey Stuffed Peppers

While these stuffed peppers with ground turkey and white rice may look fancy or complicated, they’re actually really easy to prepare!

  1. Microwave the peppers until they begin to soften, about 3 minutes.
  2. Cook the ground turkey and rice filling.
  3. Season the peppers with salt and pepper, then stuff the filling into the peppers.
  4. Drizzle with olive oil.
  5. Cover and bake for 35 minutes.
  6. Remove the cover, top with cheese, and return to the oven for about 10 more minutes.
  7. Garnish with chopped fresh parsley or basil. Serve warm!
Hands holding a tray of turkey stuffed peppers.

What side goes with stuffed peppers?

Since this recipe includes veggies, rice and meat, it’s an entire stand-alone dinner! If you’d like to round out the meal with additional sides, here are a few good options to serve with the stuffed peppers:

Storage

  • Make Ahead: This is a great prep-ahead meal. You can assemble the bell peppers, cover and refrigerate for up to 24 hours before baking. Allow the dish to come to room temperature for at least 30 minutes before baking according to recipe instructions. Since the peppers and filling might still be cool, you may need to increase the baking time by about 10 minutes.
  • How to Freeze: You can freeze the stuffed peppers before or after baking. Wrapped tightly, they will keep in the freezer for up to 3 months.
  • Leftover baked stuffed peppers will last in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.
  • How to Reheat Stuffed Peppers: Cover loosely with foil and bake in a 350°F oven until heated through. If baking from frozen, you’ll need to increase the total baking time by at least 30 minutes.
Close overhead image of healthy stuffed peppers with ground turkey on a blue and white tray.

Turkey Stuffed Peppers Recipe Variations

  • Swap out the ground turkey and use ground beef, ground chicken, ground pork or ground sausage.
  • Choose red, yellow or orange peppers for a sweeter taste; grab green bell peppers for a less-sweet, more zesty taste.
  • Any variety of rice will work. I like to use cooked white rice, but cooked wild rice or cooked brown rice will both be delicious, too. For a shortcut, try microwaveable packets of rice like Uncle Ben’s Ready Rice. You can even try this recipe with cauliflower rice for more veggies!
  • Instead of rice, use cooked quinoa or cooked couscous.

Tips for the Best Ground Turkey Stuffed Peppers Recipe

  • For a shortcut, use leftover rice from the night before or a packet of microwaveable rice (like Uncle Ben’s Ready Rice).
  • Garnish the finished dish with fresh herbs just before serving. They add a nice colorful, fresh touch!
  • Use red, orange or yellow peppers if you prefer a sweeter taste. Try green bell peppers for a zestier bite.
  • For the Slow Cooker: To make these stuffed peppers in a Crock Pot, skip the step of pre-cooking the peppers in the microwave. Stuff the peppers with the rice and ground turkey filling, cover, and cook on LOW for 3-4 hours. Top with the cheese and continue cooking until the cheese melts (about 10-15 more minutes).
Platter of stuffed peppers with ground turkey and rice

More Ground Turkey Recipes to Try

Overhead shot of hands holding a platter of ground turkey stuffed peppers.

Ground Turkey Stuffed Peppers

Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 45 minutes
Total: 1 hour
Servings 4 – 8 people
Calories 269 kcal
Ground Turkey Stuffed Peppers are a healthy, satisfying, and easy dinner that the whole family can agree on!

Ingredients
  

  • 4 sweet bell peppers, any color
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 lb. ground turkey
  • ½ cup finely diced onion
  • 1 cup cooked rice
  • 1 (15 ounce) can tomato sauce
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • ½ teaspoon sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¼ teaspoon onion powder
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese, divided
  • 1 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese, divided
  • Optional garnish: chopped fresh parsley or basil

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350°F.
  • Cut bell peppers in half lengthwise, discarding seeds and membranes. Place peppers, cut side up, in a microwave-safe 13×9-inch baking dish. Add 2 tablespoons of water to the dish. Lightly cover with parchment paper. Microwave until peppers begin to soften, about 3 minutes. Drain any excess liquid.*
  • Meanwhile, prepare the filling.
  • Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large skillet or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the turkey and onion; cook until the meat is no longer pink. Drain off fat. Stir in cooked rice, tomato sauce, Italian seasoning, sugar, garlic powder, onion powder, salt and pepper. Add ½ cup of cheddar and ½ cup of Monterey Jack.
  • Season the inside of each pepper with salt and pepper. Stuff peppers with turkey mixture and drizzle with 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Cover with foil.
  • Bake until tender and heated through, about 35 minutes. Uncover, sprinkle with remaining ½ cup of cheddar and remaining ½ cup of Monterey Jack. Bake until cheese is melted, about 10 more minutes. Serve warm. Garnish with fresh parsley or basil.

