I really love stuffed peppers and find I’m often playing around with various fillings, ranging from different meats, grains and spices. I love the tried and true meat and rice filling, reminiscent of my childhood and inspiration for my Stuffed Pepper Soup, but I also wanted a hearty, vegetarian option to add to my stuffed pepper rotation. For this recipe, I used quinoa and black beans and added cumin, chili powder and salsa for Mexican flavor.
I liked the addition of salsa as it added lots of flavor and you can choose your heat level. I used a canned homemade garden salsa I made last summer, but any favorite jarred salsa will do.
One note is that you can either slice the peppers in half and fill them or cut the tops off and add the stuffing that way. You’ll need peppers that have a fat, fairly stable bottom if you choose the latter route. If you choose to split them down the middle, you’ll be able to fit more of the filling in each half. Either way, they are delicious.
Quinoa and Black Bean Stuffed Peppers
- 3/4 cup quinoa
- 1 1/2 cup Roasted Chicken Stock (or boxed chicken or veggie stock)
- 5 large bell peppers, any color
- 1 tablespoon vegetable or canola oil
- 1 small onion, diced
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 cup frozen corn
- 1 15-ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed
- 2 teaspoons cumin
- 2 teaspoons chili powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 cup jarred salsa
- 3 ounces shredded Monterrey Jack or Mexican blend cheese
Preheat the oven to 375°.
Put the quinoa and stock in a sauce pot and bring to a boil. Once it reaches a boil, reduce the heat to a simmer, cover and let cook for 15 minutes.
Take one bell pepper and dice it for the filling. Slice the remaining 4 peppers in half, remove the seeds and membranes and place cut side up in a 9×13 baking pan. Add 1/2 cup of water to the bottom of the pan. Set aside.
Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large pan over medium high heat. Add the onions and saute for about 3-4 minutes.
Add the garlic and cook for an additional minute. Transfer the diced pepper to the pan and cook for 3-4 minutes, until soft. Add the corn, black beans, cumin, chili powder and salt and stir to combine. Cook for 2-3 minutes.
Once the quinoa is cooked, fluff it with a fork and transfer it to the pan with the black beans and vegetables. Add the salsa and mix thoroughly to combine.
Scoop the filling into the bell pepper halves, dividing it equally among the 8 halves. Sprinkle the shredded cheese over each pepper.
Cover the top with foil, then transfer to the oven and bake for 35-40 minutes. Remove the foil, bake for an additional 5 minutes, then remove and serve. If you wish, add any additional toppings, such as avocado, sour cream, additional cheese or salsa before serving.