Mexican Quinoa Stuffed Peppers

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Wood platter filled with gluten-free vegan Spanish Quinoa Stuffed Peppers

The stuffed pepper.

It’s a beautiful thing, no?

So, why had I never attempted it?

Things had to change.

Bowl of ingredients for making Spanish Quinoa Stuffed Peppers for dinner

This recipe was inspired by my ongoing love for Mexican food and my desire to create more plant-based, substantial entrees.

The trouble with eating less animal products is you can sometimes feel less full. But not so with these stuffed peppers! They’re hearty, filling and oh-so flavorful.

Origins of Stuffed Peppers

Stuffed peppers are enjoyed around the world- in places such as Spain, India, Tunisia, Hungary, Denmark, and more! In each of these places, they’re prepared with different ingredients and methods. You can learn more about the variations and history of stuffed peppers here.

Our recipe is a plant-based take on the concept, inspired by ingredients and flavors common in Mexican cuisine.

Baking sheet filled with protein-rich vegan Spanish Quinoa Stuffed Peppers
Wood platter filled with Spanish Quinoa Stuffed Peppers topped with sliced avocados

Bonus? They’re simple, requiring just 10 ingredients you likely have on hand right now.
The filling is so delicious on its own – loaded with quinoa cooked in vegetable stock, smoky spices, black beans and corn – but it becomes even more delectable once its stuffed into sweet bell peppers and roasted to perfection. Swoon!

I think you guys are going to LOVE these peppers! They’re:

SO easy to make
Super flavorful
Hearty
Filling
Healthy
& Versatile

We enjoyed these recently for breakfast, but they could really be great for any time of day! I think they’d be especially ideal for entertaining meat eaters and vegans alike, since they’re so filling and flavorful. You know they’re good when they’re hungry-husband approved (ftw)!

If you make this recipe, let us know. Leave a comment, rate it, and don’t forget to take a picture and tag it #minimalistbaker on Instagram so we can see. We LOVE seeing what you come up with. Cheers, friends!

Close up shot of our Spanish Quinoa Stuffed Peppers recipe with sliced avocados and red onion

Mexican Quinoa Stuffed Peppers

Amazing Mexican-inspired quinoa stuffed peppers made with just 10 ingredients! Simple, flavorful, full of protein and fiber, and entirely vegan and gluten-free!
Author Minimalist Baker
Print
Cutting board of Spanish Quinoa Stuffed Peppers topped with avocado, cilantro, and onion
4.93 from 240 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 25 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 35 minutes
Servings 4
Course Entree
Cuisine Gluten-Free, Mexican-Inspired, Vegan
Freezer Friendly No
Does it keep? 2-3 Days

Ingredients

PEPPERS

  • 1 cup quinoa or rice (thoroughly rinsed and drained)
  • 2 scant cups vegetable stock (sub water, but it will be less flavorful)
  • 4 large red, yellow, or orange bell peppers (halved, seeds removed)
  • 1/2 cup salsa (plus more for serving)
  • 1 Tbsp nutritional yeast (optional)
  • 2 tsp cumin powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 15-ounce can black beans (drained // if unsalted, add 1/4 tsp sea salt per can)
  • 1 cup whole kernel corn (drained)

TOPPINGS optional

Instructions

  • Add quinoa and vegetable stock to a saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat. Once boiling, reduce heat, cover, and simmer until all liquid is absorbed and quinoa is fluffy – about 20 minutes.
  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 C) and lightly grease a 9×13 baking dish or rimmed baking sheet.
  • Brush halved peppers with a neutral, high heat oil, such as avocado oil or refined coconut oil.
  • Add cooked quinoa to a large mixing bowl and add remaining ingredients – salsa through corn. Mix to thoroughly combine then taste and adjust seasonings accordingly, adding salt, pepper, or more spices as desired.
  • Generously stuff halved peppers with quinoa mixture until all peppers are full, then cover the dish with foil.
  • Bake for 30 minutes covered. Then remove foil, increase heat to 400 degrees F (204 C), and bake for another 15-20 minutes, or until peppers are soft and slightly golden brown. For softer peppers, bake 5-10 minutes more.
  • Serve with desired toppings (listed above) or as is. Best when fresh, though leftovers keep covered in the refrigerator for 2-3 days. Reheat in a 350-degree F (176 C) oven until warmed through – about 20 minutes.

Video

Notes

*Nutrition information is a rough estimate.

