Healthier Spicy Ground Turkey Stuffed Jalapenos

These Healthier Spicy Ground Turkey Stuffed Jalapenos are the perfect substitute for the higher calorie version. I promise you won't even notice the difference!

Spicy Ground Turkey Stuffed Jalapenos
It’s fall, my absolute favorite season. Autumn in Oregon is truly a feast of the senses. The crisp days require sweaters, turtlenecks, jeans and boots as the sun shows itself less, playing hide and seek between the orange and yellow leaves. The leafy paths come alive with autumn colors as the bounty of the fall harvest looms on the sidelines. It’s pretty magical here in the Pacific Northwest and I wish all of you could experience it with me.

The change in weather definitely transforms what we eat, with comfort food topping the list. Slow cooked meals, braises and casseroles are popular at my house during this time of year. It’s so easy to put together a delicious dinner when it’s cold out. Why is that? I secretly blame it on the cheese; I add it to everything when it’s chilly out. Haven’t you all heard that cheese and cold are the perfect pairing? I think we can all identify with the melty, cheese-delicious factor when it comes to eating comfort food.

Anyway, the fall season also means it’s “game day” every weekend until the Super Bowl hits. And game day means snacks. Lots of them. This can easily result in a lot of over-the-top, fattening food. And while we love stuffed jalapenos, they can be highly caloric. I have decided to cut back the calories by using ground turkey as a healthier alternative to the usual ground beef or sausage. It’s the perfect solution and will keep us all fitting in our jeans this fall. These Healthier Spicy Ground Turkey Stuffed Jalapenos are a must this season!

Spicy Ground Turkey Stuffed Jalapenos sliced in half
The jalapenos are a cinch to prepare. Slice them in half and use a spoon to scoop out the seeds and ribs. I highly recommend wearing gloves during this process to protect your hands from the capsaicin oils found in hot peppers. The oils can be extremely unpleasant when they come in contact with your skin over a period of time.

Spicy Ground Turkey Stuffed Jalapenos ground turkeyAlong with other lower fat ingredients, I used Foster Farms 100% Organic Ground Turkey, which is not only low in saturated fat (93% lean), but is also antibiotic-free and raised free-range on organic land. That’s something we can all feel good about.

The best part, there is no loss in flavor by using ground turkey as a lower-in-calorie alternative. These stuffed jalapenos disappeared just as quickly as other versions I have made. Those other versions can be three times as fattening. Yikes! I think I’ll stick with these, since they are just as delicious and satisfying.

Spicy Ground Turkey Stuffed Jalapenos with Foster Farms Organic Ground Turkey
I mixed the cheddar cheese into the turkey mixture and also placed a mound on top of the jalapeno. This helps ensure the blistery, melted cheese look, which looks so appetizing. A very important attribute, since we tend to eat with our eyes first.

Spicy Ground Turkey Stuffed Jalapenos perfect for game day
Can you imagine a better snack during a football game? I sure can’t. You might even consider a double batch since these probably won’t make it to half time.

Spicy Ground Turkey Stuffed Jalapenos you wont be able to stop with one Because these stuffed jalapenos are a healthier version of a classic, you don’t have to feel guilty having more than one. This also means you can probably indulge a little when it comes to dessert.

Spicy Ground Turkey Stuffed Jalapenos just one
I have to admit I am completely smitten with this adaptation. In fact, last time I served them, these disappeared before the first quarter of the football game. Plan accordingly friends.

Spicy Ground Turkey Stuffed Jalapenos

Spicy Ground Turkey Stuffed Jalapenos a perfect game day appetizer GO TEAM

Spicy Ground Turkey Stuffed Jalapenos are total perfection

Spicy Ground Turkey Stuffed Jalapenos perfection
I hope you enjoy this healthier version of a game day favorite.

