Many times my inspiration lies in proving to my husband that he actually likes a particular dish…he just doesn’t know it yet. In this case, stuffed bell peppers. Over years of marriage, he has expressed to me his disdain of this dish and just how pointless he thinks they are.
For a girl who super loves sweet peppers, this was a bummer. In order to change his mind, I knew I had to create a pepper so chalk-full of flavor, he wouldn’t even want to come up for air from his plate to complain. What can I say? That’s just the kind of hard-headed wife I am.
These bell peppers are stuffed with ground turkey seasoned with smoked paprika and smothered in a homemade tomato sauce. Piquillo peppers add a bright tang to the dish, while the almonds provide just the right amount of textural variation. Add some perfectly steamed rice for body and top it with Manchego cheese for a little zip and I’d say we are working with a stuff your face kind of stuffed pepper.
Spanish Stuffed Peppers
- 6 Red Bell Peppers*
- 2 tbsp Olive Oil
- 1 lb Ground Turkey 85/15
- 3 tsp Kosher Salt separated
- 1 1/2 tsp Smoked Paprika separated
- 1 tsp Ground Pepper separated
- 2 tbsp Olive Oil
- 2 Yellow Onions diced
- 4 Cloves of Garlic minced
- 28 oz Crushed Tomatoes
- 2 tsp Granulated Sugar
- Pinch of Red Pepper Flakes
- 1 c Steamed White Rice
- 1/2 c Chopped Grilled Piquillo Peppers ** pressed with a paper towel to remove excess moisture
- 1/4 c Sliced Almonds
- 1/2 c Freshly Grated Manchego Cheese
- 1 Egg slightly beaten
- 1/4 c Olive Oil
Preheat the oven to 375° and have ready a greased 9x13” casserole dish.
Remove the tops of the bell peppers, cutting about a 1/4” below the bottom of the stem. Seed and core the peppers. Set aside until ready to use.
Add olive oil to a large saute pan or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the ground turkey and begin breaking apart with a wooden spoon or spatula. Add in 1 tsp salt, 1 tsp smoked paprika and 1/2 tsp pepper. Saute 10 minutes or until no pink remains, and turkey is cooked through. Transfer the turkey to a medium-sized mixing bowl and set aside until ready to use.
Continue cooking over medium heat and add onions. Saute for 10 minutes, until softened. Add the garlic and saute 2 minutes more. Spoon out half of the onion mixture and add to the ground turkey. To the remaining onion mixture, add the tomatoes, 2 tsp sugar, 1 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp smoked paprika and red pepper flakes. Reduce the heat to medium-low and allow to simmer 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
In the meantime, add the rice, piquillo peppers, almonds, half of the Manchego, beaten egg, 1 tsp salt and a 1/2 tsp pepper to the turkey mixture. Stir to thoroughly combine.
Ladle half of the sauce onto the bottom of the casserole dish and add the remaining sauce to the turkey mixture. Stuff the bell peppers with the turkey mixture and place evenly in the casserole dish. Add a pinch of Manchebo to the top of each pepper and drizzle with olive oil.
Bake for 25 minutes, allow to cool slightly, serve and enjoy.
*When shopping for bell peppers that you plan to stuff, always seek the ones that have a sturdy bottom or can stand up on their own. **Jarred piquillo peppers are usually found in the international aisle of the grocery store.
Would pair well with:
White Wine, such as Chardonnay or Pinot Grigio