Winter Comfort Food: Stuffed Bell Peppers

Well, it certainly has been a long time! It’s not because I haven’t been cooking baking or creating, it’s just that I always forget to write down what I’m doing and certainly forget to take pictures of the newest and latest recipe. When I wrote this, it was almost December 2022 and it was cold. It had been cold for a while and I was enjoying the change in the weather, wearing turtlenecks and sweaters. Really rare when that happens!

I’d been craving those things that I consider usual winter cravings: soup, casseroles, crockpot meals and on that day…stuffed peppers. Where did THAT come from!?!

I had some leftover organic marinara and was wondering what to do with it (other than freeze it) and was craving comfort food. But, I didn’t think I had made stuffed peppers more than half a dozen times, in my life. I think I had most of them in college? So long ago, I couldn’t remember. I certainly didn’t recall anyone making them at home!

Anyway, I recently had made a delicious roast tomato and basil soup, Whole 30 chili and a hearty vegetable soup. Freezer was full.

Looking at various recipes for stuffed peppers brought up the usual ingredients – onion, garlic, tomato sauce, ground beef, cheese – and I just thought I could be creative and use whatever I had in the fridge. Yup! That worked. So here it is:

I had a pound of ground turkey, some bell peppers, left over marinara, onions, garlic, celery, zucchini, yellow squash, sharp cheddar and jalapeno jack cheeses, some riced cauliflower (you can make yourself OR buy in the freezer section of your local grocery store) and a slew of dried spices.

I like to prep everything before I even start cooking (Mise en place) so I got the ingredients, bowls, cutting board and knives out.

After washing all the vegetables, I diced the zucchini and yellow squash, onion, garlic, celery and jalapeno pepper.

I placed olive oil in a large sauté pan and cooked the ground turkey. I removed the cooked ground turkey from heat and placed in a bowl, returned pan to heat, added a little olive oil and added the zucchini and squash. Sautéd for about 5 minutes, until soft. Removed from heat and added to the bowl with the turkey.

Returned pan to the stove, added a little more olive oil and added the onions, jalapenos, celery and garlic. Sauté for about another 5 minutes.

Returned the turkey and other vegetables to the pan, added about 2 cups of marinara and the riced cauliflower and brought to a boil, reduced heat and stirred for another 5 minutes, until all ingredients heated.

I cut 4 red bell peppers lengthwise and removed the top stem and seeds inside.

Over temp at 375F,   


4 bell peppers (various colors of you choosing)*

1 lb ground turkey, beef, pork or lamb (again of your choosing), I used ground turkey.

1 small onion (small diced)

3 cloves fresh garlic (small diced OR minced)

3 celery stalks (sliced or small diced)

1 jalapeno pepper (seeded, cleaned and diced)

1 small zucchini (small dice)

1 yellow squash (small diced)

1 pack riced cauliflower (or ½ small head cauliflower, washed and riced in food processor) Obviously, most recipes include cooked white or brown rice, quinoa or the grain of your choosing, I prefer riced cauliflower-keeps a bit healthier and Whole 30 compliant)

2 cups Marinara or tomato sauce (I make my own organic marinara)

Dried spices:

  • Italian seasoning
    • Garlic Powder
    • Onion Powder
    • Ground Coriander
    • Ground Cumin
    • Salt & Pepper

You can use spices you like (maybe chili powder, basil, paprika, parsley or??)

At this point, the recipe is Whole 30 compliant. But, if you want, you can add shredded cheddar cheese on top or any other cheese. I added cheddar cheese and jalapeno jack.

*This recipe can fill 8 ½ (4 whole) peppers OR you can fill what you need and freeze the rest of the sauce/stuffing for later use.

I filled 4 ½ (2 whole) bell peppers and had enough filling for 4 more whole peppers left over to freeze.

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