Nutrition (1 of 4 servings)

Serving: 1 serving Calories: 311 Carbohydrates: 59 g Protein: 14.4 g Fat: 3.4 g Trans Fat: 0 g Cholesterol: 0 mg Sodium: 498 mg Fiber: 11.5 g Sugar: 8.2 g
Big platter of our easy-to-make Spanish Quinoa Stuffed Peppers recipe

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  1. Noelle says

    I’ve been wanting to make these for a week now. Finally did tonight and I am so glad I did! However, I didn’t follow it exactly. I really did intend to (I like to do that first time through with recipes) but I cut the recipe in half and forgot…oops. Used 1/2 cup quinoa and full servings of beans, salsa, and corn. Still turned out great! I topped it with a vegan sourcream from “But I Could Never Go Vegan” by Kristy Turner and it complimented the peppers great. Will be making again.

  2. Sharon says

    I have made these three times now with the recommended avocado dressing. These stuffed peppers are delicious with the dressing – the dressing’s flavors go far in complementing the peppers. My daughter said she would eat these every week and she is hard to please. When we make these we also make Herbed Polenta Fries from Epicurious. A great meal along with a salad.

  3. Keira says

    Made this for dinner tonight and it was great!!! I added ground chicken so that my hubby wouldn’t snub his nose!!! It was delicious!!! Thank you!!

  4. Melanie says

    These were amazing and were so easy to make. My daughter was going to skip dinner, but once she smelled them cooking, she couldn’t resist. Thank you for such a great recipe!

  5. Stacey says

    These were yummy! I had to use kidney beans because I was out of black beans. Enjoyed red onion and salsa on top.

  6. Dacia says

    This recipe is the tits! I had it for dinner three nights last week and am making it again this week! Thank you :)

  7. Bernadette says

    My carnivore best friend couldn’t get over just how delicious these vegetarian (I added shredded cheese to the top) peppers were! I was glad they make so many so we could both have leftovers. Incredible flavor and so easy to make. Definitely a recipe that will be in my usual rotation! Thank you for making it even easier to be a vegetarian. :) I did make it with basmati rice rather than quinoa because my friend doesn’t like quinoa, but it tasted just as yummy.

  8. Cassie says

    These were delicious! I added a little extra of each of the spices and added some ground chicken for extra protein. Theses are a great healthy dinner and easy to heat up for leftovers or meal prep. Be sure to add the avocado and cilantro. Yum!

  9. Katelynn says

    Hey thanks for the recipe! We loved it! My neighbor gave us a huge box of bell peppers so this helped! My only sister’s name is Dana by the way! My boyfriend and I are vegetarians and have started to go vegan lately. Great idea to use the vegetable stock! We used rice also. Loved the spices. Topped it with dairy-free mozzarella “cheese”. Plus the avacado and lime are an amazing addition. Fabulous!

  10. Bonnie says

    Finally made these for dinner tonight. Fantastic! Had enough filling left over for a casserole – my peppers must have been on the small side. Topped with savory cashew cream for a little tanginess. Will definitely make again.

  11. Lisa says

    Excellent! Even my carnivorous family members liked them. I cooked them exactly as directed in the recipe, except used 1/2 brown rice and 1/2 quinoa. Cooked them for dinner and still smelled them again the next morning….because my son was reheating another one for breakfast. Thank you for this recipe.

  12. Anne says

    I have tried a lot of your recipes and I have to say, this is probably one of the most tastiest AND easiest to make. Thank you!

  13. Cindy says

    I made these during the snow storm last night in Ct. They were delicious and really easy to make! My husband and daughter (who is a vegetarian) loved them. Next time, I might add ground turkey for my husband. I strongly recommend making this recipe. Thanks for sharing!

  14. Mary Shaner says

    Looks so great, but hard to print out. Printed about 20 pages (comments and all). Any way you can make it more printer friendly?

  15. Eileen says

    This was waaaaay better than the stuffed peppers I’ve made in the past. I think the dressings elevated the recipe. One change I made – and I have no idea if it made a difference, but it’s what my old mother used to do – I boiled the hollowed out peppers ahead of time to make the skin soft.

  16. Mary says

    I made these yesterday. So easy, so quick. I had filling left over, so next time I won’t use as much quinoa, or simply add another pepper. I forgot to take a picture. They are delicious. I added some salsa and half an avocado to mine.

    For someone who lives alone and only cooks for one, I hate cooking, but this recipe was fast and easy and I will definitely make these again.

    Thanks

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      That should work! However, I would probably just suggest baking them entirely there so they’re freshest!

  17. Caity says

    I’m stuffed! lol These were delicious! I had a little more stuffing than peppers, so I warmed it up in the microwave and snacked on it with some chips while the peppers were baking. It makes a great dip, too! I’ll definitely be making this again! Thank you!

