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Italian Zucchini Pepper Casserole

Italian Zucchini Pepper Casserole

Italian Zucchini Pepper Casserole is a deconstructed take on stuffed peppers. Brown rice, turkey, marinara and plenty of vegetables come together for a hearty and filling meal.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 6 people


  • 1/2 lb. Lean Ground Turkey recommended 93/7 ground turkey or beef
  • 1 cup Marinara Sauce
  • 15 ounces Petite Diced Tomatoes with Basil and Oregano
  • 2 tsp. garlic minced
  • 1 tsp. Dried Oregano
  • 1 tsp. Dried Basil
  • 1 large Bell Pepper recommend yellow or orange for a milder flavor.
  • 1/2 large onion chopped
  • 1 small Zucchini chopped
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1 cup Quick Cook Brown Rice SEE NOTE. Look for Parboiled. Uncle Ben's Brand is recommended.
  • 1/2 cup Mozzarella Cheese shredded
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese grated


  1. Instant Pot/Electric Pressure Cooker Instructions: Turn the Instant Pot to the saute function. Drizzle in a little avocado or olive oil.
  2. Cook the turkey with the zucchini, peppers, onion and garlic. Add salt , pepper, oregano and basil.
  3. When the turkey is no longer pink, pour in the marinara, tomatoes, water and rice.
  4. Shut the lid and turn the vent to sealing. Cook on high pressure (or Manual depending on your model) for 15 minutes. Allow the steam to release naturally for 5 minutes.
  5. You can serve it now with a sprinkle of Parmesan Cheese OR- Pour it into a 12 inch cast iron skillet and top with cheese. Broil it until the cheese is bubbly and golden.
  6. STOVE TOP- Follow all the instructions above, but instead of pressure cooking, cook it on the stove in a pot with a tight fitting lid. After pouring everything in bring to a slow bubble. Reduce to simmer (low) and cook with the lid on for 20-25 minutes. Watch it. It's done when the rice is cooked through and the vegetables are soft.
  7. You can still transfer it to an oven safe dish or 12 inch. cast iron (choose something safe to broil in) and add cheese.

Recipe Notes

It's very important that you buy parboiled brown rice if you want to cook everything together in this recipe as directed.  Parboiled brown rice takes about 15-20 minutes. So, it's not minute rice and it's not the plain one that takes 40-50 minutes.  If you have an Aldi store, they have Quick Cook Brown rice.  If you don't, Uncle Ben's makes one.  The one at my store is in a bag and the back specifically says parboiled.  You can also use precooked rice, but stir it in at the end and heat it through.  Do not cook it with the turkey and vegetables or it will be over done.