Vegetarian Stuffed Bell Peppers

Stuffed Peppers

Easy, cheesy, beautiful | Photo by HFLP

I hope everyone out there had a great Memorial Day weekend.  We spent a lot of time on the boat, the jet ski and in the pool, saw some old friends, caught a Rays game and ate lots of good food – which was as good a break as I could hope for from the heat and tedium of school in Gainesville.

We went bowling, too, which is something that, despite my enthusiasm for, I am absolutely terrible at.  You’d think rolling a ball in a straight line would be easy, but it ain’t.  I did, however, win $1 during the aptly-named “Strike it Rich” competition held Saturday nights at that bowling alley, which was enough to make me smile but not quite enough to get a pack of gum from the vending machine.

Back in Gainesville now, and back to the blog.

Before we left, I whipped up some stuffed peppers, which is a great thing to make if you’ve got a few peppers around and don’t want to the grocery store.  Really, you can stuff them with anything you’d like.  I used a hefty amount of yellow rice, but brown rice works great as well – some people even like to use quinoa or cousous.  Feel free to experiment.

Also, this particular recipe made more stuffing than I could fit in four peppers.  I could have used more peppers, but decided instead to save the extra stuffing to make a burrito the next day – which was delicious.

Here’s what you need:

  • 4 large bell peppers of any color
  • 3 cups cooked rice (I used yellow rice, but brown is good as well)
  • 1/2 can black beans
  • 1/2 can corn
  • 1/2 large onion, finely diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 14 oz crushed tomato (jarred or fresh tomatoes crushed by hand)
  • 1 cup cheese (Mexican blends are good, but whatever you have handy works)
  • 1/4 cup diced jalapenos (optional)
  • 1/2 cup water
  • Serve with salsa and sour cream
  • 1/2 packet or a few shakes of fajita seasoning (optional)

Here’s what to do:

Step 1) Cook rice according to package instructions and set aside.

Step 2) Cut the tops off of the bell peppers and scoop out the seeds and white stuff.  They need to be softened before being stuffed, so either steam them for a few minutes or boil them (which I did) for about 8 minutes.  You want them “soft” but not “floppy.”  They should still stand up by themselves and hold their shape, but they shouldn’t be “crisp.”  That’s the best I can do – use your judgement :)

Step 3) In a small fry pan, sautee the onions and garlic in a little olive oil until the onions become translucent.

Step 4) In a large mixing bowl, combine the cooked rice, sauteed onions, garlic, jalapenos, black beans, corn, fajita seasoning and 1/2 a cup of cheese.  Stir it up good.  This is your filling.

stuffed pepper filling

Filling for the peppers | Photo by HFLP

Step 5) When the peppers are softened, stand them upright in a baking dish and fill them with stuffing mixture and top with the remaining 1/2 cup of cheese.

uncooked stuffed peppers

Pre-cheese, pre-oven

Step 6) Pour a 1/2 cup of water in the bottom of the dish around the peppers (this creates a steamy environment and prevents the peppers from browning too much).

Step 7) Cover with foil, but make sure not to let the foil sit on top of the peppers or your cheese will melt to the foil.  Set the oven to 350 degrees, and bake covered for 20 minutes.  Remove the foil and bake for an additional 10 minutes, or until the cheese on top is golden brown.

stuffed peppers in the oven

Vegetarian stuffed peppers | Photo by HFLP

The water in the bottom of the dish should have cooked off, and the peppers should be tender but not mushy.  Serve with a little sour cream and salsa, or hot sauce if the jalapenos didn’t do the trick.

Thanks for reading!

14 responses to “Vegetarian Stuffed Bell Peppers

  • Jenn E.

    Wonderful recipe! Thanks for sharing. It’s very similar to one I make.

  • thedrivencook

    Mmm these look good! I’ve seen stuffed peppers with quinoa too- have you ever tried them? I haven’t yet. I’ll have to try yours as well- I doubt my husband would notice the lack of meat with how flavorful these look!! Thanks!

  • heather

    i cooked these tonight and they were so GOOD!! My husband and brother do not eat meat and are kind of picky about eating vegetarian food and they loved it. I used spanish rice instead of regular rice and it was AMAZING.

  • heather

    husband and brother eat meat—. im a vegetarian they’re not.

  • Arr Gee

    Just wondering where the crushed tomatoes come in? I only see them on the ingredient list but they aren’t in the recipe…

    • Casey

      Hey Arr Gee… So sorry about the confusion, I forgot to include them in the recipe. When I make these, I add the crushed tomatoes to the bowl with the rice, onions, garlic, jalapenos, etc.

      If you are using canned tomatoes with a lot of juice, I would dump some of the juice into the bottom of the baking dish instead of the water and let your stuffed peppers cook in that instead.

      Good luck!

  • jr

    This was REALLLYYYY yummy, exactly how you wrote it out!

  • Joe Smith

    Didn’t have crushed tomato so I added salsa instead. It was damn fantastic, and the wife, (who doesn’t like green or red bell peppers) loved it too. Thanks!

  • Jessica Harmon

    I don’t normally make recipes that I find online, but this one seemed simple enough. It tasted great and your instructions were very well written. Thank you.

  • Chicago Chef

    No offense, but they aren’t fully “vegetarian” unless you don’t use cheese

    • Casey

      That’s up to you. Many (if not most) vegetarians consider cheeses to be a perfectly normal part of a vegetarian diet. If one is strict, there are plenty of cheeses that don’t use animal rennet at any stage in their production. There are also vegan cheeses that don’t use any animal products whatsoever.

      If you don’t consider this vegetarian, then substitute something that fits your needs.

  • ck

    I have not made it yet…. but reading the recipe make my mouth water :D:D

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: