Vegetarian Stuffed Peppers
  • Leah

Vegetarian Stuffed Peppers

If you've read any of my recipe posts, a few things will probably stand out.

1. I hate clean up, so any recipe with minimal dishes is right up my alley.

2. I am a tiny bit obsessed with cauliflower rice. It's delicious, healthy, and can be worked into a ton of recipes!

3. Any food with a Latino influence is okay with me.

This recipe incorporates all three of these items. I had some beautiful peppers, and was planning to make a healthy stuffed pepper recipe, but then I thought why not make it a Mexican style meal? So I did!

Stuffed peppers usually follow a fixed format - peppers, some type of meat, tomatoes or sauce, rice, and cheese. I wanted to healthy this up a bit and cut back on carbs, so instead of rice, I used cauliflower rice. I happened to have some cilantro lime seasoned cauliflower rice in the freezer and thought this would be the perfect opportunity to use it. I found it in the frozen section at my local supermarket (ShopRite) but if you can't find it, have no fear. There's plenty of seasoning in the rest of the ingredients that will make any cauliflower rice flavorful. Or you could just add some cilantro and lime juice to it.

Since I knew I wanted to use cheese on top, I couldn't use ground meat or it wouldn't be kosher. Enter another of my favorites: Gardein beefless ground. It's also easy to find in the frozen section at the supermarket, and while it tastes a lot like beef, it is vegan and gluten-free. Which makes it the perfect swap for kosher cooks like myself. It's also great if you're vegetarian, vegan, or just trying to cut back on meat consumption without forgoing protein.

When I think about Mexican (or Mexican-style) foods, I usually picture beans and tomatoes, along with rice, some kind of meat and a LOT of flavor. Cheese is often incorporated into dishes. There's a lot of leeway with a dish like this. Substitutions are so easy to work in. I chose to use black beans and canned tomatoes to round out the flavor profile.

While I love cooking, there's some days where I'm too tired or lazy to spend much time preparing a healthy meal. This was the main motivating factor in developing this recipe. Since the Gardein beefless ground is plant based, there's no need to pre-cook it. I let the bag sit on the counter while preparing everything (so the bigger frozen chunks would melt) and then I just tossed all the ingredients in a medium sized bowl. Once this mixture has been put into the peppers, I put it into the oven and didn't have to worry about it for an hour!

Cook Time

Prep time: 5 min

Cook time: 1 hour

Ready in: 1 hour 5 min

Yields: 4 servings (1 pepper each)


· 1 bag (10 oz) cauliflower rice

· 1 can (15 oz) black beans, drained

· 1 can (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes, drained

· 2 bags (13.7 oz each) Gardein beefless ground

· 4 bell peppers, any color

· 1 tablespoon adobo with cumin

· 2 packets sazon

· 2 teaspoons chili powder

· 1 tablespoon hot sauce

· 1 cup part-skim mozzarella, shredded


1. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.

2. Microwave the riced cauliflower as directed on the package.

3. Wash the bell peppers. Slice off the top of the pepper, and remove the seeds. If the ribs are fleshy, pull those out with your fingers. I always rinse the inside of the peppers to remove any remaining seeds.

4. Combine the cauliflower rice, beefless ground, tomatoes, beans, sazon, adobo, chili powder, and hot sauce in a medium sized bowl and mix well.

5. Place the peppers in a baking dish or aluminum lasagna pan with 2 cups of water. Stuff the mixture into the peppers.

6. Cover the peppers with aluminum foil and bake for 50 minutes.

7. Top each pepper with 1/4 cup of the shredded mozzarella and bake uncovered for another 10 minutes. Enjoy!

Substitutions and Dietary Restrictions

Since I'm such a picky eater, and I understand that people do have preferences or dietary restrictions, I always make sure to include a section involving changes you can make.

· Vegan. Leave out the cheese, or use your favorite non-dairy cheese alternative.

· Low-carb. Skip the beans, and use more vegetables or meat. You can also add more cheese.

· Non-kosher. If you don't keep kosher, you can substitute ground beef, turkey, or chicken instead of the beefless ground.

· Additional ingredients for 21 Day Fix. If you're following 21 Day Fix, feel free to add any other vegetables you want (just make sure to cut something else out or it won't all fit in the peppers) or top with a dollop of plain greek yogurt. If you're willing to use another yellow container, swap out the cauliflower rice with regular brown rice. You can always play around with the seasonings as well.

· Additional ingredients if not doing 21 Day Fix. If you aren't following 21 Day Fix, you can add some olives to the mixture. Top it with some sour cream, avocado slices, or guacamole. Instead of cauliflower rice, you can just use regular white or brown rice.

· Spicier? Add more hot sauce or chili powder, or use cayenne pepper instead of the chili powder. The recipe above has a nice amount of spice with a little heat, but isn't overwhelmingly hot.

21 Day Fix Container Counts

If you're following the 21 Day Fix, container counts for one pepper as listed in the recipe above is:

· 2 green containers

· 1 red container

· 1 yellow container

· 1 blue container

If you change anything around, be sure to add that in to the container counts.

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