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Vegetarian stuffed peppers in a baking dish

Vegetarian Stuffed Peppers - Mexican-Style

These easy, cheesy, Mexican-inspired vegetarian stuffed peppers are filled with healthy grains, quinoa, black beans, and tons of flavor. Leave out the cheese for a vegan option!
Course Main Dish, Side Dish
Cuisine American, Mexican
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Servings 4 servings
Calories 485kcal
Author Ann Otis


  • 4 bell peppers seeded and halved lengthwise
  • ½ cup uncooked quinoa rice blend *see note
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • ½ medium yellow onion chopped
  • ¼ teaspoon chilli powder *see note
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¼ teaspoon onion powder
  • ½ teaspoon oregano
  • ¼ teaspoon paprika
  • ¼ teaspoon cumin
  • 14 oz can black beans
  • 1 ½ cups crushed or strained tomatoes
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons cilantro chopped, plus more for garnish
  • 2 cups grated Monterey Jack cheese 1 cup for filling and 1 cup for topping


  • Preheat the oven to 400 F. Grease a 9 x 13 inch baking dish with olive oil.
  • Cut the peppers in half from top to bottom, stem and seed them. Place cut side up in the prepared baking dish.
  • Cook the rice and quinoa blend according to package directions
  • In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until softened and beginning to brown, about 5 minutes.
  • Stir in the chilli powder, garlic powder, onion powder, oregano, paprika, and cumin and cook for an additional minute.
  • Add the beans, tomato sauce, salt and pepper, and stir to combine. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Taste and adjust salt and pepper as needed. Remove the pan from the heat.
  • Stir in the quinoa rice blend.
  • Add 1 cup of the cheese and 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro and stir to combine.
  • Divide the filling between the 8 pepper halves.
  • Sprinkle with the remaining cup of cheese and cover the dish with foil.
  • Bake in the preheated oven for 30-40 minutes until the peppers are tender. Remove the foil and bake for an additional 10-15 minutes until the cheese is golden and bubbly.
  • Sprinkle with chopped cilantro and serve.



  • Quinoa medley: I love to use a quinoa medley that includes rice and other grains for this recipe, as I find it's hearty but not too heavy. My blend includes quinoa, brown long rice, millet, amaranth, and split red lentils. You can also use all quinoa, rice, lentils, or any other grain. Or you could also make your own blend, just be sure to pay attention to the cooking times of each to make sure they're roughly the same.
  • The spices: In place of the spices, you can substitute 2 teaspoons of taco seasoning.
  • Meal Prep: You can: 1) Make the filling ahead of time and refrigerate until you're ready to fill and cook the peppers or 2) Make the filling and fill the peppers, and refrigerate them until you're ready to pop them in the oven. Add a few minutes to the baking time if they've been refrigerated.
  • Reheating: Leftovers can be reheated 1) one or two at a time in the microwave. I find a couple of minutes on high power works well. Or 2) reheat the whole dish in the oven. Heat oven to 400 F, cover the baking dish with foil, and heat for around 45 minutes, with the last 10 minutes uncovered. 
  • Freezing: Fill the peppers (don't top with cheese), and pop them into a in a freezer bag, press out as much air as you can, and freeze for up to 3 months. Bake the peppers from frozen, covered, in a 400 degree oven for about 1 hour. Sprinkle the cheese on top and bake for an additional 15 minutes.


Calories: 485kcal | Carbohydrates: 46g | Protein: 26g | Fat: 23g | Saturated Fat: 12g | Cholesterol: 50mg | Sodium: 1104mg | Potassium: 1008mg | Fiber: 13g | Sugar: 10g | Vitamin A: 4468IU | Vitamin C: 164mg | Calcium: 513mg | Iron: 5mg