Vegetarian Stuffed Peppers

Vegetarian Stuffed Peppers ~ why should meat eaters get all the comfort food? These colorful stuffed peppers are meatless and delicious!

Colorful vegetarian stuffed peppers
I have to laugh because, while I love fall and all the food that goes along with it, I couldn’t help but notice that my site was suddenly looking incredibly pale. My recent posts have featured food in fifty shades of beige. Yummy, yes, but it’s left me craving a shot of color. I was inspired to make these after stumbling on a treasure trove of bell peppers at the farmer’s market. Every year in late summer and early fall they show up in jewel tones that you don’t normally find, like chartreuse, burgundy, palest yellow and purple. Peppers are like zucchini, they just magically multiply at the end of the season. I buy them first, figure out what do to with them later. As far as brilliance and color variation, peppers can’t be beat.


It seemed a real shame to cut up such stunning specimens, so I left these bell peppers  intact and filled them with a vegetarian mix of rice and veggies. Stuffed peppers are one of my favorite comfort foods and a nice way to ease into fall cooking. They can be stuffed with any combination that you like. This recipe is just a suggestion.


I learned a neat trick when I made my Picadillo Stuffed Peppers. Before stuffing and baking the peppers you give them a slight charring on all sides by searing them on a hot grill or cast iron skillet. You can even do this right over an open flame. This gives them a nice visual appeal but also a little extra flavor boost. Even though they’ve recently found out that charred meat can be carcinogenic, charred vegetables are apparently perfectly ok. That’s great because I love the smokey flavor that a little bit of charring gives to this dish.


Colorful vegetarian stuffed peppers in a casserole dish

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Vegetarian Stuffed Peppers

Author Sue Moran


  • 5 colorful bell peppers try to find similar sized, round peppers that will sit upright
  • 1 cup cooked red rice or other grain such as farro, quinoa, barley, etc
  • olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1/2 onion finely chopped
  • 1 cup chopped potatoes
  • 1 parsnip peeled and diced
  • 1/2 tsp cumin seed
  • 1/2 tsp hot smoked paprika
  • 1/2 tsp chipotle chili powder or regular chili powder
  • 1 portobello mushroom diced
  • 1 small head of fennel finely chopped
  • 1-2 Tbsp tamari sauce
  • handful of fresh greens spinach, kale, or other chopped
  • 1 Tbsp fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • salt and pepper to taste

for garnish

  • crumbled feta goat, or queso fresco cheese
  • chopped parsley


  • Set the oven to 350F
  • Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large skillet. Saute the onion, garlic, potato, parsnip, and spices over medium heat for a few minutes until the onions are translucent and the potato and parsnip are beginning to soften.
  • Add the mushroom and the fennel to the pan and saute/stir-fry for about 15 minutes until the veggies are tender.
  • Season to taste with the tamari sauce, salt and pepper, and then mix in the chopped greens, thyne, the rice, and cheese. Set aside.
  • Trim the tops off your peppers, and gently scoop out the seeds and ribs. Set the peppers into a casserole so they fit snugly together. If they don't stand upright, trim the bottoms just a bit so they do.
  • Fill each pepper with the stuffing, right to the top, and even mound it a bit. (At this point you can refrigerate the peppers for a make a head meal.)
  • Pour a little water into the bottom of the pan, about 1/4 inch deep.
  • Cover the whole pan with foil,crimping the edges so the peppers will steam in the oven.
  • Cook for about 40 minutes, or until the peppers are tender. I like my peppers on the firm side, but if you like them softer, you may need extra time in the oven.
  • Serve with crumbled feta, goat, or queso fresco cheese on top, and a little parsley for fresh color.

notes and variations

Use any veggies you want in the stuffing, just make sure to taste as you go because the only risk in a dish like this is that it can be on the bland side. The spices and sharp cheddar help with that.
The nutritional information for recipes on this site is provided as a courtesy and although tries to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures are only estimates.


Thanks for pinning these Vegetarian Stuffed Peppers!

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  • Reply
    Laura (Tutti Dolci)
    September 20, 2013 at 9:36 pm

    I love stuffed peppers, these look so tasty!

  • Reply
    September 19, 2013 at 4:06 am

    It’s amazing how many pretty colors peppers can come in! And I love your vegetarian stuffing. So full of flavor!

  • Reply
    Denise @ magnoliaverandah
    September 18, 2013 at 9:29 pm

    What colours – I have never seen them so brilliant! Great dish for vegetarians, I haven’t baked peppers for ages. Maybe tonight!

  • Reply
    September 18, 2013 at 3:44 pm

    You’ve inspired me!
    Mary x

  • Reply
    September 18, 2013 at 1:09 pm

    What beautiful colours! I don’t think I’ve ever seen a purple pepper. It’s so inspiring seeing all the gorgeous fall produce coming into season! Filling sounds delicious – love the goats cheese top and the idea of charring them before cooking, I’ve never seen that before.

  • Reply
    September 18, 2013 at 12:53 pm

    Look at those colours. How glorious. Oh how I miss the Santa Monica Farmers Market. Gorgeous stuffing. The Viking would definitely approve.

  • Reply
    Kitchen Belleicious
    September 18, 2013 at 11:28 am

    i love how you gave them a good char before stuffing and baking them! IDEAL side in my opinion

    • Reply
      September 18, 2013 at 11:46 am

      I’ve become a maniac with the open flame, it makes everything taste better 🙂

  • Reply
    September 18, 2013 at 10:07 am

    This recipe looks delicious! Also inspired by the thought of stuffing them with ground lamb, fresh mint, eggplant and tomatoes among other things. Okay, well, that’s a totally different recipe from what you’ve posted but yours is the spring board and the pics, as always, are lovely!


    • Reply
      September 18, 2013 at 10:32 am

      I’m totally thinking in the lamb direction for the next ones, Rose!

  • Reply
    September 18, 2013 at 8:59 am

    this looks wonderful love those colorful peppers

  • Reply
    September 18, 2013 at 8:57 am

    What a great find! I’m growing some bell peppers, and they’re still different shades of green except a select few that are turning red. I can see why you decided to leave them whole with such stunning colors like that though and the filling sounds fantastic.

  • Reply
    [email protected] is How I Cook
    September 18, 2013 at 8:50 am

    Gorgeous colors more than make up for all that brown! And the recipe looks great. I love parsnips, too!

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