These Air Fryer Turkey Stuffed Bell Peppers are a healthy 30-minute dinner with rice, leftover protein, veggies, and a bit of cheese for a satisfying meal. It’s a super easy stuffed peppers recipe that you can make all year long.
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
This recipe makes the best stuffed peppers with rice and cheese! Here’s why I love it:
- The entire recipe takes 30 minutes from start to finish, so you can throw it together on a weeknight, just like my Easy Keto Tuna Fritters Recipe.
- You make the peppers in the air fryer, so you don’t have to preheat an oven. If you love air fryer recipes, try my Air Fryer Popcorn Chicken Recipe next.
- The peppers have it all in terms of flavor: melty cheese, tons of protein, crunchy veggies, and delicious sauce. What’s not to love?
- You can serve the easy stuffed peppers with a light salad, such as the Mexican Street Corn Salad (Esquites), for a well-rounded dinner.
What Goes Into This Easy Stuffed Peppers Recipe
Here’s what you need for this 30-minute recipe for air fryer turkey stuffed bell peppers:
- Bell peppers. Any color works to make the best stuffed peppers with rice and cheese.
- Olive oil. This ensures that your peppers don’t dry out in the air fryer.
- Salt and pepper. To season everything thoroughly.
- Turkey. Use pre-cooked leftover turkey, or another protein, such as chicken or steak.
- Rice. You can use any kind of cooked rice (white, brown, or black, they all work well).
- Cheese. I always use shredded cheddar to make the best stuffed peppers with rice and cheese, but any kind of melty cheese will work.
- Green onions and garlic. For extra allium flavor.
- Spices. I used ground cumin and smoked paprika.
- Sauce. You can use marinara or enchilada sauce for this recipe.
Here are some easy swaps and substitutions if you don’t have every ingredient on the list to make this easy stuffed peppers recipe:
- Swap turkey for cooked and shredded chicken. Rotisserie chicken also works great.
- You could also substitute the leftover turkey with ground turkey, chicken, or beef. Start by cooking the meat in a hot skillet until it starts to brown. Then break up the meat with a wooden spoon as it cooks. Finally, combine the cooked ground meat with the rest of the ingredients in the recipe to form the filling. Then stuff the peppers and air fry.
- You can swap the white rice for cooked brown rice, couscous, or quinoa.
- If you’re in for some heat, add 1-3 chopped jalapeños or poblanos to the filling.
- Try swapping the marinara sauce for enchilada sauce.
- You can use smoked or hot paprika.
How to Make the Best Stuffed Peppers with Rice and Cheese
To start making these air fryer turkey stuffed bell peppers, heat up your air fryer to 350°F/175°C. Then prepare your ingredients. First, slice the tops of the bell peppers and scoop out the seeds and membrane. Then coat them with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper on the inside and outside.
Next, in a mixing bowl, combine the turkey, rice, cheese, onions, garlic, and seasonings. Stir in the sauce until everything is combined. Divide this filling mixture between the prepared bell peppers.
Carefully place them in the hot air fryer and cook for about 10 minutes. Finally, add the pepper tops and cook for another 5 minutes. Remove them from the air fryer and enjoy!
Yes. To freeze them, follow the recipe up until the cooking step. Wrap them tightly and freeze them before cooking. To serve, I suggest thawing in the fridge overnight, then air frying for 15-18 minutes.
Store leftovers in an air-tight container, in the refrigerator, for up to 5 days.
Yes! Just swap the rice for cauliflower rice.
Marinara sauce, enchilada, or both at the same time. Both are delicious!
Certainly. Reheat stuffed pepper in the microwave or in the preheated oven until warm and the cheese inside is melted.
This is a great make-ahead recipe. You can make the filling and refrigerate it until ready to assemble and cook.
It’s best to air fry for 10 minutes first, then cover the peppers with the tops and continue to air fry for 5 more minutes. That’s because the air fryer can easily burn the tops.
Yes! Simply follow the recipe and place the stuffed peppers in your crockpot. Add 1 cup of stock or water and cook on LOW for 3 hours or on HIGH for 2 hours. It doesn’t need more cooking since the meat inside is already cooked.
Certainly. The instructions are the same as for the crockpot: Place your stuffed peppers in the Instant Pot and add 1 cup of stock. Cook on HIGH PRESSURE for 1 minute, then manually release the pressure.
There’s no need to boil the peppers, as they will get soggy.
There’s no need to precook the peppers. They will cook perfectly in the air fryer and get tender with just a slight crunch to the bite.
To prep your peppers, cut the tops off, and gently remove the seeds inside. Keep the tops for later use. They’ll look so pretty and prevent the peppers to get burnt in the air fryer.
For a vegan version, replace the meat with crumbled tofu and the cheddar cheese with a vegan version of shredded cheese.
- Make sure your peppers are all the same size when making this air fryer turkey stuffed peppers recipe. That way, you can divide the filling evenly between them, and they will cook at the same time.
- To make a flat base that will hold your peppers upright, cut a little bit from the bottom, ensuring you don’t pierce them through and that there’s no hole in the bottom.
- Don’t crowd the air fryer basket because air fryers work by circulating the hot air, which cooks the food evenly. Therefore, if your peppers are too tight, the air will not be able to circulate between them. I would add no more than four in a batch.
- If you find your peppers are too big to fit 4 in the basket at once, cook them in batches of 3 or 2. Keep the first batch in a warm oven to make sure they’ll all be nice and warm when serving.
More Easy Air Fryer Recipes
- Air Fryer Meatloaf Recipe
- Air Fryer Salmon with Everything Bagel Seasoning
- Air Fryer Bang Bang Cauliflower Recipe (Keto)
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Air Fryer Turkey Stuffed Peppers Recipe
- 4 medium bell peppers
- 2 tsp olive oil
- Sea salt and ground pepper - to taste
- 2 cups (280g) leftover turkey or chicken - chopped
- 1 cup (186g) cooked rice
- 1 cup (112g) shredded cheddar cheese - divided
- 4 green onions - chopped
- 2 cloves garlic - pressed
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 2 tsp smoked paprika
- 1 cup (240ml) marinara sauce or enchilada
- Preheat the air fryer to 350°F/175°C.
- Start to prepare the bell peppers by cutting the tops off; set aside to use later on. Remove the seeds and white parts, and discard.
- Drizzle the peppers with olive oil and season with salt and pepper; use your hands to rub them all-over inside and out.
- In a large bowl, place the leftover turkey, rice, cheese, onions, garlic and seasonings.
- Add the marinara sauce and stir well to combine. Season with salt and pepper, to your taste.
- Divide the mixture among your prepared peppers, then transfer them to the preheated air fryer.
- Cook at 350°F/175°C until the peppers are tender, about 10 minutes.
- Cover them with the tops and continue to air fry for 5 minutes more.
- Choose equal-sized bell peppers so they hold the same amount of filling and cook at the same rate.
- When you place them in the air fryer, start without the tops, then add them during the last 5 minutes of cooking. Otherwise, the tops can burn easily.
- You don’t want to crowd your air fryer basket. Most can fit four peppers, but if yours is small, start with two at a time.
- You can freeze these fully assembled before cooking them.
- Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3-4 days.
- Marinara or enchilada sauce make the best stuffed peppers with rice and cheese. Use any, or both.
- You can make-ahead the filling for these air fryer turkey stuffed bell peppers; refrigerate it until ready to assemble and cook.
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