Mexican Stuffed Peppers

A Mexican Stuffed pepper on a plate with a green salad.

When craving a healthy, hearty family dinner, these low-carb stuffed peppers are a winner. The recipe uses lean ground turkey and taco seasoning for meaty Mexican stuffed peppers to keep you coming back for another bite. Try these turkey taco-stuffed peppers tonight.

Ingredients for the taco stuffed peppers recipe.

Mexican turkey stuffed peppers are one of my favorite dinners because they’re easy to make, are always moist and flavorful and satisfy my taco cravings while keeping carbs to a minimum.

If you like baked stuffed peppers in all forms, be sure to try my Chicken Stuffed Peppers and Italian Turkey Stuffed Peppers.

What I like most about these taco stuffed peppers is that you don’t have to boil the bell peppers or cook rice in advance to make them, so it’s a great spur-of-the-moment dish, and the whole thing is ready to eat in about an hour.

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Why you’ll love this recipe:

  • It’s a quick and easy Mexican stuffed peppers recipe.
  • Can be prepped in advance.
  • Freezes well.
  • There is no rice in these baked stuffed peppers, so they’re healthy and lower carb than traditional stuffed pepper recipes.
  • No need to boil or pre-cook the bell peppers before stuffing and roasting. Instead of being mushy, these baked stuffed peppers are crisp-tender, but not soft.

Ingredients for taco stuffed peppers:

  • Taco Seasoning – you can use homemade or store-bought.
  • Onion – I used yellow onion, but you can use white or red onion as well.
  • Garlic – for flavor and aromatics.
  • Olive Oil – you don’t have to use extra virgin olive oil, regular is fine.
  • Picante Sauce or Salsa – you can use store-bought or homemade.
  • Ground Turkey Breast – you can use extra lean or 85/15%.
  • Old Fashioned Oatmeal – this is the binder for the turkey breast filling.
  • Egg – another binding ingredient which helps keep the filling moist.
  • Sweet Bell Peppers (We used orange, yellow and red bell peppers).
  • Shredded Cheese (such as Monterey Jack, Cheddar, Cheddar Jack or a blend of Mexican cheeses)
taco seasoning mix.

If you don’t have a packet of taco seasoning, make your own with some common pantry spices. It’s quick and easy to do, and you can save any leftovers in a sealed container for up to 2-3 months.

You’ll need about five teaspoons of taco seasoning for the Mexican stuffed peppers recipe.

Ingredients for taco seasoning mix:

  • Chili Powder
  • Smoked Paprika
  • Cumin
  • Dried Oregano
  • Garlic Powder
  • Onion Powder
  • Kosher Salt
  • Black Pepper
  • Cayenne Pepper

How to make homemade taco seasoning:

  • In a small bowl, combine the taco seasoning ingredients and whisk.
  • Transfer the homemade taco seasoning to an airtight container.


  1. Heat the oil in a skillet over medium heat and add the chopped onions and minced garlic. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables become soft, fragrant and translucent. (This is called “sweating” the vegetables.
  2. Stir five teaspoons of the taco seasoning and ¼ cup of picante sauce or salsa into the onion mixture and cook until no dry bits are left and the blend is fragrant. Transfer the vegetables to a large bowl and spread them into a thin layer with the back of a wooden spoon to cool faster.
  3. Add the oatmeal and egg to the cooled vegetables and mix very well.
  4. Add the ground turkey and ½ cup of the shredded cheese to the taco seasoning mixture and stir well, or use clean hands to mix the ingredients together.
  5. Slice the bell peppers in half and remove the ribs, membranes and seeds. Place the peppers on a baking sheet (lined with tin foil for easier cleanup).
  6. Divide the Mexican turkey filling between the bell pepper halves and par-bake for 25-30 minutes at 375°F.
  7. Top each pepper with the remaining picante sauce (or salsa) and the cheese. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until the cheese is melted.
Cooking the vegetables, taco seasonings and picante sauce until combined.
The vegetable and seasoning mixture should be saucy, but not watery.


