This Veggie Stuffed Peppers recipe is made with a delicious mixture of black beans, quinoa, spinach, and colorful vegetables. They're nourishing and simple to make. Plus the leftovers reheat great! (Vegan, gluten-free, oil-free.)
These black bean quinoa stuffed peppers with spinach are a comfort food classic but made healthier.
Each pepper half is generously filled with a flavorful, hearty mixture of black beans, fluffy quinoa, and colorful vegetables.
Plus they're fun to make and look so festive!
Ingredients for Black Bean Stuffed Peppers
For this recipe you will combine in a baking dish then bake in the oven:
- White quinoa: Quinoa is a great source of protein, fiber, and many other nutrients. It's also a complete protein which means it contains all nine essential amino acids. I like to use white quinoa for this recipe, but you could also substitute brown rice other other grain if desired.
- Yellow onion: Or you can use white onion or sweet onion instead.
- Fresh garlic cloves: Or substitute dried garlic powder.
- Carrot: Or feel free to include other veggies such as corn, sweet potato, etc.
- Bell peppers: Be sure to find 4 large bell peppers that have plenty of space for stuffing. Otherwise, opt for 5-6 small to medium bell peppers. You will remove the stem and inner membranes before stuffing.
- Fresh baby spinach
- Diced tomatoes: Either regular or fire-roasted work great.
- Black beans: Or substitute another bean such as pinto beans or red kidney beans.
- Ground cumin
Make it cheesy: You can also add vegan cheese shreds or nutritional yeast for a cheesy version. Or simply drizzle your peppers with a non-dairy cheese sauce before serving.
Spices and seasoning: Change up the flavor with your own favorites. I enjoy the warmth of ground cumin, but you can stir in Italian seasoning, smoked paprika, chili powder, dried basil, dried oregano, etc.
Make it "meaty": Stir in your favorite vegan ground beef crumbles. Cook these separately according to package instructions, then stir it into the mixture before stuffing your peppers.
Add your favorite toppings before serving if desired. A few suggestions include:
- Avocado or guacamole
- Restaurant-Style Blender Salsa (or your own favorite salsa)
- Hot sauce
- Fresh cilantro or lime juice
- Sliced green onions
- Nutritional yeast
This recipe makes a large batch, so store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator. We find they keep for about 3-4 days.
The leftovers reheat great in the microwave. (We think they taste even better the next day after the flavors combine even further.)
Veggie Black Bean Stuffed Peppers
- 1/2 cup white quinoa (uncooked)
- 1 yellow onion
- 4 cloves garlic
- 2 medium carrots
- 4 large bell peppers* (I use one of each color)
- 4 oz. fresh baby spinach
- 28 oz. can diced tomatoes (or fire-roasted)
- 15 oz. can black beans
- 1 Tbsp. ground cumin (or other seasoning)
- 1 cup vegan cheese shreds (or nutritional yeast to taste)
- Guacamole/avocado, cilantro, salsa for serving
- Cook quinoa: Place 1/2 cup quinoa (rinsed and drained) in a small saucepan with 3/4 cup water or vegetable broth. Bring to a light boil over medium-high heat. Then reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer for 15-20 minutes.
- Meanwhile, prepare veggies: Dice onion, mince garlic, and grate/shred carrots.
- Drain canned tomatoes, adding the tomato liquid to the bottom of a 9" x 13" baking dish. Set remaining diced tomatoes aside.
- In an extra-large skillet over medium-high heat, sauté onion for 6-7 minutes. (I use 3 tablespoons water/broth for no-oil sauté method, adding more as needed.)
- Add minced garlic and cumin. Stir and sauté 1 minute.
- Add spinach (roughly chopped) and drained tomatoes. Stir.
- When spinach is wilted, add black beans (rinsed and drained), cooked quinoa, and grated carrot. Stir and heat for 2 minutes. Salt/pepper if desired. (Optional: stir in 2/3 cup vegan cheese shreds to quinoa mixture, or nutritional yeast to taste.)
- Preheat oven to 350°F (176°C).
- Cut bell peppers in half lengthwise. Remove stems, seeds, and inner ribs. Fill each pepper half with a heaping amount of quinoa mixture. Pack it down well with a spoon to fill all the crevices*. Place filled peppers in baking dish on top of the tomato liquid.
- Cover the dish with foil. Bake for 75 minutes. (To add cheese: After 1 hour of baking, remove foil and sprinkle peppers with remaining 1/3 cup cheese. Return to oven and bake uncovered 15 minutes.)
- Drizzle with pan juices before serving. Serve with guacamole/avocado, salsa, nutritional yeast, etc. if desired.
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.
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