Ground Turkey Stuffed Peppers

By Katie Workman
Culinary Setting
Meal Type
Main Course, Entrée
1 HR 35 MIN

About this Dish

“Stuffed peppers have been popular for decades, and understandably so.  And this version made with ground turkey and turkey sausage is super satisfying but lighter than a beefy edition, perfect for spring….but really, perfect year round.” – Katie Workman

Cooking Style
Ground Turkey
Dish Type


6 large bell peppers (any color)

1/2 lb ground turkey, preferably 85%/15%

1/2 lb mild or hot turkey sausage, casings removed

1 onion, finely chopped

1 c small-diced zucchini

1 1/2 c cooked and cooled rice (white or brown or any rice blend)

1 c tomato sauce, divided

¼ c chopped fresh parsley

1 tbsp chopped fresh basil or 1 teaspoon dried

1 tsp sugar

1 tsp kosher salt

½ tsp freshly ground black pepper

1 c shredded Monterey Jack cheese (or any other shredding cheese)


Cut the tops off the peppers and remove and seeds and membranes from inside.

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spray a 13 x 9 baking dish with nonstick spray, or lightly oil the dish.

Heat a large skillet over medium high heat. Add the turkey, turkey sausage and onion, and stir occasionally for about 8 minutes, until the meat is browned and crumbly (break it up with a spoon as you go).

Drain the turkey mixture in a colander and return the meat to the skillet over medium high heat. Add the zucchini and rice and cook, stirring occasionally, for another 3 minutes, until everything is very well combined. Stir in ½ cup of the tomato sauce, parsley, basil, sugar, salt and pepper.

Stuff the mixture into the 6 peppers, dividing it evenly and packing them full but not too tightly.

Place the stuffed peppers upright into the prepared baking pan (see below for tips on keeping peppers upright).

Spoon the remaining ½ cup tomato sauce evenly over the filling, and sprinkle the tops evenly with the shredded cheese.

Cover the peppers loosely with aluminum foil.

Bake, covered, for 45 minutes.

Uncover and bake for 15 minutes longer, or until the peppers are tender and the cheese is golden brown. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving, on a platter or indivudual plates.

Pepper Stuffing Tips

Make sure to chop the onion, and dice the zucchini into quite small pieces so they blend in with the other ingredients and make a cohesive stuffing with bits of all of the components in each bite.

Don’t pack the stuffing too densely into the peppers; it will slow down the baking, and the core of the peppers might not get hot.

There are three simple ways to keep your peppers upright as they bake:

  1. Choose a baking pan that is just large enough to hold all 6 of the peppers snugly, so that they hold each other upright with no room to tip.

  2. Carefully slice a tiny bit off or the bottom of the pepper so that there is a flat bottom. Make sure not to cut into the pepper itself; you are just trying to trim off the rounded nubs at the base of the pepper.

  3. Nestle the peppers into foil. Pull off a square of foil, and crunch it up around the base of the pepper the squish the bottom so that the foil is flat on the bottom and the pepper can rest in its foil nest.