Vegan Stuffed Bell Peppers 🌱 Bright & colorful roasted peppers filled with veggies, brown rice and plant-based protein in a savory rich tomato-based sauce. It's a meal in itself!
The other night, I was trying to decide what to prepare for dinner when I remembered we had three peppers in the fridge and a couple veggie burger patties in the freezer. I always have rice, canned tomatoes, and onions on hand so I had all the basics for making my favorite Mexican vegan rice or better yet, stuffed bell peppers!
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When I was a young, my mom would make stuffed green bell peppers filled with ground meat and rice topped with melted cheese. When my kids were young, I decided to create a meatless version of my mom's stuffed peppers, by using chopped vegan burgers combined with rice and veggies. Instead of green bell peppers, I chose colorful red, orange, or yellow bell peppers. I find them to be sweeter and tastier and knew my kids would prefer the taste too.
By cutting the peppers in half, then stuffing them, I could serve a half or even a quarter of a pepper at a time to the kids. That way, there were always plenty for a second serving or yummy leftovers the next day.
"Try this recipe. You will not be unhappy. The stuffing, inside the peppers, was awesome. Everything came out as the recipe called. I will be making this again." Valerie J.
Why you'll love this recipe
- So easy to prepare
- It's a nutritious meal in itself
- Kids love it!
- So colorful & appealing
- Substitute or use ingredients you have on hand
🥕See the printable recipe card below for quantities & details
Bell peppers - fresh whole, red, orange, yellow or green
Brown rice - or white
Olive oil - or avocado or canola. (Oil-free option: Use 2 tablespoons water)
Onion - brown or yellow, diced
Celery - diced
Black pepper - ground
Canned tomatoes - crushed or whole (pulsed in blender)
Italian breadcrumbs - (you can use gluten-free Italian breadcrumbs)
Fresh herbs - chopped (for garnish)
Prepare the rice, according to the package directions. If you prepare rice a lot (like I do) a rice cooker will be your new best friend in the kitchen. I love the convenience of pushing a button and knowing I'll have a batch of perfectly cooked rice every time. This stainless steel rice cooker is my absolute favorite.
While the rice is cooking, create the filling.
In a skillet over med-high heat, sauté onions and celery in olive oil until slightly tender. Add burger crumbles.
Stir in dry seasonings. Add crushed tomatoes and tomato paste.
Once rice is ready, add to skillet and stir until thoroughly combined
Rinse bell peppers. Cut in half. Remove stem and seeds. Place on baking sheet lined with parchment paper
Fill the pepper halves with mixture.
Sprinkle with vegan cheese or breadcrumbs - or both!
Bake at 400º for 18 - 20 minutes, until vegan cheese is lightly browned and pepper skins become slightly wrinkled.
Use whole tomatoes if you don't have crushed. Just pulse the whole tomatoes a few times in a blender.
I sometimes add a tablespoon of maple syrup, agave nectar, sugar, or vegan honey to tomato sauces to help lower the acidic taste.
Use whatever fresh herbs you have on hand. I love basil, oregano, or parsley.
Yes, bell peppers are not only delicious, they're nutritious!
Bell Pepper Nutrition
Peppers are low in calories and are packed with good nutrition. They're excellent sources of vitamins A and C, potassium, folic acid, and fiber.
According to this article:
You've seen bell peppers -- green, orange, yellow, and red -- in the grocery store or in a salad bar. Red peppers pack the most nutrition, because they've been on the vine longest.
Green peppers are harvested earlier, before they have a chance to turn yellow, orange, and then red. Compared to green bell peppers, the red ones have almost 11 times more beta-carotene and 1.5 times more vitamin C.
Yes they can. Prepare and stuff the peppers per the recipe directions. Place the filled peppers in an airtight container or on a baking sheet covered with food safe plastic wrap or foil. Refrigerate immediately and no more than 24 hrs. before serving. When ready to bake, sprinkle peppers with cheese and breadcrumbs. Bake uncovered at 400℉ for approx. 20 minutes or until the cheese and breadcrumbs are lightly browned and the skins of the peppers become slightly wrinkled.
If you love this recipe ★★★★★ please be sure to rate it below! Sharing your experience lets me know that you enjoyed it and will help other readers decide if they should give the recipe a try too. Thanks a bunch!🥕
Vegan Stuffed Bell Peppers
- 4 qt covered saucepan or rice cooker
- 12" or larger skillet
- baking sheet
- Parchment paper (optional)
- 4 whole bell peppers red, orange, yellow, or green
- 1 C brown rice uncooked
- 2 tablespoon olive oil optional - see notes below
- 1 whole onion yellow or brown - diced
- 3 stalks celery diced
- ½ lb veggie burger crumbles chopped
- 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper freshly ground
- ½ C vegan cheese grated - see notes below
- 28 oz crushed tomatoes 1 large can - or whole tomatoes pulsed in a blender
- 3 tablespoon tomato paste
- 3 tablespoon fresh herbs chopped - for garnish - basil, parsley, oregano . . .
- Cut peppers in half. Wash, remove stems and seeds. Place on parchment lined baking sheet.
- Cook rice according to package directions.
- Preheat oven to 400°
- In a skillet over med-high heat, sauté onions and celery in olive oil until slightly tender
- Add burger crumbles
- Stir in dry seasonings
- Add crushed tomatoes and tomato paste - stir to combine. Lower heat to med-low
- Once rice is ready, add to ingredients in skillet. Thoroughly combine.
- Spoon filling into bell peppers
- Sprinkle peppers with grated parmesan or breadcrumbs (or both)
- Bake at 400º for 18 - 20 minutes, until cheese is lightly browned and pepper skins start to become slightly wrinkled
- Remove from oven. Allow peppers to sit for a few minutes before serving. Sprinkle with fresh herbs and enjoy!
These are estimated values generated from a nutritional database using unbranded products. Please do your own research with the products you're using if you have a serious health issue or are following a specific diet.
- Cook to a minimum temperature of 165 °F (74 °C)
- Don’t leave food sitting out at room temperature for extended periods
- Never leave cooking food unattended
Vegan stuffed bell peppers are a great way to use up left-over pre-cooked plain or seasoned rice. Reheat to 165°F and add any extras to boost the flavor to your liking, then fill the peppers following the directions below. Please note: Be sure to properly store left-over rice and/or stuffed bell peppers, to avoid food borne illnesses that can be caused from bacteria in rice. This article provides more information on the correct methods for preparing and storing left-over rice.