This healthy stuffed pepper casserole with cheddar is a great go-to meal for nights when you don’t really feel like cooking. It’s easy to make, hearty, and tastes great!
This might not be the prettiest meal in the world, but it is one of my absolute go-to meals. It’s a perfect meal: easy, nutritious, and satisfying.
You can prepare the casserole in about 15 minutes, pop it in the oven, and let it bake. It needs to bake for at least an hour and a half – which just so happens to be the time where I’m starting to go crazy, the kids are getting ornery, and I’m staring at the clock waiting for my husband to get home (aka the witching hour!).
That might sound like a long baking time but the beauty of this is that you can do anything you want while it bakes. Make a side salad. Sit down, relax! Catch up on emails. Play with your kids. Do some yard work. Whatever you want. Dinner will be ready when you are.
The only actual cooking in this dish aside from baking it (which is completely hands-off), is browning the meat and cooking the onion, which takes less than 10 minutes. Once that is done, you just mix the rest of the ingredients together, tightly wrap the casserole with foil and bake.
You probably should stick around the house, you know, since the oven is on and all, but other than that you can do whatever your heart desires. And make sure to stir this every so often!
About this Stuffed Pepper Casserole recipe
- Make sure to buy long-grain rice. The short grain will take longer to cook. My neighbor makes a version of this with orzo so you could try that if you wanted!
- Feel free to substitute ground beef if you want a more traditional stuffed pepper flavor in this stuffed pepper casserole. I love ground turkey and I go for the extra lean stuff for this recipe because all the juice from the tomatoes makes it super juicy and flavorful.
- As with many of my recipes, I love to use extra sharp cheddar cheese on this stuffed pepper casserole. The bold flavor allows you to use less cheese leading to a lower calorie meal. Mozzarella cheese is fine, too – it has a milder flavor but is still delicious. Go ahead and substitute whatever cheese you like, or happen to have on hand.
More bell pepper recipes
- Pizza Quinoa Stuffed Peppers
- One Pan Sausage and Rice with Sweet Peppers
- Southwestern Stuffed Mini Sweet Peppers (perfect for an appetizer)
- Southwestern Quinoa Stuffed Peppers with chicken
- Vegetarian Stuffed Peppers
- Italian Chicken and Rice Bake (one dish dinner)
- Mini Frittatas with Sausage and Red Pepper
- 1 package (16 oz.) ground turkey
- ½ cup diced yellow onion (about 1 small onion)
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 2 large bell peppers (any color), chopped into approx. 1-inch pieces
- 1 can (28 oz.) crushed tomatoes
- ½ cup long grain brown rice (long grain white rice may be substituted; see note)
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ¾ cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese (or shredded mozzarella)
- Chopped flat leaf parsley for serving, optional
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly spray a 9x13-inch baking dish.
- In a large skillet, brown ground turkey and onions, seasoning with salt and pepper. (I use a non-stick skillet. If you don’t, you might want to add a teaspoon or two of olive oil.) Cook, breaking up ground turkey, until turkey is cooked through and onions are softened, about 10 minutes.
- Put into baking dish. Add chopped peppers, tomatoes, rice, oregano, and garlic powder. Stir well to combine. Cover tightly with foil.
- Bake for 1 hour 15 minutes, remove from oven, uncover and stir. Replace foil, return to oven and bake 15 minutes more or until rice is tender. Remove foil, add cheese, and bake 5 minutes uncovered, or until cheese is melted. Let stand 10 minutes before serving. Garnish with chopped parsley if desired.
- Substitute long grain white rice: prepare as directed. Bake covered for 45 minutes, stir, recover and bake for an additional 20 minutes. Top with cheese and bake uncovered for another 5 minutes.
- Use lean ground beef or bulk sausage (pork or turkey) instead of ground turkey. After browning, drain off excess grease.
- Vegetarian: Omit meat and substitute a can (15.5 oz.) of pinto or black beans, rinsed and drained.
- Cheese: Use any type of shredded cheese you happen to have. Cheese can be omitted for a non-dairy option.
- Spicy: Replace the bell peppers with poblano peppers.
This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. Nutrition data is gathered primarily from the USDA Food Composition Database, whenever available, or otherwise other online calculators.