Thursday, February 7, 2013

Quinoa Stuffed Peppers

We love stuffed peppers at our house.
Our dad is usually the one to make them - he just seems to have the knack to make them perfect. He usually uses hamburger and rice and makes them spicy.
Sue's daughter, Kenzie, and I figured we would give them a go and try to make them a little healthier. We decided to go the vegetarian route and, instead of rice, try some quinoa.
We started going through the cupboards and fridge and this is what we ended up with. I think our collaboration turned out pretty good.
Definitely will be making this again! It is easy, fairly quick, and very tasty.
Quinoa Stuffed Peppers
(by Kenzie and Jo)
1 cup quinoa, uncooked
2 cups water
1/2 can black beans, rinsed and drained (about 1 cup or so)
1 carrot, shredded
2 celery stalks, finely diced
1/2 onion, finely diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup frozen peas
1/2 cup corn
1/2 cup water chestnuts, diced
1/4 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/8 tsp seasoning salt
salt & pepper
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 cup tomato sauce
7 sweet peppers, any color
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, shredded
1/2 cup Tex Mex blend cheese, shredded
Preheat oven to 350. Line a 9 X 13 pan with parchment paper, set aside.
Cook quinoa in a pot with the 2 cups of water until done. Set aside.
In a large saucepan; mix black beans, carrot, celery, onion, garlic, peas, corn, water chestnuts, and spices. Cook over medium heat until veggies are soft and mixture is heated through, about 10 minutes.
Stir in cooked quinoa and tomato sauce. (You can use more tomato sauce if you like. It just acts as a bit of a binding agent BUT if you like saucier peppers then, by all means, add more tomato sauce!)
Cut tops off of peppers and place in prepared 9 X 13 pan.
Sprinkle 1 Tbsp of the Parmesan cheese into the bottom of each pepper.
Fill peppers with the quinoa mixture. Top with 1 Tbsp of the Tex Mex cheese.
Bake at 350 for 35 - 45 minutes. Until pepper is browned around the top and has softened.
Serve hot.
The photos only show 3 peppers but that is because Kenzie took 3 home to cook at her house. We also had enough mixture left over to make at least one more pepper. I just ate the leftover filling for lunch, without the pepper, and it was delicious that way too.
Depending on the size of your peppers you will get between 6 to 8 peppers out of this recipe.
I love hanging out with Kenz on the weekends and coming up with crazy recipe ideas. I know Sue would say Kenzie takes after her in the kitchen department BUT, I like to think that Aunty Jo has some influence there too.
P.S. - According to Fitday, if you make 7 peppers, the nutritional info (per pepper) is:
285 calories
5 fat
49 carbs
13.3 protein
Be sure to visit The Mandatory Mooch and Kitchen Fun With My 3 Sons and My Turn (for us) and Let This Mind Be In You for some great links.


  1. Could you Freeze these? There are only two of us but i'd love to freeze the extras for another day of dinner!

    1. I'm sure the filling would freeze well but I don't know about the pepper itself.... Maybe you could freeze your leftover filling and just stuff & cook the pepper when you are ready to eat it. OR, you could just half the recipe.... If you do freeze it, please let us know how it works for you.

    2. I freeze peppers all summer long, to have for recipes all winter. This includes stuffed peppers. If you are the type that likes the pepper on the "crisp" side, then freezing them won't be for you. But if you don't mind that they are "limp" then freezing is no problem. They give the same great flavor as a fresh pepper!!

    3. I know it's a few years too late but I have frozen this recipe and they are delicious! Like someone else said, the peppers are a bit softer after freezing but that doesn't bother me! I actually prefer them after they've been frozen!

  2. i freeze peppers-whole, cut in little pieces and stuffed. its fine!

  3. Made these tonight, they were super yummy!!!

  4. Also, if anyone is wondering, these are only 8 Weight Watchers points!! Perfect for dinner :)

  5. I snitched some of the filling and it is YUUUUUMMY! Even my healthy-food-hating husband thinks its great. Can't wait to eat and to see what my kids think!

  6. Eating this as I type!!! So good I couldn't wait for dinner!

  7. I just made this recipe and I thought that I was going to have way too much but I only ended up filling three peppers. Maybe my peppers were bigger or something. I bought organic ones from Whole Foods. So heads up to anyone that is taking that route. But I am excited to try this!!

  8. I would love to try this recipe but my oven is broken do you think I can cook it in a crock pot

    1. It should work just fine in a crockpot. The filling is already cooked so you would just have to cook it in the crockpot until it was heated through and the pepper was cooked through. :) Let us know how it works out for you!

  9. My dad and I made these for dinner tonight and they were yummy! I managed to over-stuff 7 peppers and there was a little (about 1/2 cup) filling left. One pepper was enough to fill me up, and they were really simple to put together.

  10. I pinned this along time ago and am making them right now...if mine turn out nicely I'll post a picture on my blog and link back to you!! :) Thanks

  11. These are in the oven right now! I filled 7 peppers (5 red medium and 2 orange large) and still had enough leftover for 1 more pepper. The stuffing is delicious! Can't wait to try the finished product :)

  12. I was very disappointed in this. The peppers were still rather raw after 45 minutes of cooking. The flavors didn't go well together. It should have been seasoned with Mexican type spices: cummin, cilantro, cayenne. No peas. Very expensive and very disappointing.

    1. Sorry it didn't turn out for you.. The Mexican version would be completely different flavor profile and an interesting one.

    2. A tip you could try as well - place the empty pepper shells in boiling water for 2-3 minutes to parboil them before stuffing them. That may be helpful if you like your peppers softer. Hope that helps

  13. I used your recipe for inspiration, and I thought they turned out great. I subbed in diced zucchini and fairy tale eggplant from my CSA share for the frozen peas and water chestnuts. Thanks for the post!

  14. I'm definitely trying this recipe. So versatile, I'm already planning different ways to make them.

  15. I think if you mix the veggies in the pan & cook it on medium high, without a little oil or a liquid, like water, wine or broth, The veggies would stick & burn. A lower temperature, with a lid, would steam them without oil or water. Did you leave out a step ?

    1. Nope. We cooked it as written above. Over medium heat (not medium high) they didn't burn at all. We just stirred it pretty constantly.

  16. We went Mexican, with some of that black forbidden rice, taco seasoning, black beans, and some salsa. In the oven right now!

  17. Is there a alternative way to lower the carb amount?