Fall/ Gluten Free/ Main Dishes/ Summer/ Vegetarian

Quinoa and Mushroom Stuffed Peppers

September 30, 2020

If you are running out of meat-free meal ideas, this is a great choice to add to your dinner options. These vegetarian mushroom stuffed peppers are gluten-free and full of healthy things, but also have just enough melty cheese that everyone will ask for them again and again.

Quinoa and mushroom stuffed peppers on a plate

This time of year, with the markets full of peppers, stuffed peppers always seem like a great dinner idea. But sometimes the basics of meat, rice, and cheese can get a bit boring. The good news is that you can stuff pretty much anything in a pepper!

I have really fond memories of my mother making her meat stuffed peppers every summer and fall. So when I saw all the beautiful bell peppers – in all their amazing colors – show up at the farmer’s market, I just had to make my own. And since my family has been reducing our meat consumption to be a bit healthier, I thought it was the perfect time to experiment with a vegetarian version.

Mushroom and quinoa stuffed peppers without cheese

When I was selecting grains to pair with the mushrooms for this recipe, I wanted to go with something really dense in nutrients. I selected quinoa because it is so high in protein and vitamins. With the addition of mushrooms, that means these stuffed peppers have a large serving of protein, even without meat. Plus, I just really like the nutty and chewy flavor of quinoa. If you haven’t tried it yet, I really encourage you to do so.

How to select a bell pepper

While bell peppers are available at most stores year-round, you are definitely going to find the best ones in late summer and early fall. When harvested in season, peppers are sweet, flavorful, and crisp. The sweet bite goes perfectly with the nutty quinoa and almonds of this stuffed pepper recipe. In the off-season, I find they can get a bit watery and just don’t have quite the same delicious flavor.

Mushroom stuffed peppers topped with melted cheese

Whether you are getting your peppers from the farmer’s market or grocery store, you always want to make sure you select the best ones. To select the perfect bell pepper that will be flavorful and not go bad too quickly you should follow these tricks:

  • Pick up the pepper and turn it around, examining every side for soft spots, cracks, or wrinkles. Ones with soft spots will go bad quickly or may already be rotting inside.
  • Also avoid ones with yellow or brown sun-burnt patches. Those peppers won’t last as long.
  • Choose peppers that are very heavy for their size. These will have the most flesh and the fewest seeds.
  • Select peppers with a dark red (or orange) color. Darker peppers will be more flavorful. It’s ok if your bell pepper has a few green areas. 
Eating healthy vegetarian stuffed peppers

Of course, if you are selecting peppers to make stuffed peppers with, you also want to think about the shape. For this recipe, you want both halves to sit in the baking pan without falling over. So select peppers that have two flat-ish sides opposite each other. It is ok if they are not perfect, but the flatter they are, the easier they will be to fill.

Using other peppers

If you are lucky enough to live in an area where lots of varieties of peppers are grown, you can absolutely use some of the less common ones. This recipe works with any type of mild, sweet pepper. Gypsy peppers are good choice and pair beautifully with mushrooms and cheese. 

A mushroom and quinoa stuffed pepper cut open down the middle to show the filling

You just might need a few more of the smaller varieties to fit all the filling. Or you can select smaller peppers and make 2-3 bite vegetarian appetizers for a small gathering like these mini cream cheese stuffed peppers. Smaller peppers will need a little less baking time. No matter what pepper you chose, these mushroom stuffed peppers are one of those amazing meals to have in your supper rotation year-round (though I really recommend trying it with freshly harvested bell peppers). Vegetarian and gluten-free, it still has a solid serving for protein from the mushrooms and quinoa (not to mention the cheese). This stuffed pepper meal is the perfect example of how healthy things can be tasty too.

