One of my favorite things about cooking is experimenting! I love to try new things, new cooking methods and new ingredients. Growing up, I always knew stuffed green bell peppers to be a mixture of meat (usually ground beef or ground turkey) and cheese. Don’t get me wrong, my mom makes delicious stuffed bell peppers this way. But, my husband limits his meat consumption to chicken and I simply did not have any ground chicken on hand. So, what do I do? I experiment! My vegetarian stuffed green bell pepper recipe is as follows!
Vegetarian Stuffed Green Bell Peppers
*ingredients listed are to split between two green bell peppers. You may need to add or subtract the measurements according to the number of green bell peppers you plan to stuff*
- One green bell pepper (can also use yellow, orange or red bell peppers), hollowed (per person)
- 1 can black beans
- 1 cup steamed brown rice
- ¼ cup finely chopped red onion
- ¼ cup favorite queso
- 1 tablespoon Herdez Guacamole Salsa(optional)
- 1-2 tablespoons favorite salsa (optional)
- ¼ cup sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
- First, begin by slicing the top of the green pepper (the stem and surrounding area) off and tossing it into your compost or trash
- Once the tops of all of the bell peppers are off, carefully remove all of the insides including the seeds. Toss them into your compost, trash or plant them in your garden
- Preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit
- While the oven is warming up to the desired temperature, gather all of the ingredients needed for stuffing the bell peppers.
- Using a can opener, cut open the top of the can of black beans and drain the fluid of it, set aside
- Chop ¼ cup red onion, set aside
- Steam the brown rice. I used a microwavable steaming dish, about a cup of water and minute brown rice, steamed in the microwave for about 4-5 minutes.
To begin stuffing the green bell peppers, you will need a spoon. Each of the ingredients will be added in layers and split between the two green bell peppers.
- Spoon a layer of black beans into the bottom of each green bell pepper
- Spoon a layer of brown rice onto the layer of black beans of each green bell pepper
- Spoon a layer of queso onto the top of the brown rice of each green bell pepper
- Spoon a layer of red onion onto the top of the queso of each green bell pepper
- Spoon a layer of salsa (your choice) onto the top of the red onion of each green bell pepper
- Repeat steps one and two if you have room to add more black beans and rice. You may need to tap the green bell peppers to help the ingredients settle so that more layers may be added.
- Once the green bell peppers are nearly full, pour the Herdez Guacamole Salsa over the stuffing ingredients and into the pepper itself
- Finally, top the whole green bell pepper with the sharp cheddar cheese
- Bake the stuffed green bell peppers in the oven for about 30 minutes or until cooked through
Now, I had no idea what else to serve with the stuffed green bell peppers because they had been stuffed with black beans (source of protein), brown rice (source of fiber) various sauces for flavor, stuffed inside of a bell pepper (vegetable) and topped with cheese (dairy). So, as part of my experimentation, I searched my refrigerator to see what could serve as a side dish. I found my leftover macaroni and cheese bake from a few days before, and a tube of flaky ready to bake biscuits.
Both were delicious and ended up being appropriate side dishes. However, I strongly encourage biscuits as a side with stuffed green bell peppers because as you cut into the pepper, the delicious ingredients baked inside, come out and can be eaten either with the pepper itself or scooped up and eaten with the biscuit (similar to eating stew and biscuits)!