Turkey and Mozzarella Stuffed Peppers

Last Updated on September 17, 2023

Super satisfying yet light, these stuffed peppers are garlicky, herbaceous (thanks to a generous amount of sage), bright with tomato and cheesy from melted layers of mozzarella. How could turkey not like being paired with such tasty flavors? Lastly, because it’s never bad to have some greens too, escarole (a slightly bitter green chicory) is roasted until tender along with the peppers.

A few notes: Of course you can switch out the ground turkey if you only have ground beef or pork around. The same goes with the escarole. If it’s hard to find, feel free to try chard or maybe even mustard greens. Also, if you’d like a little more “satisfying” than “light,” try swapping some or all of the olive oil with butter.

Turkey and Mozzarella Stuffed Peppers

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Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Servings: 4


  • 1 medium to large head of escarole, rinsed and dried
  • Salt 
  • 5 small to medium red, orange or yellow bell peppers
  • 3 tbsp olive oil, plus more for drizzling
  • 1 cup yellow onion, finely chopped 
  • 5 garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 lb ButcherBox Ground Turkey
  • 1/2 cup white wine, such as pinot grigio 
  • 1 (14 oz) can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp fresh sage, finely chopped 
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp crushed chili flakes
  • 1 cup white rice, brown rice or farro, cooked
  • 4 oz mozzarella cheese, grated
  • Parmesan, for serving (optional)
  • Coarse, toasted breadcrumbs or panko, for serving (optional)


  • Preheat the oven to 425º F. Tear the escarole leaves into 3-inch pieces and place them in a 9x13-inch baking dish, season with salt and toss with 1 tablespoon olive oil. Slice the peppers in half, deseed them (a few seeds leftover are okay) and arrange in the escarole baking dish, cut side up. 
  • Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large skillet (10- or 12-inch diameter) or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the onion, garlic and a big pinch of salt. Cook, stirring often, until the onions are translucent and the garlic very aromatic, about 7 to 9 minutes. Add the turkey and break up into very small pieces using a blunt wooden spoon, tossing and stirring constantly until turkey is in small crumbles, no longer pink and cooked through, about 10 to 15 minutes. Pour in the wine, bring to a simmer. Add the tomato, bring to a simmer again then stir in the rice, sage, black pepper and chili flakes. Turn off the heat then stir in the rice. Taste, season with salt, as desired. 
  • Alternating between the turkey mixture and the mozzarella, fill the peppers, reserving a little mozzarella for adding later. Drizzle generously with olive oil and bake for 30 minutes. Sprinkle the remaining mozzarella over the top and bake for another 10 minutes until the peppers are softened, the turkey filling juicy and the mozzarella melted, about 40 minutes total. Let cool for about 10 minutes, then serve hot with the wilted escarole and, if using, the grated Parmesan and breadcrumbs. 
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