Stuffed peppers, meet chicken lasagna. Because life is short and lasagna is magical.
And chicken lasagna stuffed peppers is even magical-er.
I’m pretty proud of this recipe. It was one of those days where I liked the idea of lasagna sauciness but didn’t want the heaviness of a pasta dish. Also, stuffed peppers are not a thing I have done very often. So I was busting out of my comfort zone! Blam! Ninja-skills!
As it happened, bell peppers were on sale that week...so we had more than usual. I said to myself, “Self! I shall make stuffed peppers. To the internet!”
After surfing through quite a few recipe websites, there were many ok looking recipes, but nothing amazing. And then my brain chanced upon the cottage cheese in the fridge, and I thought... lasagna? Ehhh, too much effort. And then I had the aha!
I can make the lasagna filling! And I can make them quinoa bell peppers for whole-grain carb-y goodness. No layers required. Just stuff it directly into a pepper and voila!
I got the quinoa rolling and then was off to the races with the filling. I was not about to make the tomato sauce separately since I was trying to make low-effort lasagna, so I tossed it and some chopped frozen spinach and kale for bonus veggie content in with the browned chicken. Did I mention this is lasagna with ground chicken? It reduced down into a perfect saucy mix.
Since I wasn’t layering, I stirred a good bit of the cheese into the meat sauce along with the cooked quinoa.
Mmm saucy chicken!
Many people like to slice the “lid” off of the bell peppers and stuff the whole thing. I find that those portions are too big for me though, and the half pepper option leaves more surface real estate for the perfect browned crust of cheese! Win win.
Fitting peppers in the baking dish
The downside is that the side of a pepper is not always flat. Fear not, my friends in nutritional ninja-dom, there is a sneaky solution. If a pepper is rolling to one side, take your knife and take a very thin slice off of the bottom, just enough to make it flat. You now have a stable pepper for stuffing and a small meal-prep snack. MORE wins! You’re really racking them up! Well done, you!
Once your peppers are stuffed and ready to go, there is one last sneaky trick. Put some water in the bottom of the pan so the bottoms don’t burn, and there’s a nice steaming plus browning effect. Is this completely necessary? Well, I didn’t try it without, but all of my favourite food blogs did this on their stuffed pepper recipes, so I figured they knew what was up. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.
I briefly considered pouring the water in between the peppers, but that seemed like a direct path to a water-filled pepper catastrophe, so I just lifted one out—safe, stress-free pouring.
Some of you will be wondering why I would even have to say such a thing. Never you mind. That little tip is for those of us who occasionally engage in Unintentional High-Risk Cooking Behaviours (U.H.R.C.B., if you will). Ahem.
Tah-dah! Lasagna Stuffed Peppers
Just look at this magnificent result. Not bad for a first attempt recipe! AND I wrote it down promptly, so you lucky ducks get it too!
Lasagna reimagined, saucy stuffed peppers with quinoa and ground chicken topped with melted mozzarella.
Perfect golden goodness.
Are you hungry? Cause I’m getting hungry.
Eat well. Live well. Be a Ninja at Life. Shazam!
Mealtime conversation starters
Mealtime gives you an opportunity to share stories and experiences. Today the conversation starter is about condiments. Even if you are not able to name three or narrow it down to three, you will have a great time listening and taking turns expressing your choices.
If you could only use 3 condiments for the rest of your life, which would you choose?
Chicken Lasagna Stuffed Peppers
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- 3 large bell peppers red, yellow, or orange
- ¾ cup quinoa uncooked
- 1½ cup chicken broth or prepared bouillon (see Notes)
- 1 lb ground chicken
- ½ medium onion finely chopped
- 4 cloves garlic minced or crushed
- 8 oz diced tomatoes 1 can (low sodium) or fresh chopped
- 1 cup spinach chopped fresh, or 2 cubes frozen, (or substitute finely chopped kale)
- ¼ cup fresh parsley fresh, chopped, or 3-4 tbsp dry herb
- 3 tsp oregano fresh, or 1 tsp dry herb, (or sub marjoram or Italian seasoning blend)
- 1 tsp rosemary fresh, chopped, or 1 tsp dry herb crumbled
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 cup mozzerella cheese grated
- ½ cup parmesan cheese grated
- ½ cup 2% cottage cheese
- Rinse quinoa in a fine collander until the water runs clea.r
- Place rinsed quinoa and broth in a pot, cover and bring to a simmer. Let simmer for 12-15 minutes then remove from heat and let sit while preparing the other ingredients.
- Heat 1-2 tsp of cooking oil in a large pan. Brown the chicken with onion, garlic, herbs and salt.
- Once browned, add in the spinach/kale and tomatoes. Continue to cook for a minute or two to reduce the liquid and heat the greens through.
- Remove from heat and stir in the quinoa, 3/4 cup of the mozzerella, most of the parmesan, and the cottage cheese.
Prep and stuff the peppers
- Preheat the oven to 375 F. Lightly coat the bottom of a 9x13 glass pan with olive oil.
- Cut each pepper in half, and remove the seeds and stems.
- Place them cut side up in the greased pan and heap them full of the filling. Depending on the size of your peppers, you may need 3 or 4 peppers to use up all of the filling.
- Sprinkle the tops carefully with the remaining parmesan and mozzarella.
- Carefully lift one pepper and pour roughly 1 cup of water into the pan (enough to cover the bottom)
- Bake in the preheated oven for 30 min, or until the peppers are tender and the cheese is nicely browned.
Serve with salad, more veggies, or as a stand-alone dish. Broth Substitution
If you use bouillon instead of broth, make a note of the amount of sodium to make adjustments to the added salt.
Hand Size Portions
Some handy advice: You can use your hands to practice calorie control without weighing and measuring.
Using hand position size is an alternative way to decide how much to eat visually. It gives you a way to quickly estimate what's on your plate, using protein, vegetables, carbohydrates, and fat. It's an alternative to counting macros which generally has you weighing and reading nutrition labels to count protein, carbohydrates, and fat.
To learn more, read How to Get Started with Hand Portion Sizes.
Health Ninja Jeanette Marcotte is a health coach and professional geologist, who is obsessed with helping fellow professional women reclaim their time and energy by weaving healthy choices into their daily lives.
When she is not coaching or looking at rocks, you can find her hanging out in her garden with her dog, collecting new hobbies, and/or reading far too many books at once.
Find other articles written by Jeanette on her coach profile. Hang around for mindset strategies and micro-habits that will transform your health & confidence so that you feel like a Health Ninja, too!