These Mexican Stuffed Peppers are loaded with vegetarian taco meat, quinoa, tomatoes and green chilies. Top them with shredded cheese and fresh cilantro, and cook them in the air fryer or oven for an easy vegetarian stuffed bell pepper recipe that will be a fiesta for your taste buds!
- Magnificent Mexican Stuffed Peppers
- Ingredients Needed to Make Vegetarian Mexican Stuffed Bell Peppers
- Health Benefits of Bell Peppers
- How Do You Cut Bell Peppers for Stuffing?
- How to Make Mexican Stuffed Peppers (2 Ways)
- Topping Ideas
- Serving Suggestions
- Make Ahead and Storage Options
- Common Questions About This Vegetarian Mexican Stuffed Peppers Recipe
- More Vegetarian Recipes
Magnificent Mexican Stuffed Peppers
Whether you’re looking for a new Meatless Monday option or a fun recipe to shake up taco night, this Mexican-inspired vegetarian stuffed bell pepper recipe always hits the spot! Loaded with our favorite vegetarian taco meat and all the best fillings, they’re literally bursting with flavor and are so easy to make! Sure to become a family favorite, these Mexican stuffed peppers:
- Require minimal prep time and have a total time of around an hour.
- Feature simple, nutritious ingredients and are vegan-friendly and nut-free.
- Are full of plant-based protein flavored with homemade taco seasoning.
- Cook in the air fryer or oven.
- Make 6 servings, and the recipe can easily be doubled to feed a crowd.
Ingredients Needed to Make Vegetarian Mexican Stuffed Bell Peppers
- Bell Peppers – We love red, yellow, and orange bell peppers as they have a sweeter flavor, but green peppers work well, too. If possible, look for large, firm peppers that are slightly shorter and rounder as they’re easier to stuff.
- Quinoa – Feel free to swap out the cooked quinoa for rice or cauliflower rice for an option low in carbohydrates.
- Vegetarian Taco Meat – We love to prepare a big batch of our vegetarian taco meat ahead of time for a variety of meals throughout the week.
Ingredient Swap: If preferred, you can use ground tempeh flavored with taco seasoning instead.
- Canned Tomatoes and Green Chilies – These help keep the filling moist while adding a bold, slightly spicy flavor.
- Cilantro – This helps balance out some of the warm spices, creating a refreshing, well-rounded flavor.
- Shredded Cheese – We love to use shredded Mexican cheese or Cheddar cheese, but any variety will work for extra flavor and a boost of calcium. Feel free to use a dairy-free cheese alternative instead, if needed.
Health Benefits of Bell Peppers
Peppers are great for stuffing because they hold their shape well and lend lots of flavor to whatever they’re paired with. However, those aren’t the only reasons we love them! Bell peppers are also full of health benefits. For instance, they’re:
- An excellent source of vitamin C, vitamin B6, vitamin E, and vitamin A.
- Rich in potassium and folate.
- Low-carb and full of fiber.
How Do You Cut Bell Peppers for Stuffing?
Learning how to slice a bell pepper for stuffing is easy!
- Use a paring knife to slice off the stem and top portion of the pepper.
- Carefully slice out the white veins and remove any seeds.
That’s it! Stand your peppers upright, and they’re ready to stuff.
How to Make Mexican Stuffed Peppers (2 Ways)
This vegetarian stuffed bell pepper recipe requires several steps, but they’re easy to prepare and bake quickly. And the wait is completely worth it!
Air Fryer Option
- Prepare the Peppers. Slice the peppers, remove any veins or seeds, and set the peppers aside.
- Combine the Filling. Stir the quinoa and part of the vegetarian taco meat together in a large bowl. Add the diced tomatoes and green chiles and part of the cilantro, and mix again.
Note: You will have extra taco meat. Save it for more bell peppers or meal prep for the week! You can warm leftovers in a large skillet over medium-high heat, and use them in tacos, salads, wraps, burritos, and more like you would with ground beef or ground turkey.
- Stuff the Peppers. Spoon the quinoa mixture into the bell peppers.
- Cook. Transfer the peppers to an oiled air fryer basket, and cook until they’re tender. Sprinkle the shredded cheese on top, and cook again until it is warm and melted.
- Serve. Top your peppers with cilantro and hot sauce, and dig in while they’re warm!
Follow steps 1-3 above, slicing the peppers and stuffing the peppers. Then, follow the steps below:
- Bake. Arrange the stuffed peppers in a baking dish or on a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil, and cover them with aluminum foil. Transfer the peppers to the oven until the peppers are tender.
- Top. Remove the foil, top the peppers with shredded cheese and cilantro, and continue to bake uncovered until the cheese is melted.
- Serve. Serve your Mexican stuffed peppers warm topped with cilantro and hot sauce, if desired.
These Mexican stuffed peppers are great on their own, but you can never go wrong with extra toppings! Some of our favorite additions include:
These Mexican stuffed peppers are a complete, filling meal on their own! However, if you want to bulk them up to feed a hungry crowd, try pairing them with sides like:
- Refried Beans or Black Beans
- Gluten-Free Cornbread
- Coconut Tortillas or Almond Flour Tortillas
- Chips and Salsa
Make Ahead and Storage Options
This vegetarian stuffed bell pepper recipe is best served right away while the peppers are still warm. The longer they sit, the more likely they are to become soggy.
That said, leftovers can be transferred to an airtight container and stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Or, prepare the “taco” meat and quinoa in advance, and keep them stored in separate airtight containers in the fridge for up to 3-5 days. Then, just assemble and bake your peppers in a casserole dish or on a baking sheet as normal!
We don’t recommend storing this recipe in the freezer as the peppers aren’t likely to thaw well. However, you can freeze the vegetarian taco meat.
Common Questions About This Vegetarian Mexican Stuffed Peppers Recipe
Authentic Mexican food often contains a variety of peppers like jalapeños, serrano pepper, and habanero peppers, but bell peppers aren’t typically present.
According to Kitchen Project, the first written documentation of stuffed bell peppers was in 1896 in The Origional Boston Cooking School Cookbook by Fannie Merrit Farmer. However, it is likely that the dish is much older than that!
You might sometimes see stuffed peppers referred to as chiles rellenos, which translates to stuffed peppers in Spanish.
No need to! They’ll roast in the oven with the rest of the ingredients, becoming vibrant and tender. However, if your peppers are extra large or super thick, you might want to steam them ahead of time to ensure they cook all the way through.
More of Our Favorite