Notes

*Alternatively, you can pre-bake the peppers in the oven instead of in the microwave. To do so, fill a baking dish large enough to fit peppers with about ½ -inch of water. Place peppers upside down in water, cover with foil and bake for about 20 minutes.
  • Swap out the ground turkey and use ground beef, ground chicken, ground pork or ground sausage.
  • Choose red, yellow or orange peppers for a sweeter taste; grab green bell peppers for a less-sweet, more zesty taste.
  • Any variety of rice will work. I like to use cooked long-grain white rice, but cooked wild rice or cooked brown rice will both be delicious, too. For a shortcut, try microwaveable packets of rice like Uncle Ben’s Ready Rice. You can even try this recipe with cauliflower rice for more veggies!
  • Instead of rice, use cooked quinoa or cooked couscous.
  • For a shortcut, use leftover rice from the night before or a packet of microwaveable rice (like Uncle Ben’s Ready Rice).
  • Garnish the finished dish with fresh herbs just before serving. They add a nice colorful, fresh touch!
  • Use red, orange or yellow peppers if you prefer a sweeter taste. Try green bell peppers for a zestier bite.
  • For the Slow Cooker: To make these stuffed peppers in a Crock Pot, skip the step of pre-cooking the peppers in the microwave. Stuff the peppers with the rice and ground turkey filling, cover, and cook on LOW for 3-4 hours. Top with the cheese and continue cooking until the cheese melts (about 10-15 more minutes).

Nutrition

Serving: 1stuffed pepper halfCalories: 269kcalCarbohydrates: 14gProtein: 22gFat: 14gSaturated Fat: 7gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 59mgSodium: 474mgPotassium: 533mgFiber: 3gSugar: 6gVitamin A: 2362IUVitamin C: 80mgCalcium: 229mgIron: 2mg
Keyword: ground turkey stuffed peppers, stuffed bell peppers with ground turkey, turkey stuffed peppers
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: American
Author: Blair Lonergan
blair

Hey, I’m Blair!

Welcome to my farmhouse kitchen in the foothills of Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains. Inspired by local traditions and seasonal fare, you’ll find plenty of easy, comforting recipes that bring your family together around the table. It’s down-home, country-style cooking!

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Comments

  1. Blair: Just made your stuffed peppers for dinner tonight – a huge success! Thank you for including the hints about using the crockpot
    instead of microwaving and then baking the peppers, and preparing the
    microwaveable rice. Great ideas and time savers!

    1. I’m so glad to hear that, Stephanie! Thank you for taking the time to leave me a note! 🙂

  2. Hi–this sounds delicious. I have a question regarding the calorie count for 1 serving. You mention that 1 serving is one pepper. Do you mean 1/2 pepper as a serving? I consider 1 pepper to be 2 halves. I know I could probably easily eat 2 haves of this recipe, so I was just wanting to know for sure how many halves is considered a serving. Thanks, much and sorry to be so picky in my inquiry!

    1. Hi, Rhonda! No problem! If you look at the nutrition facts, it says that 1 serving is 1/2 of a pepper. If you want to eat an entire pepper, just double those numbers. Also remember, this is just an automatically-generated estimate. If you need very specific nutrition information, I would suggest manually inputting the specific brand of ingredients that you use in a nutrition calculator that you trust. Otherwise it can vary significantly. Hope that helps!

      1. Thanks so much for your reply! My bad: I thought I’d scoured the recipe for the correct serving size, but 🙁 I missed it! I even copied the recipe into my notes, and it says right there: “Serving: 1 stuffed pepper half.” Thanks again! I’ll report back when I make this, but it surely sounds like a healthy winner!