quinoa turkey stuffed peppers

easy stuffed peppers

Make ahead quinoa turkey stuffed peppers packed with protein – this is what’s for dinner tonight!
Six months of marriage down and many more blissful years to go!  The first few months of marriage have been nothing short of magic. Kenny is my best friend and biggest supporter and he’s incredibly easy to love. I’ve made a personal vow to always have a home-cooked dinner ready for my man {just so he always feels loved and nourished}. I know what you’re thinking (who has time to cook EVERY night?!) – but I also have a demanding full time job that makes it difficult to spend hours in the kitchen.

food blogger
photo courtesy of Cheri Roohi Photography {cheriroohi.com}

As long as you plan and prepare in advance you can have delicious, home cooked meals made over the weekend or during a particularly slow work night. Then your only task is to reheat and enjoy dinner with your family!

These {quinoa & turkey stuffed peppers} are delicious the night they’re cooked but even more delicious after sitting overnight in the fridge. The flavors have a chance to meld together and actually taste better as leftovers!

If cooking in advance and having a delicious meal ready on your busiest night is not enough encouragement, here are some great nutrition bonuses that this meal offers:

  • Supports lean muscle mass: Quinoa and turkey are great sources of protein. Your muscles need protein in order to metabolize fat and keep you lean and toned.
  • Prevent infection and boost immunity: Green bell Peppers are chock full of Vitamin C, which has been proven to increase the strength of your immune system – the sniffles are never sexy!
  • Pretty skin: Bell peppers are also replete with Vitamin A, which helps your skin repair itself from sun damage, acne spots, and other trauma – hello, gorgeous!

The most nutritious aspect of cooking any meal at home is the fact that you have ULTIMATE CONTROL!  You control the amount of oil, salt, and sugar – you choose the quality of the ingredients – and you know exactly what you’re feeding yourself and your loved ones. Get cooking and leave a comment if you have any questions or feedback 🙂

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quinoa and turkey stuffed peppers

Ingredients

  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large onion (diced)
  • 2 lbs ground turkey
  • 1 Cup white quinoa (cooked per package instructions)
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp dried thyme
  • 2 Tbsp Cup tomato paste
  • 1 Cup chicken broth
  • 6 bell peppers (top cut off and the seeds and scooped out) you can use any color pepper you like
  • 2 Cups organic baby spinach (chopped) (spinach is a heavy feeder so it sucks up a lot of nutrients from the soil – buy organic to avoid eating a ton of pesticides)
  • Juice and zest of 1 lemon (zest the lemon before you cut and juice it)
  • 1/2 Cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 1/2 Cup shredded mozzarella to melt on top of the peppers

Instructions

  1. Place an oven rack in the middle position and heat the oven to 375 degrees F
  2. Heat the olive oil in a shallow dutch oven over medium high heat (use a large pot if you don’t have a dutch oven)
  3. Add the diced onion to the pot and cook until the onion is translucent and starts to brown (6-8 minutes)
  4. Add the ground turkey to the pot, breaking the meat into small pieces using a wooden spoon
  5. Cook until the turkey is no longer pink (8-10 minutes)
  6. While the turkey is cooking, prepare the quinoa according to the directions on the package
  7. When the quinoa is cooked, remove it from the heat and let it sit while you prepare the rest of the meat mixture
  8. Add to the turkey, salt, pepper, thyme, garlic powder, and tomato paste
  9. Cook the turkey, stirring frequently so the tomato paste and spices are evenly distributed
  10. Add chicken broth to the turkey, let it come to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium low
  11. Let the mixture simmer until most of the liquid has evaporated
  12. While the turkey is simmering you can prepare you peppers by cutting off the tops and using a spoon to scoop out the seeds from the middle
  13. Rub olive oil and sprinkle salt on the outside of the peppers
  14. Once the liquid from the turkey mixture has evaporated, add the chopped spinach and cook until the spinach wilts down
  15. If the spinach releases a lot of liquid, continue to simmer until the liquid evaporates
  16. Add the lemon juice and zest, the quiona, and the feta cheese to the turkey mixture
  17. Mix well and taste – add more salt and pepper if you wish
  18. If you have cooked the turkey in a shallow dutch oven you can bake the peppers in the same pot (easier clean up!)
  19. Scoop the turkey and quinoa mixture into the bell peppers and place the stuffed bell peppers into the dutch oven or a baking dish with tall sides
  20. Top the bell peppers with the corresponding bell pepper “caps” and bake the peppers in the oven (uncovered) for 20-25 minutes (until the bell peppers are cooked through)
  21. Remove the bell peppers from the oven, turn the oven to broil, top the peppers with mozzarella cheese and place under the broiler for 2-3 minutes until the cheese has melted and is starting to brown on top

Notes

  • You can make the entire batch ahead of time (on a lazy Sunday perhaps 🙂 ) and just heat up individual pepper for a quick dinner during the work week. You can also make the turkey mixture one day in advance and stuff and cook the peppers the next day.

 

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