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Quick and Easy Taco-Stuffed Peppers

I have been cooking my entire life. I grew up around amazing home cooks, and my father is still the best chef I know.

I am sure there are a ton of people out there in the cyber-verse who share my love of tacos! They are super versatile, can feed an entire family on a budget, and no one complains! This my quick (and much lighter) version, but you can change it and add things to your heart's content.

I swap out the ground beef for a lean protein—in this case, turkey—and I swap out those empty taco-shell carbs with nutrient-packed bell pepper. Bell peppers are filled with a ton of amazing vitamins and phytonutrients such as folate, vitamin E, fiber, vitamin B6, and magnesium—and that is just naming a few.

If you are looking for a healthy start to the new year, stuffing peppers is an easy way to cut out those empty carbs and supply your body with the vitamins it needs to be happy and healthy. It is also a great way to clear out what you have sitting around in your fridge and pantry taking up space. This is just one way that I tried doing exactly that, and it turned out amazing. So be creative with what you have and enjoy!

Taco-Stuffed Pepper

Taco-Stuffed Pepper

Prep timeReady inYields

40 min

40 min

about 4 peppers

Ingredients

  • 1 pound ground turkey
  • 4 bell peppers (any color), sliced in half and seeds pulled out
  • 1 cup reduced-fat cheese, (whichever you prefer; I used a Mexican blend)
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 small jalapeño, seeds removed on just half
  • 1 garlic clove, chopped
  • 1 packet taco seasoning*
  • Cilantro (optional), garnish
  • Reduced-fat sour cream (optional), garnish
  • Hot sauce (optional), I used Tapatío, but you can use whatever you like
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt and pepper

*For my homemade taco seasoning, see below.

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350˚F.
  2. Slice the peppers in half so each pepper makes two. Pull the stems, ribs, and seeds out gently, so as not to rip the pepper. Set aside.
  3. Place a medium-sized pan on the stove over medium-high heat. Toss in the onions and jalapenos toss in a small amount of salt and pepper. (Note: You can use more salt if you make your own taco seasoning. The store-bought tends to be very heavy on the sodium.) Let these cook down together for about 10 mins.
  4. Once the onions are translucent, add the turkey to the pan and cook until no longer pink.
  5. Add the packet of taco seasonings (or 3 tablespoons if you made your own). Stir together until blended and remove from heat.
  6. Stuff the meat mixture into each pepper and top with the reduced fat cheese put on sheet tray and put in the over for about 25 minutes or until peppers soften.
  7. Remove from oven and top with anything you want. I just did some light sour cream, chopped cilantro, and a bit of hot sauce, but you can add guacamole or pico de gallo. Whatever you heart desires!

Homemade Taco Seasoning

I know not everyone has the time to make it homemade, so store-bought is fine, but if you have the chance, I recommend making your own. I prefer homemade because I can control spice and the amount of salt and preservatives added. Here is my take:

  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon coriander
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper

Then shake or stir together. You can also make in bulk and keep it on hand; just make sure it is in an airtight container to keep it as fresh as possible.

Calories per Ingredient

IngredientAmountCalories

Ground Turkey

1 cup

167

Onion

1 cup, chopped

67

Jalapeno

1 whole

4

Bell Pepper

1 whole

24

Reduced Fat Cheese (Mexican Blend)

1/4 cup

49

Reduced fat sour cream

1/4 cup

84

Cilantro

2 tablespoons

0

Hot sauce

1 tablespoon

0

Taco seasoning

3 tablespoons

Varies

 

Total per serving (1 pepper)

395

© 2017 Kristyn McMahon