Making stuffed sweet peppers vegetarian is not easy. But with a little research and some practice, you can get all of the nutrients and vitamins you need from stuffed sweet peppers vegetarian recipes to keep yourself healthy without having to rely on foods that aren’t specifically intended for vegetarians.
Vegetarian Stuffed Peppers
These stuffed peppers aren’t the kind your mom made. They’re meatless and loaded with fresh flavor. They’re cheesy as shown, yes, but they’re just as good without the cheese. You can easily make these peppers dairy free or vegan.
Most stuffed peppers are made with Italian seasonings, but I went in a different direction. I was inspired to incorporate some of my favorite Mexican ingredients, including pinto beans, cherry tomatoes, cilantro, lime, chili powder and cumin. The filling is so tasty, I could eat it as a side dish! These peppers are somewhat time consuming, but each element is simple to make.
The trick to making great stuffed peppers is to slice the peppers in half from the stem end down through the base. Then, pre-roast the halves until they’re tender and a bit caramelized at the sliced edges. This way, their flavor is condensed and their texture is just right—not too crisp, but not falling apart.
How to Make Stuffed Peppers
You’ll find the full recipe below, but here’s the gist:
- Roast the peppers.
- Cook the rice (unless you’re using leftover cooked rice).
- Cook the filling, adding the rice and beans at the end.
- Stuff the peppers and top with cheese.
- Bake and serve!
These peppers are a great meal to prepare in advance. You can get a head start by cooking the rice and prepping the peppers. Or assemble them completely, then cover and refrigerate for later. This would be a great dish to drop off at a friend’s house with baking instructions (about 12 to 15 minutes at 425 degrees Fahrenheit).
Vegetarian Stuffed Peppers
- SERVES: 6
- PREP TIME: 20 min
- COOK TIME: 1 hr 20 min
- CALORIES: 319
Vegetarian stuffed peppers—baked until tender and brimming with a taco-seasoned, cheesy bean-and-rice filling—are an easy, healthy dinner that’s sure to spice up your week.
Surprise! The Best Stuffed Peppers Just Happen to Be Vegetarian.
Cooking one food—in this case, a beany rice-and-cheese filling—inside of another food (red bell peppers) looks fiddly, but making stuffed peppers is really easy. Bell peppers are already basically hollow, so being a delicious, edible bowl for a cheesy, tomato-y filling is a role they were born to play!
These vegetarian stuffed peppers are (duh) meat-free. But, what they lack in beefiness, they more than make up for in flavor. A healthy way to indulge your craving for Mexican food, they’re taco-seasoned and loaded with black beans and pepper jack cheese for a satisfying kick.
4 Reasons to Try Our Healthy Stuffed Peppers Recipe TONIGHT.
Just in case you need a nudge, we can think of at least four terrific reasons to make these cheesy stuffed peppers ASAP.
- They’re really healthy. These bell peppers are essentially veggies cooked in veggies—so you could probably already tell this recipe was a healthy one, right? Rice, black beans, peppers and tomatoes conspire to make these stuffed peppers an excellent source of fiber, and the beans and cheese mean that they have plenty of protein, too.
- They’re SO easy. Although they take about an hour to make, this certainly qualifies as an easy stuffed peppers recipe because most of that hour is oven time.
- They’re good for the planet! We all know that one of the biggest, easiest steps we can take towards taking better care of the planet is eating a little less meat. Delicious vegetarian recipes like this prove that eating less meat is actually pretty painless.
- Our vegetarian stuffed peppers are also gluten-free, without even trying! We didn’t set out to make these gluten-free, but isn’t it nice when it just works out that way? Major bonus!
How to Make Stuffed Peppers
Our oven-baked, easy stuffed peppers are quick, healthy and pretty darn crowd-pleasing. They’re kind of fun to make, too, which isn’t the only reason to make them but it sure helps, doesn’t it? Anyway, here’s how easy these are:
- Cook the bean and Mexican rice pepper filling in a skillet to meld the flavors. Note: this stuffed pepper filling is also great on it’s own!
- Prep the red peppers! Slice them in half, and scoop out the membranes and seeds so you’ve got sweet little red bell pepper “bowls”, ready to hold that hearty filling.
- Fill! Mound big spoonfuls of that tomatoey, bean-speckled rice mixture into the peppers, and top with cheese. OR, to make these vegan stuffed peppers, just leave the cheese off, or use a vegan cheese alternative.