  • Bulk up the Mexican turkey stuffing for the stuffed peppers with other vegetables, like shredded zucchini or yellow squash sauteed with onions. Not only will it add more moisture, it’s a great way to hide veggies for picky eaters.
  • Add drained canned black beans to the ground turkey mixture.
  • Swap ground turkey for ground beef or pork.
  • Make it vegetarian Mexican stuffed pepper by swapping an equal combination of cooked drained black beans and cooked quinoa for the ground meat.
  • Make it dairy-free by using vegan cheese in the filling and topping.
  • Make it gluten-free by using certified gluten-free oatmeal.
I am adding oatmeal and egg to the seasoned onions.
The egg and oatmeal act as a binder and also keeps the turkey meat moist.


Because these peppers aren’t parboiled before stuffing with the turkey taco mixture, the cell structure of the capsicums remains intact; as the stuffed peppers bake, the cells burst, releasing their liquids. Consequently, the stuffed peppers will have excess moisture.

To remove the excess moisture, tip the stuffed Mexican peppers over to one side so that they can drain.

Adding ground turkey and half of the cheese to the taco filling mixture.


How many calories are in stuffed bell peppers?

These turkey-stuffed bell peppers are about 240 calories each. I can usually eat 1½ taco stuffed peppers myself unless there are other side dishes.

How many calories in stuffed bell peppers with ground beef and rice?

Ground beef and rice stuffed peppers can be 400 to 500 calories per pepper, depending on how lean the meat is and how much rice is used in the recipe.

Is stuffed bell pepper American?

There are many cultures with regional variations of stuffed peppers, including Chinese versions, Basque versions stuffed with salt cod, there are Indian styles and Eastern Mediterranean dolmas, which originated in the Ottoman Empire.

Halving the bell peppers and removing the ribs and seeds.

Storage and reheating:

  • Store leftover Mexican turkey stuffed peppers refrigerated in an airtight container for up to five days.
  • Baked stuffed peppers can be well-wrapped and frozen for up to 3 months—Defrost before reheating.
  • To reheat the stuffed Mexican peppers, place them on a baking sheet and warm in a 325° oven for 15 minutes until warmed.
Stuffing the bell peppers with the turkey taco filling.

You can enjoy these ground turkey stuffed peppers hot from the oven just as they are, but if you’re the type of person who loves to add extras, here is my recommendation:

Garnishing the turkey stuffed bell peppers:

Set up a selection of standard taco toppings for everyone to choose from including:

  • Extra picante sauce, salsa or fresh pico de gallo.
  • Chunky guacamole or sliced avocado.
  • Fresh cilantro.
  • Chopped green onions.
  • Sour cream or crema.
  • Extra shredded cheese.
  • Sliced black olives.
Adding salsa and cheese to the par-baked stuffed peppers.
Bake the taco stuffed peppers for 25 minutes, then top with salsa and cheese and bake until the cheese melts.

What to serve with Mexican Stuffed Bell Peppers

For healthier dining, I usually serve taco stuffed peppers with a simple green salad, but here are some more excellent side dishes that will elevate these Mexican stuffed bell peppers to the next level.

Fresh baked stuffed peppers on a baking sheet.

What my tasters said:

“This tastes like a Mexican or Southwestern meatloaf. It’s very tasty.” –Scott

“I love how moist the turkey filling is, even for leftovers the next day.” –Emily

“So good, I could eat this every week.” — Dave

Serving the Mexican stuffed peppers on a platter.
Stuffed red bell pepper with a side salad.

