Vegetarian Stuffed Peppers
Vegetarian Stuffed Peppers are a great make-ahead option that bakes up in just 30 minutes. Filled with chipotle-flavored rice and beans and smothered with melted cheese, even carnivores will devour these!
I have always really liked this Vegetarian Stuffed Peppers recipe. In fact, last Thanksgiving when my dear friend Stephanie asked for a vegetarian option she could serve her non-turkey-eating relatives, this is what I suggested. After all, you can serve a vegetarian noodles with some vegetables, or you can serve a True Vegetarian entrée.
I’m so glad she gave it a shot, and I’m sure her guests were too! They have likely eaten loads of baked ziti with cheese in their lives and now, finally, here was something with protein, fiber, and vitamins. The best part is, the peppers can be stuffed in advance (the day before) and then baked right before serving. Such a time-saver on a busy day, whether it’s Thanksgiving or just another week night with a zillion things going on.
Another great feature of this recipe is how easily it can be customized. If you are vegan, simply leave out the cheese. Have cans of pinto beans on hand? Use those instead of the black beans. Many members of my family dislike cilantro, so I used parsley. I love the colors of red, orange, and yellow bell peppers, and I also think they are sweeter than the green bell peppers. However, any combination can be used here. Same with rice: Use white or brown as you please.
A few words on chipotle peppers: When I buy a can of chipotle peppers, I find that a typical recipe will require one or two peppers at the most, or even just the adobo sauce. I freeze whatever is remaining and pull it out when necessary. Frozen chipotle peppers seem to last an extremely long time. I scrape the seeds out of the chipotle peppers, but if you love that extra heat, leave them in.
Depending on the size of peppers you buy, you may have leftover filling. Wrap it in a tortilla or scoop it up with extra tortilla chips. It’s incredibly delicious and hearty, and the flavors only improve the next day!
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Vegetarian Stuffed Peppers
- 1 Tablespoon salt
- 4 large red, orange, or yellow bell peppers
- 1 Tablespoon olive oil
- 1/4 cup onion finely chopped
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 2 chipotle chiles seeded and minced
- 1 cup frozen corn
- 1 (15 ounce) can black beans rinsed
- 1 ½ cup Monterey Jack cheese shredded
- 1 cup cooked rice
- 1 (14 ounce) can diced tomatoes drained
- 2 Tablespoons fresh cilantro or parsley chopped
- ½ cup tortilla chips crushed
- In a large stock pot, bring 4 quarts of water and 1 Tablespoon salt to a boil. Trim ½” from the top of each pepper and remove the stem and seeds.
- Add peppers to the water and cook until they begin to soften, about 3 minutes. Remove from water and place cut-side up to cool.
- Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350°F. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add onion and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Add garlic, chiles, corn, and black beans, and stir until heated through. Pour into a large bowl.
- Add 1 cup cheese, rice, tomatoes, and cilantro to the large bowl with the black beans and stir to combine. Place the peppers in a 9” x 9” baking dish.
- Divide the filling evenly among the peppers. Top with remaining ½ c. cheese and chips; bake about 30 minutes, until the filling is hot and the cheese is melted.
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