Southwest Stuffed Mini Sweet Peppers
Gluten Free,  Healthy Choices,  Main Course,  Mexican/Latin,  Poultry

Southwest Stuffed mini-Sweet Peppers {with Quinoa & Spicy Turkey Sausage}

Southwestern Stuffed Mini Sweet Peppers

These beautiful mini-Sweet Peppers were smiling at me as I strolled through the produce isle.  How could I resist their vibrant ‘happy’ colors?  When it’s January, and the tornado sirens are echoing in the distance and torrential rains are beating on the window, a little ray of sunshine for dinner seemed just right.  So we kicked up our recipe with a little spice and created Southwest Stuffed mini-Sweet Peppers {with Quinoa & Spicy Turkey Sausage}.

Southwest Stuffed Mini Sweet Peppers

For a nice change, I chose to put a Southwest twist on classic stuffed peppers.  I incorporated leaner ground turkey and Italian turkey sausage with this year’s super-food Quinoa in place of rice.  Stuffed Peppers are another wonderful dish that allows for creativity and a chance to use up some existing fridge/pantry ingredients.

Southwest Stuffed Mini Sweet Peppers

So while I’m posting this as a “recipe” the key to great stuffed peppers is the stuff.  Combine a variety of veggies, ground meat (or not), beans are wonderful, whole grains are fabulous, lots of punchy spice flavors, a fresh herb or two, saute, fill, and bake.  These Southwest Stuffed mini-Sweet Peppers {with Quinoa & Spicy Turkey Sausage} also make a wonderful appetizer.  I picked them up and ate them like I would a jalapeno popper.  I sure did.

Southwest Stuffed Mini Sweet Peppers

Before stuffing the pepper, give them a little dip in a pool of salted boiling water …4-5 minutes will soften them just enough without turning them into mush.  Drain them on paper towels and then fill them full of goodness.  We sprinkled a little grated cheese on top and baked them for 30 minutes until they looked like this.  The recipe below is enough to stuff a 2 lb. bag of peppers which will yield a BIG batch of Southwest Stuffed mini-Sweet Peppers {with Quinoa & Spicy Turkey Sausage}.  We enjoyed them for dinner last night, lunch today, and was still able to {Share the Love} at the office.

Southwest Stuffed Mini Sweet Peppers

Southwest Stuffed Mini Sweet Peppers
Southwestern Stuffed Mini Sweet Peppers

Southwest Stuffed mini-Sweet Peppers {with Quinoa & Italian Turkey Sausage}

Libby with Lemony Thyme, inspired by Real Simple
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Course Appetizer, Entree
Servings 6


  • 1 2 lb. bag baby sweet peppers
  • 2 Tbl. olive oil
  • 1 lb. ground turkey or ground beef
  • 2 Jennie-O Hot Italian sausages optional
  • 1 cup uncooked Quinoa or rice or couscous, about 2 1/2 cups cooked
  • 1 onion diced
  • 1 carrot shredded
  • 2 garlic cloves minced
  • 2 scallions thin sliced
  • 1 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1 tsp. ground oregano
  • 1 tsp. chipotle chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp. dried coriander
  • 1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper or more according to taste
  • 1 tsp. salt adjust according to taste
  • 1 3 oz. can diced mild green chilies
  • 1 1/2 cups frozen corn kernels
  • 1 14.5 oz. can diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup shredded cheese shredded (such as Monteray Jack, Pepper Jack, or Cheddar), plus 1/2 cup for topping
  • ½ cup fresh cilantro leaves chopped
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • Fresh cilantro leaves


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • For mini-Peppers, slice one side off and remove seeds. Blanch in large pot of salted boiling water for 4-5 minutes until just slightly softened. Remove from water and drain on paper towels.
  • Add quinoa, onion, and carrot to 2 cups boiling water. Stir and reduce heat to low and cover. Cook 15 – 20 minutes, stirring at 5 minute intervals until liquid is absorbed and quinoa is tender. Add additional liquid ¼ cup at a time if necessary.
  • In a large skillet, heat olive oil and brown meat. Add garlic, scallions, and seasoning and cook for an additional minute. Stir in chilies, corn and diced tomatoes and bring to a boil, stirring to incorporate. Remove mixture from heat and stir in cooked quinoa, 1 cup shredded cheese, and fresh cilantro. Adjust seasoning. Then fill peppers with mixture and arrange in a shallow baking dish. Sprinkle with shredded cheese and bake for about 30 minutes.
  • Serve with sour cream and fresh cilantro leaves.


  • Robbin

    I have made these several times and everyone raves!!! As the recipe makes a bit more than we can eat at once, I decided to see if I could freeze it and use later and was pleasantly surprised to find that it worked great!

    • libby

      Fantastic Robbin. What a treat to be able to pull these out of the freezer. In fact, I think I need to make a big batch of these this week. Thank you for sharing your feedback.

  • Ann

    It’s Christmas Eve 2013 and your post saved me worry! I was looking at many recipes for stuffed mini peppers. I didn’t want to, as you state, make “mush” out of the peppers or over heat the filling (mine is no meat) while still having them be soft and the filling just melted and slightly brown. So thank you for the par boiling tip and this wonderful post!

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