Healthy Stuffed Bell Peppers

Erin Swenson, Food Blogger

Stuffed Bell Pepper with Avocado and Yogurt Sauce

Stuffed bell peppers are a savory dish that make the perfect family meal. These stuffed bell peppers are a twist on traditional stuffed bell peppers. They add a bit of  southwest flavor, cauliflower rice and quinoa take the place of white rice. This simple rice swap makes this meal lower in carbohydrate and calories, and  higher in protein and other nutrients. 

What is quinoa, you ask? Quinoa is an ancient grain traditionally grown in South America. It is gluten free and a complete protein, meaning it contains all 9 amino acids that our bodies can’t make on their own. Amino acids are the building blocks of protein, and are needed in all and any protein synthesis in the body. Quinoa is cooked the same way as rice, 1 part quinoa to 2 parts water. Bring to a boil and then reduce to low and cook for 15-20 minutes until water is absorbed. It has a nutty earthy flavor and adds texture and depth to these stuffed bell peppers.    

  •  Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Cut bell peppers in half lengthwise and remove seeds, stem and white ribs that run on the inside of the peppers. Place in a baking dish, lightly drizzle with oil and cover with foil and bake for 15-20 minutes.
Bell Pepper Halves
  • While peppers are baking, cook quinoa and cauliflower rice.  
  • Oil a skillet or large frying pan and sauté onions. When the onions are almost translucent add ground turkey meat and brown. Add garlic, salt, pepper, chili powder, and cumin and cook 1-2 minutes. 
  • Then add salsa, tomatoes, spinach, quinoa, and cauliflower rice. Let simmer for about 5 minutes.
Stuffed Bell Pepper Filling
  • Fill bell pepper halves with mixture and put back in the baking dish. Cover with foil and bake for 20 minutes.
  • Remove foil and sprinkle with cheese and bake for an additional 5-10 minutes until cheese is melted.  Serve with creamy yogurt sauce and avocado.
Stuffed Bell Pepper Before Baking

The creamy yogurt sauce is not required, but topping these stuffed bell peppers with it will make them even more delectable. It only takes about 2 minutes to make and it is well worth the effort. 

  • In a small bowl mix ½ cup plain Greek yogurt, 1 tsp taco seasoning, and 1 tsp lime juice.
  • Mix well    

Using plain Greek yogurt instead of sour cream helps reduce the fat and calories in this meal. Using low fat cheese also helps reduce calories.  This is a DASH diet friendly recipe.

Stuffed Bell Pepper with Avocado and Creamy Tex-Mex Yogurt Sauce

Stuffed Bell Peppers

Servings: 8 Prep Time: 20 Minutes Cook Time: 30 Minutes Total Time: 50 Minutes

Ingredients:

  • 4 red, yellow, or orange bell peppers
  • 1 Tablespoon oil
  • 1 medium-sized yellow onion, diced
  • 4 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 Tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 Tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 lb. lean ground turkey
  • 1 cup salsa
  • 1 can diced tomatoes with green chiles
  • 2 cups chopped spinach
  • 1 cup cooked quinoa
  • 1 cup cauliflower rice
  • 1 cup low-fat cheddar cheese

Instructions:

  1.  Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Cut bell peppers in half lengthwise and remove seeds, stem and white ribs that run on the inside of the peppers.
  3. Place in a baking dish, lightly drizzle with oil and cover with foil
  4. Bake for 15-20 minutes.
  5. While peppers are baking, cook quinoa and cauliflower rice. 
  6. Oil a skillet or large frying pan and sauté onions.
  7. When the onions are almost translucent add ground turkey meat and brown.
  8. Add garlic, salt, pepper, chili powder, and cumin and cook 1-2 minutes. 
  9. Then add salsa, tomatoes, spinach, quinoa, and cauliflower rice.
  10. Let simmer for about 5 minutes.
  11. Fill bell pepper halves with mixture and put back in the baking dish.
  12. Cover with foil and bake for 20 minutes.
  13. Remove foil and sprinkle with cheese and bake for an additional 5-10 minutes until cheese is melted. 
  14. Serve with creamy yogurt sauce, avocado, and fresh tomatoes.

Note: I started making these stuffed bell peppers a number of years ago when I saw the recipe on the Dr. Oz show. This recipe has been slightly adapted from that recipe. Depending on the size of your bell peppers you may need to make these in 2 separate pans. The bell peppers used in the above images were very large and required me to put 2 of the halves into a bread pan to bake.

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