Quinoa & Turkey Stuffed Peppers

I had the house to myself the other night and I was craving stuffed peppers.  Typically I make stuffed peppers with brown rice and ground beef, but this time I decided to try something new.  For a healthier take on standard stuffed peppers I used quinoa instead of rice, and turkey instead of beef.

Quinoa & Turkey Stuffed Peppers  | Hugs 'n Kitchen

These are pretty easy to make, and so so so satisfying.  They’re also pretty healthy.  You can omit the cheese topping to make them even healthier, but a little bit of cheese is alright in my book!

Quinoa & Turkey Stuffed Peppers  | Hugs 'n Kitchen

This makes a bunch of the filling mixture.  It will easily fill 10 pepper halves (5 peppers) depending on how large the peppers are.  The leftover mixture is delicious on its own.  Or you can spread it into a baking dish, sprinkle with some cheese and bake until the cheese is bubbly and golden on top.

Quinoa & Turkey Stuffed Peppers  | Hugs 'n Kitchen

For the filling, you can add whatever you like into the mixture to make this your own.  Feel free to use all of the ingredients I’ve listed below or substitute some of your favorites. This go around I used Mango Peach Salsa, but I’ve used Chipotle salsa and regular salsa, too.  You can use what you have on hand, or pick out a fun flavor to spice things up.  The Mango Peach makes it a little sweet, so I like to add more cayenne and jalapeño to add some heat to the mix.

Quinoa & Turkey Stuffed Peppers  | Hugs 'n Kitchen

I’ve also been having a ton of fun with my new camera and the lights my boyfriend set up for me in our garage.  So, get yourself ready for a ton of pictures or scroll down for the recipe!

Let me know if you think of some other fun ingredients to add and what you think 🙂

Quinoa & Turkey Stuffed Peppers  | Hugs 'n Kitchen

Quinoa & Turkey Stuffed Peppers  | Hugs 'n Kitchen

Quinoa & Turkey Stuffed Peppers  | Hugs 'n Kitchen

Quinoa & Turkey Stuffed Peppers  | Hugs 'n Kitchen

Quinoa & Turkey Stuffed Peppers
Original Recipe by Lauren from Hugs ‘n Kitchen

Makes 10 pepper halves + extra filling.

Ingredients

  • extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup quinoa, uncooked
  • 5 bell peppers, halved and seeded
  • 1 1/4 lb. ground turkey
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 Tablespoon cumin
  • 1 Tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 jalapeño, seeded and diced (optional)
  • 1 cup frozen corn
  • 1 can of black beans, drained
  • 1 16 oz jar of salsa, any flavor (I like chipotle salsa or mango peach)
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • fresh cilantro, for garnish
  • shredded cheese of your choice
  • optional toppings: avocado, sour cream, diced tomatoes, hot sauce

Steps

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Place the halved peppers, cut side up, in a baking dish and drizzle with extra virgin olive oil.  Bake for 20 minutes.
  3. In a medium sauce pot, bring one cup of quinoa and two cups of water to a boil.  Once boiling, cover and lower to a simmer for 15 minutes or until all of the water is absorbed.
  4. While the quinoa is cooking, drizzle a little extra virgin olive oil in a medium pan and sautée the ground turkey and teaspoon of garlic until browned and completely cooked.
  5. Add in the cumin, chili powder, cayenne and salt and stir until the turkey is evenly coated with the spice mixture.
  6. Pour the cooked turkey into a large mixing bowl and set aside.
  7. Drizzle a little bit more extra virgin olive oil into the same pan and add the diced yellow onion.  Sautée until translucent and cooked.
  8. In the large bowl with the ground turkey, add the onion, diced jalapeño (if using), corn, black beans and salsa.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  9. Once the peppers have cooled enough that you can touch them, spoon the quinoa and turkey mixture into the pepper halves.  (If you have leftover mixture, you can serve as-is, or spread into a baking dish, top with cheese and bake until the cheese is melted and golden on top.)
  10. Top each of the peppers with shredded cheese and bake for 15 minutes until the cheese is melted and bubbly.
  11. Serve with toppings of your choice.

Hugs, kisses & yummy dishes… xoxo
Lauren

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