- Food: Stuffed Peppers
- Writer: Nicolas Wilson
- Content-Type: Food Blog
These stuffed peppers aren’t like the ones your mother used to make. They’re meatless and bursting with flavor.
Yes, they’re cheesy as pictured, but they’re also delicious without it. These peppers can simply be made dairy-free or vegan.
Although most stuffed peppers are made with Italian flavors, I used a different approach. I was inspired to use pinto beans, cherry tomatoes, cilantro, lime, chili powder, and cumin, as well as other Mexican ingredients.
I could eat the filling as a side dish since it’s that delicious! Although these peppers take some time to prepare, each component is simple to prepare.
Cutting the peppers in half from the stem end down through the base is the key to making wonderful stuffed peppers.
Pre-roast the halves until soft and a little browned around the sliced edges. Its taste is concentrated, and its texture is perfect—not too crisp, but not crumbly.
Cook some extra brown rice for yourself while you’re at it. Then, say, Extra Veggie Fried Rice or any of these rice-based meals, you’ll be one step closer to dinner tomorrow night. A big thumbs up!
Stuffed Peppers: A Step-by-Step Guide
The whole recipe may be seen below, but here’s the gist:
- Peppers should be roasted.
- Unless you’re using leftover cooked rice, cook the rice.
- Cook the filling first, then add the rice and beans last.
- Fill the peppers with cheese and serve.
- Bake, then eat!
These peppers are a fantastic dinner to make ahead of time. Cooking the rice and prepping the peppers will give you a head start. Alternatively, you can build them completely and then cover and refrigerate them for later. This would be an excellent dish to deliver to a friend with baking instructions (about 12 to 15 minutes at 425 degrees Fahrenheit).
Serving Suggestions for Stuffed Peppers
These stuffed peppers are a complete meal in and of themselves, with substantial grains, vegetables, and beans for added protein and fiber. Here are some suggestions for side dishes to go with the meal:
- Black Beans
- Chunky Avocado Salsa (Mexican Street Corn)
- Salad with Fresh Corn Salsa,
- Herbed Avocado
- Green Salad with Jalapeno-Cilantro Dressing from Mexico (or a simplified version of it)
|Time to Prepare: 20 minutes
1 hour to cook
1 hour and 20 minutes total
Serving: 8 stuffed peppers
My favorite Mexican recipes inspired these vegetarian stuffed peppers! Roasted bell peppers are packed with a savory mixture of pinto beans, brown rice, and fresh vegetables, then topped with melted cheese (optional). This recipe makes 8 stuffed peppers, which serve 4 as a main meal or 8 as a side dish.
- 4 large red bell peppers, halved from stem to base, seeds and membranes removed
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil, as needed
- Fine salt and freshly ground black pepper, for sprinkling
Filling and topping
- ½ cup long-grain brown rice (or 1 ½ cups cooked rice)
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 large yellow onion, chopped
- ½ teaspoon fine salt, to taste
- 1 pint (2 cups) cherry tomatoes, halved or quartered if large
- ½ cup chopped fresh cilantro, plus more for garnish
- 4 cloves garlic, pressed or minced
- 1 ½ teaspoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 1 can (1 ½ cups) pinto beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 tablespoon lime juice
- 4 ounces (about 1 cup) grated part-skim mozzarella or cheddar
- Optional garnishes: Sliced ripe avocado or guacamole, perhaps a drizzle of cilantro-hemp pesto, red salsa, sour cream, or vegan sour cream
- To roast the peppers, follow these steps: Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Place the halved peppers in a large 9 x 13-inch baking dish or on a parchment-lined rimmed baking sheet. Sprinkle the peppers with salt and pepper after drizzling 1 tablespoon of olive oil over them. Rub the oil all over both sides of the peppers with your hands, then arrange them with the sliced sides facing up. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the peppers are blistered around the edges and punctured easily with a fork. Remove from the equation. Turn on the oven to bake the peppers.
- Cook the rice in the meantime: A large pot of water should be brought to a boil. In a fine-mesh colander, rinse the rice until the water runs clear. Add the rice to the boiling water and cook for 30 minutes, uncovered (reduce the heat as necessary to prevent overflow). Return the rice to the pot after draining the remaining cooking water. Remove from the equation.
- Prepare the filling as follows: Warm 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat until it shimmers. Toss in the onion and 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Cook, stirring frequently, for about 5 minutes, or until the onion is soft. Cook for another 5 minutes or until the tomatoes are slightly mushy.
- Combine the cilantro, garlic, chili powder, and cumin in a mixing bowl. Cook for 30 to 60 seconds, stirring constantly until the garlic is aromatic.
- Remove the pot from the heat and stir in the rice, beans, lime juice, and 10 black pepper twists. Toss to mix, then season to taste with more salt (I usually use 14 tsp) and black pepper.
- To stuff, the peppers, drain any extra juice that has accumulated within the peppers. Then, generously stuff each pepper with the rice mixture (if the peppers were actually large, you should have just enough filling—if you have more, reserve it for a side dish). Place the cheese on top of the peppers.
- Preheat the oven to 425°F and bake for 12 to 13 minutes, or until the cheese is browned in spots. Serve warm, garnished with fresh cilantro leaves or other toppings of your choice. Covered leftovers can be kept in the fridge for up to 4 days. I imagine these would last for several months in the freezer, but I haven’t tested them.
- MAKE IT DAIRY-FREE AND VEGAN: Remove the cheese and cover the baking dish during the last few minutes of baking. I recommend serving the peppers with guacamole, cilantro-hemp pesto, or vegan sour cream as a creamy or saucy topping.
- PREPARE AHEAD OF TIME: This recipe takes a little time to prepare, but it’s not difficult. You could make the rice ahead of time and/or prepare the peppers ahead of time so they’re ready to bake later. You may even entirely assemble the peppers and keep them refrigerated, and covered, until ready to bake (they will likely need a few extra minutes in the oven to warm through).