Bursting with flavor, nutrition, and hearty red beans and rice, these Vegetarian Stuffed Peppers are just the thing for a light meal that can be made in advance. You'll recognize some Cajun flavors here, and you'll love having another thing to do with a can of red beans!
If my love for beans and rice wasn't already apparent, we're about to stuff both into a bell pepper and mix with more spices and cheese before baking to reinvent them.
If you love my Black Beans and Rice, you will love this combination of red beans, rice and Cajun flavors. Topping everything with cheese just feels like the perfect icing on the cake.
Red beans not only provide healthy protein in this vegetarian stuffed peppers recipe, they are also some of the softest beans that still stay firm after baking. They're the perfect addition to rice stuffed peppers. I love their texture so much, so I add them to my Sweet Potato Black Bean Chili along with the black beans.
The ingredient list below has the same Cajun flavors you love from my Vegetarian Jambalaya. That container of Tony Chachere's seasoning is going to good use here! You can also bookmark by Red Beans and Rice recipe, if you're looking for a non-vegetarian recipe.
- Bell Peppers. Vegetarian stuffed peppers can be made with any color pepper. I choose red the most, because I love the color and its crisp flavor, but use what you have on hand.
- Onion. One small onion, diced finely.
- Celery. Two stalks of celery, finely diced.
- Garlic. Yes, we're adding 6 cloves of minced garlic to this recipe. It's the Cajun flavor I'm going after.
- Cajun Seasoning. We also use a Cajun spice blend that contains salt, so that no other salt is needed for the recipe. The brand I like is Tony Chachere.
- Dried Thyme.
- Dried Parsley.
- Worcestershire Sauce. A big dose of umami flavor, plus some moisture.
- Crushed Tomatoes. Just 1 cup of crushed tomatoes from a can or box. Save the rest for my Ribollita recipe.
- Cooked Rice. Since we only need 1 cup of cooked rice, this is a great way to use up leftover rice, especially if you have it leftover from my Buddha Bowl Recipe.
- Red Beans. One can of small red beans are the best thing to use in this recipe, but you can use kidney beans if those are easier to find for you. Here is my whole category of recipes using red beans.
- Green Onions. Also called scallions, green onions really bring great flavor to a dish that is baked with cheese.
- Mozzarella Cheese. Any easy-to-melt cheese works for this recipe, but I use mozzarella because I love it's mild flavor and stretchiness when melted.
How to Make Vegetarian Stuffed Peppers
First, gather all the ingredients above, and ensure your vegetables are rinsed and chopped, and your cooked rice is ready to go.
First, in a small skillet, add the olive oil over medium heat, and stir in the finely diced onion and celery. Cook, while stirring frequently, until the vegetables soften, about 10 minutes or so.
Next, stir in the garlic and Cajun seasoning and saute for about 30 seconds, just to wake up the flavors in the spice blend. Turn off the heat.
In a large bowl, combine the vegetables you just sauteed, along with all other ingredients, except for the cheese. We're adding the dried thyme, dried parsley, Worcestershire sauce, tomatoes, rice, beans, and green onions now.
Stir everything together very well, and taste and adjust for seasoning. My Cajun seasoning has plenty of salt, but if yours is lacking, now is the time to add it, keeping in mind the cheese will add some saltiness to the dish.
Scoop the filling into the 8 pepper halves. Try to divide it as evenly as possible.
Top the peppers with the grated mozzarella, and cover it with a piece of foil that does not touch the cheese. Slide the baking dish into a preheated 350-degree oven and bake for 30 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for another 5-8 minutes, until the cheese is golden brown.
Recipe Variations on Vegetarian Stuffed Peppers
- Rice - Cooked white or brown rice both work well here.
- Beans - I use small red beans here, because they're Cajun, but you can use black beans, kidney beans, or even white beans here.
- Vegetables - To boost up the veggies, add ½ cup of corn kernels.
- Cheese - Any mild melting cheese works great here.
These vegetarian stuffed peppers are so great leftover! Just place in an airtight container and store in the fridge. To reheat, pop them in the air fryer or microwave until the cheese is melty again.
You can freeze these beans and rice stuffed peppers after baking. Wrap each pepper half in a layer of plastic wrap, place in a freezer-safe bag, and place flat in the freezer. Once frozen, you can stack them in a bag for easier storage. To reheat, place in fridge overnight to defrost and use the air fryer or microwave to warm through.
The only ingredients here that are not vegan are the Worcestershire sauce and the cheese. Use soy sauce in place of the Worcestershire, and a plant-based mozzarella-style cheese.
This vegetarian stuffed peppers recipe has onions, garlic, celery, tomatoes and green onion. You could also add corn or grated carrots to boost the vegetables.
- 4 large red bell peppers
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 small onion, diced
- 2 stalks celery, finely diced
- 6 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 teaspoons Tony Chacherie’s Cajun seasoning
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
- 1 teaspoon dried parsley
- 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
- 1 cup crushed tomatoes
- 2 cups cooked rice
- 1 15-ounce can of red beans
- 2 green onions, sliced
- 1 cup grated mozzarella cheese
- Preheat the oven to 350-degrees Fahrenheit. Rinse the peppers, and then slice them in half. Remove the insides and line them up in a baking dish.
- In a small skillet, add the olive oil and heat over medium heat. When the oil is hot, add the finely diced onion and celery and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 10 minutes.
- Next, add all of the minced garlic and Cajun seasoning. Stir and cook for 30 seconds, just to release flavors.
- Scrape the contents of the skillet into a large bowl, and all all remaining ingredients (except for the cheese!).
- Divide the rice and beans mixture evenly between all 8 bell pepper halves. Sprinkle cheese on top of the peppers.
- Place a piece of foil that doesn't touch the peppers over the pan and bake for 30 minutes.
- Remove the foil and bake for another 5-8 minutes, until the cheese is golden brown.
Store leftovers tightly wrapped in fridge. Reheat in air fryer or toaster oven.
You can freeze these beans and rice stuffed peppers after baking. Wrap each pepper half in a layer of plastic wrap, place in a freezer-safe bag, and place flat in the freezer. Once frozen, you can stack them up. To reheat, place in fridge overnight to defrost and use the air fryer or microwave to warm through.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 228Total Fat: 7gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 11mgSodium: 441mgCarbohydrates: 32gFiber: 5gSugar: 5gProtein: 10g