Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Southwest Stuffed Peppers

Ok, sorry . . . these cell phone photos aren't the best but you get the idea :)

I love stuffed peppers.  My usual recipe is this one, a vegetarian version with Israeli cous cous.  I'm also a fan of the traditional ground beef, rice, tomato sauce kind but those aren't my husband's favorite.  This week I tried a new version.  The lean ground turkey and brown rice make for a filling and low-calorie option and the southwest flavors were great.  I think they're my new favorites and will go into regular rotation around here. 

Recipe notes:  By using pepper halves and the technique of hot water / foil tenting, you avoid having to boil or roast the peppers first.  To make these vegetarian, substitute pinto beans, black beans or chick peas for the ground turkey.  The cilantro is great and if you like spicier, add some diced jalapeno or other green chile when you add the onion & garlic.  Remember that the recipe uses cooked brown rice, so plan ahead.

Southwest Stuffed Peppers (serves 4)
Original recipe here

1-2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, as needed
1 lb ground turkey
3-4 garlic cloves, chopped
1 medium red onion, diced
1 cup cooked corn kernels (I used canned but you can thaw frozen corn or use fresh as well)
1 cup or so cooked brown rice
Chipotle powder, to taste [or other favorite chile spice]
1/2 teaspoon cumin, or to taste
1 teaspoon paprika or smoked paprika
Sea salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste
2-3 tablespoons fresh chopped cilantro
4 medium bell peppers, halved and seeded (I used red & yellow)
some jarred salsa
some shredded cheese (or goat cheese)
Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Heat a little olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat and cook the ground turkey till browned; drain off any liquid, if you need to.

Add a dash more olive oil; heat; add the chopped garlic, onion, and corn; stir and heat through.

Add a cup of cooked brown rice, stir and lightly mix. Add a dash more olive oil, if needed, to moisten. Add chipotle, cumin and paprike. Season with sea salt and pepper. Stir well to combine the flavors. Remove from heat. Add in the chopped cilantro. If you need a little more rice to fill large peppers- add some in and toss.

Choose a shallow baking dish that will fit the halved peppers. Stuff the halved peppers with the brown rice mixture, pressing in firmly; use as much stuffing as you can. Place the stuffed peppers in the baking dish.

Top each pepper with a spoonful of salsa, and  some cheese, if using.

Pour about an inch of hot boiled water into the bottom of the baking pan, around the peppers, and loosely cover the pan with a foil tent. This helps to cook the peppers. Bake in a 375 degree oven for about 25-35 minutes, until the peppers are fork tender.


  1. I'm sure they are great, but I never quite recovered from my grandmother's stuffed peppers. It is almost traumatic thinking about it.

  2. yum. thanks for yet another fresh idea, Rebecca!

  3. I used to hate my mother's stuffed peppers, but I think that was because I didn't like the pepper taste itself. Now that I do, will have to revisit. I think, though, I might add some heat to this -- serrano peppers?

  4. Yeah, I think a lot of people have negative associations with stuffed peppers. I'm a firm believer that thee at should be cooked first and that it shouldn't end up all mushy.

    Serranos would be good - jalapeños or Anaheim chiles would work well too.