Santa Fe Stuffed Peppers

Santa Fe Stuffed Peppers: a healthy dinner made with ground turkey, corn, beans, and tomatoes! You’ll love this southwestern twist on a classic meal.

For more southwestern meals, be sure to try our Carne Asada. It’s delicious when served with cilantro lime rice and guacamole!

Stuffed peppers with a mexican filling and topped with melted cheese.

Why this Dinner Recipe Works

When stuffed peppers are on the menu, it normally means I’m making my mom’s version: green peppers stuffed with a mixture of ground beef, minute rice, tomato soup, salt, pepper and egg.

Delicious? Yes. Healthy? Ummm, not so much.

This variation puts a healthy spin on that classic meal using ground turkey, crushed tomatoes and lots of high-fiber beans stuffed into fresh bell peppers. I even use reduced fat cheese on top to add flavor while keeping dinner on the lighter side.

Santa Fe Stuffed Peppers have just the right amount of spice, tons of fresh flavor AND they’re easy to throw together! What more can you ask of a dinner recipe?

Ingredient Notes

Ingredients needed for santa fe stuffed peppers.
  • Ground turkey – Lean ground beef or ground chicken can be substituted.
  • Black beans – I used canned beans, drained and rinsed. Pinto beans or red beans would be a delicious alternative, too.
  • Rice – Jasmine rice, cooked in advance is my preference, but any long grain white rice works–or use brown rice for an even healthier meal.
  • Reduced Fat Colby Jack Cheese – Or use regular cheese if you don’t care about the fat content.
  • Red Sweet Peppers – Green or yellow sweet bell peppers work too.
  • Kosher Salt- be sure to choose kosher salt. It’s more coarse than table salt.

Step by Step Instructions

Step by step ingredients to make stuffed peppers.

Prepare the red peppers. Wash the peppers and slice off the tops. Scoop out the seeds and stand the peppers up in a baking dish.

Brown the meat. Cook the turkey in a skillet over medium heat until browned, then add the tomatoes, black beans, sweet corn and spices. Let the mixture simmer for about 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, cook the rice according to package directions.

Stuff and bake. When the rice is cooked, add it to the skillet and mix to combine it with the turkey. Fill each pepper with the mixture, cover with foil and bake for about 40 minutes.

Add cheese. Remove the foil from the pan, sprinkle the peppers with cheese and bake for another 5 minutes to let the cheese melt.

Serve with chopped green onions, if desired.

Stuffed red pepper cut in half on a plate.

Tips and Tricks

  • For a make ahead meal, you could prep the peppers and make the turkey mixture at the beginning of the day, then store covered in the fridge until ready to fill and bake at dinner time.
  • To remove the seeds from the peppers, graze a paring knife along the insides to loosen the seeds, then use a spoon to scoop them out.

Recipe FAQs

Can stuffed peppers be made with beef instead of turkey?

Santa Fe Stuffed Peppers are delicious with any ground meat you choose!

Can you use quinoa instead of rice in stuffed peppers?

We suggest using cooked quinoa if replacing the rice in stuffed peppers.

What could you serve with stuffed peppers?

Stuffed peppers are a meal all on their own; they include meat, vegetables and grains! To round out the Southwestern meal, I like to serve ours with a side salad and some Jalapeno Cheddar Cornbread. Spicy and delicious!

Stuffed red peppers in a clear glass 13x9 baking dish.

More Easy Dinner Recipes

Yield: 8 servings

Santa Fe Stuffed Peppers

Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes

Santa Fe Stuffed Peppers: a healthy dinner made with ground turkey, corn, beans, and tomatoes! You'll love this southwestern twist on a classic meal.


  • ¾ pound ground turkey breast
  • 1 ½ Tablespoons cumin
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 can (28 ounce) crushed tomatoes
  • 1 can (15.25 ounce) black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 can (15.25 ounce) sweet corn, drained
  • 3 cups cooked Jasmine Rice
  • 8 fresh sweet Red peppers
  • 1 cup reduced fat Colby Jack cheese
  • 2 green onions, sliced


  1. Wash red peppers and slice the tops off each pepper. Remove the seeds. Stand each pepper up next to eachother in a large baking dish (13x9).
  2. In a large skillet, brown ground turkey until fully cooked. Drain. Return to skillet. Add cumin, salt, tomatoes, black bean and sweet corn. Simmer about 15 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, cook Jasmine rice according to package.
  4. Add cooked rice to skillet, combining completely. Remove from heat. Fill each red pepper with turkey mixture.Cover dish with foil and bake in a 350 degree oven for about 40-45 minutes. Remove foil and to with cheese. Bake an additional 5 minutes, until cheese is melted. Remove from oven and sprinkle with green onion pieces.
  5. Serve and enjoy!

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:

1 pepper

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 282Total Fat: 7gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 44mgSodium: 391mgCarbohydrates: 35gFiber: 4gSugar: 9gProtein: 22g

*Nutrition facts are an estimate and not guaranteed to be accurate. Please see a registered dietitian for special diet advice.

Did you make this recipe?

Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Instagram

All the good taste of classic Stuffed Peppers like mom used to make but with better-for-you ingredients and little more color to spice things up. This easy healthy dinner recipe is bound to become a family favorite.

Avatar photo

About Aimee

Aimee is a dessert lover (specifically rice krispie treats), workout enthusiast, self-taught foodie, and recipe creator.

Learn more about Aimee.

Affiliate Disclosure:**There may be affiliate links in this post! By clicking on them, or purchasing recommended items I may receive a small compensation. However, I only recommend products I love! Thank you for supporting Shugary Sweets! See my disclosure policy for more info**

Learn How To Become a Better Home Baker
Sign up for the Shugary Sweets FREE Email Course Today—soon you’ll say, "I made it from scratch!"


Posted on June 5, 2021

Comments & Reviews

  1. These peppers are amazing and so delicious. Can’t wait to remake these again! Such a great and very yummy dinner!

  2. I have made these peppers a bunch of times. I just love how they turn out. So much flavor with the red peppers. In my opinion, these are better than the traditional stuffed green peppers. Great recipe!

  3. I made these tonight for dinner, and they were a huge hit! To give them more of a Mexican taste, I added some chili powder (I also added some fresh minced garlic). What a hearty meal!! We normally don’t use ground turkey, as my kids aren’t fans of it, but honestly, no one could tell the difference.
    Thank you for a wonderful recipe!

    1. Thanks Leslie for stopping back over and leaving a comment. I’m so glad the recipe was loved and enjoyed by many!!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *