These delicious Vegetarian Stuffed Peppers are loaded with rice, veggies, black beans, spices and smothered with cheese. They’re so flavorful and and it’s just a bonus that they’re healthy too! 

Most nights a lighter dinner that’s loaded with veggies is just the thing I need, and I promise you this healthy stuffed peppers recipe will not disappoint!  And, don’t miss my other vegetarian recipes including my favorite Quinoa Salad, and Lentil Tacos!

Three vegetarian stuffed peppers on a plate with a bite taken out of one, showing the filling inside.

Why I love this recipe:

  • Healthy, filling, and delicious: Traditional stuffed pepper recipes are often loaded with ground beef and cheese, but these healthy stuffed peppers are just as flavorful, made with have hearty ingredients that will leave you filling full, with a lot less calories.
  • Adaptable: This is a great recipe to use what you have! Use whatever type of rice/grain you like, and throw in  veggies you have in your fridge, rather than going to the store for exactly what I’ve called for.
  • Fast: You will notice I bake the bell peppers alone first, and then make the filling while they bake. This saves time so they don’t take as long to cook after they are stuffed.

My whole family loves them this recipe so much. I cut the peppers up for my kids and give them some tortilla chips or a whole wheat flour tortilla to eat with it, and everyones happy. 

How to Make Stuffed Peppers:

1. Prep bell peppers.  Cut ¼-inch from tops of bell peppers and remove the stem, ribs and seeds.

2. Bake peppers. Fill a large baking dish with 1/2-inch of water.   Place peppers cut-side down in the water and bake for 20 minutes.

All of the ingredients needed for vegetarian stuffed peppers, next to a dish with face-down peppers in water.

3. Make filling.  Cook onion and garlic in oil. Add corn, beans, diced tomatoes, green onions, chili powder, cumin, salt, and pepper. Stir until corn and beans are heated through, about 5 minutes. Remove skillet from heat and stir in rice, 1 cup cheese, and cilantro.  Stir to combine. Taste and add additional seasonings, if needed.

Corn, black beans, rice, diced tomatoes and spices and another photo rice added to the skillet.

4. Fill peppers. Remove peppers from oven and drain water from dish. Divide the mixture evenly between the peppers, then top with remaining cheese.

5. Bake. Return to oven for 10-15 more minutes, until peppers are tender and cheese is melted.Stuffed bell peppers in a casserole dish with shredded cheese on top and then baked.

Which peppers to use:

You can use any type of bell peppers (or even a pasilla pepper) for this recipe, but I prefer the sweeter bell peppers (red, orange and yellow). They all taste slightly different but all of them have a similar mild heat. (Did you know green bell peppers are actually unripe red bell peppers?)

TIP: Be sure to choose big, round bell peppers so there is plenty of room for stuffing them, and I like to pick ones with four bumps on the bottom so they sit flat in the baking dish.

Close up of a stuffed pepper in a casserole dish with other stuffed peppers.

Looking for something to serve with Stuffed Bell Peppers? Try one of these:

  • Warm Corn or flour tortillas
  • Green salad
  • Tortilla chips

MAKE AHEAD AND FREEZING INSTRUCTIONS:

To make-ahead: These stuffed peppers can be make 1-2 days ahead of time. Make the recipe through step 6, fill the peppers with filling, top them with cheese and store, covered, in the refrigerator.

To freeze: Make the stuffed peppers through step 6, fill the peppers with filling and top them with cheese.  Once they’ve cooled completely, place them in a freezer safe container and freeze for 2-3 months.  Allow them to thaw in the refrigerator overnight and bake as directed in step 7.

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Recipe

Three vegetarian stuffed peppers on a plate with a bite taken out of one to show the inside.
Prep 10 mins
Cook 50 mins
Total 1 hr
Add to Meal Plan

Ingredients
 
 

  • 6 sweet bell peppers (red, yellow, or orange)
  • 1 1/2 cups cooked rice (white, brown, cauliflower rice or quinoa)
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 small onion , diced
  • 3 garlic cloves , minced
  • 1 14.5 ounce can diced tomatoes with green chiles , mild
  • 1 14 oz can black beans , drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup frozen corn
  • 2 green onions , chopped
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 tsp kosher salt , plus more to taste
  • 1/4 black pepper , plus more to taste
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded cheese , Mexican blend or pepperjack cheese, divided
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  • Cut ¼-inch from tops of bell peppers and remove the stem, ribs and seeds.
  • Fill a large baking dish with 1/2-inch of water.
  • Place peppers cut-side down in the water and bake for 20 minutes.
  • Heat oil in a 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Add corn, beans, diced tomatoes, green onions, chili powder, cumin, salt, and pepper. Stir until corn and beans are heated through, about 5 minutes.
  • Remove skillet from heat and stir in rice, 1 cup cheese, and cilantro. Stir to combine. Taste and add additional seasonings, if needed.
  • Remove peppers from oven and drain water from dish. Divide the mixture evenly between the peppers, then top with remaining cheese. Return to oven for 10-15 more minutes, until peppers are tender and cheese is melted.
  • Store leftover peppers in the refrigerator, covered for 4-5 days.

Notes

Peppers: Choose big, round bell peppers so there is plenty of room for stuffing them, and pick ones with four bumps on the bottom so they sit flat in the baking dish.
To make-ahead: These stuffed peppers can be make 1-2 days ahead of time. Make the recipe through step 6, fill the peppers with filling, top them with cheese but wait to bake them again until you are ready to serve them.
To store: Store the peppers in the refrigerator, covered for 4-5 days.
To freeze: Make the stuffed peppers through step 6, fill the peppers with filling and top them with cheese.  Once they've cooled completely, place them in a freezer safe container or ziplock in the freezer for 2-3 months.  Allow them to thaw in the refrigerator overnight and bake as directed in step 7.

Nutrition

Calories: 313kcalCarbohydrates: 43gProtein: 15gFat: 10gSaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 22mgSodium: 857mgPotassium: 798mgFiber: 10gSugar: 8gVitamin A: 4140IUVitamin C: 165mgCalcium: 212mgIron: 3mg

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Recipe adapted from America’s Test Kitchen

HAVE YOU TRIED THIS RECIPE?!

RATE and COMMENT below! I would love to hear your experience.

 

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About The Author

Lauren Allen

Welcome! I’m Lauren, a mom of four and lover of good food. Here you’ll find easy recipes and weeknight meal ideas made with real ingredients, with step-by-step photos and videos.

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  1. This is delicious!!! I followed the recipe very closely and it worked perfectly. It was great as a summer dinner for my vegetarian family and with a bit more cheese, it was amazing as a filling winter meal. I serve it with barbecued chicken on the side when we have non vegetarian guests. So so good.

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