Deconstructed stuffed peppers are an easy spin on the classic stuffed bell pepper recipe. Made in 30 minutes, this healthy and filling meal is one you will enjoy feeding to your family any night of the week.

It’s so important to eat healthy recipes several times a week! And when you’re trying to feed kids, that becomes an added challenge… you want them to eat it and not complain. We have a handful of recipes that are my go-to (that my kids will devour) such as sheet pan chicken fajitas, lemon honey glazed salmon, and creamy chicken dijon.

A photo of Deconstructed Stuffed Peppers in a brown bowl against a white background.

Why This Recipe Works

  • Fast & easy. This recipe is fast to come together. The longest parts are simply browning the meat and chopping up the bell pepper. We prefer to chop our bell peppers so that they cook a little more evenly and soften to a great texture for the dish.
  • Healthy and customizable to your liking. It’s easily customizable to be as healthy as you want. Use ground turkey, brown rice instead of white, or even quinoa depending on what you like or want.
  • Uses easy to find ingredients. The ingredients to this dish are quite common and easily locatable in the grocery store but you may even be surprised to find most of what you need to make reverse stuffed peppers are in your home already!


Ingredients used to make Deconstructed Stuffed Peppers on a gray background.

Bell peppers: Use any color of bell pepper you want for this recipe and it will still turn out delicious. We tend to opt for green bell peppers because they’re usually cheaper. But red, orange, or yellow bell peppers will work great!

Ingredient Adaptations and Substitutions

  • Use quinoa in place of the cooked rice.
  • Use cauliflower rice to amp up the vegetables in this healthy recipe.
  • Brown rice, white rice, or even an aromatic rice such as jasmine or basmati will work.
  • Use ground chicken or ground beef in place of the ground turkey.

Step-by-Step Instructions

  1. Brown your turkey and onion in a large pan or dutch oven over medium heat until the turkey is fully cooked.
  2. Drain and discard any liquid/excess fat from the pan.
  3. Add in your garlic, cumin, and chili powder and stir to combine.
  4. Stir in the chopped bell peppers.
A four photo collage illustrating the process of making Deconstructed Stuffed Peppers.
  1. Add in the cooked rice and salsa and then add in the salt and pepper to taste.
A large pot with rice, chopped green peppers, and salsa in it.
  1. Stir everything until it is fully incorporated.
  2. Serve with sour cream, cheese, avocado, cilantro, or whatever else you may like.
Deconstructed Stuffed Peppers in a large black pot against a light gray background.

Recipe Tips

Select a salsa brand that you like. This is also a great place to add some heat, if you want a spicier dish use a medium or hot salsa.

While making your deconstructed stuffed peppers with ground turkey keeps it lean and healthy other meats could be used including ground chicken or ground beef. No adaptions to the recipe are needed for either, just make sure to drain excess fats after the meat has been fully cooked.

Fun idea, turn your leftovers into breakfast the next day by stirring in some scrambled eggs and a little cheddar cheese.

Storing: Leftovers should be kept stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3-4 days. Reheat until fully warmed through before enjoying again.

Reheat leftovers on a microwave safe plate or bowl until warmed through. You can also place the deconstructed stuffed peppers back in a pot and reheat on the stove.

Freeze: You can freeze leftovers in an airtight container or freezer-safe bag. Leftovers can be frozen for up to 2 months. I do want to note that the texture of the peppers might be a tad different after being frozen and thawed, but everything will still taste delicious!!

Deconstructed Stuffed Peppers in a brown bowl with a sliced avocado and cilantro for garnish.

Serving Suggestions

It never hurts to have more vegetables. I like to serve most meals with a vegetable side and/or a fruit of some kind. Here are a few ideas of great side dishes you can serve with this deconstructed stuffed peppers recipe:


Can you make this into a regular stuffed pepper recipe?

Yes. Rather than chopping up the bell peppers, cut the tops off of the bell peppers and stuff the ground turkey and rice mixture into the bell peppers. Top that with cheese and then place in the oven to bake at 350°F-375°F for 10-12 minutes.

What color bell pepper is the healthiest?

Fun fact, red bell peppers are the healthiest because they stay on the vine the longest and have enough time to soak in all of those great nutrients. A red bell pepper has about 11 times as much beta-carotene as green bell pepper and almost double the amount of vitamin c.

Deconstructed Stuffed Peppers in a bowl with sour cream, cilantro, and avocado for garnish.

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A bowl of Deconstructed Stuffed Peppers on a white linen napkin.
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5 from 9 votes

Deconstructed Stuffed Peppers

An easy dinner that takes only 30 minutes to make! It’s healthy and delicious!
Prep Time: 8 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 28 minutes
Servings: 8 people


  • 3 bell peppers - chopped, any color bell pepper will do
  • 1 small onion - chopped
  • 16 oz lean ground turkey
  • 4 garlic cloves - minced
  • 1/2 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 2 cups salsa
  • 3 cups rice - cooked, see notes

Optional Garnishes

  • cheddar cheese
  • sour cream
  • avocado
  • cilantro
  • lime wedges


  • In a large pan or dutch oven set over medium heat, brown the turkey and onion until the turkey is fully cooked. Drain and discard any excess fat.
  • Add the garlic, cumin, and chili powder. Stir to combine. 
  • Add the chopped bell peppers and cook until semi-soft about 5 minutes. 
  • Add the cooked rice and salsa. Stir to combine. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  • Serve with sour cream, cheese, avocado, cilantro. Or whatever you like!


Bell peppers: you can use any color of bell peppers you’d like. I tend to buy the green bell peppers because they are cheaper. 
Onion: I typically use a yellow onion, but a white onion or sweet onion will work too!
Protein: I like ground turkey because it’s generally healthier, you don’t have to use ground turkey though. You can use ground beef or ground chicken. 
Salsa: select a brand and heat level you like. If you want some spiciness to your deconstructed stuffed peppers use a medium or hot salsa. 
Rice: You can use any rice variety: white rice, brown rice (my personal favorite), basmati, or even quinoa!
Recipe Source: Salt & Baker


Calories: 361kcal (18%)Carbohydrates: 63g (21%)Protein: 20g (40%)Fat: 3g (5%)Cholesterol: 31mg (10%)Sodium: 501mg (21%)Potassium: 670mg (19%)Fiber: 4g (16%)Sugar: 4g (4%)Vitamin A: 650IU (13%)Vitamin C: 38.6mg (47%)Calcium: 64mg (6%)Iron: 2.8mg (16%)
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Mexican
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