Mexican Stuffed Peppers are a favorite dinner recipe! Sweet bell peppers are stuffed with a hearty mixture of vegetables, quinoa, beans, enchilada sauce and topped with cheese and a tortilla chip crumble! Great for meal prepping!
Kevin and I are in love with this Mexican Stuffed Peppers recipe! It’s delicious while also being on the healthier side of things. Plus it is packed with flavor!
Here at my house, we are all-in when it comes to Mexican inspired dinners. A little spicy heat, some cheese, lime zest, beans, corn…. you just can’t go wrong! But when it comes to nutrition, its easy for the calories to stack up. We tend to be generous with the cheese!!! So, I created this recipe to have all the flavor, but be more nutritious.
We’re watching our weight but we don’t want to miss out! You hear me? The way I make a recipe healthier is by adding a ton of flavorful vegetables to meals and making small ingredient swaps. You’re going to see that in many of my recipes. For instance, my pumpkin chicken chili and Italian chopped salad… when in doubt, add another vegetable or two and then throw in some beans or a whole grain.
This method always adds more flavor and depth to a recipe so I can cut down on things like cheese, fat and simple carbohydrates. So, this recipe includes complex carbohydrates… stuff like quinoa, black beans and sweet potato plus lots of peppers, onions and cilantro.
Of course, I still added cheese and enchilada sauce in moderation, but when you taste these stuffed peppers you won’t miss anything. You probably won’t even notice they’re naturally vegetarian!
What you will notice is the hint of lime zest, the sweetness of the corn, and the rich flavor of the homemade enchilada sauce. I added a little crunch with a tortilla chip crumble too. So delicious!
It’s become one of Kevin’s favorite dishes even though he’s a meat eater through and through! It’s seriously one of the few dishes he won’t complain about not having meat!
But I also think he likes this recipe because it’s great for meal prepping. You would think that dinners are easy around here. But the truth is we are like you. Making a homemade dinner can be a struggle. Kevin gets home late after commuting and I have so many things on my to do list, that dinner isn’t always a priority. It can be 8:30 and we are both at a loss for how to get dinner on the table.
So, these Mexican quinoa stuffed peppers are a godsend. They freeze well, reheat well as leftovers, and this one recipe makes six or more dinners for the two of us. We’ll make a batch and divide the stuffed peppers into pyrex dishes to bake later. Sometimes we serve them as a side dish but most often they are the main course for lunch or dinner. But if you’re into huevos rancheros, you might enjoy this recipe in the morning too. I sent a batch to my inlaws and they ate them with a fried egg for breakfast! Can’t believe I didn’t think of that myself!
Tips for making Mexican Stuffed Peppers
- You’ll need 12 medium sized sweet bell peppers. You can cut off the tops for 12 servings or slice them in half for 24 servings.
- Since the filling is mostly cooked, you do not need to cook the stuffed peppers before freezing them.
- Pack the peppers into your dish. Too much space and they tend to tip over. I find it helpful to arrange the peppers in the pan before stuffing them so I know how they’ll fit.
- Make the enchilada sauce in advance. I usually double the recipe, so I can freeze a batch for later.
- This is a great meal train recipe. I will usually deliver it frozen since it’s easy to bake from frozen.
- This recipe is naturally vegetarian and gluten free (make sure your tortilla chips are GF), so it’s a great dish for special diets.
- Want to make this recipe vegan? When making the enchilada sauce, sub the cream for coconut milk and omit the cheese.
- In a hurry? The food processor is your friend! Use it to chop the veggies and grate the cheese and sweet potato.
- I used a Zeroll disher to fill the peppers. Makes filling them quick and less messy. It’s also the perfect way to portion cupcakes.
Mexican Stuffed Peppers
- 1 cup quinoa
- 2 cups water
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 small onion , diced
- 2 poblanos , seeded and finely diced
- 2 large jalapenos , seeded and finely diced
- 1 cup sweet potato, grated
- 1 can black beans , drained and rinsed
- 2 cups grated pepper jack cheese (a Mexican cheese blend works too)
- 1 cup corn
- 1 bunch cilantro , stems finely chopped, leaves reserved for garnish
- zest of one lime
- 1 recipe roasted red pepper enchilada sauce , divided
- 12 large bell peppers , tops cut off and seeds removed
- 1 cup pepper jack cheese
- 1 cup crumbled tortilla chips (optional)
- Place quinoa, water and salt in a medium sized pot and bring to a boil.
- Once boiling, stir, reduce heat to low and cover with a lid. Cook until all water is absorbed, about 15 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 400F
- In a large dutch oven or pot, heat oil over medium heat.
- Add onion and saute until golden then add poblanos, jalapenos and sweet potato and cook until the vegetables are slightly tender.
- Turn off the heat and add quinoa, black beans, 2 cups grated cheese, corn, chopped cilantro stems, lime zest and two cups of enchilada sauce.
- Mix the filling well and season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Scoop stuffing into peppers, and top with a spoonful of enchilada sauce, then top with cheese and tortilla chips.
- Lightly oil a large casserole dish and pour the remaining enchilada sauce in the bottom of the dish. Place stuffed peppers on top and bake 25-30 minutes.
- Serve garnished with cilantro leaves and lime wedges.
- These peppers can be served as a main course or a side dish. Since one whole pepper is very filling, I suggest cutting the peppers in half (as pictured) if you plan to serve these Mexican Stuffed Peppers as a side.
- If you want a vegetarian dish, make sure to use vegetable stock in the roasted red pepper enchilada sauce.
- Short on time? Feel free to use store bought enchilada sauce. Since store bought can be saltier, omit the salt in the quinoa and salt to taste after combining filling ingredients.
- This recipe is very easy to freeze! Place uncooked stuffed peppers in a freezer/oven safe dish and tightly wrap. To bake, place the frozen peppers in a cold oven, turn on heat to 400F and bake until hot, about 45-60 minutes. (Why not preheat the oven? I typically use glass or ceramic dishes to freeze my casseroles and the dish has a much smaller chance of cracking if it slowly warms up. Placing a frozen dish in a hot oven can result in dinner disaster!)
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