An easy vegan Couscous Stuffed Bell Peppers recipe! Colorful bell peppers are stuffed with fluffy couscous, black beans, tomatoes, and delicious Mexican-inspired flavors. Personalize them with your favorite toppings before serving! (Vegan, oil-free.)
These colorful Couscous Stuffed Peppers are made with delicious Mexican-inspired flavors.
For the filling, we combine fluffy couscous, black beans, tomatoes, and warm spices. Each pepper half is a good source of plant-based protein and fiber.
This recipe was also created with ease-of-assembly in mind.
So it's quick + simple to prepare. Then you just pop it in the oven to bake to warm, tender perfection.
Ingredients for Couscous Stuffed Peppers
For this recipe you will combine and then bake in a large baking dish:
- Couscous: I use traditional couscous (also known as "true couscous") for this recipe. As opposed to the larger, round pearl couscous, also called Israeli couscous. Traditional couscous comes in very small granules and is made from crushed durum wheat semolina. (It is not gluten-free, but you can easily make this recipe gluten-free by substituting it quinoa or rice instead.)
- Bell peppers: Try to find extra-large bell peppers that have plenty of space for stuffing. If you can only find medium-sized ones, you may want to get 5 or 6 peppers instead of 4 extra large. I like to use one of each color.
- Black beans: Or substitute another bean of choice such as pinto beans or kidney beans. We will use one 15 ounce can of black beans for this recipe. However if you cook your beans from scratch, then you will need about 1.5 cups cooked beans.
- Diced tomatoes: Either regular, petite, or fire-roasted. I prefer petite diced tomatoes for this recipe, but any are great.
- Green onions (scallions)
- Nutritional yeast
- Ground cumin
- Smoked paprika: I also sometimes like to include a teaspoon of ground garlic powder or dried oregano to the seasonings blend.
- Chili powder: I use a mild chili powder from the brand "Simply Organic".
How to Cook Couscous
Couscous is wonderfully simple to cook. If you've never made it before, here's a quick breakdown:
Boil water: In a small pot or saucepan, boil 1 cup water. (Or you can use vegetable broth for more flavor.)
Add couscous: When water is boiling, remove pan from heat. Add couscous and stir.
Cover + sit: Then cover the pan, and let it sit for 5 minutes.
Fluff: After 5 minutes, the couscous will be cooked in a fairly dense flat layer. Simply grab a fork and fluff to break up the clumps. It will be light and fluffy!
Make it spicy: Add jalapeno, medium diced green chiles, cayenne pepper, ground chipotle, or chipotle in adobo sauce. Or simply top with your favorite hot sauce to taste before serving.
Make it "meaty": Stir in your favorite vegan ground beef crumbles (or sausage) if desired. Cook these separately according to package instructions, then stir them into the couscous mixture before stuffing. (You can slightly reduce the couscous to make room for the crumbles, or use them in place of the black beans.)
Make it cheesy: Add vegan shredded cheddar cheese or your favorite dairy-free cheese. Either stir it into the couscous mixture before baking, or sprinkle it on top of the pepper halves during the last 10 minutes of baking time. You could add melted cheese drizzled on top before serving.
Enjoy these couscous bell peppers with your favorite toppings! A few ideas include:
- Avocado or guacamole
- Fresh herbs like cilantro or parsley
- Salsa (I like this Restaurant-Style Blender Salsa)
- Vegan sour cream
- Vegan cheese
- Hot sauce
Couscous Stuffed Peppers
- 1 cup couscous
- 4 bell peppers, extra-large
- 2-3 green onions
- 15 oz. can black beans
- 15 oz. can petite diced tomatoes (or regular or fire-roasted)
- 2 Tbsp. nutritional yeast
- 1 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
- 1 tsp. smoked paprika
- 1 tsp. chili powder
- Avocado, guacamole, fresh cilantro, salsa, hot sauce, vegan cheese, vegan sour cream, etc.
- Preheat oven to 350°F (176°C).
- Cook couscous: Boil 1 cup water (or vegetable broth) in a small saucepan. Remove pan from heat, add couscous, stir, and cover. Let sit 5 minutes. Uncover and fluff with a fork.
- Meanwhile, cut peppers in half lengthwise. Remove stem and clean out inner ribs with a spoon. Set aside.
- Slice green onions.
- In a large bowl, add green onions, black beans (rinsed and drained), tomatoes (with juice), nutritional yeast, cumin, smoked paprika, and chili powder. Add cooked/fluffed couscous. Stir well to combine.
- Generously fill each pepper half with the couscous filling. Lightly pack down with a spoon to compact and fill the crevices. (You may have a little filling leftover. It's great as a salad, or in a burrito.)
- Place pepper halves face up in a 9×13" baking dish. Add about 1/3 cup water to the bottom of the pan. Then cover with tin foil. Bake for 40 minutes.
- Remove foil and bake 10 more minutes. (If using shredded cheese, sprinkle it on top for the last 10 minutes of bake time.) Garnish with any toppings before serving.
Nutrition Per Serving (Estimate)
Sodium: This is omitted as I cannot provide an accurate number. I encourage you to calculate your own to provide a much more precise reading based on the exact ingredients, brands, and amounts you're using.
If you are enjoying this vegan Couscous Stuffed Bell Peppers recipe, also check out:
- Mexican Quinoa Stuffed Peppers
- Vegan Burrito Bowls with Creamy Chipotle Sauce
- Vegan Quinoa Stuffed Peppers