Mexican Stuffed Peppers

I’m not sure why, but stuffed peppers are one of those dishes that has always intimidated me. My mom used to make them a lot growing up, and she would make extra filling into little meatballs that she would cook into the sauce and call “Porcupine Balls”. I always loved them, but it was never something I attempted in my own kitchen until last week. It seemed pretty complicated and labor intensive, but now that I’ve done it myself, I know that’s not true!

This is the first recipe on Beth’s Journey that contains meat – ground turkey, to be exact – but you can easily omit the turkey if you want to keep it vegetarian. And, if you don’t add the cheese at the end, they can even be vegan, too, but I wouldn’t recommend it.

These stuffed peppers are loaded with Mexican flavors – ground turkey, black beans, brown rice, cilantro, cumin – and then use salsa in place of sauce which adds moisture and takes them to the next level. They hold up really well as leftovers and are very versatile based on what you have in your kitchen if you want to switch things up. Try adding corn, different spices, different cheese, or different veggies, and let me know how they turn out!

Mexican Stuffed Peppers

    • Prep Time: 15 minutes
    • Cook Time: 30 minutes
    • 6 servings, 4 pts+/pepper


photo 1 (14)

    • 1/2 large red onion, chopped
    • 1 tbsp minced garlic (~ 3 cloves)
    • 1/2 lb. ground turkey
    • 1 tsp cumin
    • 1/2 large tomato, chopped
    • 1 cup cooked brown rice
    • 1 cup black beans, drained and rinsed
    • 1 cup salsa
    • 1/2 cup cilantro, minced
    • 3 bell peppers, seeded and sliced in half
    • 2 ounces shredded cheddar (or other cheese of choice)

First, preheat your oven to 400º.

Next, heat a pan over medium heat with nonstick spray and add in your red onion and garlic.

photo 3 (12)

Heat until translucent, about 5-6 minutes, before adding in the ground turkey.

photo 1 (13)

Break the turkey up with a spatula or wooden spoon and continue to keep over the heat until the turkey is cooked through and you don’t see anymore pink, about 5 more minutes. Once the turkey is cooked, add in the cumin, black beans, brown rice, and chopped tomato.

photo 3 (11)

Cook for another 2-3 minutes until mixture is heated through, before stirring in the salsa and cilantro.

photo 5 (9)

Once the mixture is combined and heated, it is finished and read to stuff into the peppers.

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To prep the peppers, you want to slice them in half the long way and then remove the seeds and the insides. Place them in 1 (or 2 if necessary) baking sheets sprayed with nonstick spray.

photo 1 (11)

Then get to stuffing. Evenly distribute the Mexican filling between the six pepper halves.

photo 2 (9)

And then cover the tray(s) with tin foil.

photo 5 (8)

Pop in the oven for 30 minutes, and then carefully remove the foil, sprinkle the cheese evenly between the peppers. They are hot enough to melt the cheese in just a few seconds, so get ready to dig in!

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You can easily have 1 or 2 of these for 4 or 8 PointsPlus respectively, and serve it with salad for a complete meal. They also make GREAT leftovers for lunch.

photo 4 (9)

So this is one of those dishes that I’m not sure why I waited so long to make! They were super simple and honestly pretty foolproof and forgiving, while completely delicious and satisfying. Give them a try!!

Are there any dishes that intimidate you to make? Anything you’ve waited a while to try and realized it wasn’t as complicated as you thought?

Besides stuffed peppers, risotto scared the heck out of me! I’ve only made it a handful of times, but it’s always way easier than I think it’s going to be, just requires a bit of attention!

27 Comments on Mexican Stuffed Peppers

  1. Christine (Merf)
    February 16, 2012 at 9:09 am (9 years ago)

    LOVE stuffed peppers. This looks like a delicious recipe. Glad you loved them!

  2. Karen
    February 16, 2012 at 9:15 am (9 years ago)

    This looks really good. I wonder if quinoa would go? I just went on a binge at Trader Joe’s and have more than I know what to do with.
    I will try it and report back!

    • Beth
      February 16, 2012 at 9:45 am (9 years ago)

      I bet they would work really well with quinoa or any other grain! Definitely let me know how it goes!

  3. The Mrs @ Success Along the Weigh
    February 16, 2012 at 9:43 am (9 years ago)

    Seriously, I can’t believe I’ve never made stuffed peppers! This recipe looks wonderful, I *will* try these!

    I am intimidated by anything with yeast. I really want to conquer that this year. My goal is to make the Pioneer Woman’s famous cinnamon rolls. You know, low cal stuff! HA!

    • Beth
      February 16, 2012 at 9:48 am (9 years ago)

      Yeah yeast scares me too a little bit. Every time I use it (which is VERY rarely) I always get soooo scared it’s not going to work. But it always does!

  4. Amy B @ Second City Randomness
    February 16, 2012 at 9:47 am (9 years ago)

    I absolutely love stuffed peppers. But am usually horribly impatient and they’re never as done as they could be. 🙁

    I was intimidated by salmon. But at least I can say I’ve tried it now. Even though I’m not good at it… lol

  5. Heather
    February 16, 2012 at 10:45 am (9 years ago)

    I’m not in live with peppers, but the stuffing sounds great!