- Bake! Just long enough to really soften the peppers and for the cheese to melt into the filling—about 30 minutes.
VEGETARIAN STUFFED PEPPERS
These Vegetarian Quinoa and Bean Stuffed Peppers are so easy to make, flavorful, filling, and the perfect freezer meal, and great for meal prep. A Delicious family-friendly weeknight meal the whole family will enjoy.
These easy baked stuffed bell peppers are full of protein-packed beans and quinoa that will leave you full and satisfied. Made with a delicious and flavorful bean and quinoa filling, topped with cheese, and baked until perfectly tender. For a vegan-friendly version of these healthy stuffed peppers, skip on the cheese and sour cream or use vegan cheese. A nice twist to the classic stuffed bell peppers that are usually made with meat and rice but instead we used quinoa and beans. We vouch that these are the best vegetarian stuffed peppers you will ever have!
WHY YOU WILL LOVE THIS STUFFED PEPPER RECIPE
- Simple: this stuffed bell pepper recipe is quite simple. Make the filling, fill the peppers, top with cheese, and bake. Boom!
- Healthy: Made with simple healthy ingredients that are good for you. Full of veggies and nutritious.
- Delicious: You will love how flavorful these vegetarian stuffed peppers are.
INGREDIENTS YOU WILL NEED TO MAKE THIS RECIPE
- 4 Large Bell Peppers
- Olive Oil
- Salt and pepper
- Garlic Cloves
- Red Pepper Flakes optional
- Seasonings: Ground Cumin, Smoked Paprika, Cayenne Pepper
- Diced Tomatoes one can
- Black Beans and Red Beans, one can each
- Vegetable Broth
- Fresh/Frozen or Canned Corn
- Shredded Monterey Jack Cheese
- Optional toppings: Avocado, cilantro/parsley, sour cream, and lime wedges
HOW TO MAKE VEGETARIAN STUFFED PEPPERS FROM SCRATCH
- Preheat oven to 400° F and line a baking tray with parchment paper.
- Thoroughly wash the bell pepper and pat the excess moisture with a paper towel.
- Carefully slice each bell pepper halfway, through the stems.
- Discard the ribs and seeds, and place them on the prepared baking tray. Spray with a bit of cooking oil spray and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake for 8-10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, heat oil in a heavy skillet, over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic, sauté until onion is translucent.
- Stir in tomatoes, beans, and corn. Add red pepper flakes, ground cumin, smoked paprika, salt, and pepper, cook stirring constantly for 2-3 minutes.
- Stir in the quinoa and broth, and reduce the heat to low. Cover and let it simmer until quinoa is cooked for about 12-15 minutes.
- Once done, remove from the heat and carefully spoon the mixture into the roasted peppers.
- Generously sprinkle shredded cheese on top, then place back into the oven and cook for 6-8 minutes (until cheese is melted and peppers are tender).
- Once done, remove from the oven, garnish with chopped cilantro or parsley. Serve with your favorite toppings and enjoy.
RECIPE NOTES AND TIPS
- You can make the stuffing/filling ahead or the day before and then bake when ready.
- Use Fresh peppers. If you like the peppers well done and soft, consider baking them for 10 minutes before stuffing them and bake again.
- You may use rice or barley in place of quinoa.
- Add more of your favorite veggies to the filling if you like.
- Store leftovers in an airtight container and place in the fridge for up to 5 days. Reheat in microwave or oven when ready to eat.
- You may freeze for up to 3 months.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
HOW TO EAT STUFFED PEPPERS
We love just grabbing these vegetarian stuffed peppers and bite down through all the goodness. Some may prefer to use utensils so using a knife and fork to cut it into smaller pieces is always an option! Also, you may unstuff the peppers on the side of your plate, cut the peppers into smaller pieces and enjoy!
HOW TO FREEZE STUFFED PEPPERS
Stuffed Peppers are ideal for freezing. Either store them individually in an airtight container or individually wrap them before freezing. Or place all your leftovers in the same container and freezer for up to 3 months. Stuffed peppers will hold their texture and taste once they are thawed and reheated.
HOW TO REHEAT STUFFED PEPPERS
There are different ways to reheat your frozen stuffed peppers. You could either do one of the following:
- Allow the frozen stuffed peppers to thaw in the fridge the night before. Place in a pre-heated oven at about 350 F for about 15 minutes. Or you simply reheat in the microwave for about 2 minutes.