Quinoa and mushroom stuffed peppers on a plate

Quinoa and Mushroom Stuffed Peppers

These easy mushroom and quinoa stuffed peppers are healthy, gluten-free and vegetarian – not to mention very comforting and absolutely delicious!
5 from 5 votes
Print Pin Rate
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 40 minutes
Servings: 4 people
Calories: 393kcal
Author: Jovita | Yummy Addiction

Ingredients

  • 4 small bell peppers , halved and seeded
  • 1/2 cup uncooked quinoa
  • 3 tbsp olive oil , divided
  • 1 lb (450g) cremini mushrooms , finely chopped
  • 1 onion , chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic , minced
  • 1 14.5 oz can (450g) diced tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp fresh thyme , leaves only
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 cup shredded parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup toasted slivered almonds
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • lemon juice from 1/2 lemon
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

Instructions

  • Cook quinoa according to package instructions.
  • In a large skillet, over medium heat, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Add the mushrooms and onion, and cook, stirring, until softened and all the moisture has disappeared (about 10 minutes).
  • Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Stir in the canned tomatoes, thyme, salt, and black pepper. Simmer over low heat for about 10 minutes more.
  • Turn off the heat and stir in the cooked quinoa, Parmesan cheese, almonds, and parsley.
  • Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C).
  • Place the pepper halves, cut sides up, in a large baking dish. Spoon the mushroom quinoa mixture into the peppers, mounding if necessary. Drizzle with the remaining tablespoon olive oil and lemon juice.
  • Cover with foil and bake for about 50 minutes – 1 hour, or until the peppers reach your desired level of tenderness.
  • Uncover, top with the shredded mozzarella cheese, and bake for 5-10 minutes more until the cheese has melted.

Nutrition

Serving: 1g | Calories: 393kcal | Carbohydrates: 36.6g | Protein: 22.7g | Fat: 19.6g | Cholesterol: 12.3mg | Sodium: 1057.2mg | Sugar: 10.9g
Course: dinner, Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: healthy stuffed peppers, quinoa stuffed peppers
Nutrition Facts
Quinoa and Mushroom Stuffed Peppers
Amount Per Serving (1 g)
Calories 393 Calories from Fat 176
% Daily Value*
Fat 19.6g30%
Cholesterol 12.3mg4%
Sodium 1057.2mg46%
Carbohydrates 36.6g12%
Sugar 10.9g12%
Protein 22.7g45%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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10 Comments

  • Reply
    Vicky
    September 30, 2020 at 3:27 pm

    I have had stuffed peppers before, but usually with rice, not quinoa. I love the addition of quinoa to these. It is a great that you managed to create a yummy and filling vegetarian option.5 stars

    • Reply
      Jovita
      October 18, 2020 at 8:15 pm

      Yes, rice is usually used for stuffing peppers but I liked this variation with quinoa even better 🙂

  • Reply
    Jess
    September 30, 2020 at 3:34 pm

    We love quinoa and are always looking for new ways to use it. Thanks so much for the great idea!5 stars

    • Reply
      Jovita
      October 18, 2020 at 8:23 pm

      You are welcome, Jess. Thanks for stopping by!

  • Reply
    Sarah James
    September 30, 2020 at 3:55 pm

    Stuffed peppers are one of my favourite dishes and like you I’m trying to cut down on my meat consumption. Love the sound of the nutty quinoa filling, looking forward to trying your recipe.5 stars

    • Reply
      Jovita
      October 18, 2020 at 8:24 pm

      You’ll love it, Sarah 😉

  • Reply
    Tammy
    September 30, 2020 at 4:03 pm

    Such a delicious idea for quinoa! I love stuffed peppers and these look SO good! Delicious photos…I’m craving one for lunch now! These look perfect 🙂5 stars

    • Reply
      Jovita
      October 18, 2020 at 8:28 pm

      Thank you, Tammy!

  • Reply
    Jessie
    September 30, 2020 at 4:31 pm

    this looks delicious! I’m trying to incorporate more meatless recipes into my routine. The quinoa is really a wonderful idea and that cheesy melt…. yum!5 stars

    • Reply
      Jovita
      October 18, 2020 at 8:31 pm

      This is one of those vegetarian recipes everybody will love 🙂

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