- 6 red, yellow or orange peppers
- 1 cup uncooked quinoa
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 1 lb ground turkey
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 4 roma tomatoes
- 1 1/4 cups shredded monterey jack cheese
- 2 Tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp pepper
Stuffed Peppers with Quinoa
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Active Time: 45 minutes
Start to Finish: 1 hour, 15 minutes
Fill a large sauce or soup pot with water so that it will cover the peppers (about 4 cups) and cook over high heat. You might have to do the peppers in 2 batches. Cut the tops off the peppers and remove the seeds and spines. If a pepper doesn't stand up on its own, cut off the rounded portions on the bottom so that they are flat, but be careful not to cut a hole in the bottom of the pepper.
When the water boils, add the peppers. Cook the peppers until they begin to soften and become flexible, about 5 minutes. Note that red peppers will soften the fastest, then orange peppers, then yellow peppers, so check each pepper individually and remove with tongs when ready. Be very careful to dump out all of the hot water before you remove the pepper from the pot.
At this point, pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees.
Save 2 cups of the pepper water and discard the rest. Bring the pepper water back to a boil, add 1 cup of quinoa. Bring the mixture back to a boil, cover and cook over medium heat until the quinoa has absorbed all of the water. Remove the pot from the heat, fluff the quinoa with a fork and let stand for 15 minutes. Makes about 4 cups.
While the quinoa is cooking, add the olive oil to a non-stick pan and heat until warm. Add the onions and cook until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for an additional minute. Stir in the turkey and break up chunks into small pieces with a plastic spatula. Cook over medium heat until the turkey is fully cooked, about 10 minutes.
Combine the turkey mixture with the quinoa. Add 1 cup of cheese, parsley, salt and pepper to the turkey/quinoa mixture and combine. Dice the tomatoes and add to the turkey mixture.
Arrange the peppers cut side up on a glass baking dish. Fill the peppers with the turkey/quinoa mixture until the mixture forms a rounded top on the peppers. Top with the remaining cheese. Bake until the cheese is browned, about 30 minutes.
Unless you have 6 large peppers, this will make extra turkey/quinoa mixture. It makes a great salad, so you can keep it in the fridge as a snack, or take it for lunch at work.
You can't just halve the quinoa amounts - so check your quinoa package. For example, 1 cup of water and a 1/2 cup of quinoa does not work (not enough water) - trust me.
If you can't find shredded monterey jack cheese, you can substitute mozzarella or another mild cheese.
You can substitute beef or other ground meat for the turkey if you prefer. You can also make this vegetarian, but consider adding black beans, corn and/or mushrooms to add some protein and texture.
We like to use two red, two orange and two yellow peppers to have some color contrast.
You can make the turkey/quinoa mixture and stuff the peppers (without the ketchup mixture or cheese on top) up to 24 hours before you want to serve them. Wrap the stuffed peppers tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate. Remove the peppers from the refrigerator about an hour before you want to cook them. Follow the instructions in the last paragraph of the directions above.
Once the peppers are cooked, they reheat well in the microwave.