These Vegetarian Stuffed Peppers are hearty, yet healthy and topped with gooey cheese! This recipe is perfect for an easy weeknight dinner.
These stuffed peppers may have a short ingredient list, but they’re absolutely packed with flavor.
- Bell Peppers – any color of bell pepper will work. I used one of each: orange, yellow, green, and red. Red bell peppers are the sweetest, green bell peppers are the most bitter, and orange and yellow fall somewhere in between. Regardless of the color, they should be halved from stem to base with seeds and membranes removed.
- Butter – used to sauté the onions and garlic until tender. Unsalted butter or salted butter will be fine for this recipe. If you’d like to keep this dairy free, use a plant based butter or replace with oil of choice.
- Onion – yellow onion is used in the original recipe, but red onion, white onion, or shallots may be used instead.
- Garlic – provides a subtle, nutty flavor to the peppers. Use pre-minced jarred garlic to save on prep time!
- Quinoa – commonly mistaken for a grain, but it’s actually a seed! Quinoa is rich in protein, fiber, vitamins, and minerals. If rice is preferred, simply swap with equal amounts.
- Black Beans – provide additional protein and healthy fats. Feel free to swap the black beans with another variety such as pinto. Whatever you use, be sure to fully rinse and drain the beans.
- Corn – add a “pop” of texture and subtle sweetness. As with the beans, be sure to fully rinse and drain the corn before stirring into the filling mixture.
- Enchilada Sauce – a sauce made from chiles, onion, garlic, tomatoes, and spices. I use store-bought to keep this recipe extremely quick and easy, but feel free to make a homemade enchilada sauce if desired. No enchilada sauce? Try your favorite salsa instead!
- Taco Seasoning – the perfect blend of spices for these stuffed peppers. I used 2 (1 oz) packets of store-bought seasoning, but again, feel free to make my homemade taco seasoning, if preferred.
- Cheese – we used a Mexican cheese blend that contained monterey jack, cheddar, queso quesadilla, and asadero cheese, but feel free to use pepper-jack, cheddar, or your favorite variety! Omit or use a vegan variety if you’d like to keep this plant based.
How to make
Stir, stuff, and bake! These peppers are so quick and easy to make.
- Place halved peppers (hollow side up) into a greased 9×13 baking dish, then drizzle the peppers with olive oil, salt, and pepper.
- Melt butter over medium heat in a large skillet, then add onion and garlic and cook until tender.
- Stir in cooked quinoa, black beans, corn, enchilada sauce, taco seasoning, and 1/2 the cheese, then spoon the filling into each bell pepper.
- Sprinkle peppers with remaining cheese, then cover and bake in a 400 degree F oven for 30 minutes.
- Remove foil, then bake for an additional 15-30 minutes, or until the cheese has melted and the peppers are fork tender.
Is it better to boil peppers before stuffing?
It’s personal preference. Boiling the peppers before stuffing them will shorten the cook time in the oven, but it dirties another dish. This recipe does not require parboiling the peppers.
- Make vegan. Use vegan butter and vegan cheese or use oil to replace the butter and omit the cheese.
- Make with rice. Swap the quinoa for equal parts rice or grain of choice.
- Make it Italian. Trade the black beans for white beans, omit the corn, use pasta sauce instead of enchilada sauce, switch the taco seasoning for basil, Italian seasoning, oregano, and onion powder, and use mozzarella cheese and parmesan for the Mexican cheese!
- Make it Mediterranean. Stuff the peppers with my Mediterranean Farro Salad and top with crumbled feta!
What to serve with vegetarian stuffed peppers
These peppers are already a complete meal (don’t forget the cilantro lime sauce drizzle), but if you’d like to bulk them up, here are some of my favorite sides:
- Chips and Guacamole and/or Pico de Gallo
- Easy Black Beans
- Grilled Mexican Street Corn
- Mexican Street Corn Spoon Bread
- Leafy Green Salad with Chili Lime Vinaigrette
How to store
Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-4 days or in the freezer for 2-3 months.
To reheat, thaw, in the fridge if frozen, then bake until warm.
Vegetarian Stuffed Peppers
Equipment for this recipe
- 4-6 bell peppers halved from stem to base, seeds and membranes removed*
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 small yellow onion diced
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 2 cups cooked quinoa
- 1 (15 oz) can black beans drained and rinsed
- 1 (15 oz) can corn drained
- 1 (10 oz) can enchilada sauce
- 2 (1 oz) packets taco seasoning
- 2 cups shredded Mexican cheese blend divided
- Cilantro lime sauce optional for serving
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F and grease a 9x13 baking dish with cooking spray.
- Place halved peppers (hollow side up) into prepared dish, then drizzle the peppers with olive oil and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Set aside.
- Place butter into a large skillet and melt over medium heat.
- Once melted, add in onion and garlic and sauté, stirring regularly, until the onion is tender, about 5-10 minutes.
- Remove from the heat and stir in cooked quinoa, black beans, corn, enchilada sauce, taco seasoning, and 1/2 the cheese.
- Taste and re-season, if necessary, then spoon the filling into each bell pepper.
- Sprinkle peppers with remaining cheese, then cover with tin foil that’s been sprayed with cooking spray (this prevents the cheese from sticking to the foil).
- Bake in prepared oven for 30 minutes.
- Remove foil, then bake for an additional 15-30 minutes**, or until the cheese has melted and the peppers are fork tender.
- Drizzle with cilantro lime sauce, if desired, serve, and enjoy!
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*Note: Nutrition information is estimated and varies based on products used.