Italian Ground Turkey Stuffed Peppers are good comfort food that my whole family loves. These healthy stove top stuffed sweet bell peppers are made with ground turkey and brown rice so they are also gluten free.
Stuffed peppers have always been one of my favorite comfort foods. For years, I did not make them because my husband didn't eat peppers. He finally tried them and realized he really did like peppers and their savory filling.
This opened up a world of recipes because he then discovered other peppers he liked such as long hots and Poblano peppers which I love pairing with chili and pasta.
What are Italian Stuffed Peppers filled with?
As a kid, my mother made Italian stuffed peppers and I loved them. I don't remember rice in her recipe so they were like peppers stuffed with a meatball filling. But to make mine a little more healthier, I decided to use ground turkey and brown rice.
These gluten free stuffed peppers contain no bread crumbs and the brown rice makes them filling. The onions, garlic and tomatoes give the peppers great flavor.
You can really use any type of ground meat, whether it's ground beef, turkey or chicken although I do prefer ground turkey in this recipe. If you use ground beef, make sure to use a lean cut as you don't want too much grease cooking into the pepper.
To make cooking time as quick as possible, I made them on the stove. I really don't like heating up my kitchen too much in the summer so the stove top or grill is my choice for cooking if possible. It's a great dish to also make in advance and then reheat for an easy dinner.
These Italian style stuffed peppers made on the stove top are ready in under 45 minutes. I like my stuffed peppers well done so the peppers are tender and soft. If you like them more crisp, you can simmer them for less time.
I have made these in the oven before but it seems like they take forever to bake. The stove top method is much more practical when you are busy, or have to take children to their sports practices and activities.
- Bell Peppers – Green bell peppers are most common but you can use red bell peppers, orange peppers or really any variety of peppers that are large enough to stuff.
- Olive Oil – Or use your favorite light, neutral oil.
- Onions – Use white or red onion.
- Garlic – I prefer the flavor and texture of fresh garlic.
- Ground Turkey – Ground turkey makes this recipe nice and lean but swap in any ground meat or even some hot Italian sausage. Make sure to safely thaw ground turkey before using.
- Italian Seasoning – This blend may include basil, oregano, rosemary, thyme, garlic powder, sage, or coriander but often varies by brand. Use your favorite. I also like to garnish with fresh basil or parsley if I have some.
- Brown Rice – Precooking the rice really speeds up the cooking process. Brown rice is whole grain so it is more nutritious but you can substitute white rice. You can also buy precooked rice in the freezer section of your grocery store and heat it up in the microwave.
- Parmesan Cheese – Use freshly grated cheese. You could also substitute mozzarella cheese if you prefer.
- Fired Roasted Tomatoes – I love the flavor of fire roasted tomatoes. You can also use regular diced tomatoes.
- Salt and Pepper – Add to taste. I also add a sprinkling of some red pepper flakes for a bit more spice.
- Water – Or bump up the flavor and add a bit of chicken or vegetable stock.
How to Make Stuffed Peppers
- Cut the tops off the peppers, core and remove all seeds. Set aside.
- In a large skillet or frying pan, heat the oil on medium heat. Add the onions and garlic to the pan and cook for 3 minutes or until onions start to wilt. Add the turkey to the pan and cook for 7 minutes or until no longer pink. Add seasoning, rice, Parmesan cheese and ¼ cup of the tomatoes (reserve the rest for later). Stir the rice mixture well with a wooden spoon and cook for a few more minutes until mixture is well heated. Add salt and pepper to taste. Carefully stuff the peppers with the meat mixture.
- In a large pot, add the remaining tomatoes and water. Heat on low until mixture comes to a simmer. Place peppers in the pot making sure they are standing upright. Cover with a lid and cook on low for 25 to 30 minutes or until peppers are tender.
- Serve with the flavorful tomato sauce spooned on the peppers and sprinkle with extra Parmesan cheese if desired.
See recipe card below for complete instructions.
Storage and Leftovers
Stuffed peppers can be made in advance and reheated. The leftovers will last up to 4 days in the fridge if wrapped tightly in an air tight container. Here are some tips on reheating your stuffed peppers.
Ground turkey stuffed peppers are pretty substantial so I often serve these stuffed bell peppers with a fresh Arugula, Tomato and Avocado Salad or another green salad on the side.
I don't like to waste the tomato sauce that the peppers cook in though, so my family also likes plain spaghetti or extra rice on the side. Of course, it's always good to have some crusty bread or even garlic bread to soak up the flavorful marinara sauce.
If none of those options excite you, here are a few more of my favorite side dishes.
- Roasted Parmesan and Panko Crusted Asparagus
- Air Fryer Frozen Green Beans
- Fried Leftover Spaghetti
- How to Make Broccoli in the Oven from Juggling Act Mama
More Stuffed Pepper Recipes
- Chicken and Quinoa Stuffed Poblano Peppers
- Vegetarian Stuffed Peppers with Lentils and Asiago Cheese
- Taco Stuffed Peppers via Swirls of Flavor
Do you ever make stuffed peppers on the stove? Trust me when I say it's a great way to do it!
If you like these Gluten Free Stuffed Peppers, please leave a 5-star rating.
