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Recipe: Hearty Stuffed Peppers

Do you have a recipe that you often forget about, but whenever you make it, you want to kick yourself for not preparing it more because it’s so easy and so delicious? That’s how I felt when I recently made my roasted stuffed peppers. Ridiculously easy to put together, you can make this recipe as sinful or as healthful as you’d like — but no matter which route you choose, the results are irresistibly satisfying.

I like to stuff peppers with ground turkey meat, but you could of course substitute chicken, pork or beef — anything you’d like really. During my most recent attempt, I used a mixture of dark ground turkey meat, onions, garlic, lots of herbs and just a hint of parmesan. The mixture is spooned into red and yellow peppers, then baked with marinara sauce until the peppers have browned and the meat cooked through. The best part? The juices from the meat always leak out of the peppers, mixing with the marinara and leaving you with a tomato sauce that tastes like it was cooking all day.

The great thing about stuffed peppers is that you can customize them to any genre of food you’d like. You could stuff them with cooked rice, corn, black beans and diced chicken, top each with some monterrey jack, and bake with green enchilada sauce. I’m betting they’d be delicious stuffed with ground lamb, spinach and feta, then smothered in a creamy white sauce (yes, that would definitely fall in the ‘decadent’ category). Stuffed peppers are a great way to clean out your fridge, if you think about it!

You can also choose to make these as a side dish — just buy smaller peppers and adjust the amount of filling you make.

Hearty Stuffed Peppers

  • 4 medium to large bell peppers, if serving as a main dish (I used two red and two yellow)
  • 3-4 springs fresh thyme, leaves stripped
  • 3-4 sprigs fresh oregano, leaves stripped
  • 6-8 fresh basil leaves, cleaned
  • 1.25 lb ground dark turkey meat
  • 1/2 yellow onion, very finely diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 8-10 cremini (dark brown) mushrooms, cleaned, stemmed and finely chopped
  • 1 extra large egg
  • 1/4 cup shredded parmesan, plus extra for garnish
  • –salt and pepper to season
  • 2 jars of your favorite marinara sauce
  • –extra virgin olive oil

Preheat your oven to 375°.

Slice the tops off of the peppers and set aside. Using your fingers, clean out the seeds and white ribs from inside the pepper, being careful not to tear the sides of the vegetable.

Combine the herbs on a cutting board and mince together. In a medium bowl, combine the turkey meat, onion, garlic, herbs, mushrooms, egg and parmesan cheese. Season well with kosher or sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Use your hands to thoroughly combine, as if making a meatloaf. With a spoon, tightly stuff each pepper with the turkey mixture. It’s okay to overfill these a little.

Select a baking dish that will fit all your peppers. Pour enough marinara into the dish to completely cover the bottom. Place the peppers into the baking dish, then top each with a little extra parmesan if you’d like. Pour sauce over each pepper and into the baking dish (I used a little less than 1.5 jars of marinara total), drizzle extra virgin olive oil on top of each pepper, then place its “lid” on top.

Bake for an hour to an hour and a half (depending on your oven and the size of the peppers you chose) until the peppers have begun to brown and the sauce mixture is bubbly. You may want to spoon some of the sauce over the peppers part way through baking to help speed the pepper cooking process along. Serve with pasta, vegetables, or on its own!

6 Responses

  1. Yummmm! I’m on my own for the week and these would be perfect to make and then have lunch for the rest of the week! Also adding a glass or two of some red vino of course.

    BTW with regards to good books, I forgot to mention that if you are interested in the Stieg Larsson books, check out the Monster of Firenze by Douglas Preston.

  2. This looks so healthy and delicious! Thanks for sharing.

  3. this looks delicious! it is on my list to try to make.

  4. These look absolutely delicious! I love stuffed peppers and this looks like an amazing take on them :)

  5. Hi Victoria! I tried these last night and they were delicious and super easy to prepare. I’m doing Weight Watchers and it worked out well with the nutrition, and were still super tasty.

    Thanks!

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