Vegetarian Stuffed Peppers with Quinoa
These Quinoa Stuffed Peppers are easy to make, healthy, and vegetarian-friendly. (with a vegan option too!) Make a batch for dinner and freeze any leftovers for another time.
Easy Vegetarian Stuffed Peppers Recipe
This recipe for Quinoa Stuffed Peppers is great for a healthy weeknight dinner. Red bell peppers get filled with fresh Mediterranean quinoa and baked in the oven. Make sure to also try this stuffed pepper soup if you love stuffed peppers!
The secret to get flavourful cooked peppers is to pre-roast the peppers before stuffing them with the quinoa, and then baking them in the oven again.
Why you’ll love these Vegetarian Stuffed Bell Peppers
- These stuffed bell peppers are healthy, vegetarian and packed with 10 grams of protein per serving. They can also easily be made vegan by leaving out the cheese.
- This recipe is easy to make, makes great leftovers (it tastes even better the next day!), and freezes well.
- It can be enjoyed on it’s own, or as a side.
Ingredients for Quinoa Stuffed Bell Peppers
- Red Bell peppers: red bell peppers are the most popular type of pepper to use in stuffed peppers. You can use any colour pepper you like. If you prefer a more intense pepper flavour, try using green bell peppers, or even a mix of red and green. You want to choose peppers that are fairly big in size so you have room to stuff them.
- Quinoa: This is the main ingredient to stuff the peppers. Quinoa is packed with protein, fiber and healthy carbs making it a great filling option for Vegetarian Stuffed peppers.
- Vegetable stock: this is used to cook the quinoa. You can also cook the quinoa in water, but using stock will infuse the quinoa with flavour and result in a more flavourful stuffed pepper.
- Herbs: dried herbs de Provence is used in the quinoa for flavour. If you don’t have this herb blend on hand, you can also use dried oregano, thyme or basil.
- Shallots: I love cooking with shallots! They have a delicate and sweet flavour that is quite different from a yellow onion. If you only have onion on hand, you can use that too.
- Garlic: fresh garlic, not dried or powdered!
- Sundried tomato pesto: you can find sundried tomato pesto at most grocery stores.
- Chickpeas: canned chickpeas are fine for this recipe. If you prefer to use dried chickpeas, make sure to cook them up according to package directions before adding them to the stuffing.
- Cheese: shredded cheese to top off the peppers. You can use any kind you love and even use dairy-free cheese for a vegan option.
How to make Quinoa Stuffed Peppers
Start by cutting the peppers in half and removing the seeds. Roast the peppers in the oven until they’re tender.
While the peppers roast, cook the quinoa in a pot and start preparing the stuffing by sautéing the vegetables and sun-dried tomato pesto together. Then add in the quinoa and mix it all together.
Stuff each pepper with the mixture and top with some shredded cheese.
Place in the oven and bake for about 10 minutes until the cheese is melted
How long does it take for peppers to get soft in the oven?
Peppers will take about 15 minutes to soften in the oven at 425 degrees F.
Many stuffed pepper recipes will stuff raw peppers with a filling, then place them in the oven to bake. The problem with this is that the peppers don’t cook as well because:
- They are filled with a stuffing and are less exposed to the direct heat from the oven
- Once they’re stuffed, you have to cook them face-up, so you don’t get that dark roasted colour on the outside of the peppers
This is why this recipe pre-roasts the peppers. Trust me, this is the BEST way to get roasted red bell pepper flavour into the dish.
Make Ahead Stuffed Peppers with Quinoa
Stuffed peppers are a great recipe to prepare ahead of time that can be stored in the fridge for up to 3 days before serving.
To prepare this recipe in advance just follow the instructions up until stuffing the peppers with the quinoa stuffing. At this point, you’ll tightly wrap the peppers with plastic wrap and place them in the fridge. When you’re ready to eat the stuffed peppers, remove the plastic wrap, cover the peppers with shredded cheese and bake in the oven at 400 degrees F for 15-20 minutes until the peppers are warmed through.
How to store, freeze, and reheat Quinoa Stuffed Bell Peppers
Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week. Reheat in the oven or the microwave.
This recipe also freezes well. Freeze peppers in a sealed container. When you’re ready to eat them, let them defrost naturally on the countertop. Heat them up in a baking dish in the oven.
Tips for making Vegetarian Stuffed Peppers perfectly
- Use even-sized peppers so all the peppers cook evenly. You can use any colour of bell peppers you like for this recipe.
