These bell peppers are stuffed with a flavorful quinoa filling and perfect for weeknight dinners and meal prep! They're easy to customize and can even be frozen.
- Diet-friendly: vegetarian, soy-free, nut-free, gluten-free and vegan optional (just use your favorite vegan cheese)
- Great for meal prep: freezable and easy to make a double batch
- Versatile: add your favorite veggies or use rice instead of quinoa
- Nutritious and delicious: At 14 grams of protein per stuffed pepper, this recipe is nutrient-packed
Ingredients and substitutions
Bell peppers: You can use every color of pepper but my favorite is red or orange because of their sweet flavor. Green also works but can sometimes be bitter when roasted.
Black beans: Drain and rinse canned black beans before using. Choose "no salt added" beans for a healthier option.
Fire roasted diced tomatoes: You can also do regular diced tomatoes or tomatoes with green chiles for a little extra kick.
Quinoa adds a nutty flavor and extra protein. Any color of quinoa works. I recommend rinsing the quinoa before cooking it.
Corn: Fresh, frozen or canned works. If it's available to you, fire-roasted corn is especially delicious.
Step by instructions
Step 1. Prepare the quinoa filling. Sauté onion in olive oil until softened, then add garlic cloves, optional jalapeño (if you like spicy!) and dry quinoa.
Toast the quinoa for a minute to enhance this grain's natural flavors. Stir in seasonings and liquid.
Step 2. Bring the quinoa to a boil over high heat. Cover and reduce heat to a simmer. Simmer until quinoa is cooked and fluffy, about 15 minutes.
Step 3. Stir in the black beans, drained tomatoes, frozen corn (the corn does not need to be thawed), and ½ cup shredded cheese.
Step 4. Assemble the peppers in a lightly oiled baking dish or cast iron. Add 1 cup of the quinoa black bean mixture to each pepper.
Push down the quinoa mixture with a spoon to make sure it's tightly filled.
Step 5. Top peppers with the remaining shredded cheese.
Step 6. Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for 10 minutes more, until the cheese is bubbly and golden.
Recipe FAQ and expert tips
- Spice level: Sauté one or two jalapenos with the onion for a spicier mixture. You can also add ¼ teaspoon (or more) cayenne pepper or 1 teaspoon hot sauce.
- Extra vegetables: Try adding sautéed mushrooms, zucchini or broccoli for more veggies. Depending on how many veggies you add, you might end up with extra filling.
- Have extra filling? Add it to a corn tortilla for tacos or serve on top of lettuce of a taco salad.
Place the peppers in a closed container and refrigerate for 3-4 days. Reheat individual peppers in the microwave until the filling is warmed through. You can also reheat the peppers in the oven by wrapping them in foil and cooking at 325 degrees until heated through.
Yes! These freeze well. Wrap in foil or place in a freezer safe container and freeze for up to 3 months. Let thaw overnight (or at least 12 hours) in the fridge before reheating.
You can use an equal amount of white or brown rice in place of quinoa. You will need about 2 cups cooked rice.
Yes! You can precook the peppers to make them softer when they come out of the oven. Simply add the hollowed-out peppers to a pot of boiling water and boil for 2-3 minutes. They should be softened but still firm.
Yes. Just use vegan shreds/vegan cheese in place of shredded cheese, or omit the cheese entirely.
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Vegetarian Quinoa Stuffed Bell Peppers
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- ½ cup diced red onion from ½ large red onion
- 1 small jalapeno, diced optional
- 1 cup dry quinoa rinsed
- 2 teaspoons cumin
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 2 cups vegetable broth
- 1 can (15 ounces) fire roasted tomatoes liquid drained
- 1 can (15 ounces) black beans drained and rinsed
- 1 cup frozen sweet corn thawed
- 1 cup shredded Mexican style blend or shredded cheddar divided in half
- 6 bell peppers tops and cores removed
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
- In a medium saucepan, heat olive oil over medium heat. Once hot, add diced red onion. Cook until softened, about 6-8 minutes.
- Add optional jalapeno and dry quinoa. Toast for 1 minute, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon to prevent burning. Add cumin, chili powder, salt, and 2 cups of vegetable broth, stirring to combine.
- Bring to a boil over high heat. Once boiling, reduce to a simmer over medium-low and cover with a lid. Simmer for 15 minutes, or until all liquid is absorbed and quinoa is fluffy. Once cooked, add drained tomatoes, black beans, sweet corn, and ½ cup shredded cheese. Taste mixture for seasonings.
- Place bell peppers in a cast-iron skillet or lightly oiled baking dish. Add 1 cup quinoa mixture to each bell pepper. Top bell peppers with remaining ½ cup of shredded cheese.
- Cover baking dish with foil. Bake at 400 degrees for 30 minutes. Remove foil and bake for 10 minutes more, or until cheese is bubbling and golden brown. Remove from the oven and serve.
- Foil tip: Spray foil with cooking spray, then place the oiled side of the foil on the bell peppers. This will prevent the cheese from melting onto the foil and making a mess.
- Vegan option: Yes. Just use vegan shreds/vegan cheese in place of shredded cheese, or omit the cheese entirely.
- Extra veggies: Try adding sautéed mushrooms, zucchini or broccoli for more veggies. Depending on how many veggies you add, you might end up with extra filling.
- Storage and reheating: Place the peppers in a closed container and refrigerate for 3-4 days. Reheat individual peppers in the microwave until the filling is warmed through. You can also reheat the peppers in the oven by wrapping them in foil and cooking at 325 degrees until heated through.
- How to freeze: Wrap in foil or place in a freezer safe container and freeze for up to 3 months. Let thaw overnight (or at least 12 hours) in the fridge before reheating.
- Extra filling can be served in corn tortillas as tacos or as a taco salad with lettuce.