Print Recipe

Healthier Spicy Ground Turkey Stuffed Jalapenos

Recipe from: Created by Cathy Pollak for | Serves: 32 Jalapenos


  • 16 jalapenos sliced lengthwise, seeds and ribs removed
  • 2 (8 oz) packages 1/3 fat cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 12 oz lower fat, finely shredded Mexican cheese, divided
  • 1 Tablespoon chile powder
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon table salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon coarse ground black pepper
  • 1 lb Foster Farms 100% Organic Ground Turkey


  • Prepare jalapenos while wearing gloves and set aside.
  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  • In a large bowl, add cream cheese, mayo, half of the Mexican cheese, chili powder, red pepper flakes, cumin, cayenne, salt, oregano and black pepper. Use a hand mixer to fully combine the ingredients.
  • In a large nonstick skillet, cook turkey over medium heat until fully done and broken into crumbles. Stir into cream cheese mixture until fully combined.
  • Fill each jalapeno slice with a scoop of cream cheese-sausage mixture, mounding each one slightly. Top stuffed jalapenos with remaining cheddar cheese.
  • Arrange stuffed jalapenos on a large, rimmed baking tray that has been covered in aluminum foil (for easy clean-up).
  • Bake for 25 minutes in the top third of the oven or until cheese is browned nicely on top. Remove from oven and serve immediately.

Post a Comment

21 Comments and 15 Replies

  1. Sues 1

    Pinned! And will most definitely be making for a football game in the near future :)

  2. Such a good idea! I love how tasty these look/sound!

  3. Oh my goodness!!! These look amazing.

  4. I love stuffed Jalapenos, and I know that my boys would love these!

  5. Leslie 9

    I know this is going to sound crazy…But I have never had a stuffed jalapeno!!!! I must change that!

  6. Dear Cathy, I’ld love to experience fall in the Pacific Northwest. It must be incredible. We are just getting crisp nights here in New England. Most of the leaves are still green, but it won’t be long and the leaf peepers will be here. Your stuffed jalapeños look so delicious, perfect for this gorgeous fall weather. Makes me want to whip up a batch. We use a lot of ground turkey around here, so will definitely be trying Foster Farms Organic!

  7. Julie 13

    I’ve pickled and frozen more than enough hot peppers, and still have more to use – this looks like a great way to do so!

  8. What a cute idea! These sound so delicious. They’d disappear in a snap in my house.

  9. I seriously am OBSESSED with stuffed jalapenos. I first learned of their magical goodness on a trip to Mexico, and now I can’t get enough. Of course I love the use of turkey to make these healthier too! Pinned!

  10. Oh my goodness, these look and sound so good! It’s only breakfast here but I’d love to pop a few right now! :)

  11. I’m all about spicy and especially jalapeños…what a perfect way to add in some ground turkey! I’m wishing I had a party to go to today I would make this and bring it! Or, maybe I could just make it for me!! Love this, Cathy!

  12. Game day food rocks and we make a lot of it this season. I NEED to try this healthier version for stuffed jalapenos! Looks incredible, Cathy!

  13. Just give me a big plate of these for dinner!

  14. Nichole 26

    These look so good, and perfect for the weekend!

  15. Liz 27

    Your lightened up version wasn’t light on flavor! Perfect for all the game watching this weekend!

  16. WOW these look so freakin good!!! I would devour several of these for sure :)

  17. Such a great idea. These wouldn’t last that long at my house!

  18. I adore stuffed jalapenos but they are usually loaded with so much cheese. I love your lean turkey filling, these could be my meal!

  19. These look amazing! And I love that you used organic turkey. I haven’t been able to find any organic brands (even at my local Whole Foods). Definitely need to search for this one!

  20. Elizabeth 34

    I was surprised at sll of the ingredients you use! I’ve been making my own version which uses Turkey Italian sausage adding only 1 tsp garlic powder, omit the mayo, top with panko crumbs moistened with a little olive oil to give it thst “popper” crunch.

  21. Theressa Whiting 35

    These were amazing!! Both my hubby and I loved them! I’m a big jalapeño poppers person, but these were divine!


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