Spicy Vegetarian Quinoa Stuffed Bell Peppers

Gluten-Free  |  Published Oct 19, 2021  |  Updated Oct 20, 2021  |  By Tawnie

quinoa and veggies stuffed in a red bell pepper

Creating these Spicy Vegetarian Quinoa Stuffed Bell Peppers

Quinoa stuffed bells come in handy when you are in a dinner crunch and they ALWAYS hit the spot.

This recipe uses canned food veggies and beans so having the ingredients on hand already makes everyone’s life a lot easier. 🙂

These stuffed bell peppers are vegetarian (easily made vegan by omitting the cheese) and filled with plant based protein, fiber and are super flavorful!

I made my own taco seasoning because the store bought packets can be very high in sodium. Plus, if you don’t have a packet handy it’s nice to know with a few staple spices you can whip together your own taco seasoning.

Ingredients you’ll need for Spicy Vegetarian Quinoa Stuffed Bell Peppers

  • Bell Peppers: You may have a little extra filling depending on the size of bell peppers you use. About 3 large bell peppers works well, or 5 smaller.
  • Quinoa, cooked (or rice works too!)
  • Black beans and corn
  • Garbanzo beans/chickpeas
  • Taco Seasoning (homemade or a packet). My homemade recipe is below, it includes chili powder, paprika, cumin and a few other pantry staple spices.
  • Cheese: We love it with mozzarella on top but you can use pepper jack or your favorite cheese. Omit cheese for vegan option
  • Cilantro or hot sauce for garnish

How to make Spicy Vegetarian Quinoa Stuffed Bell Peppers

  1. Preheat the oven to 375°. In a large frying pan, heat olive oil and sauté onion for 2-3 minutes. Add in quinoa, black beans, garbanzo beans, corn, diced tomatoes, jalapeño, quinoa, and taco seasoning. Mix everything together well just until mixed then remove from heat.
  2. Cut the tops of the bell peppers off and remove seeds and membrane. You can either fill the bell pepper halves by cutting them in half, or leaving them whole. It is up to you! I always like cutting them in half because it’s easier to eat.
  3. Spoon in the quinoa mixture, place bell peppers in an oven safe baking dish and cover with foil. Bake for 30 minutes or until warm and bell pepper has cooked/softened. Garnish with cheese (optional) and cilantro. Enjoy!

Tips for making the best stuffed bell peppers

  • Slice the top off and then cut in half. This cuts down on baking time and is easier to eat! Plus, they look pretty this way 🙂
  • Save the bell pepper from the top and mix into the filling, or munch on it while you cook. #ZeroFoodWaste
  • If you don’t want to slice them in half and you want to make them upright, use a muffin tin to keep them stacked up.
  • I know these are vegetarian (optional vegan) but if you have leftover ground turkey, ground beef, or chicken these are a great way to use up those leftovers!

FAQ

What do I eat with stuffed bell peppers?

You can eat them as is or you can pair with a dinner salad, roasted vegetables such as cauliflower or broccoli, sweet potato fries or your favorite French fry, garlic bread, sautéed mushrooms, asparagus etc.

Which color bell pepper has the most flavor?

I think that this comes down to personal preference. This recipe is flexible and you can use a variety of colored bell peppers red, green, yellow, or orange. If you have a preference of bell pepper go ahead and use your favorite!

Can I freeze stuffed bell peppers?

Yes you can! Allow the bell peppers to cool completely and then place them in the freezer. Freeze for 1-2 hours, then transfer to a plastic freezer bag and store in freezer for up to 3 months. To bake, thaw completely in your refrigerator (this will take about 24 hours). Then, bake for ~30 minutes or until warm.

How do I cook quinoa?

About 3/4 cup dry quinoa will yield enough for the quinoa mixture. Pour dry quinoa into a small sauce pan with 1 1/2 cups water or chicken broth. Bring to a boil, cover with a lid, reduce heat to simmer and cook for 15 minutes. Fluff with a fork.