    I’m intimidated by chicken and dumplings, so many steps and ingredients!

    • Heather
      February 16, 2012 at 10:46 am (9 years ago)

      *love, not live!

  6. Katy A
    February 16, 2012 at 11:16 am (9 years ago)

    My mom used to make porcupine balls also!! We would eat them over rice! Sooo good! 🙂

  7. Danielle
    February 16, 2012 at 11:26 am (9 years ago)

    Looks like a great recipe! Yum!

  8. Lauren @ Oatmeal after Spinning
    February 16, 2012 at 11:28 am (9 years ago)

    I love stuffed peppers, but have never stuffed them with rice before. I’ve just used quinoa and freekeh. I am always amazed at HOW filling they are (I usually eat a whole pepper though). I need to make mine again soon…

  9. Megan C.
    February 16, 2012 at 12:15 pm (9 years ago)

    Those look wonderful!! I’ve always been reluctant to make stuffed peppers too but after reading this recipe I think I will have to try them!

  10. Gwen
    February 16, 2012 at 12:35 pm (9 years ago)

    YUM! I used to make these with boca crumbles as well. BIG fan. Think they will need to make an appearance in next week’s menu! I’m going to plan from the start of the week!

  11. Doran
    February 16, 2012 at 1:45 pm (9 years ago)

    YUM! I love stuffed peppers but have never made them like this! I think I will use tempeh instead of turkey! Thanks for another great recipe! You rock! Malligatawny and Indian food in general has always intimidated me but I recently found a recipe for maligatawny that was simple and it tasted amazing!

  12. Allison
    February 16, 2012 at 1:47 pm (9 years ago)

    Quick question – are these 4 pts per pepper or per pepper half?? They look great!

    • Beth
      February 16, 2012 at 1:56 pm (9 years ago)

      Hi Allison! These are 4 pts per pepper half, so a full pepper is 8. They are pretty well stuffed though so it’s a good amount of food for 4 pts, but I was having 2 together for dinner with a salad, but just 1 for lunches. They are delicious – enjoy!!

    • Beth
      February 16, 2012 at 1:56 pm (9 years ago)

      Hi Allison! These are 4 pts per pepper half, so a full pepper is 8. They are pretty well stuffed though so it’s a good amount of food for 4 pts, but I was having 2 together for dinner with a salad, but just 1 for lunches. They are delicious – enjoy!!

  13. Sue
    February 16, 2012 at 2:43 pm (9 years ago)

    Thanks for the mention. I stuffed them with raw ground turkey or beef.
    I started to use barley instead of rice for a change. They freeze really well.

  14. Mary (A Merry Life)
    February 16, 2012 at 3:46 pm (9 years ago)

    Looooove Mexican stuffed peppers. We make something very similar minus the cheese and rice (beans instead). Usually it’s beef because that’s way cheaper here but I prefer turkey. Yum!

  15. Vanessa
    February 16, 2012 at 5:38 pm (9 years ago)

    Those look delicious!!

    I had to do a second look when I saw the turkey at first, i forgot that you started eating meat again!!

  16. Hilary
    February 16, 2012 at 10:00 pm (9 years ago)

    Homemade preserves intimidate me! I’m always wishing I had more knowledge in that area.

  17. Stacey
    February 16, 2012 at 10:46 pm (9 years ago)

    This looks amazing! My mom makes stuffed peppers but this is definitely a lighter version of them. I will be trying this soon. My only question is that in your pictures you have two bell peppers but in the ingredients you list three. Should it be two or three? Just want to make sure I get my points right! Thanks!

  18. Life's a Bowl
    February 17, 2012 at 9:00 am (9 years ago)

    Yum, yum, yum! I was planning to make stuffed red bell peppers for VDay because they remind me of hearts but my other half was under the weather so they were postponed- maybe tonight 🙂 I’ve never made homemade risotto but I loveee a few of the frozen varieties! Super simple…

  19. Tracy
    February 18, 2012 at 7:47 pm (9 years ago)

    Made these tonight for dinner – delicious. Thanks for sharing another enjoyable recipe.

  20. Liz
    February 19, 2012 at 7:18 am (9 years ago)

    Beth, quick question…you wrote that the recipe makes 6 servings, 4 points plus each and then looks like you made 4 servings (4 stuffed peppers). I’m confused….did you have two extra servings of the mixture that you did not put in peppers??

  21. Erika - The Teenage Taste
    February 20, 2012 at 12:53 pm (9 years ago)

    These sound so good! When I was little my Mom used to make me homemade stuffed peppers all the time, but (sorry Mom!) they never looked as good as these! 😀

  22. Lynette
    February 28, 2012 at 11:39 am (9 years ago)

    I made these last night and they’re awesome!! My husband scarfed up 2 of them! I’ll definitely be making these again


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