Italian Stove Top Stuffed Peppers with Ground Turkey
- 6 medium size bell peppers
- 2 TBS olive oil
- ⅓ cup finely chopped onions
- 1 TBS chopped garlic
- 1 ¼ lbs lean ground turkey
- 1 TBS dried Italian seasoning
- 2 cups already cooked brown rice
- ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese plus extra for sprinkling
- 1 can (14 ounce) fired roasted diced tomatoes divided
- salt and pepper to taste
- ½ cup water
- Cut the tops off the peppers, core and remove all seeds. Set aside.
- In a large frying pan, heat the oil on medium heat. Add the onions and garlic to the pan and cook for 3 minutes or until onions start to wilt. Add the turkey to the pan and cook for 7 minutes or until no longer pink. Add seasoning, rice, Parmesan cheese and ¼ cup of the tomatoes (reserve the rest for later). Stir well and cook for a few more minutes until mixture is well heated. Add salt and pepper to taste. Carefully stuff the pepper cavities with the mixture.
- In a large pot, add the remaining tomatoes and water. Heat on low until mixture comes to a simmer. Transfer the peppers to the pot making sure they are standing upright. Cover with a lid and cook on low for 25 to 30 minutes or until peppers are tender.
- Serve with sauce spooned on the peppers and sprinkle with extra Parmesan cheese if desired.
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These were excellent!!
Great minds! I like them cooked a looong time, so the peppers are very soft. These look delicious.
I haven't had a good stuff pepper in ages!
I haven't made stuffed peppers for so long! These look wonderful.
Lisa, these look delicious. I bake mine, but your recipe has given me pause. Have a fabulous weekend. Blessings...Mary
Those look delicious! I'll have to see if my boys would eat them. I know my husband would.
I just bought peppers today thinking I'd make stuffed peppers this week! Great minds think alike! I've never made them on the stove top, but think I may have to try it and see how it goes.
We're doing stuffed peppers tomorrow night for dinner!
I have fond memories of these from when I was a kid! My mom used to make them alllll the time!
I like the stuffing, but not the bell peppers. I just don't like them.
I do like other peppers, so it's not a pepper thing.
We stuff red and orange peppers.
Lisa, these look fantastic! I cook mine on the stovetop also.
OMG I looked at stuffed pepper recipes a few weeks ago using ground turkey and brown rice, trying to eat better also! I am so happy I googled recipes using the stove top to cook them as it brought me to your recipe, I can't wait to use it tonight! I grew up with my Mom making them also with the filling make like her meatballs! ????????????
I'm trying these today. I will use white rice and only 4 peppers. I may decide to slightly boil my peppers b/c my husband hates crunchy veggies. So simple.
I too am a Jersey girl! Burlington County. I saw this recipe and immediately went to farm market to get the peppers! Simmering on the stove now. Smells delicious.
Iam from pennsauken been in Florida 35 years ,so glad I came across this.. made them today and they were great ! Brought back that Jersey food memories.
Glad you like them fellow Jersey girl!
When in Burlington County are you from? I am a Mount Holly girl.
I live in the Marlton/Cherry Hill area. Just 25 minutes from Philly!
I'm a Jersey girl too. My husband planted peppers this year and we got some huge beautiful ones. I was thinking of something I could make with them and saw this recipe. Making them for dinner tonight. It's 90 degrees today, the last thing I want to do is turn my oven on so I love the idea of making them on the stove instead. Thanks for sharing.
These sound so up my alley, I love stuffed peppers, they are one of my favs!
I want this for dinner!
Excited for dinner tonight ???? thank you for the great tips, my granddaughter is going to love this recipe ????️
How did the stuffed peppers turn out? Hope they were good!
Best way to make them. I’ve done it this way for 40 years, learned from my mother.
Definitely! My mother made them that way too.
I've never made these on the stove top. I'm pinning this recipe for later.
I love that these are made on the stove top AND healthy!
I loved making these on the stovetop.I've never done that before, always in the oven. Using the turkey was perfect as we are trying to make healthier choices. These are definitely make again and again.
Using ground turkey to up the health factor a bit is such a great idea; I think turkey is really underrated as a substitute for ground beef. Such a great recipe!
I substituted a plant-based ground "meat" and it turned out beautifully. I also red, yellow, orange and green peppers for added color. It was absolutely delicious!
Hey there ! Were we supposed to boil the peppers before? Mine seem to be taking very long to soften.
Hi Kristyn. The peppers do not get boiled first. If you like them softer just cook them longer. Mine take 45-50 minutes but depending on your stove, it could take longer. If the sauce begins to thicken too much, you can add a little bit of water to the pot also. Good luck!
I cook mine on stove very similar except I stuff the peppers with the raw mixture (I use cooked leftover rice that I keep in freezer fir this purpose ) into peppers and cooked about 2 hours. Less pots and effort, same delicious meal. I also use red wine instead of water.
Thanks for the great tips Carol!
Dianne from NJ
I made these stuffed peppers for dinner tonight and used lean ground beef. THEY WERE THE MOST DELICIOUS stuffed peppers I have ever eaten! Thanks so much for such a great recipe that I will add to my collection and will make many, many times!!!
Thanks Dianne! Glad you liked them!