I have been trying to come up with healthier choice appetizers lately. After rummaging through what I had on hand in my fridge and pantry, I decided to come up with a mini version of stuffed peppers to share at the latest “Winer’s” and “Girls Smut Night” (aka, Bachelor night) gatherings! I thought these would be a good option because the little peppers only have about 25 calories for three average small whole peppers. They have no saturated fat, no cholesterol, no sodium and are high in dietary fiber, potassium, vitamins A & C. Really, they simply taste overall great and since I chose to fill them with ground turkey and low fat cheeses, these little appetizers are a healthy and delicious snack at any gathering!
12 small Vine Sweet Mini Peppers
1/2 Onion, chopped
1/3 Lb. Ground Turkey
2 Tablespoons Italian Seasoning
2 Cloves Garlic, pressed
1 Tablespoon Lawry’s Salt
1 Tablespoon Sweet Spanish Paprika
1 teaspoon Red Pepper Flakes
1 Tablespoon Tomato Paste
1/2 Can Prepared Pasta Sauce
Salt & Pepper, to taste
1/2 Cup Parmesan Cheese
1/2 Cup Six Italian Cheese Combination, shredded
1/2 Cup Basil Pesto
1/2 Cup Part Skim Ricotta Cheese
1/2 Cup Mozzarella Cheese, shredded
I par-cooked the peppers in the microwave in a plastic zip lock bag after they have been cut, cleaned and rinsed. (Just don’t seal the bag all of the way) Cook on high for two minutes. Spray an oven proof baking dish with nonstick cooking spray and line the bottom with the peppers side by side, cut side up.
Brown the onions in a skillet with the ground turkey. Drain off any access liquid and allow to cool somewhat. Combine all of the other ingredients, but a bout 1/3 of the pasta sauce and the mozzarella cheese.
Spoon about a heaping tablespoon of the meat mixture into each pepper half and then spoon a small amount of pasta sauce on top of each one before adding the shredded mozzarella cheese.
Cover with foil and bake for about 20 minutes in a 400 degree oven, or until the peppers become soft. Uncover and bake for another five to seven minutes or until the cheese becomes browned and bubbly!