Southwest Beef & Quinoa Stuffed Peppers

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

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

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

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, 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. 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.
  2. Rinse your quinoa – It gets rid of any bitterness.
  3. Spray your pot (or Instant Pot) with oil – It cuts down on foaming and prevents sticking.
  4. Add a pinch of salt to flavor your quinoa right from the get go.

Close up of stuffed pepper half with fork in it.

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 make a hearty, healthy, protein packed meal that's amazingly delicious and quick and easy to prepare.

Southwest Beef & Quinoa Stuffed Peppers

Course: Entree
Cuisine: Southwest
Keyword: healthy, quinoa, stuffed pepeprs
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Servings: 4
Calories: 671 kcal
Author: Erin
These Southwest Beef & Quinoa Stuffed Peppers make a hearty, healthy, protein packed meal that's amazingly delicious and quick and easy to prepare.
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Ingredients

  • 1 ½ cups bone broth or chicken stock
  • ¾ cup Bob's Red Mill Organic Quinoa Grain
  • 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

Instructions

  1. 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). 

  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Fill peppers with beef mixture and sprinkle with cheese. Bake 10 minutes. Serve with lime wedges on the side.

Recipe Notes

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. 

Nutrition Facts
Southwest Beef & Quinoa Stuffed Peppers
Amount Per Serving
Calories 671 Calories from Fat 369
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 41g 63%
Saturated Fat 15g 75%
Cholesterol 105mg 35%
Sodium 440mg 18%
Potassium 1102mg 31%
Total Carbohydrates 40g 13%
Dietary Fiber 7g 28%
Sugars 7g
Protein 37g 74%
Vitamin A 57.2%
Vitamin C 254.4%
Calcium 32.7%
Iron 36.5%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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. 

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

Looking for more quinoa recipes? Be sure to try these too: 

Taco Quinoa & Turkey Lettuce Wraps

Taco Quinoa & Turkey Lettuce Wraps make a hearty, healthy, protein packed meal that’s amazingly delicious and quick and easy to prepare. They’re perfect for meal prep too.

Chicken Gyro Quinoa Bowl

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Southwest Beef & Quinoa Stuffed Peppers make a hearty, healthy, protein packed meal that's amazingly delicious and quick and easy to prepare. #stuffedpeppers #quinoa #beefstuffedpeppers #quinoastuffedpeppers #healthydinner #mealprep

28 comments

  1. Kristen Chidsey

    Erin, It is so funny–I too, am a weeknight cook. I spend weekends eating leftovers, grilling out, or socializing. So this is perfect for my family

    Reply

    1. Erin

      A girl after my own heart! Enjoy Kristen – And enjoy those weekends too 🙂

      Reply

  2. Amy

    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?

    Reply

    1. Erin

      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.

      Reply

      1. Amy

        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!!

        Reply

        1. Erin

          I hope that you both enjoy Amy – I think that he’ll be just fine with the tomatoes in here – They’re really not too noticeable.

          Reply

  3. Nadia

    Can I use ground chicken instead ?

    Reply

  4. Kristin

    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?

    Reply

    1. Erin

      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.

      Reply

  5. Maria

    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.

    Reply

    1. Erin

      Love your idea to add some black beans in there Maria!

      Reply

  6. Steph B.

    Is there any nutritional information available for these, by chance? They look AWESOME!! 🙂

    Reply

  7. Mary Briggs

    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!!

    Reply

    1. Erin

      So glad to hear that you enjoyed them Mary – Your substitutions sound fantastic!

      Reply

  8. Rebekah

    These came out great! It’s different from how I usually make mine.

    Reply

  9. Sassy Barr

    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!

    Reply

    1. Erin

      So happy to hear that you liked them! Love your suggested additions of black beans and corn!

      Reply

  10. Anise

    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!

    Reply

    1. Erin

      I’m so happy to hear that you liked them Anise! I agree, they’re perfect leftover!

      Reply

  11. Mike from Chili Pepper Madness

    These look great! Stuffed peppers are definitely a favorite of mine. I LOVE the Southwest flavors.

    Reply

    1. Erin

      Thanks so much Mike! Cheers!

      Reply

  12. Kelsey

    Stuffed peppers are so fun to make, this combination looks great.

    Reply

  13. Anne

    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

    Reply

    1. Erin

      Hi Anne – Nope. You can just add them right in!

      Reply

  14. Kristina

    Thanks for this recipe, Erin! I will definitely have to try these but with lower sodium options. Any suggestions for substitutions?

    Reply

    1. Erin

      Hi Kristina – I would use low sodium chicken broth (or just water) and omit the salt.

      Reply

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