Mom's Ground Turkey and Peppers

This 1-pot ground turkey and peppers recipe is quick and easy! Sautéed ground turkey with onions, garlic, bell peppers, and seasoned with chipotle chili.

ground turkey recipes: ground turkey and peppers dish
Elise Bauer

I'm smiling as I write this. Why? Because there is no dish that reminds me more of my mother than her ground turkey with peppers.

I've never had it anywhere but at home, not even at a school cafeteria, where God knows they've served every other budget meal known to mankind.

Did my mother invent it? Probably not, but she may just as well have. We've eaten this ground turkey recipe in our house at least once a month for almost 50 years.

And you know what? It's good. It's cheap (especially ground turkey thighs which have the added benefit of more flavor). It can be cooked in the time it takes to make some rice or pasta to go with it.

For years she seasoned the ground turkey with chili powder or chopped pickled jalapeños. These days she likes to add the smoky flavor of chipotle powder.

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Video: How to Make Ground Turkey and Peppers


Ground Turkey and Peppers

Mom's Ground Turkey and Peppers

Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Total Time 30 mins
Servings 4 servings

The method given is my mother's "one pan" approach, because she's only cooking up one pound of ground turkey, enough for 4 people. If you are increasing this ground turkey recipe to serve more people, you may want to remove the vegetables after they've cooked and set them aside as you cook the turkey meat, or cook the meat and the vegetables in two separate skillets.


  • 3 to 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

  • 1 cup chopped yellow onion

  • Some chopped greens from green onions, if you have any

  • 1 bell pepper (red or yellow preferred), chopped

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced

  • Kosher salt

  • 1 pound ground turkey, preferably ground turkey thighs

  • 1 teaspoon chipotle powder or chili powder (or to taste)

  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley or cilantro


  1. Sauté the onions, bell pepper, and garlic:

    Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large skillet on medium high heat. Add the chopped onions and bell pepper and cook until onions and peppers are softened, a couple minutes.

    Add the garlic and cook 30 seconds more.

    ground turkey recipes: ground turkey and peppers
    Elise Bauer
  2. Add ground turkey, salt, and chipotle chili powder:

    Push the vegetables to the edge of one side of the pan and position that side of the pan so that it is off the burner, away from the heat. The empty part of the pan should be right over the burner.

    Add one or two more tablespoons of oil to coat the empty part of the pan. Put crumpled chunks of ground turkey in the pan, sprinkle with salt and chipotle or chili powder.

    how to cook ground turkey for mom's turkey and pepper dish
    Elise Bauer
  3. Brown the turkey, then stir in the peppers and onions:

    Cook the turkey without stirring until it is browned on one side, then turn the pieces over to brown the other side.

    Once the turkey is just cooked through, stir in the onions and peppers, and sprinkle with more salt and chili powder to taste. Remove from heat.

    Stir in fresh chopped parsley or cilantro.

    Serve alone, or with steamed rice or noodles.

what to make with ground turkey
Elise Bauer
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
451 Calories
34g Fat
9g Carbs
30g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4
Amount per serving
Calories 451
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 34g 43%
Saturated Fat 7g 35%
Cholesterol 120mg 40%
Sodium 198mg 9%
Total Carbohydrate 9g 3%
Dietary Fiber 2g 6%
Total Sugars 3g
Protein 30g
Vitamin C 47mg 233%
Calcium 81mg 6%
Iron 3mg 16%
Potassium 495mg 11%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate. In cases where multiple ingredient alternatives are given, the first listed is calculated for nutrition. Garnishes and optional ingredients are not included.