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Healthy Southwestern Stuffed Peppers

Stuffed peppers are so easy to make, and they are perfect for quick summer dinners or weeknight meals during the school year. They even store well, so if you have extras, you can always wrap them up and reheat later for a five-minute meal.

Often, sweet bell peppers are stuffed with a hearty beef mixture, but sometimes we want to lighten things up a bit. Here, we offer a healthier version by substituting ground turkey, which is a leaner meat, and adding lots of veggies and spices to create a southwestern, Tex-Mex style pepper. When we add plenty of spices, like the ones in the jar of salsa used in this recipe, we get tons of flavor without having to use much fat.

Once the meat, veggie and salsa mixture cooks through, the peppers get stuffed. We have them laying directly on a toaster oven tray, and while ours laid flat on their own, you can cut a little sliver off the bottom if yours start wobbling or falling over.

We are making these in our toaster oven so we don’t have to turn on our big oven and heat up the entire kitchen. They will cook just as quickly and the kitchen will stay nice and cool.

Topping the stuffed peppers with shredded cheese before they go into the toaster oven gives these southwest peppers the perfect melty topping they need. How good does that look?

After the peppers cook through to your liking, pull them from the toaster oven. Serve them with any toppings you desire, such as sour cream, more cheese, cilantro or extra salsa. These southwest stuffed peppers offer the spicy, colorful kick dinner needs to stay exciting, and there’s not an ounce of guilt involved with this healthy version.

Healthy Southwest Stuffed Peppers

Yield: Serves 6
Author: Hamilton Beach Test Kitchen


  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/2 pound ground turkey
  • 1/2 cup drained black beans
  • 1/2 cup whole kernel corn
  • 1 jar (16 ounces) medium salsa, divided
  • 1/2 cup cooked white rice
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 3 medium peppers, halved lengthwise leaving stem on, seeded
  • 1/3 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese, divided
  • Sour cream
  • Chopped fresh cilantro


  1. Heat oven to 350°F. Spray baking pan with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. In a large skillet over medium-high, heat oil. Add onion and garlic, cook for 2 to 3 minutes.
  3. Add turkey to skillet, cook, stirring frequently, for 6 to 8 minutes or until turkey is cooked through.
  4. Stir black beans, corn, 1/2 cup salsa, rice, chili powder, salt, cumin and pepper into turkey mixture.
  5. Fill each pepper half with turkey mixture, dividing mixture evenly among peppers.
  6. Top each pepper half with remaining salsa.
  7. Bake 20 minutes. Sprinkle with cheese and bake an additional 10 minutes or until heated through.
  8. Top with sour cream and cilantro.


TEST KITCHEN TIP: Use mild salsa for a less spicy stuffed pepper.

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