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

Santa Fe Stuffed Peppers

5 from 5 votes
By: Aimee
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.
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 50 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Servings: 8 servings


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


  • 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 (13×9).
  • 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.
  • Meanwhile, cook Jasmine rice according to package.
  • 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.
  • Serve and enjoy!


  • 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.


Serving: 1pepper, Calories: 282kcal, Carbohydrates: 35g, Protein: 22g, Fat: 7g, Saturated Fat: 3g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g, Cholesterol: 44mg, Sodium: 391mg, Fiber: 4g, Sugar: 9g
Course: Main Dish
Cuisine: Mexican
Did you make this recipe?Mention @shugarysweets or tag #shugarysweets!

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.

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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.

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**

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Posted on June 5, 2021

Comments & Reviews

  1. These are some of my favorite flavors and I love putting things in peppers (and my daughter will flip because the new American Girl doll is from Santa Fe)

  2. Must try these soon! I used the Crushed Tomatoes for my Albondigas soup last week and they rocked! I can’t wait to try them in these peppers! Great recipe Aimee! Thanks! 🙂

  3. Oh I love stuffed peppers! And these look to die for <3 Well, not die, since then I couldn't eat them. But still. Very yummy. And I love the change of peppers to red – a nice colorful pick-me-up to all the cold weather we've been having 🙂

  4. We love stuffed peppers…I love that you made these with the red peppers. Very striking! The funny thing is that I have a very similar recipe photographed and just sitting on my computer…maybe one day I will get around to sharing it. I just love how much we think alike with food!!!

  5. I have not had stuffed peppers in so long. These look fabulous! I am definitely adding these to our dinner menu!

  6. I really, really love stuffed peppers! They are one of my go-to dinners. This post reminds me it’s been awhile. Now I know what I’m making next week!

    1. I go on droughts where I never know what to make, then I remember I have a whole reserve of favorites to draw from!!

  7. these look SO good. they look healthy too cause you omit the carb part that is usually wrapped around the filling. love it!

    1. For one person? You may want to scale the recipe back, otherwise you will be eating stuffed peppers for weeks!

  8. These look very ‘Santa Fe’! We are big fans of cumin in our house as well. I’ll take mine with extra cheese please (cheese= dairy= good for you… right??)

  9. I say, keep the dinner recipes coming!! Love red peppers and this stuffed version sounds fabulous.

    1. Thanks Jenn, I plan on keeping the dinner recipes coming for the next couple months. You all seem to like them 🙂

  10. I am most certainly enjoying the dinner recipes so far, Aimee. While I obviously have a huge sweet tooth – I need dinner too. 🙂 I haven’t made stuffed peppers in ages. The black beans and corn are a wonderful addition – “santa fey” salsa is my favorite kind, full of both beans and corn and peppers. I would love all of the chunks and textures in these!

    1. I’m glad you enjoy the dinner recipes Sally. Definitely not “shugary” but hopefully others find it helpful too! To see that we do sometimes eat healthy!

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