Turkey Parmesan Stuffed Peppers

4 servings
1 hr 10 min

Everyone loves stuffed bell peppers.

Or, everyone thinks they do until they dig into an unseasoned, watery vegetable filled with dry, overcooked beef.

There might be a suggestion of tomato sauce inside, or an overwhelming amount of cheese. But there is never a big, bold flavor statement where there so easily could be.

So I set out to develop a recipe for the best stuffed peppers with ground turkey and tomato sauce— one that finally lived up to expectation. I decided to go with turkey stuffed peppers rather than beef, because that’s what I had on hand at the time. Plus, ground turkey opens up so many more possibilities for flavor combinations than ground beef.

I got all of my best tools ready: I planned to dice and deep-fry, I imagined breadcrumbs and butter, I prepped piles of shredded cheese. Then, I got lazy.

And that’s when I struck gold.

Turns out, tomato sauce, ground meat, and cheese are the only things you need to make excellent stuffed peppers, you just have to treat them better than that dude who always brings them to game day.

More comfort food dinner ideas:

Turkey Parmesan Stuffed Peppers
Recipe details
  • 4  servings
  • Prep time: 35 Minutes Cook time: 35 Minutes Total time: 1 hr 10 min
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  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 of an onion, minced (about 1/2 a cup)
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced or pressed
  • 1 lb ground turkey
  • Salt
  • 1 tsp granulated garlic or garlic powder
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • ¼ cup fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1 24-ounce jar marinara sauce
  • 1 ½ cups cooked quinoa or rice (about ½ cup dry)
  • ½ cup coarsely grated parmesan cheese
  • 2-3 tsp red wine vinegar, to taste
  • 3 bell peppers, cut in half lengthwise, seeds removed
  • 3/4 cup shredded mozzarella or provolone

Set the oven to 400°F. Heat 2 Tbsp olive oil a 12-inch skillet over medium-low heat. Add onion and cook about 3 minutes, until softened. Add garlic and cook another minute or so, until fragrant. Add ground turkey and use the back of your spoon to smash it into pieces. Season with salt, the granulated garlic, oregano, parsley, and cook 5 to 7 minutes, or until turkey is mostly cooked through.
Add 1 ½ cups of the marinara sauce sauce, mix well, and simmer for about 3 minutes, until the turkey is completely cooked through. Turn off heat, stir in cooked quinoa, parmesan cheese and 2 tsp red wine vinegar. Taste, add more vinegar if it needs to be punchier, more salt if it needs to be saltier.
Season the bell peppers with a bit of olive oil and salt. Spread remaining marinara sauce on the bottom of a 9 x 13-inch baking dish. Arrange bell peppers on top of the sauce in the baking dish. Spoon some of the turkey mixture into each pepper half, there is plenty of it so be generous, and top each with a heaping spoonful of the mozzarella cheese.
Cover baking dish tightly with aluminum foil and bake for 30-35 minutes or until the sauce is bubbly, the cheese has melted and the peppers are tender.
  • I would suggest a red wine with ripe fruit flavors such as a Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, or Zinfandel. These types of wines will pair nicely with the bell pepper’s subtle tang and earthiness and the stuffing’s savory richness.
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