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Mexican Stuffed Peppers (Vegan)

Mexican Stuffed Peppers are an amazingly flavorful main dish at my house. Loaded with rice, beans, veggies, and warm seasonings, they are hearty and perfect for family dinners and even entertaining guests.

These vegan stuffed peppers are scrumptiously colorful and tender. They are filled with delicious veggies and rice and topped with my Vegan Mozzarella Cheese. Add a dollop of this 5-Minute Vegan Sour Cream to kick it up another notch.

Ingredients for Mexican stuffed peppers

  • Bell Peppers– You really can use any color of peppers. My favorites are red and yellow because they make such a bright colorful dish.
  • Brown Rice- Other types of rice can also be used. I just prefer the heartier brown rice because it has a nutritional edge over white rice due to it being a whole grain.
  • Black Beans- I really like to use black beans, but other varieties such as pintos and kidney beans could also be used. Using beans instead of ground beef or chicken keeps this recipe completely vegan, oil-free, and gluten-free.
  • Fire-Roasted Tomatoes- Fresh tomatoes or canned diced tomatoes can also be used, but the fire-roasted variety adds so much more flavor in my opinion.
  • Spices- It’s the smoked paprika, cumin, and chili powder that really warm this recipe up. I also include garlic powder and onion powder. To heat up the spice, add red pepper flakes.

Cutting the peppers

Cutting the bell peppers is really simple and only takes a few minutes. First, make sure that they are clean, and then slice them in half and remove the seeds.

There are three different ways you can slice the peppers that work well.

  1. Slice lengthwise through the middle of the stem and down through the pepper. Personally, I really like this option best because it looks neat having the stem still attached.
  2. Cut the top off of the bell pepper similar to cutting a pumpkin to be used as a jack-o’-lantern. This leaves lots of room for filling and stuffing and is a good option if you want to make a main dish out of them.
  3. Simply cut the pepper through the middle seperating the top of the pepper from the bottom. This creates two halves that will sit flat on the pan.

How to make stuffed peppers Mexican-style

Begin by first roasting the bell peppers. This is an important step to get the peppers tender and bring out that sweet roasted flavor.

Roasting the peppers (precooking)

To do this, preheat the oven to 400°F and place the halved peppers cut-side-up in a baking dish and add about 1/4 cup water to help prevent sticking. Bake for approximately 20 minutes to the point where the peppers begin to brown a little around the edges. While they are roasting is a good time to prepare the stuffing.

Making the stuffing

This recipe is great for using leftover rice because it’s already cooked and saves a step. If you don’t already have cooked rice on hand, you’ll need to make some for this stuffing.

Saute the diced onions and garlic in approximately 3 tablespoons vegetable broth or water. As the onions begin to brown, add a little more broth as needed to prevent sticking.

If using canned beans, drain and rinse them before adding them to the pan with the onions. Go ahead and add the cooked brown rice, fire-roasted tomatoes with their juice, and spices.

Stir the stuffing seasonings and mix well. Next, toss in fresh cilantro and mix it well to distribute it nicely. Remove from heat and get ready to stuff the peppers.

Once the baked peppers are cool enough to handle, it’s time to stuff them. You may notice that there is excess water in the pepper halves, and you’ll want to use a paper towel to soak up that moisture before adding the filling.

Fill each of the roasted bell pepper halves with the stuffing until they are heaped up. Serve as is, or add any toppings desired. I’ve listed some of my favorites below.

Topping ideas

There are SO many options for toppings if you want to really dress these stuffed bell peppers up. My favorites are homemade vegan cheeses like Mozzarella and Nacho Cheese. More great topping ideas include sour cream, fresh cilantro, avocado slices, and jalapeno.

Special tips & suggestions

  • Precooking Peppers- Though some recipes don’t call for precooking the bell peppers and others suggest boiling them, I highly suggested pre-roasting them instead. Roasting brings out a robust flavor that can’t be achieved by boiling, and precooking the pepper makes for a much more tender dish.
  • Watery Peppers- After roasting the peppers, you will likely notice a little water in each of the halves due to the pepper releasing some of its water content during the cooking process. Simply use a paper towel to blot them dry before stuffing.
  • Baking Twice- Some recipes call for returning the stuffed peppers to the oven to cook a second time after stuffing them, but I haven’t found this to be beneficial. The only reason I can see to cook them twice would be if you wanted to melt or brown the cheese a little bit. These can be prepared 24-hours ahead of time and reheated in the oven later.
  • Cilantro Haters- I happen to absolutely love cilantro but understand some folks don’t share my passion for it. The cilantro can be left out completely or substitute parsley for a topping instead.
  • Variation- For those that love bell peppers, try my Stuffed Bell Peppers recipe that is stuffed with a wild rice blend and terrific for holiday dinners.

