Stuffed Peppers are a classic comfort food and these vegetarian ones will make you forget about all the meat! This recipe is a winner for those busy weeknights.
Vegetarian Stuffed Peppers may be one of those meals you grew up with that seems overly complicated, but I assure you, this version is as simple as it gets.
Outside of sauteing the onions and garlic, there's not much else to do besides mixing all the filling ingredients in a bowl and stuffing it in the peppers.
The best part is, each bite is so full of flavor that your crew will think you've spent much longer in the kitchen than you actually did. Don't worry - your secret's safe with me!
Onion - You can use any kind of onion you like or have on hand. I tend to stick to yellow onions most of the time, but I also love the flavor of red onions in a dish like this.
Garlic - I always keep a jar of minced garlic on hand, but of course, fresh minced garlic is great here as well.
Taco seasoning - A packet of taco seasoning is such a short-cut ingredient for me to keep on hand. It's pretty safe to say that any dish flavored with taco or fajita seasoning is bound to be delicious!
Cooked quinoa - Quinoa is super easy to prepare, especially in the Instant Pot if you have one. Alternatively, sometimes you can find it already cooked at the store, so that is a great short cut when you're short on time. If you don't have quinoa or don't want to make it, cooked brown rice works perfectly here.
Black beans - Any beans will work in this recipe, but I especially love the heartiness and flavor of black beans in the southwestern inspired dish.
Corn - canned or frozen corn kernels will work here.
Salsa - Any salsa can be used - pick your favorite!
Diced green chiles - I love these little green chiles because of the flavor they pack. I almost always have a can on hand to add to dishes on the fly.
Dairy-free shredded cheese -
Bell peppers - Any color of bell peppers will be fantastic in this stuffed peppers recipe. The only thing you need to watch for is the shape of peppers you're choosing. I'm sure you've noticed that there are long and skinny bell peppers and there are short and fat bell peppers. For stuffed peppers, you want to go with the short and fat ones that will stand up on their end when placed in a baking dish.
Step-by-Step Instructions for Vegetarian Stuffed Bell Peppers
Look how easy it is to make these stuffed bell peppers!
Step 1 - Heat oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic, and taco seasoning. Cook for 3-4 minutes until softened.
Step 2 - In a large bowl, mix together the onion mixture, quinoa, black beans, corn, salsa, green chiles, and cheese.
Step 3 - Divide the mixture between bell peppers and place in a baking dish. Cover with foil and bake for 20 minutes. Remove foil and bake 20 minutes more.
Step 4 - Top with optional toppings and serve.
These Veggie Stuffed Peppers are everything you’ve ever needed when it comes to a quick and easy weeknight meal:
- Comes together in minutes.
- Totally budget-friendly.
- Great for leftovers.
- Adaptable for your tastebuds and what you have on hand.
- So delicious the whole fam will love it!
Cindy's Insider Pro Tips
Change up the ingredients
I went with a southwestern theme with these peppers, but traditionally stuffed peppers have more of an Italian theme. Instead of taco seasoning, you could use Italian seasoning, basil, and oregano. Instead of salsa, use tomato sauce or diced tomatoes. Instead of corn, maybe some diced zucchini.
Or raid your pantry and see what you have on hand. Any kind of beans. Brown rice instead of quinoa. So many options in these stuffed peppers!
Get Cheesy with it
I know the filling of these stuffed peppers has dairy-free cheese already, but if you're really wanting to amp it up, a sprinkling of cheese on top in the last 5-10 minutes of baking would be a great addition.
Pre-roast the peppers for optimal texture
This is totally a personal preference on how you like your peppers. I personally don't mind just a little bit of bite or crunch in my peppers, so I make them just as the recipe states. But if you're wanting them completely soft, I would suggest roasting the peppers for about 10 minutes while you're making the filling. That extra time will soften them up just enough for your liking.
Vegetarian Stuffed Peppers FAQs
While I wouldn't add the filling to the peppers and bake ahead of time, you can definitely make the entire filling a day or two in advanced. Store in the refrigerator until you're ready to bake the peppers. Fill and bake per the instructions.
Watery peppers are the result of the natural juices being cooked out of the bell peppers. I personally didn't have this problem when making these peppers, but if you want to ensure you don't have watery peppers, pre-bake the peppers for about 15 minutes before stuffing them. This will release some of the liquid before you add the filling.
No, you definitely don't have to cook the peppers before hand. The method of covering the baking dish with foil traps in the heat and really bakes the peppers nicely, eliminating the need to bake first. But if you like a softer pepper and want to ensure all the water cooks out, roasting the peppers first may be a great option for you.
Looking for more Vegan Main Dish Recipes?
Now that you know how to easy it is to make this Vegetarian Stuffed Peppers recipe, please give it a star rating below and comment letting me know how it turned out for you.
Vegetarian Stuffed Peppers
- 1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- ¼ onion, thinly sliced
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 2 Tablespoons taco seasoning
- 1 cup cooked quinoa
- 1 15-ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 cup corn kernels
- ½ cup salsa
- 1 4-ounce can diced green chiles
- 1 cup vegan shredded cheddar cheese, optional
- 4 large bell peppers, tops and cores removed
- additional salsa or pico de gallo
- Preheat oven to 400°F.
- Heat the oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add in the onion garlic, and taco seasoning. Cook for 3-4 minutes until softened.
- In a large bowl, mix together the onion mixture, quinoa, black beans, corn, salsa, green chiles, and cheese.
- Divide the mixture between the bell peppers and place in a baking dish. Cover with foil and bake for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, remove the foil and continue baking an additional 20 minutes. Top with optional toppings and serve.