Sunday, January 31, 2010

Sunday cooking marathon 2: Quinoa-Stuffed Peppers


I’m sure everyone will challenge this statement, but: these are the best stuffed peppers anyone anywhere in the world ever has eaten or will eat. Period. This recipe was printed in Vegetarian Times about 18 months ago, and since then I’ve seen it reprinted in a several other publications. I do, as usual, jimmy it a little, so if you want to consult the original, you can find it here:

Why are they so good? I don’t know! The filling is substantial, flavorful, bold…and every time I make them I’m just amazed at how much veg is crammed in there, and the average person (yea, even the picky eater) would never notice. Finally, I love anything that makes quinoa—the wundergrain—delicious and accessible to the common man.

There are a lot of ingredients, but if you use your food processor you really can whip this up in no time.

2 Tbs olive oil

1 onion, grated

3 ribs celery, grated

1 Tbs cumin

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 10-oz. package frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed dry

2 15-oz cans diced tomatoes, drained

1 15-oz can black beans

3/4 C quinoa, well rinsed

2 C water

3 large carrots, grated

1 1/2 C grated pepper jack cheese

4 large bell peppers, halved lengthwise, ribs removed


Grate the onion and celery in your food processor and sauté them in the olive oil for five minutes. Add the garlic and cumin and cook 1 minute longer.


Add the drained tomatoes and spinach and cook five minutes, until most of the liquid has evaporated. While this is in the works you can grate the carrots and pepper jack cheese.


Stir in the black beans, quinoa, water and carrots. Cover and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for about 30 minutes until the quinoa is tender and the water has been absorbed (I find that I sometimes just have to drain a little at the end because the vegetables release so much while cooking). Stir in the pepper jack cheese.


Prep your peppers and line them up in a 9x13 baking dish. So pretty!


Stuff those mothers full, about 3/4 C filling per pepper. I always have a little filling leftover, but never mind, because it’s delicious just to eat with a spoon. Cover the peppers with foil and bake at 350 for 1 hour.



  1. Made these tonight--they were really tasty! Thanks for sharing the recipe.

  2. This one was not my favorite...I just wasn't in the mood for the flavor combo. I wanted the quinoa, I know it's good for me, but my tastebuds are not jumping for cumin currently. Grace on the other hand loved it and took a stuffed pepper to school for lunch yesterday! I'm sure there were some questions from the cardboard-like pizza eating cafeteria crowd.

    I put the remainder in small meal sized containers so we can take them out of the freezer when the desire hits. I'm sure I will like this recipe...someday.

    1. OK, so I tried them again and I LOVE this recipe. Really tasty, into cumin again, and I just felt good eating them. Thank God for second chances! :)

  3. These were a big hit with our family. Quinoa is a new food for us. Everyone loved the peppers and I have to say that I've never made stuffed peppers anyone ever liked but me! The kids even asked for leftovers. These were very easy and the recipe made enough for at least 11 halves. This recipe gets a thumbs up.

    Note: If you have never used quinoa, you should rinse it very well before you cook it or it will be bitter. To do this, I used a bowl filled with water and stirred it around. Then I lined my colander with coffee filters and poured the quinoa into the colander. The quinoa is so small I had to be creative. I would say it was worth it.

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  5. This is my favorite recipe yet Sarah, thx for your blog- inspiring and fun! Hope you and your family are doing well. -Grace (francais student 2004) ;)