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Vegetarian Stuffed Peppers are filled with chipotle-flavored rice, beans, and vegetables, then smothered with melty cheese and crunchy tortilla chips.
Last Thanksgiving, when my friend Stephanie asked for a vegetarian option she could serve her non-turkey-eating relatives, this is what I suggested.
After all, you can feed a vegetarian noodles (possibly with vegetables mixed in), or you can serve a True Vegetarian Entrée.
With spicy rice and beans, vegetables, and cheese topped with chips, even the carnivores in your life will eat up these stuffed peppers!
How to Make Stuffed Peppers
- Start by par-boiling bell peppers in generously salted, boiling water. Turn them upside down to drain.
- To make the filling, sauté some onions in oil and mix with garlic, black beans, corn, chipotle and peppers.
- Next, stir in cooked rice, tomatoes, cheese, and cilantro. Fill the peppers right to the brim with the filling.
- Finally, top with more cheese and some crunchy tortilla chips. Bake until heated through and melty!
How long do you baked Stuffed Peppers?
Bake these easy stuffed bell peppers for about 30 minutes in a 350-degree oven.
Everything in the filling (the rice, the beans, and the peppers themselves) are already cooked so you just have to heat everything through and melt the cheese.
How to make Vegan Stuffed Peppers
If you are vegan, leave out the cheese.
- Have cans of pinto beans on hand? Use those instead of the black beans.
- If you hate cilantro, use 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.
How to Make Stuffed Peppers Ahead
The best part is, the peppers can be stuffed in advance (the day before) and then baked right before serving.
This is a great time-saver on a busy day, whether it’s Thanksgiving or just another week night with a zillion things going on.
What can I do with my leftover Chipotle peppers and/or adobo sauce?
Transfer to a bag and freeze for future use, or use in:
- Chicken Tinga
- Chipotle Chicken (copycat)
- Chipotle Barbacoa (copycat)
- Chipotle Steak (copycat)
- Chipotle Sofritas (tofu)
- Chipotle honey vinaigrette (copycat)
- Chipotle black beans (copycat)
- Chipotle pinto beans (copycat)
Vegetarian Stuffed Peppers
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 4 large bell peppers any color (see note 1)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/4 cup onion finely chopped
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 2 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce seeded and minced (see note 2)
- 1 cup frozen corn
- 1 (15 ounce) can black beans rinsed
- 1 1/2 cups Monterey Jack cheese shredded and divided
- 1 cup cooked rice
- 1 (14 ounce) can diced tomatoes drained
- 2 tablespoons fresh cilantro or parsley, chopped
- 1/2 cup tortilla chips crushed
- In a large stock pot, bring 4 quarts of water and 1 tablespoon salt to boil. Trim 1/2-inch 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 down to drain and cool.
- Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add onion and cook until softened, about 5 minutes.
- Add garlic, chipotle peppers, 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 cup cheese and crushed chips. Bake until the filling is hot and the cheese is melted, about 30 minutes.
- Bell peppers: Try to buy peppers that are evenly sized and that can sit up on their own. If you can only find peppers that are lop-sided, don’t worry. Just trim off a thin layer of the bottom with a sharp knife to make them stand up.
- Yield: This recipe makes 4 stuffed peppers, each filled with a generous amount of rice and bean filling.
- Storage: Store leftovers covered in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
- Make ahead: Stuffed peppers can be assembled and refrigerated up to 1 day in advance. Or, frozen peppers before baking in an airtight container in the freezer up to 3 months.
- Freezer: Or, label, date, and freeze in freezer-safe containers for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator and bake as directed.
Meggan Hill is a classically-trained chef and professional writer. Her meticulously-tested recipes and detailed tutorials bring confidence and success to home cooks everywhere. Meggan has been featured on NPR, HuffPost, FoxNews, LA Times, and more.
We are trying to cut out meat one supper a week. This was a great vegetarian option, all 3 of us loved it!
The mixer inside looked good and probably would’ve tasted good, but my daughter made this for us. And the recipe did not say to cook the black beans first so they were hard. But other than that it’s good.
Hi Faith, the recipe called for canned black beans which do not need to be cooked first. They just get heated in oven along with the rest of the filling. Please tell me your daughter did not use dried black beans in your stuffed peppers! Makes me want to cry. -Meggan
Amazing!!! So so delicious. What a gem to find
I have my granddaughter write me a list of what she wanted for dinner during the week. She wanted vegetarian stuffed peppers and I came across this recipe. Instead of the beans I used bush’s fiesta beans (has all the wonderful spices) and followed the recipe. It was delicious. My husband ate seconds (he’s a meat & potatoes kind of guy) and loved them. He didn’t even know they didn’t have hamburger in them. I was told I needed to make them again. Thanks for taking the time to post.
Hi Meggan, Do you think if I left out the cheese and chips I could freeze the filling? Making them tonight but there is only 2 of us. Please let me know, George
Hi George, I think these would freeze really well! I can’t think of any reason why not. Good call on leaving out the chips and cheese. The cheese isn’t really an issue, but when you reheat the peppers, the cheese will probably dry out throughout that process. So if you can add it towards the end, you can have freshly melted cheese (and crispy chips) which sounds ideal. Thank you for trying the recipe! I hope you like it. -Meggan
I tried this out with my boyfriend and it was so good! He doesn’t like spicy food, so we substituted the chipotle peppers with generic taco seasoning and it tasted amazing.
I am so glad that you tweaked the recipe so you could enjoy it! Sometimes people don’t do that, and they say things like “I hate cilantro but I used it anyway and now I don’t like the recipe.” So good job taking matters into your own hands! A little self-confidence in the kitchen really saves the day. :) Thanks for your comment! -Meggan
Great recipe! This one will be a regular for us.
I’m glad you liked it! Thanks Susan! :D
My husband absolutely loved these peppers. I’ll definitely make them again. We try to eat vegetarian as much as possible, and no one would miss the meat in this recipe. Thanks for a great variation!
Thank you so much Lisa! I’m glad you liked them and that they weren’t too spicy or anything like that. You’re right, there’s enough flavor there that no one will miss the meat! Thanks for the lovely comment. -Meggan
Interesting variation. This is one of those dishes you can do a lot with and they’re always good. These could be named Mexican stuffed peppers with the added chipotle, Spanish rice, crushed chips and cheese. Par cooking the peppers really speeds the baking process. By omitting the cheese and chips, they probably would freeze well. I make mine 15 per batch but use a lot of ground beef – they freeze very well. The peppers become a bit watery but you’re going to cut them up anyway. The great flavor is still there.
Loved it, halved the peppers as they were oddly shaped. Will be putting this recipe into the rotation. Signed a meat eater. Thanks Meggan