Easy Plant-Based Stuffed Peppers (Gluten-Free)

by Alena

These Mexican-flavored plant-based stuffed peppers have serious potential to become your go-to weeknight dinner! Filled with hearty protein-packed staples and gluten-free grains, they are easy to make ahead of time and customize to your needs.

Deep flavor meets healthy and wholesome ingredients in these Mexican plant-based stuffed peppers!

Filled with essential nutrients and lots of spices, you can top your peppers with anything from cilantro to avocado, vegan cheese or yogurt sauce.

Soon after we discovered how delicious quinoa stuffed aubergine tastes, we knew we had to play around with other stuffed vegetables. And what would be better to stuff and bake than bell peppers?

They make for great winter meals, lighter dinners and work for vegan meal prep.

Instead of Moroccan flavors that are featured in our aubergine recipe, we went for crowd-pleasing Mexican spices and ingredients that are both healthy and delicious.

If you like quinoa, be sure to check out our favorite vegan quinoa recipes here!

These plant-based stuffed peppers are great for both making ahead of time and also freezing for months! Here’s what else we like about them.

large baking dish with easy plant-based stuffed peppers

Overview & recipe features 

  • Easy to make in under an hour
  • Flavorful & scrumptious
  • Gluten-free & vegan
  • Great for parties & gatherings
  • Made with simple staple foods
  • Protein- and nutrient-packed
  • Budget-friendly and customizable
  • Delicious plant-based dinner idea
  • Great for meal prep

What’s there not to love about these plant-based stuffed peppers?

The kitchen equipment you’ll need to make them is really basic: one baking sheet, some parchment paper, a medium-sized bowl, pot, spoon, fork, knife and a cutting board.

Here’s exactly what goes inside!

three green bell peppers, green onions, lime, quinoa, black beans and corn on a table

Ingredients needed

  • Bell peppers — we went for green bell peppers but you can use any color you like!
  • Quinoa — naturally gluten-free and protein-packed, this grain will make up the bulk of our Mexican-flavored filling.
  • Black beans — cooked black beans from a can work well if you rinse them or if you’re a kitchen-pro, you can go for home-cooked!
  • Sweet corn — for some nice color and to keep the Mexican theme going.
  • Tomato paste — the base for our quick homemade vegan tomato sauce that will get mixed with the rest of the gluten-free filling.
  • Spices — cumin, paprika, garlic powder, lemon juice, salt and pepper are our choices. Feel free to customize them!
  • Toppings— get creative with things like cilantro, parsley, sliced avocado, soy yogurt or any other sauces.

You can find the exact amounts for each of the ingredients in the recipe card below. We’ll share some customization ideas in a bit!

How to make plant-based stuffed peppers

Before you start, preheat your oven to 350° F (180° C) and line a baking sheet with a piece of parchment paper. 

Prepare the bell peppers

Wash and cut your bell peppers in halves. Remove the cores with a knife, then place the halves on your prepared baking sheet and roast for around 20 minutes.

woman in white shirt standing in the kitchen and putting quinoa in a white pot

Cook the quinoa

Cook the dry quinoa according to package instructions either in water or vegetable broth on the stove. Once all of the water has been absorbed, fluff the quinoa with a fork.

Set it aside and let it cool while preparing the rest of the components for your plant-based stuffed peppers.

Create the filling

While the bell peppers are in the oven, get a medium-sized bowl and whisk together all ingredients for the tomato sauce.

Add your drained and rinsed black beans, sweet corn, green onion and cooked quinoa. Mix thoroughly with a spoon until well-combined.

Stuff the bell peppers

Once your bell peppers have been baked for around 20 minutes, take them out of the oven and place the baking sheet next to your prepared filling.

Using a large spoon, generously fill each bell pepper half with the plant-based quinoa mixture. 

Bake, top & enjoy

Once all halves have been stuffed, put them back into the oven for another 20 minutes, until they have become soft and browned.

Remove them from the oven and let the delicious plant-based stuffed peppers cool for a few minutes. Then top them to your liking with soy yogurt, lime juice, cilantro or sliced avocado!

halved bell peppers being stuffed with plant-based gluten-free quinoa mixture

Storage & reheating

Any leftover Mexican plant-based stuffed peppers can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days. Reheat in your microwave or oven for a few minutes once you’re ready to eat them.

Stuffed bell peppers are also freezer-friendly! You can either store them in individual freezer-safe containers or all of the leftovers in the same container.

They can be frozen for at least 3 months while holding their texture and still tasting great once you thaw and reheat them! To do so, you can let your plant-based stuffed peppers thaw in the fridge overnight and then bake for 15 minutes.

If you’re in need of a super quick gluten-free dinner, grab however many frozen plant-based peppers you want from the freezer and pop them into the oven at 350° C for 20-30 minutes until they are hot on the inside.

white baking dish on a table with five green plant-based stuffed peppers

Serving suggestions

You can enjoy your plant-based stuffed peppers with a simple side salad, our vegan sweet potato arugula salad or this roast pumpkin, spinach and feta salad.

During summer, they make for a great cookout addition — especially with some freshly baked bread, whole wheat rolls or homemade tortilla chips!