More stuffed vegetable recipes you’ll love:

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Taco stuffed peppers on a plate with green salad.
Print Pin
5 from 2 votes

Mexican Stuffed Peppers

This healthy, tasty stuffed bell pepper recipe uses taco seasoning with picante sauce or salsa to flavor the low carb ground turkey filling. Top with your favorite salsa and shredded cheese for a delicious family dinner.
Author: Lisa Lotts
Course Main Course
Cuisine Mexican
Keyword bell peppers, ground turkey
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Servings 4



  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper optional


  • ½ cup chopped onion
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil (can use vegetable or canola oil)
  • 5 teaspoons Taco Seasoning use recipe above or use your favorite store-bought.
  • ¾ cup picante sauce or salsa, divided
  • 1 pound ground turkey breast (can use dark meat turkey as well).
  • ¼ cup plain old fashioned oatmeal or quick cooking
  • 1 large egg
  • 3 sweet bell peppers red, yellow or orange preferred
  • 1 ½ cups shredded cheese monterey jack, cheddar, cheddar jack or Mexican blend.


  • extra picante or salsa
  • fresh cilantro
  • extra cheese



  • Combine all of the ingredients into a small bowl and whisk to combine. You will have leftover seasoning mix, keep it in an airtight jar in the pantry for use later.


  • Preheat the oven to 375° F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil and spray with nonstick cooking spray. Set aside.
  • In a small skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the onions and saute until they’re tender and slightly translucent. Add the garlic and saute for one minute, stirring often so the garlic doesn’t burn.
  • Stir in 5 teaspoons of Taco Seasoning and cook for one minute until fragrant. Remove from the heat.
  • Transfer the onion mixture to a large bowl and spread it out in the bowl to cool.
  • Add the oatmeal and egg and mix well to combine. Stir in the ground turkey and ½ cup of cheese until well blended.
  • Cut the bell peppers in half, lengthwise and scoop out the seeds and membrane. Lay the peppers on the baking sheet and divide the Mexican taco turkey filling into the peppers.
  • Bake for 25-30 minutes. Divide the remaining 1/2 cup of picante sauce or salsa over each pepper and sprinkle on the remaining cheese. Return the taco stuffed peppers to the oven and bake for 10-12 minutes longer or until the cheese has melted.
  • Serve with extra sauce, cheese and fresh cilantro as desired.


Calories: 358kcal | Carbohydrates: 16g | Protein: 40g | Fat: 16g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Trans Fat: 0.03g | Cholesterol: 142mg | Sodium: 1266mg | Potassium: 799mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 3883IU | Vitamin C: 117mg | Calcium: 271mg | Iron: 3mg

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  1. 5 stars
    Made these for dinner last night and everyone loved them. Nothing leftover- a good sign!

  2. 5 stars
    This is an easy recipe to make and the flavors are so good. My husband loved the spice blend in the meat mixture and we served it with salsa and extra cheese.

  3. 5 stars
    Oh that looks delicious! And with a surplus of peppers on hand, this will become part of my repertoire!

  4. This sounds fantastic!!! I love the Tex-Mex spin you’ve put on this- it seriously sounds amazing. And salsa on top? Yummm

    1. It’s very hearty and filling with a nod to Taco night!

  5. I LOVE anything with mushrooms, but peppers are good too! EEK, how to decide? I guess I’ll have to try them both. 🙂

    1. I had enough filling for 4 mushroom caps and 2 stuffed pepper halves!

  6. I love, love, love this idea! Tacos are delicious but we don’t eat a lot of carbs – the stuffed taco mushrooms are brilliant. My 14 month old will LOVE them!

    1. We had them last night and there were no complaints! We love stuffed vegetables in this house!

    1. I hadn’t even thought of cooking them on the grill, but it’s a great idea!

  7. 5 stars
    Taco stuffed vegetables sounds like a great and healthy meal! And the sort of thing you could easily put together on weeknight. I’m always looking for recipes like that.

    1. I think everyone needs meals like that! Thanks, Annemarie!

  8. Oh yum! This looks like a perfectly balanced meal that will not hurt my waist line!! I so need this. Making this soon.

  9. Such an incredible use of vegetables and turkey! Love the incorporation of taco seasonings and garnishes.

    1. I think taco flavors are a “thing” for most families – so this is just slightly healthified!

  10. foodhuntersguide says:

    what a delicious idea!

  11. I love this recipe so much. Sharing it on my Facebook page. Brilliant idea to use portabello mushrooms and quinoa.