Quinoa Stuffed Bell Peppers

Guest Posts, Healthy Eating, Main Dish, Vegetarian | 23 comments

I remeber eating stuffed bell peppers as a child. Ours were usualyl stuffed with a Mexican ground beef, rice and cheese mixture.

Consider these Quinoa Stuffed Bell Peppers an updated version of that classic recipe that so many of us love. Swap out the rice for nutrient rich quinoa, the ground beef for black beans (for fiber and protein) and add some extra vegetables for color, flavor, and texture.

These peppers have so much flavor and color. I love them! These Stuffed Bell Peppers are full of healthy vegetables and protein (you can thank the quinoa and cheese for that) and a little heat from  the pepper jack and poblano. It is a great vegetarian meal that proves meatless doesn’t have to be boring.

It is super easy to take some of your family-favorite recipes and convert them to Vegetarian Meals if you are interested in consuming less meat. Check out my tips for that in this post: 5 Tips to Vegetarian-ize your Family Favorite Recipes.


I think I’ve made these stuffed peppers 3 or 4 times already. Last week I shared the recipe and a little background behind the grain  over at Good (&CHEAP) Eats for Jessica’s Building a Frugal Pantry series.

Quinoa is a fantastic grain to have in your pantry. It is incredibly nutritious so it makes for a great substitute for rice. If you like couscous, you will likely enjoy the texture of this grain as well, though it has a slight crunch to it.

What are some of your favorite ways to cook with quinoa?

If you missed my last guest post for this series, you can check it out here: 5 Grain Pancakes with Flax. This is a DIY pancake mix that is simple to whip up and keep on hand for those pancake mornings.

Quinoa Stuffed Bell Peppers

adapted from Vegetarian Times

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2 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
2 ribs celery, finely chopped
1 8-oz. pkg. mushrooms, stems removed and saved for another use and caps sliced very thin
1/2 of a poblano pepper, diced
1 tablespoon ground cumin
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 – 15 oz. cans diced tomatoes, drained, liquid reserved
1 – 15 oz. can black beans, rinsed and drained
3/4 cup quinoa
1 1/2 cups grated carrot
1 1/2 cups grated Pepper Jack cheese, divided
4 large red bell peppers, halved lengthwise, ribs removed


Heat oil in saucepan over medium heat. Add onion, celery, and poblano pepper and cook 5 minutes, or until soft. Add cumin and garlic, and sauté 1 minute. Stir in mushrooms and drained tomatoes. Cook 5 minutes, or until most of liquid has evaporated.

Stir the quinoa, carrots, and 1 3/4 cups water together in a medium saucepan. Cover, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer 20 minutes, or until quinoa is tender. Combine quinoa and carrots with black beans, 1 cup of cheese, and the onion mixture from the first step, . Season with salt and pepper, if desired.

Preheat oven to 350°F. Pour liquid from tomatoes in bottom of baking dish.

Fill each bell pepper half with heaping 3/4-cup quinoa mixture, and place in baking dish. Cover with foil, and bake 40 minutes. Uncover, and sprinkle each pepper with 1 tablespoon of remaining cheese. Bake 15 minutes more, or until tops of stuffed peppers are browned. Let stand 5 minutes. Transfer stuffed peppers to serving plates, and drizzle each with pan juices before serving.

Katie Goodman

About the Author:

Katie’s lifelong interest in cooking good food has shown her that part of the goodness in life is enjoying delicious food with friends and family. She is: Mom. Writer. Photographer. Recipe Developer. Website Founder. Lover of all things good in life. A mix of great recipes, family memories, and yummy photography is what Katie serves up each week at GoodLife Eats™. Katie and her family reside in Colorado.

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  • 1
    Chef Bec - March 19, 2010 @ 3:29 pm

    One of my culinary instructors RAVES about quinoa and how nutritious it is. I'm not much of a brave soul when it comes to vegetarian cooking (I despise soy and tofu products), but I LOVE stuffed peppers, so I think this will be a great adventure for me! THANKS!


  • 2
    scrapwordsmom - March 19, 2010 @ 3:54 pm

    Looking forward to trying these!! I do love quinoa!!!


