Quinoa Stuffed Peppers Recipe

Unless you've been living under a rock for the past decade, you likely already know that quinoa is a superfood. According to Healthline, the so-called "pseudograin" (a seed that acts like a grain) is gluten-free, a complete protein, and packed with fiber. It's also rich in essential minerals, especially manganese, iron, magnesium, and folate. In a nutshell, it's a lot better for you than more common starches, like white rice or pasta.

If you're looking for a way to get more quinoa into your diet beyond just serving it as a side dish, these quinoa stuffed bell peppers are for you. They're such a delicious and indulgent way to reap its benefits. These peppers are packed with Latin flavors, like cumin, lime, cilantro, and beans, and serving them with guacamole turns them into a complete meal. This recipe from Alex Shytsman of the plant-based blog The New Baguette is great for weeknight dinners, meal prep, and even for sharing with guests.

Gather the ingredients for quinoa stuffed peppers

To make these stuffed peppers, you'll need quinoa, an onion, garlic, cumin, smoked paprika, canned tomatoes, a can of beans, some lime juice, chopped cilantro, and of course, bell peppers. We recommend using different colored peppers for a prettier presentation, but you can use whatever colors you have on hand.

Cook the quinoa

First, you'll want to get the quinoa cooking. Bring 1 ½ cups of water to a boil, then add in the quinoa and a pinch of salt. Cover the pot with a lid and let the quinoa simmer for 20 minutes, until all of the water is absorbed. Don't stir the quinoa at all as it cooks! Then, after all of the water is absorbed, take the pot off of the heat and let it sit for another 10 minutes, still covered, and without stirring.

Start with some sautéing

Next, heat up some oil in a skillet and cook the diced onions until they're translucent. Then add the garlic and spices, and cook for a bit more. We recommend adding spices after the onions are cooked through, otherwise you risk burning them. After that, add the canned tomatoes with their juices and simmer the mixture for a few minutes. This gives the flavors a chance to meld together.

Finish making the filling

Add the cooked quinoa to the skillet, along with the drained beans, lime juice (feel free to sub with lemon juice), and cilantro. If you don't enjoy the flavor of cilantro, sub with parsley. Be sure to taste the filling at this point and adjust the seasonings if needed. It should taste well-rounded and quite tangy.

Stuff the peppers

Slice the peppers through the stem and pull out the ribs and seeds, leaving the stems intact. Massage the outsides of the peppers with a bit of oil and sprinkle them all over with salt. Arrange the peppers cut-side up in a casserole dish. Divide the filling among the peppers, making sure to thoroughly pack it in. Lastly, pour some water into the base of the dish and cover it tightly with foil; this technique will trap the steam in the dish and allow the peppers to soften in the oven.

Roast and serve your stuffed peppers

Cook the peppers from 45 minutes to an hour. Peppers do take a while to soften in the oven, so don't try to rush this part — nobody wants to bite into a stuffed pepper that's still crunchy. When the peppers look soft, remove the foil and continue roasting until they're starting to brown around the edges. Serve the peppers hot, alongside guacamole. You can also eat them with a dollop of sour cream or Greek yogurt. Enjoy this nutrient-dense and flavorful take on stuffed peppers!

Quinoa Stuffed Peppers Recipe
5 from 27 ratings
These quinoa stuffed peppers put a healthy spin on the classic dish.
Prep Time
10
minutes
Cook Time
1.17
hours
Servings
8
Servings
quinoa stuffed bell pepper in a white bowl
Total time: 1.33 hours
Ingredients
  • ¾ cup quinoa
  • salt, to taste
  • pepper, to taste
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for the peppers
  • 1 medium yellow or red onion, diced
  • 4 medium garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 (14-ounce) can diced tomatoes
  • 1 (15-ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • ½ cup cilantro, chopped, plus more for serving
  • 4 bell peppers
Optional Ingredients
  • guacamole, for serving
Directions
  1. Preheat the oven to 375 F.
  2. In a small pot, bring 1 ½ cups of water to a boil. Add the quinoa with a pinch of salt, cover tightly with a lid, and simmer on low heat until all the water is absorbed, about 20 minutes. Do not stir during cooking. Then turn the heat off and let stand covered (without stirring) for another 10 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat and add the onion with a pinch of salt. Cook until translucent, stirring frequently, about 5 minutes. Then add the garlic, cumin, and paprika, and cook for 30 seconds more. Add the tomatoes and simmer for 3 minutes. Turn the heat off.
  4. To the skillet, add the quinoa, beans, lime juice, and cilantro. Stir to combine, taste, and adjust the seasonings if needed.
  5. Halve the peppers lengthwise, and pull out the ribs and seeds. Grease the outsides of the peppers with a bit of oil and season all over with salt. Arrange cut-side up in a 9×13-inch baking dish.
  6. Distribute the filling among the peppers, packing it in as tightly as possible. Pour ½ cup of water into the baking dish and cover it tightly with foil.
  7. Bake until the peppers are tender, 50 to 60 minutes. Uncover and increase the heat to 400 F. Continue baking until the peppers are lightly browned around the edges, about 15 minutes.
Nutrition
Calories per Serving 176
Total Fat 4.9 g
Saturated Fat 0.7 g
Trans Fat 0.0 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Total Carbohydrates 27.2 g
Dietary Fiber 7.5 g
Total Sugars 4.7 g
Sodium 475.7 mg
Protein 6.9 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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