- Another option is to place the frozen stuffed peppers in a 350F preheated oven for 20-30 minutes until they are thawed and heated throughout.
Vegetarian Stuffed Peppers
This simple but delicious Vegetarian Stuffed Peppers recipe is a light but filling dish that’s going to become your new favorite dinner. Colorful bell peppers filled with healthy goodness then topped off with cheese, these flavorful stuffed peppers are so easy to make. This recipe is an easy way to get more veggies on the table as everything is neatly packed up inside a bell pepper!
You won’t believe how easy it is to make this vegetarian stuffed peppers recipe. It may seem like there are a lot of steps, but I promise you, this is so easy. All you have to do is roast the peppers, sauté the filling, and add it to the peppers. Easy as could be.
Even better, this is a healthy recipe that you’ll feel good about making for your family. Filled with rice, black beans, corn, and tomatoes, your kids won’t even notice how healthy this dish is underneath the layer of cheese on top. Want another recipe that your whole family will love? Try my vegetarian enchiladas recipe! Again, your family won’t even notice the vegetables under the cheese!
Key Ingredients You Need
- Bell peppers — Make the dish more colorful by using a variety of bell peppers. Keep in mind that red pepper bells are the sweetest variety.
- Taco seasoning — I love using my homemade blend of taco seasoning as I find it more flavorful and contains no filler ingredients, but store-bought taco seasoning will work as well.
- Black beans — it’s important to remember to rinse and drain your canned black beans before using them as it removes the extra sodium.
- Mexican rice — While you can use regular rice, I recommend using Mexican rice. I love how much flavor my homemade Mexican rice brings to the stuffed peppers.
- Cheese — The cheese helps bind the stuffing together once it melts over the top of the stuffed peppers. Shredded pepper jack cheese is my go-to but feel free to use your favorite.
How to Make Vegetarian Stuffed Peppers
Step 1: Cut the bell peppers in half lengthwise, from stem to base, and remove all of the seeds and white membranes. Drizzle with olive oil and bake for 20 to 25 minutes at 400F until the edges of the bell peppers have begun to blister and they are soft enough to pierce with a fork.
Step 2: While the bell peppers are roasting, in a large skillet over medium-high heat, add the onion and salt and cook until the onion has softened. Add the tomato and cook for 3 – 5 minutes.
Step 3: Add the garlic and taco seasoning and cook for another 30 seconds to a minute, or until fragrant.
Step 4: Add green onions, black beans, corn, and Mexican rice. Mix to combine and heat until warm throughout. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Step 5: Grab the bell peppers out from the oven.
Step 6: Spoon a heaping spoonful of the mixture into each bell pepper. Top each one with cheese and place it back into the oven until the cheese has completely melted. Garnish with fresh chopped cilantro.
Tips For This Recipe
- You can make the stuffing ahead of time to meal prep for the week. Simply roast the peppers, reheat the stuffing, and stuff the peppers.
- Quinoa and lentils are excellent substitutes for rice if you want to change things around.
- If you don’t have black beans, you can use pinto beans instead.
- Always cook the rice before adding it to the peppers. Uncooked rice won’t cook with the peppers and will be crunchy and inedible if you add it to the stuffing raw.
- Chickpeas make for a great addition to the stuffing as well.
- Leftover stuffed peppers last for up to 4 days in the fridge. Make sure to store in an airtight container.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do you need to boil peppers before stuffing them?
I don’t recommend boiling the peppers before roasting them. The peppers will be overcooked and become mushy if you boil and roast the bell peppers.
What sides to eat with stuffed bell peppers?
These vegetarian stuffed peppers go with everything! My go-to side dishes are air fryer potato wedges, tomato salad, beet salad, cauliflower steak, and air fryer green beans. I like to keep things simple on weeknights, and these sides don’t take long to make.
How do you keep stuffed peppers from getting watery?
Do not skip pre-cooking the peppers in the oven. This helps keep the peppers from becoming too watery when served. Also, don’t skip sautéing the vegetables beforehand with the rice. Sautéing ensures that you cook out excess moisture before it goes into the peppers.
Can you freeze stuffed peppers?
You can! Freeze leftover stuffed peppers in an airtight freezer-safe container for up to 3 months. Let thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating. You could also freeze it after stuffing, before baking.