Classic Italian Turkey Stuffed Peppers made with brown rice, ground turkey and lots of tomato sauce and cheese! These delicious stuffed peppers are a hearty and nutritious dinner that can easily be made ahead.
These stuffed peppers contain the two key components that help with feeling full and satisfied after a meal- protein & fibre!
You’ll get protein from the ground turkey, and fibre from the brown rice, peppers, and even a little from the tomato sauce. This recipe pairs well with some roasted veggies or a fresh salad, which would add even more fibre to your meal.
Ingredients in Italian Turkey Stuffed Peppers
Bell Peppers: Red is my favourite, but any colour or even a mix is great. The trick is to buy peppers that are similar in size and shape so they cook evenly. I used 4 large peppers so I’d have a little gap at the top for holding extra tomato sauce! After slicing the tops of the peppers off and removing the stem and core, save the coloured part of the tops. WE will dice them to add into the stuffing mix!
Ground Turkey: about 225 grams (1/2 a pound), which is half of a standard 450g package of ground turkey. I trialled this recipe with the full 450g package of turkey and felt there was too much meat. I much prefer this recipe with 1/2 a pound of ground turkey for the flavour and moisture content- too much turkey makes them taste a lot dryer!
Cooked Brown Rice: This recipe works great with leftover rice, so this step can be done in advance. My favourite way to cook rice is in a rice cooker! Anything that I can just “set and forget” makes the cooking process much easier.
Tomato Sauce: 3 cups (675 mL) of sauce is needed. I love making a simple tomato basil sauce by simmering a 28oz can of peeled Roma tomatoes, garlic, salt, diced onion, and a sprig of fresh basil. Feel free to use your favourite tomato sauce here!
Cheese: I love the combo of fresh grated parmesan and mozzarella here. I added a portion of the parmesan into the stuffing mixture, with both kinds of cheese to top the peppers for the last 10 minutes of baking.
Be sure to leave a star rating and review if you try this recipe. Enjoy!
Italian Turkey Stuffed Peppers
- 4 large bell peppers, any colour (choose peppers all roughly the same size)
- 2 tsp olive oil
- 1/2 medium yellow onion, diced (about 1/2 cup diced)
- 225g lean ground turkey (1/2 a standard 450g package)
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/4 tsp salt
- Pinch black pepper
- 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
- 1/2 tsp dried basil
- 1/2 tsp dried oregano
- 1 ½ cups cooked brown rice
- 3 cups (675ml) tomato sauce, divided
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
- 3/4 cup shredded fresh parmesean, divided
- 1/2 cup shredded mozzerella
- Preheat the oven to 350F and grease the bottom of a high rimmed baking dish or dutch oven with a drizzle of oil.
Parboil the Peppers
- Start by parboiling the peppers. Slice just the tops off the peppers (the part with the stem), remove and discard the core, stem and large white pieces. Save the coloured pieces that have been sliced off and small dice them to be added to the stuffing later. Slice a small piece bottom of the pepper to create a flat surface being careful not to create a hole in the bottom.
- Place the peppers in a large pot and fill the insides of the peppers with water so they stay right side up, then fill the pot with water to just above the peppers. Cover and bring to a boil over high heat. Once boiling, allow the peppers to cook for 3 minutes. Remove from the boiling water and set aside to cool while you prepare ther rest of ther recipe.
Prepare the Filling
- Heat a large skillet over medium heat with the 2 tsp of olive oil. Once hot add the diced onion and sauté for about 3 minutes. Move the onions to one side of the pan then add in the ground turkey in chunks. Allow the turkey to cook on one side for 3-4 minutes until browned the flip and repeat.
- Use the tip of your spoon or spatula to break up the turkey pieces, add the garlic, salt, pepper, spices and the small diced tops of the peppers and saute just until no more pink meat is remaining. Remove from heat.
- Mix in the cooked rice, 2 cups of the tomato sauce, fresh parsley and 1⁄2 cup of the parmesan cheese.
Stuff the Peppers & Bake
- In the greased baking dish place the peppers right side up and stuff each pepper with the turkey rice mixture. Mine were each filled about 1-2cm from the tops.
- Top with remaining tomato sauce, about 1/4 cup per pepper but you don't need to be precise. Since I had a 1-2 cm gap, I filled them to the top with tomato sauce- this lets the sauce bake right in while in the oven! If your peppers are smaller and you dont have a gap to hold the sauce, that is totally ok. Just pour the tomato sauce right on top.
- Place in the oven and bake uncovered for 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and top with the remaining 1/4 cup of parmesan and 1/2 cup of mozzarella. Return to the oven and bake for an additional 10 minutes. Enjoy!