Quinoa Stuffed Peppers with Ground Beef + VIDEO

These Southwest Beef & Quinoa Stuffed Peppers make a hearty, healthy, protein packed meal that’s amazingly delicious and quick and easy to prepare.

I’m a weeknight cook – almost exclusively. The weekends are reserved for spending time at the beach, or trying out one of the year’s Top 50 Restaurants in Portland (currently we’ve only hit up about 15 of them). And, in all honesty, I’ve probably only made breakfast a handful of times.

Because of that, I like my meals to be quick and easy to prepare, without tasting like they are. One of my key strategies is making just one dish that has the veggies, grains and protein all in one. I seldom make side dishes.

These Southwest Beef & Quinoa Stuffed Peppers are just that type of dish – They’re almost deceptively healthy because by mixing in the quinoa with the ground beef, you get an extra dose of protein, iron and amino acids. Plus, if you’ve got any quinoa haters in your family, I promise, they’ll barely even notice it in this dish. What they will notice is how cute these little stuffed peppers are with their tasty spices and all that melty cheese. Who doesn’t love melty cheese?

Ingredients for quinoa stuffed peppers.

Another bonus? These quinoa stuffed peppers are just as good leftover. Kind of like a great chili recipe, the flavors just mellow out together and they get even better the next day. I like to make extras to have on hand for lunches throughout the week. Perfect for meal prep!

When I originally wrote this recipe, it was prior to me owning an Instant Pot. But now that I own one, it’s definitely my preferred method of cooking the quinoa for these stuffed peppers. Regardless of which method you use, here a few tips to making perfect quinoa…

Key Tips to Cook Perfect Quinoa: 

  1. Rinse your quinoa – It gets rid of any bitterness.
  2. Spray your pot (or Instant Pot) with oil – It cuts down on foaming and prevents sticking.
  3. Add a pinch of salt to flavor your quinoa right from the get go.
Close up of stuffed pepper half with fork in it.


  • Turkey Quinoa Stuffed Peppers: Swap in some ground turkey for the ground beef.
  • Vegetarian Stuffed Peppers with Quinoa: Swap out the ground beef for a can of black beans and use vegetable stock instead of the chicken broth.

Also, be sure to give my Easy Stuffed Poblano Peppers with Lime Crema a try!

If you loved this Quinoa Stuffed Pepper recipe I would appreciate it so much if you would give it a star review! Also, be sure to snap a picture of your finished dish and share it with me on Instagram using the hashtag #platingsandpairings and tagging me @platingsandpairings.

For more great Platings and Pairings recipes, be sure to follow me on Pinterest, Facebook, YouTube and Twitter.

More quinoa recipes:

Wine Pairings for Stuffed Peppers:

  • Zinfandel, Malbec and Merlot – Red wines with a hint of sweetness to them tend to pair well with this hearty, spice-forward dish.

Quinoa Stuffed Peppers Recipe

Southwest Beef & Quinoa Stuffed Peppers make a hearty, healthy, protein packed meal that's amazingly delicious and quick and easy to prepare.

Southwest Beef & Quinoa Stuffed Peppers

These Southwest Beef & Quinoa Stuffed Peppers make a hearty, healthy, protein packed meal that’s amazingly delicious and quick and easy to prepare.
4.02 from 54 votes
Print Pin
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Servings: 4


  • 1 ½ cups bone broth (or chicken stock)
  • ¾ cup quinoa (uncooked)
  • 2 red bell peppers (halved and seeded)
  • 2 yellow bell peppers (halved and seeded)
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 onion (diced)
  • 4 green onions (thinly sliced)
  • 2 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 ½ teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 ½ teaspoons cumin
  • ½ teaspoon paprika
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne
  • 1 14.5 ounce can diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup grated Monterey Jack cheese
  • 2 limes (cut into wedges)


  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Bring broth and a pinch of salt to a boil in a small pot. Once boiling, add quinoa. Cover and cook on low heat for 15-20 minutes. Alternatively, you can cook it in the Instant Pot (see notes). 
  • Arrange the pepper halves on a baking sheet and drizzle with 1 Tbsp. olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake until softened , 7-10 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, heat 1 Tbsp. olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onions, green onions and garlic, cook for 4-5 minutes, until softened. Add ground beef and break up as it browns, 3-4 minutes. Stir in chili powder, cumin, paprika and cayenne and cook for an additional 30 seconds. Add in tomatoes and let simmer for 5 minutes. Stir in cooked quinoa and season with salt and pepper.
  • Fill peppers with beef mixture and sprinkle with cheese. Bake 10 minutes. Serve with lime wedges on the side.


Have an Instant Pot? Try cooking your quinoa in there! It’s my favorite way to cook quinoa now. Find the simple instructions here
Did you make this recipe?Mention @platingsandpairings or tag #platingsandpairings!


