Pineapple Barbecue Stuffed Bell Peppers
Delicious with chicken, turkey or pork, these cheesy, beginner-friendly stuffed bell peppers are healthy, savory-sweet perfection.
Cutting into a stuffed pepper is like unwrapping a present. A present hot out of the oven, smothered in cheese and stuffed with meat. And if it comes wrapped up in a vegetable, that totally makes it healthy, right?
Well, dear eaters, fear not! While stuffed peppers are usually made with beef, these Hawaiian barbecue-style stuffed peppers are best served with a lighter meat such as turkey, chicken or pork. I opted for turkey, for what it’s worth.
In this recipe, colorful bell peppers are also stuffed with pineapple, smoky barbecue sauce, fresh cilantro, a dash of garlic powder, (optional) jalapeno for a dose of sweet heat and rice to keep you nice and full. They’re topped with cheese — cheddar or mozzarella are fabulous here — and the perfect combo of savory meets sweet!
Fresh pineapple cut into smaller bite-sized pieces is great in this recipe because it adds a nice tang, but it will still work if you use canned, crushed pineapple!
P.S. If you have a few extra minutes to make your own barbecue sauce, try my easy, 5-ingredient Tangy Chipotle Bourbon BBQ sauce recipe!
Fuss-Free Turkey Stuffed Peppers
This stuffed pepper recipe is way faster than others you might be used to. That’s because I prefer to cook mine by inserting the raw meat filling directly into the pepper and baking in the oven, while most recipes call for meat to be browned on the stove.
You are welcome to take another few minutes to use the traditional stovetop method, but here’s why I prefer to cook the pepper filling in the oven:
Moist filling: The stovetop cooking method results in a drier and crumblier filling, but think of the filling in this pepper as more akin to a meatball or meatloaf. You might get a little extra liquid collecting in the bottom of the pepper that will seep out when you cut into it, but I prefer that to a crumbly filling.
Less time, fewer dishes: No pan to wash and you save another 5 to 7 minutes in prep time. That’s a big win in my book, especially on busy weeknights!
Aside from some light chopping and mixing, the only prep you’ll need to do in advance is cook rice. I prefer brown rice for health benefits, but you may also use white rice, quinoa, etc. Quinoa does actually work quite well in stuffed bell peppers, if you’ve never tried it before! You can’t taste it either.
Meal Prep + Storing Turkey Stuffed Bell Peppers
These stuffed bell peppers are a great contender for meal prep. For one, they come self-contained in cute little bell pepper packages.
But also because they store in the fridge. No need to worry about anything getting too soggy because the bell peppers are supposed to be a little soft.
After the stuffed peppers have been removed from the oven and cooled, you can refrigerate them in an airtight container for a few days. Reheating is easy — just toss the peppers in your microwave for a minute or two, depending on the microwave’s strength and the size of the stuffed peppers.
Stuffed Pepper Ingredients
- Bell peppers
- Raw chicken, turkey or pork
- Brown or white rice, or quinoa
- Fresh or canned pineapple
- Barbecue sauce
- Yellow onion
- Garlic powder
- Black pepper
- Cheddar Cheese
Stuffed Pepper Instructions
Mix meat, rice/quinoa, pineapple, onion, barbecue sauce, cilantro salt, garlic powder and (optional) jalapeno together until just combined.
Remove the tops of your bell peppers and the seeds inside. You may also cut the peppers in half lengthwise, which allows for quicker cooking. Gently stuff peppers with meat filling.
Bake peppers in the oven; about halfway through sprinkle with cheese. When finished cooking, ideally use a meat thermometer to verify the filling is fully cooked.
Garnish with cilantro, green onions or barbecue sauce, if desired.
So easy right?! ?
Turkey Stuffed Peppers + Barbecue Sauce, Pineapple
- 5 large bell peppers of any color
- 1 lb. ground chicken, pork or turkey uncooked
- 1 c. cooked brown or white rice, or quinoa
- 1 c. canned crushed pineapple roughly chopped
- 1/2 c. barbecue sauce
(try my easy homemade recipe)
- 1/2 c. cilantro chopped
- 1/2 yellow onion chopped
- 1 tsp. each salt and garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp. black pepper
- optional: 1 jalapeno (diced with seeds removed) and mozzarella or cheddar cheese for sprinkling
- Preheat oven to 425°F and grease a pan or baking sheet (if planning to slice peppers in half).
- Mix meat, rice/quinoa, pineapple, onion, barbecue sauce, cilantro salt, garlic powder and (optional) jalapeno together until just combined.
- Remove the tops of the bell peppers and the seeds inside. You may also cut the peppers in half lengthwise. Gently stuff peppers with meat filling.
- Cook peppers for 45 minutes. With 20 minutes left on the clock, remove pan from oven, sprinkle cheese if desired, then return to the oven.
- Use a meat thermometer to verify filling is fully cooked and enjoy while hot!
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