  • 3
    Sandy - March 19, 2010 @ 3:56 pm

    Hi Katie. I have a big bag of quinoa and need to use it up! Yummy.Congrats on your winners, too.Have a great weekend. Sandy


  • 4
    The Waspy Redhead - March 19, 2010 @ 5:15 pm

    These are gorgeous! I've never made quinoa at home, but I've always wanted to try it.


  • 5
    Untypically Jia - March 19, 2010 @ 6:54 pm

    These looks so good. I've never made them with quinoa before, but I've done it with couscous and those were pretty good too.


  • 6
    jen - March 19, 2010 @ 9:45 pm

    this salad is on the menu for next week, I will be sure to stuff it into pepper now, looks great. thanks!


  • 7
    Stella - March 20, 2010 @ 1:21 am

    These are beautiful, Katie, and so healthful looking. I love quinoa…


  • 8
    Joy - March 20, 2010 @ 8:40 am

    Gorgeous dish — such an eye candy. I love quinoa and I can't believe I haven't had it in anything stuffed. This is just perfect. :)


  • 9
    marla {family fresh cooking} - March 20, 2010 @ 5:56 pm

    Katie, how funny I just hit the "publish" button on a quinoa recipe and then popped over here to say hi! Quinoa is good stuff, huh. Your recipe looks colorful, healthy and fab (as always!)


  • 10
    Kristen - March 22, 2010 @ 12:34 am

    My kids won't eat quinoa for some reason, but I love it!Yummy looking recipe.


  • 11
    James - March 22, 2010 @ 2:49 am

    Looks healthy and still appetizing. Great!


  • 12
    scrapwordsmom - March 22, 2010 @ 11:35 am

    My daughter and I made these Sunday. They were DELICIOUS!! I have several left over for the week ahead!!! Yum-O!


  • 13
    Dana - March 22, 2010 @ 3:19 pm

    These are right up my alley, Katie! Thanks for showing that veg food can be delicious and exciting!


  • 14
    ali @ gimme some oven - March 22, 2010 @ 5:58 pm

    BEAUTIFUL!I love stuffed peppers, but have yet to try them with quinoa. Bookmarking this recipe for pepper season in my area! :)


  • 15
    Jen @ My Kitchen Addiction - March 22, 2010 @ 7:46 pm

    These are beautiful! I am a big fan of stuffed peppers.


  • 16
    Amy from She Wears Many Hats - March 23, 2010 @ 3:47 pm

    Beautiful color indeed. I've recently become a fan of quinoa and can't believe I've been missing out on it's goodness all these years. Yum.


  • 17
    Stephanie - April 14, 2011 @ 10:48 am

    I am on a big diet and I bought some quinoa and was wondering what to do with it. I typed in “quinoa stuffed bell peppers” into google and this was the first recipe to come up! So exciting… Going to make these soon!


    • Katie Goodman

      Katie replied: — April 14th, 2011 @ 11:03 AM

      How cool! You might like this one too: Quinoa Taco Salad

  • 18
    Anna - March 22, 2012 @ 3:50 pm

    I have these in my oven right now, so excited to try them!Sound so amazing (minus the mushrooms :P )


  • 19
    Jenni - April 29, 2012 @ 8:00 pm

    I’m wondering if you’ve ever frozen and baked these at a later date?


    • Katie Goodman

      Katie replied: — April 30th, 2012 @ 9:51 AM

      I have not tried that before. Sorry.

  • 20
    Sandi - June 21, 2012 @ 12:11 pm

    These look really good! I recently discovered quinoa and experimented one night and made turkey/quinoa stuffed peppers, nothing fancy, just basic, but very good. Quinoa is a nice change from the rice and is so nutritious. I’ve made quinoa pilaf with sauteed veggies and that is very good too. Quinoa is so versatile!


  • 21
    amy - July 16, 2012 @ 1:50 pm

    this recipe looks good but I notice a flaw for people who may not have experience with quinoa before- there is no mention of the importance of rinsing this grain thoroughly before cooking. I find this to be an incredibly important step as it washes off the saponin (a soapy tasting natural substance). Without this step, the quinoa can impart a foul flavor to the food. My two cents!
    Thanks for the great recipe, off to cook!


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