Most of you know we’re trying hard to continue our “healthy” streak over here. As much as I would love to make mac n’ cheese or burgers every day, I love my clothes far too much to compromise their fit. (True story.)
These peppers make a perfect (and healthy!) weeknight meal. I can say this because I speak from experience. While the peppers are roasting, combine the rest of the one-pot ingredients. Stuff the roasted peppers with filling, melt some cheese on top, and you’ve got one happy couple.
Preheat an oven to 400 F.
Start out with four or five bell peppers. I strongly dislike green peppers — anyone else share my disdain?! — use whichever peppers you love most.
Slice the tops off of the peppers, then remove the cores and set aside. Next, cut through the peppers from top to bottom so you’re left with two equal pieces. These will serve as cups for the filling.
Place the halved peppers on a lined baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil, then season with salt. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until soft.
Lower the oven temperature to 375 F. In a large skillet or dutch oven, heat one tablespoon of olive oil over medium-high heat. Sauté half an onion and season with salt and pepper.
Remember the tops of the bell peppers that you reserved? Chop those into similarly sized pieces (maybe 1/2″ – 1″ in size), then add them to the onion. (If nothing else, working in restaurant kitchens for a few months taught me not to waste anything!) Continue to cook until soft, about 5 minutes.
Add ground turkey, chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, red pepper flakes, cayenne pepper, salt, and pepper. Stir to combine. Chop two tablespoons of fresh cilantro, then add to turkey mixture.
Place halved peppers in a large baking dish and fill with turkey.
Combine the tomato sauce and heavy cream in a small bowl, then pour into the baking pan and drizzle over the top of the peppers.
Top with slices of monterey jack cheese (or whichever cheese you fancy), then bake for 5 minutes to get it nice and melty.
Do NOT leave off the cheese.
I repeat, do NOT leave off the cheese.
Something magical happens when the cheese melts. The stuffed peppers are tasty on their own, but the combination of the melted cheese and the tomato-cream sauce make these truly special. Sprinkle with more chopped cilantro and serve immediately.
Whether we’re purposely eating healthy or not, I’d make these any night of the week.
P.S. For those who were wondering, the weight loss bet at hubby’s work is over. He met his goal and we celebrated with beer (for him), a boozy milkshake (for me), and some of the best burgers to be found in NYC. (If you live in NY, you seriously need to get your tuchas to Williamsburg and try Dumont Burger. For a beef patty, there’s nothing better.)
*Recipe inspired by Crepes of Wrath and How Sweet It Is.
Yields: 8-10 servings
Time: 35 minutes
- 4 or 5 bell peppers
- 2 tablespoons of olive oil, divided
- 1/2 onion, chopped
- 1 lb ground turkey
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon cumin powder
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 2 tablespoons cilantro, chopped, plus more for garnish
- 1 cup tomato sauce
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
- 8 slices monterey jack cheese
- Preheat an oven to 400 F. Slice tops off of peppers, then remove core and seeds. Cut in half from top to bottom, then place on a lined baking sheet.
- Coat with spray oil, salt, and pepper, then roast for 15-20 minutes. Set aside until ready to fill. Lower oven temperature to 375 F.
- If you’re able to remove the core from the tops of the peppers, chop the remaining peppers into small pieces and set aside.
- Heat 1 tablepsoon of olive oil over medium-high heat in a large skillet or dutch oven. Add chopped onion and remaining peppers, season with salt and pepper, and cook until translucent, about 5 minutes.
- Add ground turkey, chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, red pepper flakes, cayenne pepper, salt, and pepper. Stir to combine.
- Chop two tablespoons of fresh cilantro. Add to turkey.
- Place halved bell peppers in a large baking dish and fill with turkey. Combine tomato sauce and heavy cream in a small bowl, then pour into the baking dish and drizzle on top of the peppers. Top with slices of monterey jack cheese (or whichever cheese you prefer), then bake for 5 minutes. Top with chopped cilantro and serve immediately.