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Healthy Stuffed Peppers with Ground Turkey & Barley

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.

Stuffed orange bell peppers with ground turkey and barley with melted cheese on top

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!

Bowl filled with ingredients next to a plate of bell peppers cut in half

Ingredients for Stuffed Peppers

  • Chicken Broth – low sodium is best
  • Pearl Barley – uncooked
  • Olive Oil
  • Garlic
  • Ground Turkey – you can also substitute ground chicken
  • Onion
  • Canned Mushrooms – coarsely chopped
  • Tomato Puree
  • Scallions
  • 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.

Onion and garlic being cooked in a cast iron skillet.

Reduce heat to low and simmer 45 minutes or until tender but not until they lose their shape. Drain any excess liquid.

Ground turkey being cooked with sauteed onions and garlic in a cast iron skillet.

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.

Bowl filled with ingredients next to a plate of bell peppers cut in half.

Cut each pepper in half vertically. Remove all seeds and white membrane, but leave the stem in place.

Bowl of ground turkey and barley stuffing next to a sheet of bell peppers sliced in half.

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.

Ground turkey and barley mixture being spooned into an orange bell pepper.

Place in freezer containers, using wax paper or parchment to separate layers.

Freeze up to 4 months.

Healthy stuffed peppers with no rice, using barley and ground turkey as base of the filling.

How to Cook Healthy Stuffed Peppers

  1. Arrange frozen peppers in a single layer in a baking dish.
  2. Cover with foil and bake at 350 for 45 minutes.
  3. 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.

Stuffed bell peppers with ground turkey and barley mixture with melted cheese on top.

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.

You can also make Unstuffed Pepper Soup too! It's delicious and so easy!

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.

Yellow bell pepper stuffed with barley and ground turkey, with a piece of melted cheese on top.

Stuffed Bell Peppers with Ground Turkey {Freezer Friendly}

These Healthy Stuffed Bell Peppers are full of ground turkey, barley, tomato, herbs, and topped with a slice of cheese. The perfect comfort food for a cold day & it's freezer friendly!
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Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 2 hours
Total Time: 2 hours 10 minutes
Servings: 8 servings
Author Savanah

Ingredients

  • 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

Instructions

  • 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.

Notes

Freeze up to 4 months.  Cook from frozen for a super easy main dish!

Nutrition

Serving: 1g | Calories: 391kcal | Carbohydrates: 29g | Protein: 27g | Fat: 20g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 10g | Cholesterol: 85mg | Sodium: 417mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 4g
Keyword barley, bell peppers, freezer friendly, freezer meals, ground turkey, healthy recipes, stuffed peppers
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