These Southwest Quinoa Stuffed Peppers with Beef make a hearty, healthy meal that’s amazingly delicious and quick and easy to prepare. The whole family will love them!
One of my key strategies to easy weeknight dinners is making just one dish that has the veggies, grains and protein all in one. A complete meal in one dish.
I seldom make side dishes.
These beef and quinoa stuffed peppers are just that type of dish. Plus, they’re a super healthy dinner recipe. With that quinoa stuffing, you get a boost of protein, iron and amino acids.
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?
These quinoa stuffed peppers are just as good leftover the next day.
Kind of like a great chili recipe, the flavors just mellow out together and they get even better the second time around. I like to make extras to have on hand for lunches throughout the week. These stuffed peppers are perfect for meal prep!
- Quinoa – try out my method of cooking quinoa in the instant pot
- Ground Beef – You can also use ground turkey or ground chicken.
- Bell Peppers – I prefer to use yellow + red peppers, but green, orange, even poblano peppers work
- Vegetable Broth – or Bone Broth or Chicken Broth
- Olive Oil
- Green Onions
- Garlic – or garlic powder
- Canned Black Beans – or kidney beans, pinto beans, or frozen corn
- Spices – I love to add in smoky spices: chili powder, cumin, paprika, and cayenne
- Canned Diced Tomatoes – I prefer to use petite diced tomatoes. You can also use fresh chopped tomato.
- Shredded Cheese – I like Monterey jack or substitute your favorite cheese blend, or swap in some vegan cheese shreds to make this meal vegan
How to make them
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Bring vegetable stock (or bone broth) and a pinch of salt to a boil in a small pot. Once boiling, add dry quinoa. Cover and cook on low heat for 15-20 minutes. Alternatively, you can make instant pot quinoa.
- Cook bell pepper halves on a baking tray until softened, about 15 minutes. You can line the baking sheet with parchment paper for easy cleanup.
- Meanwhile, saute onions, green onions and garlic. Add the ground beef, spices, and tomatoes. Let cook, breaking the meat apart with a spoon, until browned and cooked through. Add the tomatoes and black beans and warm through.
- Stir in cooked quinoa, and season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Fill peppers with quinoa mixture and sprinkle with cheese.
- Bake 10 minutes.
Tips to make perfect quinoa
- 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.
I like to prebake the peppers for about 15-minutes while the quinoa is cooking. This ensures that the peppers aren’t too crunchy and removes any excess liquids from the peppers before stuffing them.
With these quinoa filled peppers, I prefer to not cover the baking dish. This ensures that your peppers aren’t soggy, and the quinoa gets deliciously crispy.
By pre-baking the peppers (cut side down) before stuffing them, you will remove excess liquids from the peppers. Also, by baking the stuffed peppers uncovered, you will ensure that the peppers bake and become crispy, rather than steaming them if they were covered.
Yes! They make a great make ahead meal. You can pre-bake and stuff the peppers then cover them and store them in the refrigerator until ready to eat. Cook them in a 350-degree oven for 30-40 minutes, until heated through.
Definitely. These stuffed peppers will last in the freezer for up to three months. Simply stuff the peppers and wrap them tightly with plastic wrap. When you’re ready to eat them, thaw them in a baking dish in the refrigerator overnight. Once thawed, bake in a 350-degree oven for 30-40 minutes, until heated through.
- Vegetarian – You can leave out the meat in this recipe for a vegetarian version.
- Vegan – Swap in some vegan cheese shreds.
- Rice – Swap in white rice or brown rice for the quinoa.
- Corn – Add in some frozen corn kernels for an extra pop of flavor.
- Poblano Peppers – Similar to these, you can use poblano peppers instead of bell peppers for a little extra heat.
- Toppings – Try topping your peppers with pico de gallo, fresh cilantro, hot sauce, greek yogurt, cilantro lime crema, or regular or vegan sour cream. Or, try one of these 10+ sauces for stuffed peppers.
Also, be sure to give my Easy Stuffed Poblano Peppers with Lime Crema a try!
- Zinfandel, Malbec and Merlot – Red wines with a hint of sweetness to them tend to pair well with this hearty, spice-forward dish.
More quinoa recipes
- Sweet Potato Buddha Bowls
- Chicken Gyro Quinoa Bowl
- Breakfast Cookies with Quinoa
- Cauliflower Salad with Roasted Chickpeas & Quinoa
- Creamy Quinoa Soup
- Quinoa Taco Bowls
- More → 35+ BEST quinoa recipes
More ways to cook peppers
- Stuffed Cherry Peppers
- Grilled Peppers
- Stuffed Poblano Peppers
- Asian Vegetable Stir Fry
- More → 27+ Bell Pepper Recipes
What to serve with them
- Avocado Chickpea Salad
- Instant Pot Black Beans
- Vinegar Coleslaw
- Kale Caesar Salad
- MORE → 30+ sides for stuffed peppers.
Be sure to check out these 10+ sauces for stuffed peppers too.
Did you try these Stuffed Peppers with Quinoa and Beef?
If you loved these beef and quinoa stuffed peppers 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.
Stuffed Peppers with Quinoa & Beef
- 1 ½ cups vegetable broth (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 (divided )
- Salt and pepper
- 1 onion (diced)
- 4 green onions (thinly sliced)
- 3 cloves garlic (minced)
- 1 pound lean ground beef
- 1 ½ teaspoons chili powder
- 1 ½ teaspoons cumin
- ½ teaspoon paprika
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne (optional )
- 1 14.5 oz. ounce can black beans
- 1 14.5 oz. ounce can petite diced tomatoes
- 1 cup grated Monterey Jack cheese
- 2 limes (cut into wedges, for serving)
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Bring vegetable stock (or 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 , about 15 minutes.
- Meanwhile, heat the remaining 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. Stir in the ground beef, chili powder, cumin, paprika and cayenne and cook, breaking up with a spoon, until the meat is browned and cooked.
- Add in beans and tomatoes and let simmer for 5 minutes. Stir in cooked quinoa and season with salt and pepper, to taste.
- Fill peppers with quinoa mixture and sprinkle with cheese. Bake 15 minutes. Serve with lime wedges on the side.
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