Colder temps usually leave me craving comfort foods and stuffed peppers are a favorite comfort food of mine. Not only are they budget friendly and perfect for meal prepping, but they are simple to make and the stuffing possibilities are endless.
Tonight I was craving the Philly Cheesesteak Stuffed Peppers I posted about a while ago. I love to make those on days when I’ve been a little carb heavy early in the day (my 21 Day Fix people will understand this) but my local grocery store didn’t have any shaved beef in stock.
Sad and disappointed, I wandered around the grocery store for a little while as I thought about what I could make for dinner and I couldn’t shake my stuffed pepper craving. As a result, these Italian Style Stuffed Peppers were born, using some ground turkey (which was on sale – a budget friendly must for me) and ingredients that most people will already have on hand.
- 4 large bell peppers (any color)
- 1 pound, lean ground turkey
- 1 large sweet onion, chopped
- 2 cloves of chopped garlic
- 1 8 oz can tomato sauce, no salt added
- 1 cup jasmine or brown rice, cooked
- 1 cup of frozen peas
- 1/4 cup of grated parmesan cheese
- 4 thin slices of provolone cheese
- salt & pepper, to taste
- a sprinkle or dried thyme or basil
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil, salt. While water comes to a boil, cut the tops off of the peppers (reserve), remove the seeds and rinse well. Drop the peppers into the boiling water and par boil them for about 3-5 minutes. Remove from water and allow to cool while you prepare the filling.
- Chop up the pepper tops and discard the stems. (If you would like more pepper in your filling, feel free to chop up another pepper.)
- Add the ground turkey into a large skillet, over high heat and begin to brown. Add the pepper, onion and garlic, stirring frequently to prevent it from sticking to the bottom. Season with salt & pepper.
- When the turkey is no longer pink, sprinkle with thyme or basil, add the peas, tomato sauce, parmesan cheese and rice. Once it is all incorporated, remove from heat.
- Sprinkle the peppers with some salt, then begin to stuff them, making sure you pack them well and place into a shallow baking pan. (I usually end up with some extra stuffing so I just put it into a container and call it lunch for the next day.)
- Top each pepper with a slice of provolone and bake at 350 until the cheese is melted, about 10-15 minutes.
- For those of you on the 21 Day Fix, this recipe is 1 red, 1 yellow, 1 blue and 1.5 green containers.
As you can see, stuffed peppers are pretty simple to make. You can have a lot of fun with these by changing up the spices, type of meat you use, the cheese you top them with or use some quinoa instead of rice. Want to keep them vegetarian friendly or turn them into a Meatless Monday meal, chop up some meaty mushrooms instead of ground beef. The possibilities are truly endless and the pepper offers amazing portion control!
Think of your favorite meals for inspiration, have fun with things and just go with it! Cooking shouldn’t be precise and stressful…that’s baking…and we aren’t baking here. We are just creating healthy, simple, flavorful food!
Do you like stuffed peppers? If so, I would love to hear what you like your stuffed with!