- Use larger peppers if possible. They have more space for stuffing!
- Cook the quinoa in vegetable stock rather than water. This is one of the *secrets* to getting really flavourful quinoa in these Quinoa Stuffed Peppers.
- Taste and season as you make the filling with salt and pepper. Depending on the brand of vegetable stock and sundried tomato pesto you use, you may need more or less salt.
Quinoa Stuffed Peppers FAQ
Red peppers are technically the healthiest! Did you know that all the colors of bell peppers are technically the same? They are just harvested at different times. Since red bell peppers are harvested the latest, they are packed with more nutrition.
Nope! These peppers are lightly roasted before stuffing them to give the peppers a delicious roasted flavour. You’ll see some recipes that stuff raw peppers, but roasted peppers make for a tastier stuffed pepper!
All vegetables will lose some of their nutrients when cooked. (But don’t worry, they’re packed with so many vitamins and minerals you won’t be losing out on much.) Roasting or grilling peppers with is a great healthy cooking option that requires little to oil added oil.
It’s all about seasoning the stuffing! This is why we cook the quinoa in vegetable stock in this recipe. Seasoning each layer of ingredients used to stuff the peppers will result in flavourful and delicious stuffed peppers!
The trick to making stuffed peppers that aren’t watery is to lightly precook the peppers before stuffing them. This will help draw out moisture from the peppers. You can precook them by slightly roasting them in the oven, or boiling them in a pot of water.
There are so many delicious flavours that go well with stuffed peppers! Some great pairings for your peppers are garlic, onion, basil, oregano, thyme, cilantro, cayenne pepper, feta cheese and parmesan cheese.
What side dishes go with stuffed peppers?
Stuffed peppers make for a great meal on their own, but can also be served up with a variety of sides to make them more of a “complete meal.” Here are some great recipes you can serve with these Vegetarian Stuffed Peppers
More quinoa recipes to try
If you tried these Quinoa Stuffed Peppers or any other recipe on the blog let me know how you liked it by leaving a comment/rating below! Be sure to follow along on Pinterest, Instagram and Facebook for even more deliciousness!
Vegetarian Quinoa Stuffed Peppers
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 25 minutes
- Total Time: 45 minutes
- Yield: 4 servings 1x
- Category: Main
- Method: Cook
- Cuisine: American
- Diet: Vegetarian
These Quinoa Stuffed Peppers are easy to make and packed with flavour!
- 4 bell peppers (any colour)
- 1 cup uncooked quinoa
- 2 cups vegetable stock
- 1 tsp herbs de province
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 2 shallots, chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, chopped
- 1/4 cup sundried tomato pesto
- 1 cup chickpeas (from a can, or cooked from dry)
- salt and pepper to taste
- Shredded cheddar cheese (optional, omit for vegan)
- parsley, cilantro or basil to top
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F, and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Roast the peppers: Slice the peppers in half lengthwise, and remove the seeds. Place face down on the baking sheet and roast in the oven for 15 minutes. While the peppers roast, prep the quinoa.
- Cook the quinoa: Mix the quinoa, vegetable stock and herbs de province in a pot and bring to a boil, then cover and let simmer on low for 15 minutes. Remove from heat and fluff with a fork.
- Make the stuffing: Heat the olive oil in a large pan on medium-high heat. Add the shallots and garlic and let cook for 1-2 minutes, then add the sundried tomato pesto and chickpeas and mix together for another minute, then add the quinoa and mix everything together. Season with salt and pepper.
- Stuff the peppers: with the quinoa stuffing and place in a baking dish or on a baking sheet. Top with shredded cheese if desired and bake in the oven at 425 degrees F for 5-10 minutes until cheese is melted.
- Top with fresh herbs and serve.
Use even-sized peppers so all the peppers cook evenly. You can use any colour of bell peppers you like for this recipe.
Use larger peppers if possible. They have more space for stuffing!
Cook the quinoa in vegetable stock rather than water. This is one of the *secrets* to getting really flavourful quinoa in these Quinoa Stuffed Peppers.
Taste and season as you make the filling with salt and pepper. Depending on the brand of vegetable stock and sundried tomato pesto you use, you may need more or less salt.
- Serving Size: 1 pepper
- Calories: 245
- Fat: 12g
- Carbohydrates: 44g
- Fiber: 7g
- Protein: 10g
Keywords: vegetarian stuffed peppers, quinoa stuffed bell peppers, peppers stuffed with quinoa