  18. Christine says

    I woke up at 6am to make this recipe before I go to work and surprise my husband (who is currently sleeping) and working afternoons. He’ll bake it when he gets up, but my mouth is watering and I can’t wait to have it for dinner when I get home :) Helped myself to the filling which is amazing! I used rice this time since he prefers it over quinoa, but I will definitely try it with quinoa next time!
    Thanks Dana :))

  19. Aimee says

    Ohhh I love these so much!! The filling is delicious. I’ve actually had them twice in the last week.
    I made them for my boyfriend tonight and he said they tasted like a “treat”.
    We had tonight with sweet potato wedges.

  20. Robin says

    Had an acorn squash I needed to use, and used your quinoa filling, substituting cannellini for black beans, and added a chopped, sautéed portobello and a large handful of chopped sautéed peppers. The salsa contrasted nicely with the sweetness of the squash. Thanks for the inspiration! Happy Thanksgiving!

  21. Tara says

    These were amazing! I made them as directed ( did not use the yeast) and they were perfect! Very yummy! They were good as leftovers too!

  22. lea marie says

    What kind of salsa do you use? I live in a country where salsa is a bit hard to find (they don’t sell it at the grocery store, at least) so I usually make it myself. Would love to try to this recipe but am afraid that without the salsa altogether it might be too bland? Thanks!

  23. Bree says

    I’ve never been a fan of spending time in the kitchen, but am a “faux foodie” for sure. When I was 22, I had a boyfriend whose mother told me that I shouldn’t learn how to cook because if I did, then it would be expected of me. I took that advice to heart and at 36 am just now taking an interest in preparing my own food. Being a vegetarian and not that skilled in the kitchen, your recipes have been a real treat. I’m finding delicious meals that I can actually prepare myself, with limited experience in the kitchen. I made these last night for my boyfriend and myself- delicious. Absolutely wonderful. I added nothing extra, and left nothing out (I did add a little more of the spices because I love full flavor) and would recommend to anyone else trying this out to not skip on the avocado. It made the entire meal “buttery”. This recipe was another win for me, at 36 years old and still fairly new to cooking anything outside of the very basics. Thank you so much!!!

  24. Carol says

    Hi!

    These look amazing! I will be trying them tonight.

    I was wondering what I could replace cumin with, not a big fan. Can I use fresh cilantro or ground coriander? And would adding oregano throw it off?

    Thanks!

  25. alex guevara says

    Hey i am having trouble with the vegetable stock part!
    Is it just like chicken broth cubes? Do i find them at the store in the same aisle?

  26. Olga says

    This is an absolutely delicious recipe – I did not change a bit! However, since my stomach is used to having stuffed peppers with sour cream, i put a dollop on top of each pepper-half – and boy, was it phenomenal! My husband, the BBQ lover, devoured 4 halves)) Thank you!

    • Krystle says

      I have frozen the filling on its own before and it was fine. I defrosted it overnight in the fridge then stuffed fresh peppers and roasted as normal. It turned out fine. :)

  27. Elizabeth says

    These were awesome and sooo easy! I didn’t realize I was out of quinoa so I substituted lentils (and cooked them the same way you did) and the peppers were a huge hit for my family. I served ours topped with red onions, avocado, and pico. I will definitely be making these again and am already excited for leftovers tonight. Thank you for the recipe!

  28. Grace says

    I’m 2 for 2 with MB recipes this weekend (second was Grillable BBQ Veggie Burgers- yum!) and this one was a big hit too! Instead of the cilantro dressing, I added Daiya shredded cheese on top and that gave it the finishing creamy component. Not only were the flavors spot on, but the presentation was amazing! I think the filling itself would make a great meal, if you’re short on time and opting for a “bowl” entree. Thanks for another great recipe!

  29. Jordyn Price says

    Made this tonight for dinner and it was inhaled by my husband! So delicious….. I actually added the cilantro to the mixture before I cooked the peppers and it was awesome. Thanks for the blog!

  30. Tricia says

    Made these tonight and loved it! It was a big hit with my 15m old daughter who got a kick out of being able to eat out of the pepper!

  31. Carolann says

    Thus was great! I sauteed some onion and zucchini and mixed it with the quinoa and bean mixture. Then I crock potted it and added a can of low sodium tomato soup. Thanks!

  32. Rosemary says

    Made these tonight and they were AMAZING! I used 93/7 ground beef, paprika instead of chili powder, fresh tomato and minced garlic. Thank you so much for this recipe!

