Mexican Stuffed Peppers with flavorful ground turkey, rice (or cauliflower rice for low-carb), corn and black beans baked inside colorful bell peppers with melted cheese on top.
Mexican stuffed peppers are not a traditional southwestern dish but our family loves them for their flavor, texture and lots of melted cheese, of course. And it is an all-in-one meal with pantry staples – perfect for weeknights!
Although, for those who want something a little extra, these stuffed peppers pair wonderfully with salads like Mexican street corn salad, or Mexican kale salad – among others (keep reading for more ideas!)
You can find a pack of 6 bell peppers at any grocery store year-round. They are affordable and their rounded shape is begging to be stuffed with deliciousness.
In fact, I love stuffed peppers so much that I’ve also posted recipes for Instant Pot stuffed peppers, Instant Pot stuffed pepper soup (and stuffed bell pepper soup without the Instant Pot), and ground chicken stuffed peppers!
You might also love to browse my collection of 45 ground turkey recipes!
How to Make Mexican Stuffed Peppers
- Prep: Cut peppers in halves and remove seeds. I also like to remove tails but it’s optional. Get 2 medium-large baking dishes ready and arrange peppers in them.
- Saute meat and onion: Add ground turkey, onion and garlic to a hot skillet and saute breaking into small pieces. It will ensure good stuffing texture.
- Stuff peppers: Combine cooked meat and rice, drained black beans, spices, corn and half tomato sauce. Mix well with spatula and divide evenly among pepper halves. Top with remaining half of tomato sauce.
- Bake: Bake peppers for 35 minutes in preheated 400 degrees F oven. No need to spray the dish or add water. Peppers are ready when a knife pierces easily through their skin. Sprinkle with cheese and bake for 2-3 minutes just to melt the cheese.
Tips and Serving
- Ground meat: You can use ground beef and I recommend to drain it. Also ground chicken works for more lean version.
- Don’t skip browning: I tried raw meat in stuffing and result was less than enjoyable. The texture and taste were very grainy and unpleasant.
- Cauliflower rice: Feel free to use cauliflower rice for low carb peppers. No need to saute it and if frozen, no need to thaw. Same amount.
- Rice: Any cooked rice like Instant Pot brown rice, Instant Pot long grain white rice, Instant Pot jasmine rice or Instant Pot basmati rice, purple rice or wild works. It has to be cooked though.
Serving: Stuffed peppers is a complete meal with protein, complex carbs and fats. 2 pepper halves make 1 generous serving. You can serve with plain yogurt or sour cream, more fancy with guacamole and salsa. For hungrier boys, I served with a side of Instant Pot white rice and garlic green beans.
How to Make Ahead, Store and Reheat
Make ahead: You can refrigerate stuffed peppers without cheese covered for up to 24 hours. Make sure to let stuffing cool before refrigerating and dish warm up on a counter for 10 minutes before baking. I would add 5-10 minutes to cook time.
Store: Refrigerate leftovers in a glass airtight container for up to 5 days. Do not freeze because peppers contain 90% water, once thawed, they will become paper thin and disintegrate during baking.
Reheat: Microwave or place in a pot with a splash of water, cover and simmer for 5-10 minutes until steamed through.
How to Serve
These Mexican stuffed peppers can be served as an all-in-one meal or as a side. You can even omit the ground turkey and serve as a side to other proteins. Here are some of my top ideas, below:
- Salads/Salsa: These stuffed peppers would also pair well with mango black bean salad, Mexican bean salad, or pico de gallo.
- Roasted Vegetables: parmesan cauliflower or even roasted asparagus.
More Mexican Inspired Recipes
- Taco skillet
- Mexican chicken and rice
- Instant Pot shredded chicken tacos
- Turkey taco soup
- Healthy taco salad
Mexican Stuffed Peppers
- 6 large bell peppers any color
- 1 lb ground turkey beef or chicken
- 1 onion finely chopped
- 3 garlic cloves minced
- 1 tbsp oil
- 14 oz can low sodium black beans rinsed & drained
- 1 1/2 cups corn fresh or frozen
- 1 1/2 cups any cooked rice
- 1 tbsp taco seasoning low sodium
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1/2 tsp salt
- Ground black pepper to taste
- 14 oz can low sodium tomato sauce divided
- 1 cup cheddar marble or Tex Mex cheese, shredded
- Fresh parsley or green onion for garnish
- Plain yogurt or sour cream for serving
- Cut peppers in half, remove seeds and tails. Place in 1-2 large baking dishes to fit and set aside. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
- Preheat large skillet on medium-high heat and swirl oil to coat. Add ground turkey, onion, garlic and saute for 5 minutes, stirring often and breaking into pieces.
- Transfer cooked meat to a large bowl and add black beans, corn, rice, taco seasoning, cumin, salt, pepper and half tomato sauce. Stir well to combine.
- Stuff peppers with meat rice mixture and spoon remaining tomato sauce on top.
- Bake for 35 minutes, sprinkle with cheese and bake for a few minutes until cheese has melted.
- Remove from the oven and sprinkle with parsley or green onion.
- Serve with plain yogurt or sour cream.
- Store: Refrigerate leftovers for up to 5 days in an airtight container. Reheat in microwave or place in a pot with a splash of water, cover and simmer for 5-10 minutes until steamed through.
- Freeze: Do not freeze as peppers will become too watery when thawed.
- Make ahead: You can refrigerate stuffed peppers without cheese covered for up to 24 hours. Make sure to let stuffing cool before refrigerating and dish warm up on a counter for 10 minutes before baking. I would add 5-10 minutes to cook time.