This Stuffed Bell Peppers with Ground Turkey & Barley recipe takes healthy, wholesome ingredients and turns them into a delicious, easy freezer meal that the family will love.
As we all know, I'm a big fan of freezer meals – particularly ones that are easy to make, healthy, and loved by the family.
Bonus points if there's a comfort food feel thrown in.
These easy freezer Stuffed Bell Peppers with Ground Turkey are all of those things. With a base of bell peppers stuffed with barley and ground turkey with flavors like garlic and parsley, topped with gooey melted cheese slices, it's easy to see why these have become a staple freezer meal in my home.
Healthy Stuffed Peppers
If you have a family with big appetites, I definitely recommend keeping a tray of these in your freezer – they are right up there with the Stuffed Manicotti when it comes to my favorite hearty, filling meals in a pinch.
I kept these stuffed peppers as light and healthy as possible, opting for ground turkey (or chicken) over ground beef and barley with no rice. The recipe is loaded with whole food ingredients, which makes me even happier to feed it to my family!
Ingredients for Stuffed Peppers
- Chicken Broth – low sodium is best
- Pearl Barley – uncooked
- Olive Oil
- Ground Turkey – you can also substitute ground chicken
- Canned Mushrooms – coarsely chopped
- Tomato Puree
- Parsley Flakes
- Sea Salt
- Ground Pepper
- Bell Peppers
- Sliced Mozzarella or Provolone Cheese
How to Make Freezer Friendly Stuffed Peppers
Healthy stuffed peppers are so easy to make. In the time that it takes you to brown the ground turkey, you can have the rest of the recipe ready to go.
Combine broth and pearl barley and bring to a boil.
Reduce heat to low and simmer 45 minutes or until tender but not until they lose their shape. Drain any excess liquid.
While the barley is cooking, heat the olive oil in a large skillet. Cook garlic and onion until onions are translucent, then add turkey. Brown and drain. Refrigerate turkey until needed.
Cut each pepper in half vertically. Remove all seeds and white membrane, but leave the stem in place.
When barley is cooked, combine barley, browned turkey, mushrooms, tomato puree, scallions, parsley flakes, salt, and pepper.
Stuff each pepper half and top with a slice of cheese.
Place in freezer containers, using wax paper or parchment to separate layers.
Freeze up to 4 months.
How to Cook Healthy Stuffed Peppers
- Arrange frozen peppers in a single layer in a baking dish.
- Cover with foil and bake at 350 for 45 minutes.
- Remove foil and brown cheese topping for 5-10 minutes.
This recipe makes 8 servings, which is usually enough for dinner and a couple of servings leftover for lunch the next day. We typically serve stuffed peppers with sauteed veggies, roasted taters, mixed green salad, or quinoa.
Can I make stuffed peppers with rice or quinoa?
Yes, absolutely. In fact, traditional stuffed peppers are often filled with rice. We made these healthy stuffed peppers with no rice for less simple carbs and because, in my opinion, barley adds more flavor and texture. That said, if you don't have barley, you can substitute it with quinoa (preferred, it's healthier) or rice.
How can I make these Ground Turkey Stuffed Peppers vegetarian?
Vegetarian stuffed peppers are super simple to make. Use this recipe as a base and simply omit the ground meat or replace it with another protein, like quinoa, or you can use a meatless crumble option like Impossible Burger Ground or Incogmeato by MorningStar Farms.
- 2 cups low sodium chicken broth
- 1 cup uncooked pearl barley
- 1 Tablespoon olive oil
- 4 cloves garlic, pressed
- 1 pound ground turkey
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 1 4 oz can mushroom pieces, coarsely chopped
- 1/2 cup tomato puree
- 4 scallions, chopped including both white and green parts
- 2 Tablespoons parsley flakes
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 4 large bell peppers
- 8 thin slices mozzarella or provolone cheese
- Combine broth and pearl barley and bring to a boil.
- Reduce heat to low and simmer 45 minutes or until tender but not until they lose their shape. Drain any excess liquid.
- While the barley is cooking, heat the olive oil in a large skillet. Cook garlic and onion until onions are translucent, then add chicken. Brown and drain. Refrigerate chicken until needed.
- Cut each pepper in half vertically. Remove all seeds and white membrane, but leave the stem in place.
- When barley is cooked, combine barley, browned chicken, mushrooms, tomato puree, scallions, parsley flakes, salt, and pepper.
- Stuff each pepper half and top with a slice of cheese.
- Place in freezer containers, using wax paper or parchment to separate layers.
To Cook (From Frozen)
- Arrange frozen peppers in a single layer in a baking dish. Cover with foil and bake at 350 for 45 minutes. Remove foil and brown cheese topping for 5-10 minutes.
Freeze up to 4 months. Cook from frozen for a super easy main dish!
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 391Total Fat: 20gSaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 10gCholesterol: 85mgSodium: 417mgCarbohydrates: 29gFiber: 6gSugar: 4gProtein: 27g