Stuffed peppers were big in my house growing up. My Nana Lulu made an amazing version that was basically a big beefy rice ball in her tomato sauce all packed into the pepper. I lived for them. So this recipe is a leaner, slightly more nutritious version that speaks to fall flavors. These turkey quinoa stuffed peppers don’t skimp on the flavor or comfort food factor with lots of sweet potato, butternut squash and warm spices. The simple swaps of the turkey instead of beef and quinoa instead of rice though made these much easier on the waistline!
It only took 10 minutes to make the cheese bubbly and gorgeous and heat everything through. Oh my goodness, they really hit the spot on these chilly nights without being heavy. I loved that they were so low carb and lean. My Nana Lulu would be proud of these I think. Hope you all enjoy them too! xo
These turkey quinoa stuffed peppers are so hearty and simple with big flavors from sweet potato, butternut squash, smoked gouda and spices.
- 1 dash olive oil
- 1 pound ground turkey
- salt as needed
- black pepper as needed
- 10 ounces butternut squash diced small
- 1 whole large sweet potato peeled and diced small
- 1 whole onion finely diced
- 1 tablespoon fresh sage finely chopped, plus additional for garnish
- 1/2 teaspoon sweet paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 16 ounces canned tomato sauce
- 1 cup chicken stock
- 1/2 cup uncooked quinoa
- 4 whole red bell peppers cut in half lengthwise and hollowed out
- 6 ounces freshly grated smoked gouda
First, get started on the filling. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet with deep sides, then brown the ground turkey in it. While you brown it, season it with salt and pepper generously. Once it is cooked, remove it to a plate and add in the butternut squash and sweet potato. Let them soften for a couple of minutes, then add in the onion and sage. Season the veggies with more salt and pepper along with the paprika, cinnamon, cumin and garlic powder. Stir in the tomato paste and let it cook for a minute with everything. Then pour in the tomato sauce and return the turkey to the pan. Let it come to gentle boil, then reduce it to a simmer to cook for 15 minutes.
While that mixture cooks, cook the quinoa. Get out a medium saucepan and bring the chicken stock to a boil in it on the stove. Pour in the quinoa and stir it into the stock. Cover the pot and reduce the heat to low. Let the quinoa cook until tender for about 10-12 minutes. Fluff it up when it is done, then stir it into the rest of the filling mixture. Take the fully assembled filling off the heat. Pre-heat the oven to 350 and line a sheet tray with a silicone mat or foil. Lay out the pepper halves on the tray, then stuff all of them to the brim with filling, really packing it in tightly. Sprinkle the cheese generously on top of each stuffed pepper, then bake them for 10 minutes to make the cheese bubbly. Serve immediately and enjoy!