If you read my blog posts than you probably know how much we love Tacos around my house. I have made many different types of Tacos, using all types of meats, fish and even seafood. I wanted to try something different this week. I wanted to make a lighter meal so instead of using tortilla wraps, I stuffed bell peppers with all of our Taco fillings to make Mexican Stuffed Peppers. Stuffed peppers are seen using different names and in different forms around the world. They are used in cuisines such as:
- Spanish cuisine (typically with piquillo peppers and Manchego Cheese)
- Mexican cuisine (as seen here in my recipe)
- Indian dishes (stuffed with cooked meat, potatoes, onions and seasonings such as chili, turmeric, coriander, cilantro, salt, and lemon juice)
- American cuisine (often using green bell peppers and stuffed w/ground beef mixed with breadcrumbs or rice, eggs, herbs, and spices like paprika and parsley) as well as cheese.
A stuffed pepper is so versatile and becomes anything you want just by using different ingredients in the filling.
I have to say, these Mexican Stuffed Peppers were incredible! The peppers cooked perfectly and they had bold flavors from making my own taco seasoning, as well as from the fresh lime juice & cilantro. I used healthier and lighter fillings by incorporating black beans, Farro and Fire Roasted Tomatoes to the meat mixture. The peppers were somewhat soft and easy to cut yet they still had a bite to them which we loved. They held up so nicely with all the filling I stuffed in them. They were even better once I topped them with Extra Sharp Cheddar Cheese that got nice an melted on top.
Mexican Stuffed Peppers
Approx. 4 Servings
4 Sweet Peppers
1 Tablespoon, Olive Oil
1 Jalapeno, seeded & chopped
1 small, White Onion, chopped
6 Mushrooms, chopped (used Cremini in this recipe)
1/2 lb., Ground Turkey
1 Teaspoon, Chili Powder
1/2 Teaspoon, Cumin
1/4 Teaspoon, Paprika
1/2 Teaspoon ,Onion Powder
1/2 Teaspoon, Garlic Powder
1/2 Teaspoon, Dried Oregano
3 Tablespoons, Fresh Cilantro, chopped
1 Can (14.5 oz), Fire Roasted Tomatoes
1/2 Lime, juice
1/2 Cup, Water *(plus another 1/2 cup to add to baking dish)
1 Cup, Farro
1 Can, Black Beans, low-sodium
4 Tablespoons, Cheddar Cheese, shredded
Preheat oven to 400 Degrees.
Prep the Peppers: Cut the tops off of the peppers and remove the seeds & the white vein sections (as best as you can) from inside the pepper. Set aside.
Fargo: Cook the Farro according to package (typically 1 cup of Farro with about 3 cups of water and a pinch of Salt). Bring to a boil, cover and simmer on low heat for about 12 minutes, just until Farro is al dente (will be somewhat soft but still have a bite to it). My package of Farro said to cook for 15 minutes but I didn’t want to overcook it since I was also baking it inside of the peppers. Drain the Farro and set aside.
Place a large saute pan on the stove over medium high heat. Add the olive oil, the onion, mushroom and jalapeño and sauté for a few minutes, until onions start to become translucent. Season with S&P then add the ground turkey, breaking up the meat as it cooks. Once the turkey is browned (about 5 minutes or so), add all the seasonings (chili powder, cumin, paprika, onion powder, garlic powder, oregano, good pinch of S&P) and stir well. Add the cilantro, lime juice, fire roasted tomatoes, black beans, 1/2 cup of water and stir. Continue cooking for about 3-4 minutes. Add the Farro to the mixture and stir just to combine. Remove from heat.
Fill each pepper with the mixture and place into a baking dish (I used 8×8 pan that I sprayed with cooking spray first). Pour 1/2 cup of water into the bottom of the pan. Cover the pan with foil and bake for approx. 35 minutes. Remove foil and top each pepper with cheese (about 1 tablespoon on each) and bake for another 10-15 minutes until cheese has melted and peppers are slightly soft.
Remove from oven and serve.
You can substitute Quinoa, Rice or even Barley for the Farro. Use any of your favorites.
For the cheese, I used Cheddar but you can use Colby Jack, Monterey Jack or any of your favorite cheese to top these peppers.
I didn’t have any in this recipe, but next time I would love to add some fresh corn to my mixture.
For the peppers, you can use any kind. This mixture went really well with the sweet bell peppers but you could use a Cubanelle or Poblano. They are not quite as big as the Bell Pepper but they sure would taste good.
I used ground Turkey in this recipe to keep it lighter. You could also use ground chicken, ground beef or any type of meat you like.