Turkey & Quinoa Stuffed Peppers

I love stuffed peppers. I have ever since I was a child. It’s a delicious comfort food to me. Something I would request of my mother to make for me. One of the first things I ever learned how to cook for myself. In college, I used to do a crazy microwave version with salsa & rice.

This recipe below was my attempt at updating stuffed peppers and using ground turkey instead of beef and Quinoa instead of rice. I also took the opportunity to add some spinach and use up some leftover frozen veggies.

Since it’s just me eating these (the hubster is not a big fan), I prepared the stuffing and saved the majority of it in a container in my fridge for leftovers. I only assembled them as needed in the bell peppers for dinner during the week. This was a great idea for a weeknight meal!

Ingredients

  • 1 Tbsp oil (I used grapeseed)
  • 1 Onion, diced
  • 1 lb(s), Ground Turkey
  • 2 cloves Garlic, minced
  • 14 ounce can Cherry Tomatoes (or your favorite)
  • 6 ounce can of tomato paste
  • 1/2 to 1 tsp better than bouillon – beef (or beef bouillon grains)
  • 1/2 tsp worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp(s), Italian Herb Mix
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • Salt, Pepper & Red Crushed Pepper to taste
  • 2 cups baby spinach, roughly chopped
  • 3/4 cup frozen corn (optional – I was using up leftovers, peas could work too)
  • 1.5 cups of previously cooked & prepared Quinoa
  • Water or stock as needed (if the mix gets too thick)
  • Bell peppers (red, green, yellow or orange. I don’t like the green ones myself)
  • Shredded cheese to top (I used Fontina)
Stuffed Pepper ingredients
That little bag that says “Steamfresh” was the bag I had left of some frozen corn that I was trying to use up

Directions:

Preheat your oven to 350° F/177° C.

Cook and prepare the Quinoa according to package directions. You’ll need about 1 cup to 1 & 1/2 cups prepared.

Depending on how many people are eating, roast your bell peppers for about 5 to 10 minutes until they feel somewhat tender. Allow them to cool. (1 pepper per 2 people, depending on how you stuff them and how hungry you are!)

Alternatively (and how my mother did it), you could quickly parboil the peppers in boiling water for a few minutes.

Heat the oil in the pan and add the onion. Cook a few minutes until translucent.

Add the ground turkey and cook until browned.

Add the Worcestershire sauce and bouillon grains

Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds or until fragrant. I usually pull the pan off the stove so that it doesn’t burn. I really don’t like the taste of burnt garlic.

Ground Turkey2
Browned Turkey with the garlic added, stirring off the heat

 

Next add your cherry tomatoes and cook them until you can break them up and create a tomato sauce.

Add tomato paste and spices to your tastes. Stir until well blended. Don’t want to cook the tomato paste too much.

Add the spinach and frozen corn if using (or peas) and just cook through until the spinach is wilted. Take off the heat and stir in your prepared Quinoa. If needed, stir in some water or beef stock to thin out the mixture.

Depending on your preference, and how hungry you are, you could stuff your peppers whole and top them with cheese, placing them in a shallow baking dish.

To do this: Chop off the top of the pepper and stuff the inside with your filling. Sprinkle some grated cheese on top and bake in the oven about half an hour until cheese is melted and the pepper is done.

Now, I had some trouble doing that, and had to use aluminum foil to prop them up. This was also quite a messy option, but it’s how I remember my mom making them when I was a child.

Two Stuffed Peppers Whole
Full stuffed peppers… classic. 

After this first serving to me and my husband (he ate it, just not his favorite), I saved the rest of the stuffing mix (there was a lot). So, the next day, I roasted another pepper in the oven. This time, I split the pepper in half (keeping the stalk intact) down the middle. I laid the pepper on the side on a baking sheet. I stuffed each half of a pepper and sprinkled cheese on top. Roasted them in the oven about half an hour.

I definitely preferred this way.

Ready to eat
Much prettier and much easier to eat. Leftovers sometimes are definitely better!

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