The cold temperatures that we have been experiencing lately have made me looking for some new “comfort food” creations. There is nothing quite like tucking into a hearty meal when you are chilled to the bones. These Ground Turkey Stuffed Peppers fill the comfort food need but keep health in mind at the same time!
I have made stuffed peppers a few different ways for my family – see my Mexican stuffed peppers here, and these delicious Pizza stuffed peppers here. But for tonight, I am looking for more of a heart healthy option, so I chose ground turkey as the base of my stuffing mixture.
These Ground Turkey Stuffed Peppers have the most amazing flavor. I used Jasmine rice and coconut to give my savory ground turkey and vegetable mixture a hint of sweetness and it worked BIG TIME!
It’s time to make these Ground Turkey Stuffed Peppers!
These stuffed peppers take a while to cook so this is a good weekend meal. Believe me, it’s worth the time for the flavor that you will get! Look at what is going into these Ground Turkey Stuffed Peppers
I started by combining my Jasmine rice and shredded coconut in a rice cooker. It just cooked it’s merry little way while I made the rest of the stuffing. If you have never tried a rice cooker, you should! I don’t know how I did without one for so long. It makes perfect rice every single time!
While the rice was cooking, I got going on the rest of my recipe. First, chop the top off the peppers and scoop out the seeds and then place them in a 9 x 9″ casserole dish with some water in the bottom. TIP: If you cut off a bit of the bottom of the peppers, they will sit better in the dish and will present better when you serve them. Be sure to use the bottom bits and the top of the peppers to add to your filling mixture for a bit of sweetness.
Brown the ground turkey in a bit of extra virgin olive oil a non stick frying pan until it is cooked and no longer pink. Ground turkey keeps the calories lower than ground beef and gives these stuffed peppers a lighter feel. Your heart will thank you for the substitution!
Next, add the diced pepper pieces and onions. Cook until they are softened, for a few more minutes. Toss in the chopped mushrooms and cook another minute or two.
My rice is cooked now, and it’s time to chop the fresh herbs. You can use dried (substitute 1/3 the amount of the fresh herbs) but most grocery stores sell fresh herbs now and they really make a difference to the flavor, so it is worth buying them. Stir in the drained diced tomatoes and add the Jasmine coconut rice. You won’t believe the flavor that the coconut gives to this dish. It was a last minute addition to my recipe and I’m so glad I thought of it. The coconut ties the flavors together and adds just a hint of sweetness to the dish.
Stuff the peppers with the turkey/rice mixture and cover them with foil and bake in the preheated oven for 40 minutes. The water in the pan will soften the peppers and steam them nicely.
The last step is to add the cheese and place back in the oven for about 10 minutes to melt the cheese. I used a smoked Gruyere cheese. It is apple wood smoked and adds the perfect finishing touch to the dish.
The cheese will melt on the top and you only need a bit to give the extra flavor, so it won’t add to many extra calories.
These Ground Turkey Stuffed Peppers have a subtle savory taste with just a hint of sweetness from the coconut rice. Every bite of them gives you a bit of the subtle flavor profile. Don’t you just love it when “hearty comfort food” can also equal healthy comfort food?
- For the coconut rice:
- 2 cups of water
- ⅔ cups of Jasmine rice
- ¼ cup of shredded coconut
- For the Turkey filling:
- 4 Bell peppers, with the tops sliced off (use the tops to add to the turkey mixture)
- 2 cups of the cooked rice
- 1 lb, ground turkey breast
- ¾ cup sliced mushrooms
- chopped tops and bottoms of the bell peppers
- ¾ cup chicken stock
- 14 ounce can of diced tomatoes (drained)
- 3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
- 2 tsp fresh thyme
- 2 tsp fresh chives
- 2 tsp fresh rosemary
- ¼ tsp smoked paprika
- ½ tsp sea salt
- 1 tsp cracked black pepper
- 1½ tbsp olive oil
- ¾ cup water
- Preheat the oven to 375°F.
- Place 2 cups of water, the rice and the coconut in a rice cooker and cook until tender and fragrant.
- While the rice is cooking, prepare the turkey filling and peppers.
- Pour 1 cup of water into a 2 quart glass baking dish.
- Place the bell peppers in a baking dish, standing with cut ends open. . The peppers should be sitting in the water. Set the baking dish aside while you prepare the filling
- Place the olive oil in a non stick frying pan and add the ground turkey. Cook for about 6-7 minutes until it is no longer pink.
- Add the peppers and onions to the pan along with the sea salt and paprika Cook for about 5
- minutes or until everything is softened in the onions begin to look translucent.
- Add mushrooms and cook another couple of minutes, then stir in the minced garlic to the pan and cook for another minute or two.
- Add the cracked black pepper, and fresh herbs. Stir to combine well.
- Next add the chicken stock and the drained diced tomatoes. Combine well with the ingredients of the pan.
- Turn down the heat and add the cooked rice to the pan. Stir everything together and allow to simmer and reduce for about 10 minutes.
- Fill each pepper with the rice and turkey mixture.
- Cover the baking dish tightly with aluminum foil and place into the oven to bake for 45 minutes. Make sure that the foil makes a tight seal so that the peppers cook properly.
- Once the peppers have finished cooking, remove them from the oven and sprinkle the cheese over the top; of each one.
- Place the peppers back into the oven, uncovered and cook another 5 minutes or so until the cheese has melted.
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