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quinoa and veggies stuffed in a red bell pepper
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Spicy Vegetarian Quinoa Stuffed Bell Peppers

Spicy Vegetarian Quinoa Stuffed Bell Peppers are a healthy plant based dinner. Filled with pantry staples like quinoa and canned beans.
5 from 11 reviews
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Servings: 4 people
Calories: 401kcal

Ingredients

Ingredients

  • 1 Tbsp. Olive oil
  • 3-5 bell peppers, halved, seeds removed
  • 2 cups quinoa, cooked*
  • 1/2 white onion, diced
  • 1, (14.5 oz.) can diced tomatoes, drained
  • 1 jalapeno, diced
  • 1, (15 oz.) can low sodium black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1, (15 oz.) can garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1, (15 oz.) can Yellow corn, rinsed and drained

Homemade Taco Seasoning

  • 1 Tbsp. chili powder
  • 1/4 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp. onion powder
  • 1/4 tsp. red pepper chili flakes
  • 1/4 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp. paprika
  • 1 tsp. cumin
  • salt and pepper TT

Garnish:

  • 1 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • Cilantro

Instructions

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 350°F
  • Drizzle ~1 Tbsp. olive oil in an oven safe casserole dish.
  • Cut bell peppers in half lengthwise and remove the seeds and membrane. Drizzle the bell peppers with a little olive oil and rub the olive oil on all sides to coat. Season with a pinch of salt and pepper. Place peppers cut side up in the casserole dish and bake for 15-20 min.
  • Heat olive oil in a large frying pan, add onion and sauté for 2-3 minutes. Add in cooked quinoa, black beans, garbanzo beans, corn, diced tomatoes, jalapeño, and taco seasoning. Mix everything together until mixed then remove from heat.
  • Stuff the peppers to the brim with the quinoa filling. Bake for another 15 minutes minutes or until warm. Garnish with cheese (optional), cilantro, hot sauce or any of your favorite toppings and enjoy!

Video

Notes

  • This can be prepped ahead of time and baked when you’d like to eat them! Great for meal prep.
  • How to cook quinoa: You’ll need about 3/4 cup dry quinoa to yield enough for the quinoa mixture. Pour dry quinoa into a small sauce pan with 1 1/2 cups water or chicken broth. Bring to a boil, cover with a lid, reduce heat to simmer and cook for 15 minutes. Fluff with a fork. 1 cup dry quinoa, use 2 cups liquid. 1 cup dry quinoa makes ~3 cups cooked. 
  • You may have a little extra filling depending on the size of bell peppers you use. About 3 large bell peppers works well, or 5 smaller.
  • If you are not vegetarian and have any leftover ground turkey, ground beef, or chicken these are a great way to use up those leftovers. Stir into the quinoa mixture before filling bell peppers. 
  • Use rice instead of quinoa, if desired. 
  • Use 1 taco seasoning packet in place of the homemade taco seasoning if desired.
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Nutrition

Serving: 1bell pepper | Calories: 401kcal | Carbohydrates: 55g | Protein: 17g | Fat: 13g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 18mg | Sodium: 200mg | Potassium: 758mg | Fiber: 9g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 4822IU | Vitamin C: 157mg | Calcium: 177mg | Iron: 5mg

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17 Comments
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Cassandra
6 months ago

Great weeknight dinner recipe! I used half of the jalapeño and it was still quite spicy for me. Ended up with quite a bit of filling after filling three bell peppers halved. So easy to make and it tasted so flavorful!

Kaylene
2 years ago

My 13 year old saw the mix in the frying pan and predetermined he didn’t like the meal. Then he changed his mind when the peppers came out of the oven. He and my pickiest eater ate every bite and asked for more. Delicious!

Chichi | mydiasporakitchen.com
2 years ago

Absolutely love stuffed peppers. This recipe tases so good.

Tammy
2 years ago

Mmm I love hearty meatless meals like this! Looks so good and satisfying..perfect fall dish 😀

Genevieve from @fittyfoodlicious
2 years ago

Well, don’t these look delicious? So yummy!

Sapana
2 years ago

This was insanely delicious!!! I love all the fresh ingredients – will be making again!

Beth
2 years ago

This looks beautiful! So filling & flavorful!

Alice
4 years ago

Hi Tawnie! Just came across your blog and this recipe which I am looking forward to trying for a change from my usual stuffed peppers. Two questions for you: 1. do I measure out 2 cups of quinoa and then cook that amount? Or do I use 2 cups of quinoa that has been cooked? 2. If I make your homemade taco seasoning do I use the entire amount in the recipe? Thanks for your help!

Omgee, I love stuffed peppers. I never thought of using quinoa. Brilliant I love it!

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