Last month, because she is the absolute best of moms, Jan sent A and I back to Chicago after a long weekend at the Lake House with a fridge worth of fresh produce. Other than a pomelo fruit (new addiction, friends) a 4-pack of bright, firm bell peppers was burning a hole in my apron. MUST MAKE STUFFED PEPPERS.
Now, one month is quite a while ago, and yes, that is exactly how long it has taken me to get this recipe up on the blog. But I promise you, it is worth the wait. Stuffed peppers were one of those dishes that my Grandmother and Mother both made, of so lovingly, during my childhood. And of course, as a bratty child I tended to turn my nose up at traditional dishes such as this. Fast forward 20 years and it’s a whole different ballgame, folks. Beef Stew, Sauerkraut Soup, Stuffed Peppers – these are exactly the sort of recipes I like to keep in rotation – healthy, hearty, and bound to last more than one meal.
Plus, these little peppers stuffed with warm seasoned quinoa, standing up tall in the baking dish – they’re sort of adorable. If food can be adorable? I’ve decided it can.
In terms of serving, these are a great main but they are even better when paired with a leafy mixed greens salad and some crusty bread. Or at least that’s how we dig it in our house.
- 1 cup quinoa
- 2 cups water
- 6 bell peppers
- 1 lb lean ground turkey
- 14 oz can Italian style diced tomatoes, drained
- 8 oz preferred marinara sauce [I use Prego Light Smart]
- 1/2 large yellow onion, diced
- 1/2 Tbsp garlic, minced
- 1 Tbsp jalapenos, diced [optional]
- 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 2 Tbsp worchestire sauce
- Italian cheese [Optional. I use Sargento Ultra Thin Provolone]
- Heat oven to 350 degrees.
- If using a rice cooker: Spray pot with cooking spray. Measure 1 cup quinoa to 2 cups water. Combine in rice cooker. Set to white rice setting.
- If using stove top: Bring 2 cups water to boil in a small pot. Stir quinoa and a pinch of salt into water. Reduce heat, cover and simmer 15-17 minutes until quinoa s tender and liquid is absorbed.
- Start with 6 bell peppers. Cut the top of the pepper off and set aside.
- Remove seeds from inside the pepper. Set whole peppers aside in a baking dish lined with foil.
- Dice the tops of the peppers (throw away stems) - this will be added to the filler mixture later.
- In a large frying pan, heat olive oil over medium and saute the minced garlic.
- Add diced onions, bell pepper diced tops, and jalapenos. Saute for 2-3 minutes.
- Add ground turkey, worchestire sauce, salt, and pepper. Cook until meat is browned.
- Add diced tomatoes and tomato sauce. Stir to combine and cook 5 more minutes.
- Remove filler mixture from heat.
- In a medium mixing bowl, combine cooked quinoa with filler mixture. Add more marinara sauce if preferred.
- Fill each pepper with the mixture. Place filled peppers in the baking dish.
- Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes. Add cheese to tops, cook 5 more minutes.