Spicy vegan stuffed peppers are easy to make, so they're ideal for busy weeknights. Make them with red or green bell peppers – or a combination of both. They can be meal prepped ahead of time and frozen until dinnertime. This easy meatless recipe is made with quinoa and black beans, and it's vegan and gluten-free.
Vegan Stuffed Peppers
This recipe is another old favorite from my blog archives that's been desperately in need of refresh for a long time. I like making stuffed peppers, because they look kind of fancy, but they're actually super easy to make. You just mix a bunch of things together, stuff them into peppers, and pop it in the oven.
How to Cut Bell Peppers
I like to cut the tops of my peppers and bake them upright. The tops can be placed back on top of them when you serve them to make them look fancy. If you are saving the tops, make sure you remove any seeds that might be attached to them.
- First you cut the top off of the pepper.
- Then you use a pairing knife to remove the ribs and seeds. If you're having a hard time with the knife, you can use a spoon to help scrape everything out.
It's that easy!
You can also cut your peppers in half, rather than cutting the tops off.
How to Make Vegan Stuffed Peppers
This recipe is super easy to make!
- First you cook the onion.
- Then you add the garlic and spices.
- And then you add the spinach.
- When you're done, you mix them together with the diced tomato, quinoa, and black beans.
- Finally, you stuff the peppers with the mixture and bake them!
How to Cook Quinoa
This recipe comes together quickly if you already have cooked quinoa on hand. When I'm cooking grains like rice and quinoa, I like to cook up the whole package and place what I'm not eating right away in the freezer. Quinoa cooks up quickly, so even if you don't have any precooked in your freezer, the recipe will still come together quickly.
Quinoa uses a 1:2 ratio with water. So, if you need to cook the quinoa to make this recipe, you’ll need ½ cup of dry quinoa and 1 cups of water. Combine quinoa and the water in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Then, reduce the heat to low, cover the pot and let it simmer for about 15 minutes or until all water has been absorbed. Then remove it from the heat and let it stand for about 5 minutes. Fluff it with a fork, and you’re ready to go!
I like to cook quinoa in vegetable stock rather than water to give it a little extra boost of flavor.
When I was taking pictures for this post, we were having our house worked on. Aldo, the construction foreman was excited to see me cooking quinoa. He said he's from Peru and quinoa is a staple food there. He told me that his grandmother was a widowed teacher with 5 children, and she didn't have much money, so she worried about feeding her children. She would feed her quinoa to her chickens, and she noticed that it helped them to grow large pretty quickly. So she started feeding it to her kids, thinking it would help them grow, too – and it did!. Aldo is very tall, and he said he owes his height to all of the quinoa he ate growing up.
How to Customize the Recipe to Your Tastes
This is the kind of recipe that's impossible to "break." You can customize it to your liking and adjust the spices to suite your tastes. Experiment in the kitchen and have fun with what you're cooking.
- You can use broccoli or zucchini instead of baby greens.
- Feel free to swap rice for the quinoa.
- Use pinto or kidney beans instead of black beans.
- Add a cup of corn kernels.
How to Freeze Stuffed peppers
This recipe freezes really well! Just place your cooked stuffed peppers in an air-tight container or freezer back and pop them in the freezer. They'll last for up to 3 months.. When you're ready to reheat them, cook them at 350° for 20 to 30 minutes. There's no need to thaw them out first.
If you're feeling cheesy, add a sprinkling of shredded nondairy cheese to your peppers before serving them.
Spicy Stuffed Peppers
- 1 tablespoon neutral-flavored oil
- 1 medium red onion diced (about 1 cup)
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 1 chili pepper, such as jalapeño or habanero chopped
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 5 ounces baby spinach or baby kale chopped (about 4 cups)
- 1 15 ounce can diced tomatoes
- 1 15 ounce can black beans
- 1 cup cooked quinoa
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- 6 bell peppers
- Preheat you oven to 350° degrees
- Heat a large pan over medium-high heat and add the oil and onion. Cook, stirring frequently, until onion until the onion begins to brown, about 5 minutes.
- Add the garlic, chili pepper, and spices and cook for a minute or two longer.
- Add the spinach to the pan and stir everything together so that the spinach wilts. This will only take a minute or two. Remove from heat.
- Drain the diced tomatoes and cover the bottom of a medium baking dish with the liquid. Place the tomatoes in the large bowl along with the quinoa and beans.
- Add the cooked vegetables to the bowl along with the salt and pepper and mix everything together well.
- Cut the tops off of the bell peppers and carefully remove the seeds and ribs. Place them upright in the baking dish.
- Divide the quinoa mixture between the four peppers.
- Cook for 30 to 35 minutes, until the peppers are tender.
Other recipes with bell peppers that you might enjoy include:
Other spicy recipes you might enjoy include:
- Kung Pao Tofu
- Broccoli and Tempeh with Spicy Peanut Sauce
- Spicy Spanish Style Soy Curls
- Spicy Orange-Sesame Stir-Fry