Calories: 671kcal | Carbohydrates: 40g | Protein: 37g | Fat: 41g | Saturated Fat: 15g | Cholesterol: 105mg | Sodium: 440mg | Potassium: 1102mg | Fiber: 7g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 2860IU | Vitamin C: 209.9mg | Calcium: 327mg | Iron: 6.6mg

40 thoughts on “Quinoa Stuffed Peppers with Ground Beef + VIDEO”

  1. These look divine! I’ve been wanting to try stuffed peppers for so long & have yet to. So I finally put these on my dinner list for the week! I do have a question tho, can I skip the tomatoes or do they give great flavor? My husband hates tomatoes (I know, he’s cray!). Or can you barely notice they’re in there in case I do sneak em in?

    • I barely notice the tomatoes Amy – Does he not like tomato sauce either? If he does, you could just sneak in a bit of tomato sauce instead of the tomatoes. Otherwise, go ahead and leave them out entirely. They should be fine without the tomatoes, but they may be a bit more dry.

      • Thank you for the reply! He likes tomato sauce, juice, soup, etc. He just doesn’t like the texture of tomatoes. So I’ll put them in, I’ll just put them in my chopper first 🙂 Can’t wait to make them this week!!

  2. 5 stars
    Do you think these would hold up well as a freezer meal? Would you prepare as described then freeze before you bake the last 10 mins?

    • Hi Kristin – You can make and freeze the peppers in advance. Freeze the unbaked peppers (without cheese), then thaw them in fridge for 24 hours. Bake the peppers once thawed. Add 5 minutes to the cooking time, then add the cheese as above.

  3. 5 stars
    these were amazing-I used Pepper jack rather than Monterey Jack. Also added black beans to the meat mixture which was good also. I had enough filling for 7 peppers halved. What a great recipe.

  4. 5 stars
    Oh, my goodness! I made these peppers for dinner tonight and they were delicious! I didn’t have all of the exact ingredients, so I made substitutions. My husband and I are vegetarians, so I used Morning Star Farms veggie crumbles instead of hamburger; a leek instead of green onions; mild cheddar for the Monterey Jack; and turmeric instead of cumin. So darned yummy and filling! I have enough leftovers for another meal. This was our complete, well-rounded meal tonight, along with a kosher dill pickle, lol. Fiber; a complete protein, healthy veggies; calcium; lots of vitamins and minerals; and healthy fat in the olive oil. Buon cibo!!

  5. 5 stars
    Made these for the first time tonight. My husband (and I) are raving about the flavor! Looser and tastier than my traditional stuffed peppers. They were easy to make too. Next time I’ll add corn and maybe black beans. Thanks so much!

      • 5 stars
        I never really reply to these threads but I always use black beans and corn. I’ll make a giant batch for a party and do 2 sheet pans. I bake them right together so it’s almost like a casserole.

        To add to the quinoa cooking tips. I was taught by my Philippino grandmother to put a clean kitchen towel over the pot after the boil and put the lid back on. Then turn off the heat. In twenty minutes with no peeking you have perfect quinoa rice or any other long grain. The towel absorbs the extra condensation so things don’t get soggy.

  6. 5 stars
    This was delicious! The quinoa added an earthy goodness that was tasty and filling. I’m so glad that it made so much that I’ll have portions to take for lunches! My husband ate the leftover filling out of the container! Thank you for this recipe, we will use this for beef tacos!

  7. Erin — if substituting black beans for beef in this recipe, do you need to cook or heat the beans at all before stuffing the peppers? Thanks! Anne

  8. 5 stars
    Made these for dinner tonight. Meat version for my husband and just substituted the ground beef for black beans. Was sooo delicious!!!

  9. 5 stars
    Really great and easy! Loved the flavor combination. I have a kiddo who can’t eat the peppers so I kept some filling aside and she had it in lettuce wraps! Worked like a dream! Thanks so very much!!

  10. Hi Erin, I made these tonight. Your recipe calls for 3/4 cup of quinoa, but you don’t mention whether you mean cooked quinoa or not. 3.4 cup of dry quinoa would be 2 1/4 cup of dry quinoa. I used 3/4 cup of cooked, which after watching your video, I’m thinking I could have used more. Would you kindly specify so I’ll know when making them again. I’m sure I will. Thanks so much!

    • Hi Robin – Thanks for pointing this out! The quinoa is uncooked (and cooked in step 1). I’ve updated the ingredients list to make that more clear! Thanks so much for stopping by!

  11. 5 stars
    This is definitely a delicious meal – so east to make! First time last night, next time will be within a week! I made it exactly the way suggested, I always do the first time ….. love the kick it has and the only thing I will try adding is some jalapeños! I also made some using sweet baby peppers and will do this for appetizers for our next party!


Leave a Comment

Recipe Rating

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.