This is one of my favorite ways to make ground turkey, and to use up gorgeous yellow squash from the Farmer’s Market—and it’s easy, healthy and kid friendly. Use this recipe as a starting point, and make it your own!
My husband jokingly (kind of) asked me why I would take the time to make this when there are so many good stuffed peppers on the market. (I obviously hadn’t left enough of a break between my favorite TJ’s and Costco stuffed peppers… and now this homemade version!)
However, after asking for seconds, Mr. Picky proclaimed this to be one of his favorite things that I make. Hmm.
I use brown rice as a binder (instead of panko) for extra whole-grain goodness, and sauté the squash middles with onions and garlic to add texture and sneak even more veggies into the dish.
Minsley cooked brown rice from Costco makes it a snap!
If you don’t like bell peppers, just use yellow squash and/or zucchini—it’s your house, so you can use whatever you like!
You can even substitute ground chicken to change it up. Extra-lean ground turkey breast would lower the fat and calories, but it wouldn’t be as tasty or moist (or satisfying!), so I recommend using 93% lean.
I’ve used Giada’s Tomato Basil Pasta Sauce (Target) and Trader Joe’s Low Fat Tomato Basil Marinara, and they both work great. Your favorite marinara sauce would be perfect!
Scoop out the flesh with a melon baller
Stuff veggies with turkey mixture
Cover with marinara and parmesan
The most accurate way to tell if poultry is cooked through is with an instant read thermometer. (165 degrees)
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Instant read thermometer
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 1/4 pounds 93% lean ground turkey
- 2 red bell peppers, halved lengthwise and seeded
- 1 large zucchini, ends removed, halved lengthwise and crosswise
- 1 large yellow squash, ends removed, halved lengthwise and crosswise
- 1/2 cup chopped onion
- 3 garlic cloves, minced (finely chopped)
- 1 large egg
- 1/2 cup cooked brown rice, cooled
- 1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese
- 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese for sprinkling
- 1 cup tomato basil marinara sauce
- kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- olive oil cooking spray
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
- Carefully remove the middles of the zucchini with a melon baller or metal teaspoon measure, leaving 1/8 inch sides. Roughly chop the middles into smallish pieces; set aside.
- Heat olive oil in a large, non-stick sauté pan over medium heat. Add onions, season with salt, and cook for 3 - 5 minutes until they start to look glassy; add garlic and sauté until fragrant, 30 - 60 seconds, stirring so the garlic doesn't burn. Add chopped zucchini, season with salt and pepper, and cook over medium-low heat until tender and any liquid has been absorbed, about 5 minutes. Set aside to cool.
- Place the peppers and zucchini shells in a 9 x 13 inch baking dish that has been sprayed with cooking spray.
- In a large bowl, lightly beat the egg with a fork. Add the cooled veggies and 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt and stir with your fork to combine. Add rice and 1/3 cup parmesan cheese and mix. Add the turkey and gently mix together with your fingers, just until evenly combined; do not over-mix or they will be tough.
- With your hands, stuff the veggies with the turkey mixture. Pour marinara sauce over and sprinkle with 1/4 cup parmesan cheese.
- Set baking dish on a cookie sheet and bake until the vegetables are tender and the top is golden brown. An instant read thermometer inserted into the filling should register 165 degrees, about 45 minutes.