Stuffed peppers are a classic. Almost everyone loves them…as long as they’re stuffed right. There are thousands of options (literally…go search Pinterest if you’re bored), but my current favorite is this quinoa and beef stuffed version. Even if you’ve never eaten quinoa, TRY it! However, if you really don’t want to, try white or brown rice instead.
My favorite features of this recipe?
• Healthy. Very healthy. One of my lowest calorie recipes.
• Filling. I’m not sure if it’s eating the entire pepper, or the beef is filling, or maybe the quinoa…but this is very filling.
• No side dish required. I sometimes whip up small side salads to go with it, but it’s not really needed. This pepper includes your veggies, and with the quinoa, a grain side seems redundant.
• Delicious. That goes without saying.
Now, a question for you, my dear readers. What is your favorite filling for stuffed peppers? I’ve been looking at some other options…the jalapeno version looks good. Please comment at the bottom!
If you’re looking for other healthy recipes:
• “Smothered Zucchini“. StumbleUpon seems to like this recipe- it got 1,500 views! It’s also one of my favorite dishes. Husband and I look forward to summer when the great big zucchinis are available.
• “Baked Tilapia Veracruz” is a good option- it’s under 1,000 calories for THE ENTIRE DISH.
• “Skinny Bell Pepper Nachos” are fabulous. I even eat them for a meal rather than just as a snack.
A couple quick notes:
• Melting the cheese on the top is optional. My husband loves it. I can take it or leave it.
• Fill free to mix up the fillings. If your family hates black beans, use something else (corn, maybe) or skip it entirely. That’s what’s so fabulous about stuffed peppers- you really can stuff them with almost anything.
• If you don’t want quinoa, substitute half the amount in breadcrumbs. Or use white or brown rice.
Easy Quinoa & Beef Stuffed Peppers
- 8 bell peppers (red, green, and yellow/orange) large
- 1 lb. ground beef
- 1 cup cooked quinoa
- 1/2 cup white onion diced
- 1 large tomato diced
- 1 cup black beans (canned) rinsed and drained
- 1/2 cup mushroom diced
- 2 cup marinara/red sauce
- 1 & 1/2 tsp Italian seasoning
- 1/2 tsp oregano
- 1/2 tsp chili powder
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
- 1/2-1 cup shredded cheese Cheddar or Mexican blend suggested
- Mise en place. Cook quinoa. (Note that you will only need 1/3 to 1/2 cup dry to yield 1 cup cooked). At same time, brown beef. Drain.
- Pre-heat oven to 375°.
- Prep peppers. Cut off tops. Clean out seeds. Wash well. Place whole peppers upright in a greased glass baking dish.
- Take the tops of the peppers. Discard stem section. Dice remaining pepper.
- For stuffing: mix together cooked ground beef, cooked quinoa, onions, and all other ingredients in the "peppers" section. Stir in previously diced pepper tops.
- Stuff peppers to overflowing.
- For sauce: mix together all ingredients in the "sauce" section. Spoon mixed sauce over stuffed peppers.
- Bake at 375° for one hour, covering last 20 minutes if needed to prevent over-browning. Sauce should be bubbling and peppers slightly tender.
- Optional: Remove foil (if used). Sprinkle desired amount of cheese on top of peppers. Return pan to oven for 5 minutes or until cheese is just melted.