These healthy bell pepper nachos are a low-carb, keto-friendly healthy nacho recipe with ground turkey and mini bell peppers. They are a perfect game-day appetizer that your friends will be crazy about!
About the recipe
As we are gearing up for football season, I'm thinking of the best appetizer recipes I can add to my repertoire so I have lots of options to choose from. I like to have a balance when it comes to game day food - some healthy options and some more indulgent!
These turkey bell pepper nachos fit in the category of healthy-ish. They check the box for low-carb, keto-friendly, and gluten-free, so a good variety of people will be able to enjoy them. Little mini peppers are stuffed with a lean blend of ground turkey, chopped mushrooms (a secret ingredient!), taco seasoning, and a bit of queso to hold the mixture together.
The nachos are topped with just enough shredded cheddar to make them look like, well, nachos, then baked until everything is melted and with little crispy bits on the tops and edges! You can definitely prep and stuff your nachos the night before, then all you have to do on game day is bake them up. Let's make some!
- Lean ground turkey
- Baby Bella or button mushrooms
- Taco seasoning
- White queso dip, such as Pancho's
- Hot sauce, such as Cholula or Tapatio
- Sharp cheddar cheese
- For serving: Avocado Ranch dressing, cilantro, lime juice, sliced jalapenos
Step 2: Prepare your filling. Brown the turkey meat and the chopped mushrooms until the turkey is fully cooked through. Drain the mixture, then add the taco seasoning, white queso, and hot sauce to taste.
Step 3: Spoon the filling into the pepper halves. Top with shredded cheddar. Store until ready to bake, up to 12 hours, and then bake at 400°F for 15-16 minutes until the peppers are tender, the cheese is melted, and the tops of the nachos are golden and slightly crispy.
Step 4: Garnish as desired with drizzles of Creamy Avocado Ranch, chopped cilantro, lime juice, and sliced jalapeños. Serve while hot!
Below are some of my best tips for making these bell pepper nachos, as well as some answers to commonly asked questions!
Can nachos be healthy?
Nachos can absolutely be healthy, depending on what you make them with! These nachos are low-carb, keto-friendly, and gluten-free. Below are some of my best tips for making healthy nachos:
- Choose a whole grain tortilla chip, or bake nacho filling into mini bell pepper halves, jalapeño halves, or into hollowed out boats of zucchini.
- Top your nachos with a lean protein, like ground turkey, ground chicken, or lean ground beef. Add finely chopped mushrooms to the meat mixture for added nutrition - you won't notice them there!
- Replace half or all of the meat with drained canned beans, like black peans or pinto beans for protein and fiber.
- Load on the veggies and herbs after the nachos are baked. Shredded carrot, tomato slices, avocado slices, olives, jalapeños, and even shredded zucchini are some of my favorites!
What are good things to put on nachos?
Nachos are great way to clean out the refrigerator and use whatever meats, beans, cheeses, or veggies you have on hand. Vegetables that have a lot of water, like tomatoes, canned olives or peppers, should be added after the nachos are baked. I like to drizzle sauces on top after baking to match the flavor of the other ingredients - salsa, buffalo sauce, and bbq sauce are all great!
How do you keep nachos from getting soggy?
The best way to keep nachos from getting soggy is to bake them without anything wet on top, then save the higher moisture toppings for after they are baked. Avoid putting on tomatoes, salsa, sour cream, lime juice, lettuce, olives, cilantro, or any type of sauce until after the nachos are baked.
Some of the best foods to serve with nachos include any of the following:
- A big platter of watermelon slices and mango halves, with Tajin seasoning on the side for sprinkling
- Fresh Jalapeno Lemonade
- Shredded Beef and Cheese Taquitos with Homemade Taco Sauce
- Instant Pot Chicken Posole Verde
If you are looking for more great game day recipes, be sure to check out these BBQ Chicken Skillet Nachos, Kentucky Hot Brown Sliders, Fresh Peach Salsa, and Jalapeño Cream Cheese Sliders with Strawberry Jam!
Are you ready to make these Bell Pepper Nachos? I’m so excited for you to try this recipe. Once you get the chance to make it, please let me know how it turns out for you!
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Healthy Bell Pepper Nachos with Ground Turkey
- 1 pound lean ground turkey
- 8 ounces button mushrooms, finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon taco seasoning
- 1/2 cup white queso dip
- Mexican hot sauce, to taste
- 1 pound bag mini rainbow peppers (or mild jalapeno peppers), halved and seeded
- ⅔ cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
- For serving: Avocado Ranch dressing, cotija cheese, cilantro, lime juice, sliced jalapeno peppers (Avocado Ranch recipe)
- Preheat the oven to 400°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
- Place a nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add a bit of oil to the bottom of the skillet, then add the ground turkey and mushrooms. Cook, stirring often, for about 6-8 minutes until the turkey is cooked through.
- Drain the mixture by placing a large plate or lid over the skillet and pouring off any liquid. Add the taco seasoning, queso, and hot sauce to taste, mixing until well-combined.
- Arrange the mini peppers in a single layer on the baking sheet, cut side up. Use a small spoon to fill each pepper with the turkey mixture. Top with cheese. At this point, you can bake them right away or cover them and store in the fridge until ready to bake, up to 12 hours.
- Bake for 15-16 minutes until the peppers are tender and the cheese is melted.
- Remove from the oven and top with Avocado Ranch and other toppings, as desired.