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?
Another bonus? These quinoa stuffed peppers are just as good leftover. Kind of like a great chili, 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:
- Use high-quality quinoa. I always reach for Bob’s Red Mill Organic Quinoa Grain, my favorite brand that just so happens to be locally produced.
- Rinse your quinoa – It gets rid of any bitterness.
- Spray your pot (or Instant Pot) with oil – It cuts down on foaming and prevents sticking.
- Add a pinch of salt to flavor your quinoa right from the get go.
Want to Make Vegetarian Quinoa Stuffed Peppers?
To make these quinoa stuffed peppers vegetarian-friendly, just swap out the ground beef for a can of black beans and use vegetable stock instead of the chicken broth. It’s an amazing option to switch things up for #MeatlessMonday. I’ve tried both variations, and it’s hard to say which is my favorite…
Do you have any tips for weeknight cooking? Any favorite weeknight meals? I’d love to hear in the comments below!
Southwest Beef & Quinoa Stuffed Peppers
- 1 ½ cups bone broth or chicken stock
- ¾ cup Bob's Red Mill Organic Quinoa Grain
- 1 onion diced
- 4 green onions thinly sliced
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1 pound ground beef
- 2 red bell peppers halved and seeded
- 2 yellow bell peppers halved and seeded
- 1 14.5 oz . can diced tomatoes
- 1 cup grated Monterey Jack cheese
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil
- 1 ½ teaspoons . chili powder
- 1 ½ teaspoons . cumin
- ½ teaspoon . paprika
- ¼ teaspoon . cayenne
- Salt and pepper
- 2 limes cut into wedges
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Bring stock 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.
If you loved this 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.
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.
Disclosure: I teamed up with Bob’s Red Mill to bring you this post. As always, all opinions are my own.