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Rice, ground "beef", and a rich tomato sauce are the key ingredients to making delicious vegan stuffed peppers. Enjoy this versatile dish for dinner or make it ahead for a satisfying, high-protein lunch.
Stuffed peppers are a classic comfort dish, spanning many cuisines. The dish typically consists of a bell pepper stuffed with meat, vegetables, cheese, and/or rice. Each culture makes their own variation of the recipe.
You may be familiar with the Mexican dish called Chile Rellenos - poblano peppers stuffed with cheese, coated in batter, and fried. In India, Bharaw Shimla Mirch is a dish made by stuffing bell peppers with spicy potatoes.
This recipe for vegan stuffed peppers is my take on the American variation of stuffed peppers, generally made with rice, ground beef, and tomatoes.
You can find the exact measurements in the recipe card below.
- Bell peppers: Use your preferred color. Red and yellow are sweeter, while green is a more bitter choice.
- Oil: I like to use canola oil for sautéing.
- Onion: A yellow or Vidalia onion.
- Garlic: Fresh, minced garlic is best but you can also use garlic powder.
- Vegetable broth, diced tomatoes, and tomato sauce: These ingredients will make a rich and flavorful sauce.
- Oregano, cumin, salt, and pepper: Seasoning for the sauce.
- Rice: Leftover, cooked rice is best to use. I like to make rice in an electric pressure cooker.
- Vegan beef: My favorite store-bought vegan beef is Impossible burger, but Beyond will also work. If you'd prefer to make your own, try this homemade vegan ground beef recipe.
- Parsley: Fresh parsley adds balance and brightness to the dish.
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Step by Step
Full, detailed instructions are located in the recipe card below.
Substitutions and Variations
Stuffed peppers are super versatile. You can easily halve or double the recipe, replace the seasonings, or add any leftover vegetables you have in the fridge.
- Vegan beef substitute: Use tofu or beans instead of beef. Black beans and pinto beans will work great in this recipe. Substitute with 1 block of tofu (crumbled) or 1-2 cans of beans.
- Taco stuffed peppers: Add 2 tablespoons of taco seasoning to the rice and "beef" mixture. You could also add some shredded vegan cheese on top for the last 10-15 minutes of baking.
- Rice substitute: Use quinoa instead.
- Vegetables: Add corn, carrots, zucchini, broccoli, or any other favorite vegetable to the stuffing mixture.
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Make Ahead Instructions
To make this recipe ahead of time, follow the written instructions until it's time to bake. Stuff the peppers, cover them, and store them in the fridge along with the remaining sauce until you are ready to bake in the oven. You can prep this recipe up to 24 hours in advance.
Add about 15 minutes to the covered cooking time when baking.
*Note: Some casserole dishes can crack when moved from a cold fridge to a hot oven. To prevent this, let the dish sit out at room temperature for about 30 minutes before putting it in the oven.
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Vegan Stuffed Peppers
- 4 bell peppers color of choice
- 1 tablespoon oil
- 1 vidalia or yellow onion chopped
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 1½ cup vegetable broth set ½ cup aside for baking
- 1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes
- 4 ounces tomato sauce
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- ½ teaspoon cumin
- ½ teaspoon salt or to taste
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- 2 cups cooked rice cold, leftover rice is best
- 1 pound vegan ground beef uncooked
- 3 tablespoons fresh parsley finely chopped
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Cut each bell pepper in half lengthwise (from stem to bottom.) Remove the stem and seeds.
- Heat oil on medium heat. Saute onions until translucent. Add garlic and saute for an additional minute.
- Add diced tomatoes, 1 cup of vegetable broth, tomato sauce, and seasonings (oregano, cumin, salt, and pepper.) Simmer for 5 minutes on low heat.
- In a bowl, mix together the rice, vegan beef, and parsley. Mix in 1 cup of the sauce.
- Stuff each pepper with the beef and rice mixture.
- Place the peppers, stuffing side up, into a 9x13 baking dish. Add the remaining ½ cup of vegetable broth to the bottom of the dish. Spoon the remaining sauce over the peppers. Cover the dish with foil.
- Bake for 40 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for an additional 15 minutes, or until the filling is 160°F.