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The BEST Stuffed Peppers with Turkey

I love to bake…but baked goods are not always the best things for our health…so when I can get the same amazing flavor in a dish but cut the fat,I never pass up that opportunity.  These stuffed peppers are filled with ground turkey instead of ground beef,but nobody can ever tell the difference.  The peppers and filling are so full of flavors that the turkey just becomes infused with all of the yumminess.  If you really want to include beef though,at least try doing 1/2 beef and 1/2 turkey in the stuffed peppers…Here is how its done:

First,wash 6 bell peppers (I prefer to use the sweet yellow,orange and red bell peppers,but I know that green peppers are the traditional choice for stuffed peppers).

Cleaned Sweet Bell Peppers

Then try to stand up the peppers and if they are a bit wobbly or won’t stand up,trim a bit from the bottom to make it flat. Next,cut off the top of the peppers and remove the seeds from the inside,so that they look like this:

Bell Peppers Top Cut Off

Discard the seeds and stems,but keep the meat of the peppers from the top that you cut off,like these parts:

Bell Pepper Tops

This next step is the top secret for the whole recipe…it guarantees that the peppers come out soft and a perfect texture! Bring a pot of water to a boil and drop in the bell pepper halves. Cook for 10 minutes and then plunge them into a bowl of ice water. While the water is boiling,dice an onion and the portions of the pepper that you saved from the top pieces,like this:

Chopped Pepper And Onion

Put the liquid from a can of fire roasted tomatoes into the bottom of a 9×13 pan and then place the pepper halves into the pan,and sprinkle a little sea salt inside of each pepper:

Peppers In Tomato Sauce

In a few TB of olive oil,cook the peppers,onion,and 4 cloves of minced garlic in a skillet over medium heat until tender:

Pepper Onion Cooking

Remove the peppers and onions from the skillet and put them on the side. Then add the ground turkey (about 1.5 pounds) to the skillet and brown:

Cooked Ground Turkey

Add the cooked onions and peppers back into the skillet with the browned turkey. Add chopped fire roasted tomatoes (1 large can):

Stuffed Pepper Filling

Add to the skillet one small can of tomato paste (with a cup of water mixed in) and about 2 cups of cooked rice (you can add more or less rice depending on how much rice you like inside). Season with salt and pepper to taste:

Stuffed Pepper Filling Mix

Fill each pepper half with the filling mixture above. With the extra filling,place it around the peppers in the 9×13 pan…there is always a high demand for extra filling in my house! If nothing else,you can use it the next day as an incredibly delicious sauce to serve over pasta or mashed potatoes:

Filled Stuffed Peppers

Top off each pepper with some tomato sauce (some people like to mix extra tomato sauce into the filling of the stuffed peppers too,but I find that the tomato paste and fire roasted tomatoes are what I prefer):

Stuffed Pepper Topped Tomato Sauce

Cover the 9×13 pan with aluminum foil and bake at 350 for an hour and 15 minutes. Then remove the foil from the 9×13 pan and bake for an extra 15 minutes. Sometimes I add some shredded cheese to the top of the peppers at this point so that it comes out all melted,bubbly and brown…but today I was going for the healthier stuffed peppers :) …Here is what the end product looked like:

Finished Stuffed Peppers

I brought this over to my neighbors house for our little get together…and it was a big hit! This is a fabulous dish for bringing over to a friends house,because it is like an entire meal in just one pan.

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