Summer Stuffed Sweet Bell Peppers

PREP TIME: 30 minutes

COOK TIME: 30 minutes

TOTAL TIME: 60 minutes


July 2024

Stuffed sweet peppers are a favorite summer dinner and an ideal way to use fresh vegetables from the farmers market. These are stuffed with lean ground turkey, whole-grain quinoa, zucchini, and onions for a nutritious, high-protein meal. This recipe doubles easily, so you can keep a batch in the freezer for a quick dinner.


  • 1/2 cup quinoa
  • 6 medium to large sweet peppers
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1 small zucchini, diced
  • 3 medium cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 pound ground turkey
  • 1 15-ounce can tomato sauce
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup lightly packed fresh basil, sliced thin (divided)


  • Fine mesh strainer
  • Medium saucepan with a lid
  • Casserole or baking dish (approximately 8” x 8”)
  • Measuring cup and spoons
  • Sauté pan
  • Chef’s knife and cutting board
  • Spatula


1. Place the quinoa in a fine mesh strainer and rinse it under cold running water for about one minute. This removes any bitter or soapy flavor from the raw quinoa.

2. Add the rinsed quinoa to a saucepan with 1 1/2 cups of cold water. Bring the water to a boil, cover the pot, and reduce the heat to medium-low. Simmer the quinoa for about 15 minutes or until most of the water is absorbed and the quinoa is tender. Turn off the heat and let the quinoa sit.

3. Preheat the oven to 350°F.

4. Prepare the peppers. Cut about one inch off the top of each pepper and remove the core and any seeds from the inside. Reserve the tops for snacking or to top the peppers as they cook.

5. Place the peppers, cut side down, in the baking dish. Add 1/4 cup of water to the bottom of the pan. Cover with plastic wrap and cook the peppers for four minutes in the microwave on high. This will partially cook and soften the peppers, reducing the amount of time they need to bake time in the oven. Carefully remove the plastic and let the peppers cool.

6. Heat the olive oil in the sauté pan on medium-high heat. Add the onion, zucchini, and garlic. Sauté for five minutes or until the vegetables soften and start to turn golden brown.

7. Add the turkey to the pan with the vegetables. Break it up with a spatula and cook until it’s no longer pink.

8. Add the tomato sauce, oregano, salt, and cooked quinoa to the pan. Stir to combine everything. Add about half the basil. Taste the mixture and adjust any seasonings.

9. Drain any liquid from the casserole dish with the peppers and stand the peppers upright. Fill each pepper with the turkey-quinoa mixture. If desired, cover each pepper with its top. Cover the casserole dish with foil and bake for 30 minutes or until the peppers are tender and you can easily pierce them with a knife.

10. Sprinkle the remaining fresh basil over the top of the peppers before serving.

Kids Can!

  • Measure the quinoa and spices
  • Stuff the peppers
  • Sprinkle the basil over the baked peppers

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