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.

Santa Fe Stuffed Peppers: a healthy dinner made with ground turkey. Lots of flavor! #stuffedpeppers #healthy #dinner www.shugarysweets.com

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?

Santa Fe Stuffed Peppers: a healthy dinner made with ground turkey. Lots of flavor! #stuffedpeppers #healthy #dinner

Ingredient Notes

  • 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.

Step by Step Instructions

STEP 1. 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.

STEP 2. 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.

STEP 3. 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.

STEP 4. 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.

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 dinnertime.
  • 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 this be made with beef instead of turkey?

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

Can you use quinoa instead of rice?

I haven’t personally tried it but if you like quinoa I imagine it would turn out just fine. If you try it, let me know how you like it.

What do 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!

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.

Santa Fe Stuffed Peppers: a healthy dinner made with ground turkey. Lots of flavor! #stuffedpeppers #healthy #dinner www.shugarysweets.com
Santa Fe Stuffed Peppers: a healthy dinner made with ground turkey. Lots of flavor! #stuffedpeppers #healthy #dinner www.shugarysweets.com

More Easy Dinner Recipes

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Yield: 8 servings

Santa Fe Stuffed Peppers

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

Delicious, healthy Santa Fe Stuffed Peppers recipe!


  • ¾ lb ground turkey breast
  • 1 ½ Tbsp cumin
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 can (28oz) Classico Crushed Tomatoes
  • 1 can (15.25oz) black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 can (15.25oz) sweet corn, drained
  • 3 cup Jasmine Rice (cooked)
  • 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: 281Total Fat: 7gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 44mgSodium: 443mgCarbohydrates: 34gFiber: 4gSugar: 6gProtein: 23g

Did you make this recipe?

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About Aimee

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

Learn more about Aimee.

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Posted on January 21, 2013

Comments & Reviews

  1. 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!

  2. 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!!

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