Bell peppers stuffed with a mixture of quinoa, chickpeas and garlicky vegetables and topped with cheese are the perfect gluten-free and vegetarian dinner for any night of the week. These Vegetarian Quinoa Stuffed Peppers are sure to be a hit!
I swear dinner is so much better when stuffed into a vegetable.
A gluten-free, vegetarian and vegan possible dinner stuffed into a bell pepper that is!!
Guys, I am really excited about this post. This Stuffed Peppers recipe was a craaaaazy long time coming. This recipe – I’ve tested it and then forgot about it to rediscover it sometime later to then retest it and flaunt it all over Instagram and then retest it again. Let’s just say I’ve eaten my fair share of quinoa inside of peppers lately and I am totally OK with that!!
I’m just so excited I am finally sharing it with you all.
MORE ABOUT THESE VEGETARIAN QUINOA STUFFED PEPPERS
Quinoa is my grain of choice here (obviously because of my love of all things quinoa). The quinoa gets so crispy and crunchy when baked inside the pepper – total texture explosion. You can use all quinoa or a mixture of quinoa and brown rice is super tasty as well. Your choice!!
You can use pretty much any veggies you have on hand here (AKA this is the perfect clean-out the fridge meal!!) – broccoli, kale, carrots, celery, mushrooms, the list goes on. All lightly sauteed with a little olive oil, garlic and your favourite Italian spice blend.
I bulked the nutrition factor up here with canned chickpeas. Chickpeas lend lots of extra fibre and protein to these peppers which is always a good thing. When baked the chickpeas get chewy and a little crispy too. It’s pretty delicious.
But the real kicker here… the secret ingredient that leaves you wondering what makes these peppers taste so good – apple cider vinegar. A tablespoon or so of some ACV added to the veggies just before you stir the quinoa in and mix everything together really rounds out the flavours. And when you add in lots of fresh herbs, like parsley, you get a seriously delicious filling to stuff into those bell peppers.
I cut my bell peppers in half length-wise because that’s the way I like them (I think they are easy to eat that way) but you could always try stuffing a whole pepper with varying cooking times.
And lastly the cheese – a certain lentil-opposed hubby’s favourite part. I always have an aged cheddar on hand so that’s what I used but I’m sure any block cheese will due. Grated or thin slices across all, or most pepper, both work well. And the cheesy-factor can be adjusted to as much or as little cheese as you’d like.
Side Note: To make these pepper dairy-free and vegan substitute the melty cheese for some avocado slices. I’m a huge fan of avo on (or in anything!!) and stuffed peppers are a great match for avocado.
These Vegetarian Quinoa Stuffed Peppers are the perfect make-ahead meal for an upcoming busy week. They do take a little bit of time to put together and then to cook but they seriously reheat well microwave and will last in the fridge for up to 3 days.
Bell peppers stuffed with a mixture of quinoa, chickpeas and garlicky vegetables and topped with cheese are the perfect gluten free dinner for any night of the week. Best served with a side salad.
- 1/4 cup quinoa, uncooked
- 1/4 cup brown rice, uncooked (or use all quinoa)
- 1 cup water or stock
- 4 medium to large bell peppers
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 4–5 cups chopped vegetables (any combination of carrots, onions, broccoli, kale or spinach, celery, mushrooms, etc)
- 2 large cloves garlic, minced or finely grated
- 2 teaspoons Italian spice blend
- 1 cup canned chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 1/2 cup fresh herbs (I used parsley and basil), plus more for garnish
- 1 cup cheese, grated (or as much or as little cheese as you’d like)
- Add quinoa and brown rice to a medium pot with water or stock. Bring to a boil and then reduce and cover with a tight-fitting lid. Cook until water is absorbed, about 15 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 375F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a baking mat.
- While quinoa is cooking prepare the peppers and start on the filling. Cut each pepper in half lengthwise. Remove stem, seeds and ribs. Set aside.
- Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the vegetables and cook until just tender.
- Add the garlic and Italian spice blend and cook about 1 minute or until very fragrant. (If garlic or herbs start sticking add a couple more drops of oil.) Stir in the chickpeas and apple cider vinegar. Remove from heat. Stir in the the cooked quinoa.
- Stuff the peppers with the quinoa filling. Take one pepper half and fill it with 1/8 of the quinoa filling. Set stuffed pepper on the prepared baking sheet and continue until peppers and filling are gone. (There might be some leftover filling depending on how big your peppers are and how much your stuff in each pepper.)
- Cover peppers lightly with foil and bake for 20 minutes.
- Remove pepper from oven and uncover with foil. Top each pepper with the grated cheese.
- Return peppers to oven and continue to bake for 15 minutes or so until peppers are very tender and cheese is brown and bubbly. Remove from oven.
- Top peppers with extra herbs and serve immediately.
- Any leftovers can be kept in the fridge for up to 3 days.
- Prep Time: 25 minutes
- Cook Time: 35 minutes