  33. Sara says

    Hi! I’m so excited to try these stuffed peppers! Do you think I could prepare the stuffing the night before so that all I have to do when I get home from work is stuff them and put them in the oven? I try to do as much prep as I can to save time after work. :)

  34. Sarah says

    I just made these tonight for my family and they were AMAZING! My parents are very traditional when it comes to food and they hate trying new things, especially when they aren’t fried or smothered in butter. But they really enjoyed these stuffed peppers! Next up are the falafels

  35. Juliet says

    The quinoa stuffed peppers were excellent. Very easy to make and the author was right: it was filling. Thank you. Keep the vegan recipes coming, please!

  36. Ashley says

    I’m a novice at cooking but had stuffed peppers on my mind when I came across your recipe. Do you think it would go well with green peppers instead of red? Trying to use what’s already in my fridge.

  37. federica says

    my red/yellow peppers are in the oven right now….can’t wait to eat them !!!!
    instead of black beans I used chickpeas….I’ll let you know the result on Instagram with a photo !

  38. Hannah says

    Very yummy! I also added some sauteed onion which was a nice touch, along with a bit more salsa than it calls for. If you enjoy Mexican spices and flavours, definitely give this a go.

  39. shawn takada says

    This looks amazing!!! I will make tonight… cooking vegetarian/vegan meals for my meat loving husband over the past year (told him if he wants meat he can buy and make himself). Hopeful this will be added to the “keeper” file! Thank you.

  40. Abby says

    Made these last night! Added a pound of ground turkey and extra of everything else (Quinoa, corn, salsa). Topped with fresh lime, avocado, and more salsa. Would have been great with some pepperjack or Mexican cheese melted on top at the end too!! We made 8 stuffed peppers and had leftover filling, which will be great over salad.

  41. Allison says

    Made these this past weekend. Seriously – SO.FREAKIN.GOOD. And SUPER filling. We only ate one half of a pepper with a side of veggies and were totally full. We had leftovers a couple of times. I made a cilantro-lime sauce to drizzle over the top and I could not stop saying how impressed I was with the whole meal!

    Next time I’m going to try freezing some of the leftovers and see how they reheat, hopefully it works! These would be the best quick-reheat-frozen-dinner – so much better than a packaged dinner from the market!

    Thanks for this! Will definitely be adding this to our dinner rotation!

  42. Lacey says

    So delish! I’ll be making this tomorrow. Since I’m making it for just little ole me, does anyone having any suggestions for freezing? Do y’all think it would it work? If so, freeze before or after cooking?

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hmm, I don’t think this would freeze well. There would be too much moisture and it would make them soggy. But if you give it a try, let me know!

  43. Anj says

    This post is SO PRETTY! Wow. Nice work with the colors and presentation.

    Now that this image is burned into my brain, I will remember to come back and make these! :)

  44. Heather Pilar says

    Oh my gosh, I’m so glad I stumbled upon your website! I’m a vegetarian and am trying to switch to a completely vegan diet. Finding recipes to fix throughout the week using the ingredients I regularly have on hand was becoming quite stressful for me. Your recipes sound amazing and incorporate only a few new ingredients I haven’t tried before. I can’t wait to test them out tonight!! Thank YOU!!

  45. debbie says

    I made these last week! It’s a perfect recipe! A little worried my meat-eating, cheese loving, family wouldn’t like them but they loved them so much they’ve already begged me to make them again.
    Super easy recipe and great flavor. Love the idea of using quinoa instead of meat. I had a little extra quinoa mixture which made great left overs on its own and also mixed it in some greens for a quick salad! But the combo with the peppers is just perfect.
    Thank you so much!

  46. mAUD says

    ran out of quinoa yesterday, so i’m going to have to wait to make these great looking peppers? you mentioned breakfast — put an egg on top?

  47. Thalia @ butter and brioche says

    Good thing I have all the ingredients on hand to make these quinoa peppers – they look super delicious and perfect for summer time!

  48. j8675309t says

    I was wondering, I have zucchini from my garden I’d love to use in place of the peppers Do you think if I cut the zucchini into sections I can still cook them for the same amount of time? I plan to hallow them out a bit, where the seeds are plus a little flesh. I was just curious if the same temp and cooking time would work.

  49. Olivia says

    I made this tonight and used rice instead of quinoa and zucchini instead of corn. It was great! Also I put cheese on top.

  50. Carol-Ann says

    I made this for dinner tonight – it was incredible!! I will admit I don’t normally like stuffed peppers, as I find them too watery – but your picture made them look so appealing I had to try them!! The spice level was just right – and the texture and flavors were fantastic! I will definitely make this again, thanks for sharing!!

  51. annie says

    A hit all around. My youngest wondered what it would taste like as a taco stuffing……hmmmm…

    so so easy . so so fast. thank you.