Recipes that pair well with Mexican stuffed peppers

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Mexican Stuffed Peppers (Vegan)

Mexican Stuffed Peppers (Vegan)

Yield: 4 servings
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes

Mexican Stuffed Peppers are an amazingly flavorful main dish at my house. Loaded with rice, beans, veggies, and warm seasonings, they are hearty and perfect for family dinners and even entertaining guests.

Ingredients

  • 2 large red, yellow, or green bell peppers
  • 1 cup brown rice, cooked
  • 1.5 cups cooked black beans (or 15 oz can, drained)
  • 15 oz can fire-roased tomatoes, with juice
  • 3/4 cup onions, diced
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1.5 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped

Vegan Queso Cheese (optional)

Instructions

    1. Wash the peppers and then slice them in half and remove the seeds. In the post above, I list 3 different options for ways to slice them.
    2. To roast the peppers, preheat the oven to 400°F and place the halved peppers cut-side-up in a baking dish and add about 1/4 cup water to help prevent sticking. Bake for approximately 20 minutes to the point where the peppers begin to brown a little around the edges. While they are roasting is a good time to prepare the stuffing.

    Making the Stuffing

    1. This recipe is great for using leftover rice because it’s already cooked and saves a step. If you don’t already have cooked rice on hand, you’ll need to make some for this stuffing.
    2. Saute the diced onions and garlic in approximately 3 tablespoons vegetable broth or water. As the onions begin to brown, add a little more broth as needed to prevent sticking.
    3. If using canned beans, drain and rinse them before adding them to the pan with the onions. Go ahead and add the cooked brown rice, fire-roasted tomatoes with the juice, and spices.
    4. Stir the stuffing seasonings and mix well. Next, toss in fresh cilantro and mix it well to distribute it nicely. Remove from heat and get ready to stuff the peppers.
    5. Once the baked peppers are cool enough to handle, it’s time to stuff them. You may notice that there is excess water in the pepper halves, and you’ll want to use a paper towel to soak up that moisture before adding the filling.
    6. Fill each of the roasted bell pepper halves with the stuffing until they are heaped up. Serve as is, or add any toppings such as homemade vegan cheeses like Mozzarella and Nacho Cheese. More great topping ideas include sour cream, fresh cilantro, avocado slices, and jalapeno.

    Queso Cheese (optional)

    1. Begin by deciding whether you would like to use raw cashews or white beans for the base. Personally, I love the cashew version because the flavor is out of this world. However, I understand completely that some folks have nut allergies or heart disease and are staying away from nuts.
    2. If you are using cashews, you'll need to soak them in very hot water for 1 hour or overnight or at least 6 hours in cool water.
    3. If you're using white beans, they will need to be cooked first unless they are from a can. If they are from a can, remember to drain the liquid and rinse them well.
    4. Once the cashews have soaked and become softened, add all of the ingredients to a blender and process on high until smooth.
    5. Next, simply pour the blended cheese ingredients from the blender or food processor into a saucepan. Begin slowly heating and whisking together as it warms. This will happen quite quickly. Do not leave it unattended because it needs to be stirred nearly constantly until it reaches the desired thickness and stretchiness.


Notes

Special tips & suggestions

  • Precooking Peppers- Though some recipes don’t call for precooking the bell peppers and others suggest boiling them, I highly suggested pre-roasting them instead. Roasting brings out a robust flavor that can’t be achieved by boiling, and precooking the pepper makes for a much more tender dish.
  • Watery Peppers- After roasting the peppers, you will likely notice a little water in each of the halves due to the pepper releasing some of its water content during the cooking process. Simply use a paper towel to blot them dry before stuffing them.
  • Baking Twice- Some recipes call for returning the stuffed peppers to the oven to cook a second time after stuffing them, but I haven’t found this to be beneficial. The only reason I can see to cook them twice would be if you wanted to melt or brown the cheese a little bit. These can be prepared 24-hours ahead of time and reheated in the oven later.
  • Cilantro Haters- I happen to absolutely love cilantro but understand some folks don’t share my passion for it. The cilantro can be left out completely or substitute parsley for a topping instead.
  • Dishes to Pair with Peppers- There are plenty of dishes that compliment Mexican stuffed peppers such as Mexican CornVegan Nachos, and Tacos.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 200Total Fat: 1.5gTrans Fat: 0gCarbohydrates: 33gFiber: 6.4gSugar: 7.5gProtein: 5.4g

To obtain the most accurate representation of the nutritional information in a given recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe, using your preferred nutrition calculator. You are solely responsible for ensuring that any nutritional information provided is accurate, complete, and useful.

Did you make this recipe?

Please rate and leave a comment because I love hearing from you. Remember SHARING IS CARING!

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Sue

Thursday 30th of September 2021

Best recipe ever!!!queso cashew cheese sauce amazing!!!

Terri Edwards

Thursday 30th of September 2021

Hi Sue- WOOHOO! I'm so glad that you liked this. We use the queso on a lot of other dishes too.

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