Vegetable and Rice Stuffed Peppers

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Vegetable and Rice Stuffed Peppers are ready to be the star of your next dinner. This recipe is not only incredibly simple, but it’s naturally vegan and gluten-free. You probably have everything you need to make them in your fridge or pantry.

rice stuffed peppers in a white baking dish

Some plant-based recipes don’t feel substantial enough to be the main event but with herb-flavored rice and tender carrots wrapped in a colorful sweet pepper, these fit the bill. We also have a ton of suggestions (below) that will help you switch up your vegetable and starch fillers, and add fun and nutrition-packed toppings. 

Knowing how to make vegan stuffed peppers will give you another irresistible veggie packed dinner to whip up. And my favorite topping? Silky, rich cashew cream gives the dish just the right creamy finish. Whoever said vegan main dishes can’t be impressive and satisfying hasn’t tried this recipe! 

raw hollowed out bell peppers in a white oval baking dish

How to Make It

  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F, then prep the bell peppers by carefully scraping out the seeds. 
  2. Cook the onion, carrots, and garlic until very tender, about 8 to 10 minutes. 
  3. Add the rice, thyme, salt, oregano, and black pepper, and stir until everything is evenly combined.
  4. Pour the vegetable broth over the veggies and rice, and bring to a simmer. 
  5. Cook until the broth has been absorbed, 15 to 17 minutes. 
  6. Fill the bell peppers with the rice mixture, and add 1/3 cup of water to the baking dish. 
  7. Cover with foil and bake for 45 minutes. Then remove the foil and cook uncovered for 20 additional minutes.
  8. Serve with cashew cream. 
ingredients for stuffed peppers on a grey countertop

Ingredients

  • Bell peppers, any color – Cooking with a variety of bell peppers gives you the freedom to go wild with color. Red, yellow, orange, green, heck, even toss a purple pepper in there if they are in season. Yellow, orange, and red peppers have a milder taste than green peppers. And if you find yourself with a plethora of tomatoes instead of peppers, try my vegetarian Quinoa Stuffed Tomatoes.
  • Olive oil – Olive oil’s melt-in-to-anything quality keeps your veggies from sticking to the bottom of the pan, while preserving their fresh flavor.
  • Yellow onion, carrots, garlic – Mellow onion, carrots, and garlic are the aromatic base of this vibrant bell pepper dish. Together, they bring out the best of those tender peppers.
  • White rice – White rice is a work horse in the kitchen. We recommend using medium grain rice because it’s a kitchen staple that most home cooks already have on hand. You could also use jasmine, basmati, or wild rice.
  • Dried Thyme, Dried Oregano, Salt, Pepper – An herby salt and pepper seasoning makes already tasty veggies and rice even better!
  • Vegetable Broth & Water – Simmering the rice in vegetable broth adds another layer of flavor to this vegan dish. A little water in the bottom of the baking dish is necessary to prevent sticking.
  • Cashew cream  – Nutty, buttery, and smooth, cashew cream is such a wonderful addition to the savory veggie flavors. (Recipe coming up later this week!)
adding broth to rice and vegetable mixture in a large skillet

Variations

  • Mix & Match Veggies & Herbs – Turn this dish into a totally Italian vegan main course by adding tomatoes, parsley, and eggplant. Or go Tex-Mex with a black bean, green onion and hot sauce filling. Sautéed mushrooms, spinach and kale also work great.
  • Substitute starches – Use brown rice in place of white rice, or substitute rice altogether with quinoa for a batch of quinoa stuffed peppers. You can also experiment with couscous or lentils.
  • Top Your Peppers – Sprinkle vegan “cheese” or nutritional yeast, which tastes pretty similar to cheese, on top of your vegan stuffed peppers. Adding nutritional yeast has tons of vitamins and minerals and will provide your entire daily dose of vitamin B2, B3, B6, and B12!
stirring rice and vegetable mixture in a large skillet

What are stuffed peppers?

Stuffed peppers are a super nostalgic food. Common in many countries around the world, there’s a decent chance your grandparents (or their grandparents) made some version of these. While this dish has traditionally been stuffed with meats like ground beef, Italian sausage, ragu, or marina, and then topped with melty cheese, the vegetarian and vegan stuffed peppers are equally satisfying.

Storing, Freezing & Reheating 

Rice stuffed peppers can be made up to 4 days in advance – hello, easy weeknight dinner! Store this easy vegan meal in an airtight container in the fridge.

Peppers can stay in the freezer for up to 3 months, and reheating is easy. Just thaw in the refrigerator the night before, then bake in the oven at 350°F for 30 – 40 minutes.

raw stuffed peppers in a white oval baking dish
Do you have to boil peppers before stuffing them?

Nope! This recipe is designed to be a breeze, and have as few steps as possible. The bell peppers will cook to the perfect tenderness in the oven, so there is no need to boil them ahead of time.

Why are my stuffed peppers soggy? 

One of the most important steps in this recipe is making sure all of the broth is absorbed prior to stuffing the peppers. If there is still excess moisture in the rice when you place it in the pepper, that may cause things to get a little soggy. 

raw stuffed peppers in a white oval baking dish

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cooked stuffed peppers in a white oval baking dish
5 from 2 votes

Vegetable and Rice Stuffed Peppers Recipe {vegan, gluten-free}

Vegetable and Rice Stuffed Peppers are ready to be the star of your next dinner. This recipe is not only incredibly simple, but it's naturally vegan and gluten-free. You probably have everything you need to make them in your fridge or pantry.
Prep: 35 minutes
Cook: 1 hour 5 minutes
Total: 1 hour 40 minutes
Servings: 6

Equipment

  • Large Saucepan
  • Baking Dish

Ingredients 

  • 6 medium bell peppers, any color
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup diced yellow onion
  • 1 cup diced carrots
  • 2 cloves garlic, grated or minced
  • 2 cups medium grain white rice
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 1/2 cups vegetable broth
  • 1/3 cup water
  • serve with cashew cream or yogurt

Instructions 

  • Preheat the oven to 400°F.
  • Slice the tops off the bell peppers (reserve the tops) and scrape out the membranes and seeds.
  • In a large saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion, carrots, and garlic. Cook, stirring often, until very tender, 8 to 10 minutes.
  • Add in the rice, thyme, salt, oregano, and black pepper. Stir until the rice is shiny and everything is evenly combined.
  • Pour the vegetable broth over the vegetables and rice. Bring to a simmer. Cover the pot with a lid and reduce the temperature to a low-medium. Simmer, covered, until all of the broth has been absorbed, 15 to 17 minutes.
  • Fill the bell peppers with the rice. Add the tops, pressing them gently into the rice mixture.
  • Add 1/3 cup of water to the dish beneath the peppers.
  • Cover the peppers tightly with foil. Bake the peppers, covered, for 45 minutes. Then remove the foil and continue cooking, uncovered, for 20 minutes more. Serve with cashew cream.

Nutrition

Calories: 345kcal | Carbohydrates: 63g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Sodium: 804mg | Potassium: 438mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 7509IU | Vitamin C: 156mg | Calcium: 47mg | Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Author: Jess Smith via Inquiring Chef
Cost: $5
Calories: 345
Keyword: gluten free, vegan recipe
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About Jess Smith

Jess is the recipe creator and photographer at InquiringChef.com. She spent nearly a decade as the Chief Recipe Developer for the award-winning meal planning app Cook Smarts. Her colorful, healthyish recipes have been featured in popular online publications including Parade, Hallmark, and HuffPost.

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