  52. Ana | Espresso My Kitchen says

    I love all the colors in this meal. These look yummy and can’t wait to try them.

  53. Diane says

    Made them tonight and love bed them! I can’t eat tomatoes so I substituted avocado tomatillo sauce for salsa. For my husband I brouled cheese over 4 of them and topped with a dollop of sour cream, cilantro and avocado chunks. He really enjoyed them. To control my migraines I had to go on Dr McDougal’s diet. It’s working but thanks to your blog I have been able to get some great recipes

  54. Cari says

    Made these for dinner and they are excellent! Gotta love a low-calorie meal that tastes great and fills you up. Thanks :)

  55. Anna @ Sunny Side Ups says

    Oooo YUM!! :) I’m in love with stuffed peppers, and yours look absolutely amazing!! Can’t wait to make them! Pinned!

  56. Arman @ thebigmansworld says

    You’re killing it Dana. I made your PB + J muffins the other day and there was 1/4 cup peanut butter left so I had no choice but to add it in too. Extra moist, no regrets.

  57. Christine - Jar Of Lemons says

    Wow, this seriously looks amazing! I can’t wait to try it out. Thank you so much for sharing!

  58. Sarah | Broma Bakery says

    Totally agree on the eating less meat leads to wanting to eat more in general. But with these babies? I can tell they’d give you that perfectly full but still healthy feeling! :)

  59. Lisa @ Strum Simmer Sip says

    I just love all of the colors here! And healthy too! I think this would make a great recipe for a backyard party I’m hosting in a few weeks. Thank you for sharing!

    ♥ Lisa

  60. Abby says

    These look soo good, Dana! I’ve become a quinoa addict lately, and can only imagine how incredible this recipe tastes. <3

  61. ines @ between kitchens says

    Gorgeous stuffed peppers! I feel like having one right now, and that sliced avocado on top is like the icing on the cake! Perfect, yummy and damn good looking ;)
    Have a nice week

      • ines @ between kitchens says

        Hi Dana!
        I was browsing through my Gmail inbox and I found your reply to my comment again, and for some reason I decided to come back to the recipe it had been posted in – I couldn’t already recall what it was about… and how crazy is it that today I’ve made quinoa for the very first time, with mushrooms, and what a coincidence, I topped it with avocado! Maybe you were a subconscious inspiration!
        I just had to comment again after this happenstance ;)
        Have a nice week

  62. Dawn @ Florida Coastal Cooking & Wellness says

    The photos are breathtaking. I can’t wait to try these out. I shared the recipe with the students in my diet reset program! Keep em coming!

  63. Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

    I get it! I think I maybe think of those two types of cuisine interchangeably, but they obviously have their nuances. Thanks for the feedback. I bet saffron and paprika would be amazing additions to these peppers. Let me know if you give it a try!

    • Auntie Lee says

      Not “nuances”…they are as different as Mexican food and French food, which I imagine wouldn’t be considered to be interchangable! The language doesn’t make the cuisine. :-) You should really try authentic Spanish food and you’ll see what youre missing. Superb recipe though!!

  64. Beverley @ sweaty&fit says

    stuffed peppers are the best!! i adore how colorful and fiesta-y this post and the pictures are. saving this for later!!

  65. Lisa @ Healthy Nibbles & Bits says

    I have been looking to incorporate more plant based meals into my weekly rotation, and I’m so glad you posted this recipe! Definitely trying soon.

        • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

          Hi Lauren! We recommend cooking your quinoa in vegetable broth which will give it good flavor. For additional flavor, add herbs such as thyme, basil, or oregano or chopped up pieces of garlic or onion. Hope this helps!

  66. Joceline says

    Stuffed peppers can be a beautiful thing, or can be sad, soggy and bland. Your recipe sounds wonderful and I can’t wait to try it. Thanks!

      • Joceline says

        Mmm…I just tried these for my dinner and they were great. Being vegetarian rather than vegan I did cheat a bit and add some cheese on top but only because I didn’t have any avocado. I will be making these regularly. Thanks again!

  67. Kaitlin @ Heaps of Me says

    Vegan and GF AND looks like I want to eat my screen…I’m in there like swimwear ;) Xx

    • Tom ~ Raise Your Garden says

      Yay, me too, and did you know they make Spanx for men? I’m only saying this because my wife was flipping about about Spanx bathing suits which she says are a real life saver. Anyhow, most gorgeous photo’s ever! I typically wouldn’t think to eat vegan stuffed peppers but these looks really yummy. I’m going to ask wife to make them. (i know, make em myself)