Thanksgiving is in a week. But instead of providing you with an extensive list of what you should absolutely make for the big T-day, I bring you stuffed peppers. Ummm with a homemade sloppy joe filling, quinoa and cheese. Sometimes I do not know why I do the things I do; they just seem delicious.
Now I’m definitely not saying that you should make stuffed peppers for Thanksgiving, but if you’re like me and you’re trying to eat healthy these aren’t a bad choice to have for lunch or dinner leading up to next Thursday.
By the way? Have I told you about my obsession with sloppy joes? Goodness, they are by far one of my absolute favorite comfort foods. So saucy, easy to make and nostalgic. Making them healthy is a breeze too so you better donate that can of Manwich to the local food shelf because from making your own sauce is much more delicious. My basic sloppy joe sauce can be found here. Lip smackin’ good, no doubt about it.
So what I did here was all pretty simple. I cooked up some turkey and made my own sloppy J sauce with some ketchup (the good kind like Muir Glen), some low-sugar bbq sauce (anything less than 40 calories per 2 tbsps is good), mustard, worschershire, tomato sauce, and a little cayenne for a tiny bit of heat. You simmer the sauce with extra lean ground turkey, onion and garlic and it’s like your mom just made a good old batch of sloppy joes for you.
Of course, I didn’t just want these to be all about meat, so I added some quinoa in there and the texture is absolutely phenomenal, plus I find that it helps to keep me full.
Then top those babies off with some ooey-gooey cheese and you’re golden.
Best yet, these reheat wonderfully and are even freezer friendly. And they’re only about 205 calories per pepper half! Gotta love that.
More healthy dinner recipes to try:
Quinoa and Turkey Sloppy Joe Stuffed Bell Peppers
Delicious quinoa and turkey sloppy joe stuffed bell peppers - a healthy twist on a childhood favorite. This easy dinner is protein-packed and only 200 calories per pepper!
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 4 medium bell peppers
- 1 small onion, diced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 pound 99% extra lean ground turkey
- 2/3 cup uncooked quinoa
- 2- 8 ounce cans tomato sauce
- 1/4 cup organic ketchup
- 3 tablespoon low sugar bbq sauce
- 1 teaspoon prepared mustard
- 1/4 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- dash of red pepper flakes, optional
- salt and pepper, to taste
- 1/2 cup reduced fat shredded mexican cheese (or any kind you prefer), plus extra if you'd like!
Prepare peppers by removing and discarding the tops, seeds and membranes. Then cut the peppers in half lengthwise. I find it's easiest to do this with a paring knife.
Spray a large 9x13 inch baking pan with cooking spray, then arrange peppers so that they all fit. Pour 1/4 cup of water in the bottom of the pan (for helping to steam the peppers).
Cook quinoa: In a small pot, add 1 1/3 cups of water, quinoa and a pinch of salt. Bring to a boil, then cover, reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes. Once done cooking, fluff quinoa with fork, remove from heat and set aside.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
While the quinoa is cooking, you can make the turkey filling: Place olive oil in skillet or large pan over medium heat. Add in onions and garlic and saute for a few minutes. Add ground turkey and cook for 5-7 minutes; breaking up and stirring consistently.
While turkey is cooking, add ketchup, tomato sauce, bbq sauce, mustard, Worcestershire sauce, cayenne pepper and red pepper flakes to a medium mixing bowl and stir until well combined.
Set 1/2 cup of the sauce aside (for putting on top the peppers), then pour the rest of the sauce into the cooked turkey mixture and stir. Bring heat to low and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes.
Stir in quinoa and simmer for a few more minutes. Then fill each pepper with turkey quinoa mixture. You may have a lot of filling, but these peppers are supposed to be a bit overflowing! Evenly distribute the sauce over each pepper filling then sprinkle 1 tablespoon of cheese on each; you can add more if you'd like.
Cover pan with foil and bake for 45-50 minutes or until peppers are knife tender and cheese is melted. Enjoy immediately!