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.

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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. So I just made these, waiting for them to come out of the oven! Here’s the kicker, I only needed to make 2 peppers so I have TONS of stuffing left over! Can I freeze it and reuse it later? How long will it last in the freezer?

  2. Hi Aimee,

    I accidentally used 1.5 tsp cumin instead of 1.5 Tbsp! I only used 6 peppers so had a bunch of rice left over. Do you think I could add extra cumin to the already cooked rice? It made a big difference – too bland!

    1. You can try to add more seasoning to the cooked rice. Add it before stuffing more peppers! You may also want more salt and pepper if using day old filling, tends to lose it’s flavor with the cooked rice in there!

  3. I m not much of a cook and go right by the recipe. I don’t like cumin:( what spice should I use to replace it ? And am I right that I can use regular white or brown rice? These look delicious and I love the red pepper choice

  4. I would like to thank you for sharing this recipe. I’ve had it pinned for months. I decided to create this today and it was delicious (at least the stuffing). My peppers are still in the oven. Twenty more minutes to go! My whole family is enjoying the stuffed peppers and I have you to thank. I’m still a beginner cook, I’m 16 and this helped me feel more comfortable with cooking in general. I will most definitely make these again and will check out your other recipes. Thank you, once more. 😀

    1. I’m so glad you enjoyed the recipe Sydney! Your comment brought a smile to my face! I was about your age when my mom had me making dinners, and stuffed peppers were always a favorite in our house! Keep up the great work!

  5. would love for you to Email your recipe and nofity me new post by Email . thank you Melody Morrow mlmorrow@metalink.net

  6. I think these look so good and healthy, I just sent my husband to buy the ing. to make them for dinner.

  7. Do you think I could make the stuffing part and freeze it and then whenever I want to make them just thaw that and stuff the peppers and bake? The real dilemma is I meant to cut the recipe in half but didn’t so I have lots of extra “mixture” left. Would it freeze okay?

    1. Honestly, I’ve never tried before. I would be afraid that the rice would be so soft. But you can certainly try it (better than throwing it away, right??)

  8. Mmmm…. I’m making these for dinner tonight! Can’t wait to try them!

  9. I made these last night and they were simply DELICIOUS!!! I’m sure they will taste even better tonight…..Will be a staple for me!! Thanks for the great recipes, looking forward to trying more!!!

  10. These look so good. I’m am making them tonight. I have a question though. One of the pictures shows garlic and an onion, but the recipe doesn’t call for it. Do I leave it out or put it in? Thanks in advance.

    1. Haha! You caught me. I had meant to put some in, but didn’t (yet for some reason I still used it as a photo prop). Sorry for the confusion. It was delicious without garlic, but you could certainly add some in if you’d prefer! I had planned on adding 2 cloves, minced to the turkey as I browned it. ENJOY!

  11. Oh delish! I can’t wait to try them. We have featured them here: http://www.tumbleweedcontessa.com/blog/weekly-rays-of-sunshine-12-and-13/

  12. I’m making stuffed peppers on my birthday dinner tomorrow 🙂 Yours look soooo delicious!

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