These vegetarian stuffed peppers are full of healthy vegetables like tomatoes, cilantro, corn, green chiles and onions, packed with rice, black beans and all mixed together with a delicious taco seasoning. They’re easy to make for a weeknight meal, and to store and reheat for meal prep! They’re gluten-free, vegan and vegetarian, and can be made dairy-free! It’s a budget friendly recipe the whole family will love.
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Ingredients in Meatless Mexican Stuffed Peppers
There are two categories of ingredients you’ll need to make these meatless stuffed peppers. The first being pantry ingredients. Those include white rice, vegetable broth, canned diced tomatoes, canned green chiles, frozen or canned corn, and canned black beans. You’ll also need taco seasoning, which is very easy to make yourself following this homemade recipe, which is also listed in the notes section down below.
Then you will need your fresh ingredients, which are the diced onion, cilantro, shredded cheese (or vegan/dairy-free cheese), and bell peppers. One diced bell pepper does go into the filling, and the rest of the peppers will be used for stuffing. For stuffed peppers, I prefer red bell peppers but if you wanted a more mild tasting pepper, green bell peppers would be a great option.
Step by Step Cooking Instructions
The first step will be to cook and season your rice and vegetables. To do this, you’ll add the rice, diced green chiles, diced tomatoes, diced bell pepper and the taco seasoning to a large stock pot over medium high heat. Pour your broth into the pot and give it a good stir to combine everything. You will bring this to a boil, and then reduce the heat to medium while covering. This will then simmer for about 20 minutes, or until the rice is fully cooked.
While the rice is cooking, preheat your oven to 400 degrees F. and start prepping your peppers. To prep the bell peppers, you will cut them in half lengthwise. Scoop or cut out the seeds and discard them. Gather a large baking dish, such as a casserole pan, and a large spoon you’ll need for packing the rice mixture into your peppers.
Then once the rice is fully cooked, your next step will be to dump in the corn and black beans along with the cilantro and stir those ingredients in with your rice mixture. When everything is combined together, bring your peppers over and begin packing the rice and vegetable filling into each bell pepper half.
Use the back of the spoon to really pack the filling in as much as possible. When each half is filled, place them gently into your baking dish. Repeat this process until all of the bell pepper halves are packed full and in your dish. If you’re using cheese, top each half with a good sprinkle prior to baking.
Then you will want to cover the dish with tin foil, and place the covered stuffed peppers into the oven. They will bake covered for 30 minutes, and then you will need to remove the tin foil and bake for an additional 10 to 15 minutes until the cheese is melted and bubbling.
These meatless Mexican stuffed peppers are so delicious with many different toppings. When serving, you can top them with salsa, guacamole, diced avocado, additional cilantro or chopped onion, jalapeños, (dairy-free) sour cream, black olives, pico or diced tomatoes, really you name it! They’re so fun to make your own and you can set up toppings so your family or kids can choose themselves!
Storing and Freezing Stuffed Peppers
To store in the refrigerator, you will first want to make sure the stuffed peppers have cooled completely. Then you’ll need to place them carefully in an airtight container. I like to layer a paper towel or two on the bottom of the container to collect any of the excess moisture that will be released from the pepper so it doesn’t get too soggy. They are good in the fridge for up to one week.
I really like freezing stuffed peppers after I’ve cooked them, and freezing them in individual portions. To freeze your stuffed peppers and avoid freezer burn, you need to wrap each one in plastic wrap and ensure that no part of the pepper is exposed to air. Then wrap them in tinfoil, and store in an airtight, freezer safe container.
This is ideal because then they are stored all together, and you can just pull out the amount you want to thaw and reheat. These are best reheated in the oven on a baking sheet. Simply let them thaw overnight and then bake on 400 degrees for about 20 minutes, until they’re heated through and cheese is bubbling.
Substitutions and Additions
If you’re not strictly keeping it vegan and vegetarian, you can substitute vegetable broth for chicken stock or broth. You can also add in cooked ground turkey, chicken or beef. If you add a pound of ground meat, you will want to have two additional peppers to stuff, as that will increase the bulk amount of the filling.
This recipe is also really flexible in that you can change out or add any vegetables you prefer or may have on hand to use. You can add vegetables such as spinach, chives, peas, small diced sweet potatoes or russet potatoes. Really most vegetables will work, with the exception of vegetables that have a high water content like zucchini. These can make the stuffed peppers too soggy while baking.
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PS. If you’ve made this recipe, don’t forget to rate this recipe and let me know in the comments how you liked it!
- 2.5 cups vegetable broth
- 1.5 cups white rice, uncooked
- 1 (14 ounce) can diced tomatoes, with liquid
- 1 (4 ounce) can diced green chilies
- 1 medium onion, finely diced
- 1 bell pepper, diced (red or green)
- 3 tablespoons taco seasoning (See notes for homemade option)
- 1/3 cup chopped cilantro
- 1 cup corn (canned or frozen)
- 1 (14 ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed
- 3 large red bell peppers, cut in half lengthwise and seeds removed
- 1 cup shredded pepper jack or shredded mozzarella (vegan, or your preference)
- Cilantro and avocado for garnish
- Add broth, rice, diced tomatoes, diced green chilies, diced pepper, diced onion, and taco seasoning to a large skillet over medium-high heat. Stir to combine and bring to a simmer
- Once simmering, reduce the heat to low and cover. Cook for 20-25 minutes, or until rice is fully cooked. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
- Once the rice is cooked, stir in the cilantro, corn and beans. With a large spoon, scoop the rice mixture into the halved bell peppers. Use the back of the spoon to pack as much as you can into each pepper
- When each half is filled, place into a large baking dish. Continue doing this until all 6 halves are filled and arranged in your baking dish. Top with shredded cheese
- Cover the baking dish with foil and bake for 30 minutes. After the 30 minutes, remove the foil and bake an additional 10-15 minutes, until cheese is bubbly.
- Top with the optional garnishes and serve
Homemade taco seasoning option: (Recipe link here)
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon paprika
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- ¼ teaspoon onion powder
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne
- ¼ teaspoon oregano
Keywords: gluten-free, vegetarian, meatless recipes, stuffed peppers, dairy-free, vegan recipes, meal prep recipes, freezer friendly
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