Here are some homemade topping ideas we love.

Our favorite sauces for plant-based stuffed peppers

one gluten-free stuffed pepper with avocado on a plate next to a baking dish

Tips & adjustments for this recipe

What can I use instead of quinoa?

Just swap quinoa for white rice, brown rice, millet or barley. Pretty much any grain or pseudo-grain works!

How to add more calories

You can brush your bell peppers with some oil before roasting them or add vegan cheese on top! A creamy and heavy sauce can also bump up the calorie content.

I don’t have any black beans!

You can use more quinoa or sweet corn as well as swap them out for chickpeas, kidney beans or cannellini beans. 

For a more plant-based meat-resembling version of these stuffed peppers, use textured vegetable protein similar to this recipe.

How to save some time

Instead of making the cumin tomato sauce from scratch, you can use any store-bought tomato sauce. Vegan salsa also works well as a swap!

If you have any pre-cooked grains like quinoa or beans, you can skip the cooking time here, too! By the way, the peppers can also be precooked in boiling water for 3-4 minutes instead of baking them in the oven before you stuff them — another trick to save some time.

How to meal prep these stuffed peppers

You can make the filling one day ahead and store it in the fridge. If you want, pre-bake the bell peppers so they have already softened once you are ready to stuff and bake them for dinner!

I have some quinoa filling left

Just make sure you don’t overstuff your bell peppers. The Mexican quinoa filling can be used for plant-based salads, ​​vegan Buddha bowls or tacos! 

More plant-based dinner recipes

Want some easy and delicious family-friendly dinner ideas? Try these filling and scrumptious plant-based recipes next.

Did you make our plant-based stuffed peppers? We’d love to read about it, so be sure to leave a review and tell us more in the comments below. You can also Pin this recipe here!

large baking dish with easy plant-based stuffed peppers

Easy Plant-Based Stuffed Peppers (Gluten-Free & Tasty)

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes

These Mexican-flavored plant-based stuffed peppers have serious potential to become your go-to weeknight dinner! Filled with hearty protein-packed staples and gluten-free grains, they are easy to make ahead of time and customize to your needs.

Ingredients

  • 4 large green bell peppers

Gluten-Free Filling

  • ½ cup quinoa (85 g), dry
  • ¾ cup black beans (85 g), cooked
  • ½ cup sweet corn (80 g)
  • 1 green onion, finely chopped

Cumin Tomato Sauce

  • 3 ounces tomato paste (85 g)
  • 2 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 3 tablespoon water
  • ½ teaspoon cumin
  • ½ teaspoon paprika
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Toppings

  • Soy yogurt, unsweetened
  • Lime juice
  • Fresh cilantro
  • Avocado slices

Instructions

Prepare Quinoa & Bell Peppers

  1. Preheat your oven to 350° F (180° C) and line a baking sheet with a piece of parchment paper. 
  2. Cut the bell peppers in halves and remove the cores, then place them on your baking sheet and roast for 20 minutes.
  3. Cook quinoa according to package directions either in just water or some vegetable broth. Once all the liquid is absorbed, fluff the quinoa with a fork and let it cool while preparing the rest of the components.

Create the Filling

  1. While the peppers are in the oven, whisk together all of the ingredients for the cumin tomato sauce in a medium-sized bowl.
  2. Add the black beans, corn, green onion and quinoa and mix thoroughly with a spoon until well-combined.

Stuff the Bell Peppers

  1. Once the bell peppers have been baked for 20 minutes, take them out of the oven. Using a large spoon, fill each bell pepper half with the quinoa mixture. 
  2. Put the stuffed bell peppers back into the oven on their baking sheet and bake for another 20 minutes, until they are soft and browned.
  3. Remove from the oven, let cool for a few minutes and top with soy yogurt, lime juice, avocado or cilantro. Enjoy!

Notes

  • You can also add some tomato salsa to the filling for more flavor.
  • Nutritional information has automatically been calculated without any toppings.
  • Instead of black beans, try kidney beans, chickpeas or TVP.
  • Cooking the quinoa in vegetable broth adds some depth in flavor!
  • Other delicious toppings include garlic yogurt sauce, herbed ranch dressing, homemade cheese sauce, cashew sour cream or cheese shreds.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 2 Serving Size: ½ recipe
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 394Total Fat: 3gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 169mgCarbohydrates: 59gFiber: 14gSugar: 11gProtein: 14g

Nutrition information is a rough estimate calculated automatically, their accuracy is not guaranteed. Just focus on whole plant-based foods and eat until satiety!

Please rate & share if you like this!

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Alena sitting in a cafe with a bowl of fresh plant-based food and a glass of coffee in front of her

About Alena Handwritten FontAlena Schowalter is a Certified Vegan Nutritionist who has been a vegetarian since childhood and vegan since 2012. Together with her husband, she founded nutriciously in 2015 and has been guiding thousands of people through different transition stages towards a healthy plant-based diet. She’s received training in the fields of nutrition, music therapy and social work. Alena enjoys discussions around vegan ethics, walks through nature and creating new recipes.

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