quinoa stuffed peppers

tender roasted peppers packed with quinoa, veggies & cheese - easy, healthy & on the table in under 30 minutes!

confession: when i was younger, i was not the biggest fan of stuffed peppers. there was something about the combination of meat-rice-sauce baked in a whole pepper that just didn't appeal to my childhood tastes. that said, these quinoa stuffed peppers are definitely not the peppers of my youth.

 the inspiration to switch it up came from watching my friend felice make the  traditional dish.  they looked good, and the general idea of them sounded even better.  stuffed peppers had been out of my mind for years, but seeing the process in action started the creative ball rolling & i knew i had to try and re-create the classic stuffed pepper, with a little spoons twist. 

peppers can be stuffed with anything, and if you think about it, people eat them all the time in the form of jalapeno poppers (those tasty hot peppers packed with cheese, coated in breadcrumbs & deep-fried to spicy, cheesy perfection).  the filling options are endless & can be as meat packed or meat-free as you like. 

this recipe replaces the traditional rice with nutty, fluffy quinoa - the protein and grain (seed, really) - and  using cooked quinoa seriously reduces the oven time.  we decided to crumble in some cooked veggie burgers for texture (and flavor) and round things out with veggies & cheese. and for the peppers themselves?  we opted to roast them (rather than steaming or stuffing them raw), enhancing their sweetness and bringing that slightly charred flavor to the dish.

these quinoa stuffed peppers are a new twist on a classic recipe.  and bonus - they're vegetarian (omit the cheese or use non-dairy cheese to make them vegan) & on the table in under 30 minutes - a family-friendly recipe win if ever there was one!

recipe: quinoa stuffed peppers

serves: 4

ingredients:

  • 2 medium peppers (red, orange or yellow) sliced lengthwise & seeds removed
  • 1/2 c dry quinoa
  • 2 field roast (or fave brand/flavor) veggie burgers, cooked & crumbled/finely chopped
  • 1/2 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 4 mushrooms (button or cremini), finely chopped
  • 3  small potatoes (not russet), finely diced
  • 1 c baby spinach, packed 
  • 1/2 - 3/4c cheddar cheese - sharp recommended
  • 2 scallions, finely sliced - optional
  • salt, pepper, garlic powder

method:

  1. heat oven to 425, grease a rimmed baking sheet lightly with cooking spray
  2. line a different baking sheet with parchment, or lightly grease
  3. place the peppers on the parchment-lined sheet cut side up & roast for 10 - 15 minutes, until beginning to char around the edges.  flip the peppers so that the cut side is down & continue roasting for another 10 - 15 minutes, until soft. remove from oven & set aside
  4. meanwhile, toss the chopped potatoes with a drizzle of oil (or a spritz of canola oil cooking spray), salt & pepper and garlic powder and roast on the greased baking sheet until tender (about 20 minutes), tossing halfway through.  remove from oven and set aside
  5. while the peppers are roasting, cook the quinoa (according to package directions)
  6. heat a medium skillet over low heat & drizzle with olive oil
  7. when the oil is hot, add the onion, mushrooms & a sprinkle of salt
  8. cook, stirring occasionally until the onions are translucent and the mushrooms are beginning to brown
  9. add the crumbled veggie burgers, cooked potatoes, spinach and a sprinkle of salt, pepper & garlic powder and continue cooking another 3 - 4 minutes (until the spinach is wilted
  10. in a large bowl, mix the quinoa, onion-mushroom mix,  1/4 c of the cheese & 1/2 the scallions (if using)
  11. pack a 1/4 of the mix into each pepper half & sprinkle with remaining cheese
  12. return to oven and bake until the cheese is melted and the filling is warmed through, 5 - 10 minutes
  13. remove from oven, sprinkle with the remaining scallions (if using),  and serve!

enjoy!

xoxo,

s & h

qp4.JPG