Turkey Stuffed Bell Pepper Recipe

I love cooking from scratch. It is no easy feat when you have a toddler running around biting at your ankles. I usually try to find creative ways to include him or allow him to help out. Sometimes it’s just stirring or adding ingredients. Other times, it is snapping green beans or allowing him to play in the sink with measuring cups and soapy water. It makes quite a slick, sudsy mess, but hey, the things we do for love, a hot meal (and a minute to focus). It’s win-win!

My mini chef
My mini chef. I let him play cook with his snacks. I can still hear him, “Mom, more coconut!”
He loves to stir!
He loves to stir!
Mommy, is dinner ready yet? This is a lot of waiting!
Mommy, is dinner ready yet? This is a lot of waiting!

Anyhow, most of the time, I try new recipes when I cook. I will try anything once, so we keep an open mind as to whether or not it will ACTUALLY be good. It’s been exciting to slowly begin building my own little stash of family favorites. Especially considering the fact that a few years ago, beyond frozen fish and brussel sprouts, I didn’t cook much!

The lil’ fella can’t do dairy, so I am always looking for dairy free recipes to try out.  This was no exception.  Inspired by this recipe on Glutenfree Goddess, I made turkey stuffed bell peppers.

This meal takes some time to make, so halfway through I actually just fed him brown rice, the stuffing mixture, chopped avocado, and blue organic corn chips from Trader Joe’s.

Anyhow, here is this delicious stuffed pepper recipe, with a brief photo description first, followed by full recipe down below. I hope you enjoy!

Cook the roasted corn and rice first
Cook the roasted corn and rice (not pictured, cooked separately) first
Do your chopping while the corn/rice cook (or during nap time if you really want to be efficient!)
Do your chopping while the corn/rice cook
Brown turkey, drain liquids, add olive oil, stir. Add in garlic, onion, a little parsley (or cilantro), spices.
Brown turkey, drain liquids, add olive oil, stir. Add in garlic, onion, a little parsley (or cilantro), spices.
Stuff Peppers
Stuff peppers, add a dollop of salsa, put tops on, place in dish. Add some boiling water to baking dish, cover with tinfoil, bake for 30-40 minutes.
Viola! Enjoy!
Viola! Enjoy!

 

Ingredients for Turkey Stuffed Bell Peppers:

  • If making as a main dish, 3-4 Large Bell Peppers with the tops chopped off, seeded.
  • If making as a side dish, 3 bell peppers halved long-ways, seeded (making six total to be cooked on their sides)
  • Oil (I like Avocado), about 3-4 tablespoons as needed
  • 1 pound ground turkey
  • 3-4 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • 1 medium red onion, diced
  • 1 cup cooked brown rice (make ahead)
  • 1 cup roasted corn kernels (make ahead with frozen corn while cooking the rice, see below)
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin, or to taste
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • Sea salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste
  • 3-4 tablespoons fresh chopped cilantro or parsley
  • Your Favorite Salsa to top it off (I used Trader Joe’s Cowgirl Salsa, while not organic, it is delicious and has quite a kick! Don’t recommend for toddler food ;)).
    Avocado to garnish

Instructions for Turkey Stuffed Bell Peppers:

MAKE CORN/RICE FIRST (about an hour or two before you would like to eat)

  1. Preheat oven to 450
  2. Cook rice according to instructions on bag
  3. Toss 2 cups frozen corn in a little avocado oil, salt, pepper and place on baking dish. I have you cook two because I found that the corn shrinks as you roast, so a little extra won’t hurt.
  4. If you wish, you can add other southwestern style veggies with the corn.
    Cook for about 10-15 minutes, stirring every few minutes for an even brown

…Once you are finished with the corn/rice…

  1. Preheat oven to 375
  2. Drizzle a tablespoon or two of avocado oil into a large skillet. Add the turkey, stirring frequently until browned.
  3. While turkey is cooking, boil a little bit of water in a separate pot (it goes in the baking dish with peppers when you’re done stuffing)
  4. Drain liquids from turkey and add additional avocado oil to pan
  5. Toss in garlic, onion, corn (and any other veggies) into pan and heat throughout
  6. Add in the brown rice and any additional olive oil if necessary to moisten
  7. Mix lightly
  8. Add chipotle, cumin, and paprika
  9. Season with Salt & Pepper to taste
  10. Stir in half of the cilantro or parsley, reserving the other half for garnish when removed from oven.
  11. Place peppers, cut side up in a shallow baking dish. I recommend doing this first to make sure they stay put! If the peppers are a little wobbly, feel free to shave a little off the bottom to create a more flat surface.
  12. Grab each pepper individually and stuff with mixture. Top with a dollop of salsa and add top of pepper. Place back in dish. If making them as a side, don’t worry about topping them.
  13. Once you have all of the peppers filled, remove boiling water pot from stove and pour a little bit of hot water into the baking dish (about an inch deep). Top pan with aluminum foil to aide in cooking process.
  14. Cook 30-40 minutes until peppers are fork tender.
    If you like, take the aluminum foil off and crank the oven up to broil for the last few minutes of cooking to create a nice char on the peppers.
  15. Remove from oven, top with a little parsley/cilantro/avocado and enjoy!
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