Quinoa Stuffed Peppers
See my guide on how to use an Instant Pot.
These cheesy Quinoa Stuffed Peppers take stuffed peppers to a whole new level! They’re a healthy, protein-packed vegetarian meal!
These days our evenings are busy with homework and after school activities. By the time we are home and ready for dinner everyone is starving. Myself included! Cooking a homemade dinner at that point isn’t going to happen, so I’ve been relying on my slow cooker and make ahead meals to help us avoid takeout.
These stuffed peppers are a great make ahead option, because you can prepare them up to the point of baking and then bake them right before you’re ready to eat. Or, you can bake them right away and reheat later on. The leftovers are delicious, so don’t worry if you have a few extra peppers!
In this easy recipe, the bell peppers are stuffed with a mixture of vegetables, quinoa, white beans, marinara sauce and cheese. You won’t even realize these peppers are vegetarian, since they’re packed with protein from the quinoa and beans.
I originally shared this recipe three years ago, and it was long overdue for new photos. When I first posted it, it was actually pretty popular despite the mediocre photos. I hope you will add these stuffed peppers to your meal plan soon, because they really are delicious!
If you’re looking for a classic stuffed peppers recipe with ground beef or turkey, try these stuffed peppers. You can make them ahead and freeze, if you want!
Tips for making quinoa stuffed peppers:
- How to Cook Quinoa ahead to save time preparing these stuffed peppers.
- White quinoa has the most delicate taste and the lightest texture. For a richer, nuttier flavor try red quinoa in these stuffed peppers.
- Chop the vegetables ahead of time.
- Store-bought marinara sauce is used in this recipe because it adds lots of flavor without the effort of making your own sauce. Look for a brand with just a few, recognizable ingredients and a low sugar and low sodium content. If you happen to have homemade marinara sauce in your freezer, that will work, too!
- You can leave out the cheese to make these peppers dairy-free. If you don’t have a dairy sensitivity, I recommend using the cheese. The flavor is worth the extra calories! Part-skim mozzarella is a good choice.
- Leftover stuffed peppers can be reheated for lunches.
Quinoa Stuffed Peppers
- 6 bell peppers, any colors you like, see note
- ¾ cup quinoa, rinsed and drained
- 1 ½ cups water
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- ½ cup finely chopped yellow onion
- 2 carrots, chopped into ¼-inch pieces
- 2 stalks celery, cut into ¼-inch pieces
- 1 cup chopped crimini mushrooms
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 25 ounce jar marinara sauce
- 15 ounce can white beans, cannellini or other small white beans, rinsed and drained
- 3 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
- Salt and pepper
- 1 ½ cups grated mozzarella cheese, divided
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
- Cut the bell peppers in half lengthwise and remove the ribs and seeds. Place the peppers, cut sides up, in a baking dish. (You may need two baking dishes to fit them all.) Set aside.
- Place the quinoa and water in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil and then reduce the heat to a low simmer. Cover and simmer until all of the liquid has been absorbed, about 15 minutes.
- Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onions, carrot, and celery and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables begin to soften, about 3 minutes. Add the mushrooms and cook until they begin to soften and brown, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds. Remove from the heat.
- Pour the marinara sauce into the skillet with the vegetables and stir to combine.
- Add the beans, cooked quinoa, parsley, and ¾ cup of the mozzarella to the skillet, and stir until evenly combined. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Scoop the filling into each of the bell pepper halves, and top with the remaining mozzarella cheese. Cover baking dish with foil and bake for 35 minutes, until the peppers have slightly softened and the filling is hot. Uncover and bake for 5 more minutes, until the cheese just begins to brown. Let stand for about 5 minutes before serving.
- Depending on the size of your peppers, you may have enough filling to fill one more pepper. Or, just enjoy the leftover filling for lunch!
- Make Ahead Option: Peppers can be made ahead, refrigerated, and then baked when you are ready to eat. Already baked peppers also reheat well.